In the Spring of this year, when IndivisibleKC began to strategize at the state level about its direction for the next 12-18 months, one of the core issues that came into focus was integrity in elections. The reasons are two-fold: Kansas has made the office of Secretary of State the most powerful in the nation by giving it prosecutorial power, and Kansas has steadily passed laws since 2013 to keep many from registering to vote or from actually voting, including law-abiding citizens. These laws have to a large extent affected young people, people of color and the elderly.
If election integrity is our focus and if what’s preventing integrity in our elections is infringement on our rights to vote, it made perfect sense to team up with the one organization that has been fighting discrimination against voting for over a hundred years, the ACLU.
The Kansas chapter alone has fought four Voter Suppression cases and won EVERY single one of them.
To address our current situation, ACLU of KS created The Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation, a broad-based coalition made up of organizations from across the state that share a common dedication to protecting and expanding the right to vote. The members will work together to develop an action plan to mobilize Kansans to organize within their communities to increase citizen participation.
IndivisibleKC is proud to be a partner.
Together, the Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation campaign will fight to:
Repeal Kris Kobach’s Failed Election Policies
Expand Early Voting and Election-Day Registration
Withdraw from the Wasteful “Crosscheck” System
IKC’s work will involve educating the public about the importance of civic engagement and encouraging legislators to take action towards promoting stronger civic health.
The Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation will be unveiled at the same time that our friends at the ACLU launch a national initiative, Let People Vote.
IndivisibleKC plans on going and wanted to pass the invitation along to you. Click HERE for details on how to attend.
This past Thursday, I made my sixth trip this year to Senator Moran's office. I had no intention of speaking and decided at the last minute to use my lunch break to go to support others. As I stood looking around the room, listening to one story after another, I was struck with deep sadness and frustration. I had one question. "Why do I have to keep coming here to ask Senator Moran to protect my son's life?"
My son, Danny, was born prematurely and is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cortical vision impairment. Danny uses a wheelchair, he needs total support with all his care, uses a gtube for his nutrition and fluids, and he requires constant monitoring of his health due to the risk of seizures.
The Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill is devastating for the real, tangible effects on Danny's life and his future. It's also devastating because of what it implies.
With each of these fights for to protect Medicaid, it feels as though I have to explain why my child deserves to live. It seems as though we live in a world where his inherent value is not accepted. That his life is viewed as a burden.
The truth of it is, none of us can do anything without the collective us. We all need support. We all need help. We all need our community. Some more than others, but that is how this works. Danny is no burden. Danny is exactly who he was meant to be. He has a right to an independent and healthy life.
By funding Medicaid, we tell people with disabilities that they are valued. That their lives have worth. They are an important part of our world.
I look forward to the day I no longer have to explain how important my son's life is to our elected officials, but today is not that day. Like many of you, I am exhausted by this. But we have to push on and keep up the pressure. I will keep calling. I will write another letter. I will show up again and again. Today is not the day I stop fighting for Danny.
Leslie D. Mark
Dear Healthcare Legislative Director,
We know that you’re the DC insider and person-on-the-mat for the Senator when it comes to healthcare legislation and fixing issues with ACA (yet, still committed to holding harmless the many Americans caught in today’s political crosshairs).
But, tell me you weren’t just a little bit surprised by the re-introduction of TrumpCare in the guise of Cassidy-Graham?
Tell us you are just as disbelieving as we are with this last-ditch effort to repeal and replace before the end of the month — when you will no longer have the “simple” 51 vote by all-GOP to pass it? We’ve read that it’s facing a very steep climb, but we are not so sanguine.
You might ask why?
We would say because it proposes a spending cap on Medicaid; because it favors a block grant program, allotting a fixed amount of money to flow into each state from the Federal budget; and theoretically, at least, because it gives states more leeway to spend federal dollars on health care as they see fit, though KS and MO have long just been happy to send $1.8b+ a year to DC without seeing any of that money flow back!
Are you cynically counting on that money for a tax package to benefit the crème-de-la-crème?
This September Hail Mary actually means less money overall for states to spend and jeopardizes insurance coverage for 32 million more Americans. We aren’t stupid. America is not going to do MORE with LESS.
The Senator is no magician.
This is NOT what we have been talking about all summer - no. You know it. The Senator knows it. The voters know it. So we’re writing to ask: what’s the game plan? How can we, all the grassroots movement folk — and even the apolitical folk — help redirect you and your boss to meaningful conversation?
We are tired of watching billions of tax dollars from KS and MO fill the pot and never come back, while so many rural hospitals madly juggle their budgets. We are distressed by the inability — outright inability — of neighbors and family members to find navigators to help them work through insurance selections for the upcoming enrollment year. Let’s just remember for a minute that real folks’ lives are in play here. No joking!
Certainly not the JOKE that is Cassidy-Graham.
Looking forward to hearing back from you or the Senator at your earliest possible convenience.
by C. Jean Kasselman, Ph.D.
A recent KCStar piece posited that activists who rally related to the DeVos visit to KC are protesting Ms. DeVos. While many activists are concerned that DeVos has no background, professional preparation, or experience in public schooling and supports public funding for charter/private schools, there is a larger reason.
Activist groups advocate FOR public schools, special education, school mental health professionals, teacher education programs, student safety and protections, adequate funding, coherent and research-based curricula and instruction, and professional treatment of teachers.
Why did politicians decide they know more about education than education pros?
When education stops being used as a political wedge and when education pros are in charge again, American public education will improve. There's no personal animus/protest against DeVos. Our angst is the prolonged, unhelpful, political attack on our profession and expertise. Our "protest" is against the damage done to generations of students and, thus, to our democracy. And until these attacks stop, we'll see you on the streets.
We'll never give up on our students and their futures.