Did you owe money today? What... already got a refund? Well, no matter whether you're in the red or in the black on Tax Day, the sting of our tax dollars going towards the Trump administration's blatantly self-serving agenda is painful. And on the state level, watching legislation pass that we know will be challenged in court -- with our dollars paying to defend indefensible positions -- is utterly infuriating.
We believe, as you do, that we can be better, and we're focusing on the long-term. Not unlike the basketball player who challenges a call, intuiting that the call won't be overturned but still hoping the ref might think twice before calling a foul again, we're fighting every step of the way... with you! Medicaid expansion in Kansas might, might, just happen! That's in no small part because of the pressure (and support) that we Indivisibles and our allies are putting on a vulnerable Senator, Majority Leader Jim Denning, as well as other Kansas legislative leaders.
Never forget that our representatives work for us, whether they acknowledge that or not. We will continue to shine light on the misuse of our tax dollars and on the messy inner-workings of our legislatures; plenty of those folks enjoy being on our payroll but they're not so happy to be scrutinized in this way. In fact, they're digging in and fighting back but we will have history on our side. Maybe not this session, but someday. As an Indivisible, you can say you played a part in righting the ship.
Shoulder to shoulder,
P.S. We were so pleased to have a small - but high quality - group at our Action Afternoon yesterday. Special thanks to Sheldon Weisgrau from the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas for sharing his knowledge of Medicaid expansion and its impacts on communities. We're already planning for May's Action Afternoon, so watch this space
In Kansas this past week -
In Kansas, only 40% of kids age 3 - 4 attend preschool. The statistic is relevant because 90% of a child’s brain architecture is established before the age of 5. “The status quo cannot propel us forward,” said Gov. Laura Kelly, speaking before the Kansas Children’s Cabinet on Thursday. She urged the KS Legislature to stop draining away millions of dollars in tobacco settlement payments so the Cabinet, headed by Fairway resident & former KS legislator Melissa Rooker, can focus on the potential offered in innovative community programs to improve preparedness of at-risk pre-schoolers.
What you can do: Contact your legislators before May 1st to tell them that you agree with Gov. Kelly and believe that a budget which fully funds K-12 schools, reforms the foster care system and expands Medicaid is more influential the future outcomes for our children and of our state.
Kris Kobach appears to be auditioning for a top job in President Donald Trump’s administration, defending hard-line immigration policies in frequent TV and radio appearances and promoting a three-step plan for solving the border crisis. Kobach’s idea is to deploy judges and a fleet of planes to border towns, along with thousands of mobile home trailers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ethan Corson, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, said Kobach’s plan sounded cruel and inhumane: “It seems like a plan for more costly, time-consuming litigation [which wouldn't] make us more safe, but would serve [Kobach's] perpetual goal of staying in the news.”
What you can do: Remind your US Senators that working on actual border security and striving for longterm, real immigration solutions is an urgent, humanitarian need. We expect our Midwestern politicians to come ready to roll up their sleeves and work through these gnarly and demanding problems without grandstanding and showboating. Remind them, too, who lost at the polls last November and who won the Kansas gubernatorial race.
Sharice Davids received rare in-depth coverage and fair accolades from McClatchy News’ DC correspondent and former Kansas City Star reporter, Bryan Lowry this week. People outside of the Kansas 3rd Congressional District are finally starting to notice what we have seen from the beginning: Rep. Davids is a thoughtful, considered and meticulous person, whose style reflects well her district’s and who has a longer-than-average attention span for detail and strategic planning. She appeared at the JoCo Democrats’ monthly breakfast to a standing room-only crowd on Saturday morning to talk about easing into the legislative work for the KS-3rd and working hard to reach constituents where they are.
To Expand Medicaid Or Not To Expand Medicaid, That Is The Question! There is a longer story here, and we have written about it in past emails, but this serves as your reminder for the week to CONTACT YOUR SENATOR. Remind her or him of the economic impact that expansion is expected to have on Johnson County alone -- apart and above the positive outcomes from having a healthier population. There will likely be a call to action prior to the resumption of the legislative session May 1st, so watch your inbox or Facebook for details.
And in Missouri -
CALL FOR BIPARTISANSHIP - The GOP strategy is Jefferson City seems to be ignore what the other side has to say, and then, when the deadline is close, and there’s a very real chance Missourians will be hurt by surprise tax bills, rush to offer the same solution that was offered up by democrats months earlier.
What can you do: Ask for bipartisanship from the Missouri GOP legislators (see here). We need to all work together, for the sake of our state. If it’s a good idea, it’s a good idea. It’s both irresponsible and arrogant to think that only ideas brought from “your” side are good ones.
INITIATIVE PROCESS - From Missouri Jobs with Justice: For over a century, Missourians of all political stripes have relied on the initiative petition process to make policy changes when legislators refused to act on our priorities. Now, some legislators are threatening to change that.
Two bills, SJR1 and SB5, threaten our rights as citizens to come together and petition one another when legislature fails to act. Without our initiative process we have no recourse to correct the legislature when it makes bad policy, or to make good policy when it fails to act. We cannot afford to lose this vital check on our legislature.
What you can do: Contact your senator to tell them to protect the initiative petition process. http://www.indivisiblekc.com/mo-leg---kc-area.html.
FIRST AMENDMENT THREATS - The Missouri Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment Committee voted “do pass” on Missouri Senate Bill 293, which would criminalize protesting 'critical infrastructure' pipelines and facilities, which raises First Amendment concerns. Anyone found trespassing around those sites with an intent to “inhibit or impede operations” could be subject to a Class A Misdemeanor. Read more: https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/missouri-bill-could-criminalize-protesting-critical-infrastructure-pipelines-and-facilities/article_1e2ca91a-5d5f-5c1b-b6cd-3455d46bf61a.html.
What you can do: Contact your state senators to protect First Amendment rights to protest and reject this bill. Find their contact information at http://www.indivisiblekc.com/mo-leg---kc-area.html.