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Friday, October 15, 2021

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Welcome to the KDP Weekly Newsletter – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? Indigenous People’s Day, Gov. Laura Kelly, Jill Biden Visit, Redistricting Plans, LGBTQ+ Rights, Race Theory Controversy, Soybean Agriculture, #KSLEG, Democrats Care, Social Media Updates, KDP Merch and more!

Interested in helping the Party get out our messaging to encourage Kansans to vote blue? Sign up for our new Letter to the Editor program here!  

Indigenous People’s Day

                                      

Indigenous Peoples’ Day was this week!

Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates America’s Indigenous history and culture, and honors the sacrifices and resilience of Native communities.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day serves as an occasion to better educate oneself on the history of Native Americans, as well as the reality of colonialism’s impact on Indigenous people. The Kansas Democratic Party is committed to carrying forward the important work necessary to ensure dignity, sovereignty, and opportunity for our state’s four Tribal Nations.

We will never forget the sacrifices they made, and the brutality they faced. We will honor, remember and respect the contributions and importance of America’s Indigenous people.

KDP TRAININGS AND UPDATES

In an effort to ramp up training for upcoming elections in 2021 and beyond, the Kansas Democratic Party, together with the DNC Best Practices Institute, are excited to offer a series of virtual trainings over the course of the next few months. These programs will enhance the skills of progressive activists and volunteers by ensuring comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats all over the country. The training and its description are listed below:

  • BPI State Party Leadership and Staff Resources 
    • The BPI’s 9-part DEI Training Course is now available for use by County Parties. Learn more about the process for implementing the BPI DEI Training Course in your state HERE. Those interested should email bpi@dnc.org to schedule a call with the BPI team.
  • Democrats Care Projects
    • Are you working on a community service project in your area? KDP and the DNC would like to amplify your work as part of the new Democrats care project.
    • To learn about the program, you can read more here.
  • The DNC Disability Caucus Council
    • The DNC Disability Council is in the process of collecting the signatures needed from members to convert to a Caucus. If you are interested in signing on to support this transition, please use this link.
  • How has the Biden Administration impacted you? Let the DNC know!
    • The DNC is putting together a story bank of real people who have been positively impacted by the Biden agenda. They are looking for people from every state, every identity, every professional, and activist behind every issue! If you are interested, please fill out this form.
  • Looking to support a campaign in 2022? Check out the DNC’s Campaign Readiness Project!
    • The Campaign Readiness Project is a train-to-hire bootcamp pipeline at the DNC with the goal of supporting states in their recruitment, training, and hiring of diverse, talented, and local staff for specific roles and skill sets on coordinated campaigns. The application closed on October 6, but the bootcamp will be held virtually October 22-24. To learn more, click here.
  • Get out the Vote Calls with NJ Forward
    • Join NJ Forward for a phone bank on Zoom to talk with people across New Jersey about the stronger and fairer New Jersey that Democrats up and down the ballot are going to continue to work towards. You’ll need access to a computer & phone for the phone bank. To learn more, click here.

Press Releases

LAURA KELLY INTRODUCES $50 MILLION PACKAGE TO RETAIN FRONTLINE HEALTH CARE WORKERS  

What’s happening?

(Great Bend Tribune) – Governor Laura Kelly released the total allocation amounts for each hospital participating in the Frontline Hospital Workers Retention Plan.

“This $50 million will help us retain and attract more frontline hospital workers as we continue to fight his virus,” said Governor Kelly. “For over 18 months, our health-care workers have risked their lives every day to protect Kansans from COVID-19. It’s our responsibility to make sure they have the support they need to continue. In the meantime, I encourage all Kansans to do their part to beat this virus by getting vaccinated immediately.”

Where can I learn more?

JILL BIDEN VISITS KCK TO DISCUSS SMALL BUSINESSES AND LATINO CONCERNS

What’s happening?

(The Kansas City Star) – First lady Jill Biden traveled to Kansas City, Kan., on Tuesday to promote the Biden administration’s aid to small businesses during the pandemic while listening to the concerns of the Latino community.

Biden held a discussion called a charla — Spanish for “chat” — during the final week of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I think a lot of times people don’t have a really positive image of the government and what the government does, so I think it’s important we get out the message,” Biden said, adding that “I hope that people of Kansas see that government can be good and can do good things and does help people.”

Where can I learn more?

KANSAS DEMOCRATS CALL OUT GOP FOR IGNORING REDISTRICTING DEADLINE

What’s happening?

(WIBW) – The Kansas Democratic Party says in August, in response to public outcry following a crammed redistricting schedule, Republican Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman promised more public hearings in the fall. With fall in full swing and Republicans remain silent on plans for additional Redistricting Town Halls.

KDP said all Census data was released to states by Sept. 30, and with that came redistricting plans. It said nonpartisan groups have already called out the Kansas GOP for ignoring calls for transparency and missing the Oct. 1 deadline.

In light of the silence and inaction, the KDP has called on Ryckman and other Republican leaders to fulfill their promises and host more Redistricting Town Halls and to do so in a fair and transparent manner.

KDP said Kansans made concerns clear at the Town Halls with calls for additional Town Halls 175 times out of 372 testimonies. It also said increased transparency was mentioned in 203 of the testimonies while concern for accessibility of the meetings was mentioned 138 times.

Where can I learn more?

WICHITA PASSES LGBTQ+ DISCRIMINATION BAN ORDINANCE

What’s happening?

(Los Angeles Blade) – An ordinance aimed at banning discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations for LGBTQ+ people passed on a 6-1 vote Tuesday by the city council. The vote on the ordinance had been delayed over the past four months.

Passage of the ordinance signals a major policy win for Mayor Brandon Whipple, the Wichita Eagle reported. Whipple had made the ordinance a campaign priority during his successful 2019 run for office and had initially brought the proposal to the city council in June.

An amendment proposed by openly Out city councilmember Jared Cerullo that would have allowed religious groups to fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ+ individuals at will was rejected.

The Wichita Eagle’s Chance Swaim reported that Cerullo’s added an amendment would have expanded a religious group exemption to fire or refuse to hire any LGBTQ+ employees, including those who work in primarily secular jobs such as cleaning offices, truck driving or food service.

Where can I learn more?

KANSAS REPUBLICANS PRESS SCHOOL BOARD TO BAN CRITICAL RACE THEORY TO SCHOOL CURRICULUM 

What’s happening? 

(Buffalo News) – Chairpersons of the House and Senate education committees took the Kansas State Board of Education to task Wednesday because they don’t think the panel is taking seriously enough lawmakers’ and parents’ concerns about how race and racism are discussed in schools.

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, a Louisburg Republican who chairs the Senate Education Committee, told board members to direct state Department of Education staff to “get real” about how Kansas schools are applying the concept of “critical race theory,” which centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people in society.

Baumgardner said in Wednesday’s meeting that she is aware of four bills being drafted that oppose the teaching of critical race theory, including bills inspired by those in Oklahoma and Texas.

“That issue is absolutely not going to go away in the state of Kansas,” Baumgardner said.

In July, the state school board issued a statement saying that critical race theory is not part of state academic standards. Some parents say that skirts the issue, pointing to class reading assignments and diversity training for teachers as examples of the discussions about race that they oppose.

Where can I learn more?

NEW SOYBEAN CRUSHING PLANT WILL OFFER MORE CAPACITY FOR KANSAS FARMERS

What’s happening?

(DNT) – Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the new plant will be a good addition to the state’s overall economy.

“Agriculture-based and renewable-energy businesses are major economic drivers in Kansas, and I am extremely pleased to see Bartlett recognize just how ideal this location is for the future of their operations,” she said in a statement.

Bartlett President Bob Knief said in a press statement the project will be a boost for farmers and for green transportation infrastructure in the state.

Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the new plant will be a good addition to the state’s overall economy.

“Powered by Kansas’ outstanding infrastructure and talented workforce, I’m confident Bartlett’s new project will be a tremendous success and have a significant economic impact on the region and our state as a whole.”

Where can I learn more?

What’s happening?

Make sure to follow Kansas Dems on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest party news, events, and updates!

Here are some of our top posts from this week.

Be sure to view KDP Merch at the Kansas Dems Online Store. Make your voice heard by picking up our new shirt from the KDP Store. And remember each purchase includes a donation to the party to help elect Democrats across the state.

Tuesday, October 19th:

  • Finney County Democrats Monthly Meeting
    • When: 6pm – 7pm

Wednesday, October 20th:

  • Franklin County Democrats Monthly Meeting
    • When: 6:30pm – 8pm

Thursday, October 21st:

  • Johnson County Democratic Women South Meeting
    • When: 6pm – 8pm

Onward,

KDP Team

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