This is a message from MainStream Board President Sheryl Spalding, a former Kansas legislator and school board member.
As we end one year and begin another it is time to celebrate all Mainstream has accomplished this last year and see what it means for the future.
First and foremost I want to thank all Mainstream members and friends. We could not have accomplished all that we did without you. We raised more money, welcomed more new members and saw the largest attendance yet for our signature Stand Up Speak Out dinner. Along with the dinner, a newly added Restore Kansas luncheon raised the profile of Mainstream and the number of new members, friends and donors. In addition, we established new friendships with other groups across the state including several local chambers of commerce.
All this we did and more. We held a series of well attended legislative forums which were streamed live and are still available on our website. The PAC endorsed a number of candidates in the spring elections winning two thirds of those races that they endorsed. Finally, we co-convened a group of like-minded activists from around the state to begin looking ahead at the next elections.
All of this activity is of course for a singular purpose. We want to educate the public on activities of the governor and Kansas legislature to make sure we get the representation in Topeka that all Kansans deserve. As great as this past year was, we are looking for an even more active and successful 2016.
Educate, Advocate and Elect is our motto. Every senator and legislator will be up for re-election in 2016. Getting out the vote will be our primary focus. Given the negative approval ratings of both the governor and the legislature’s decisions on taxes, expectations are that voter participation will be very high, but we want to ensure that is the case.
We will continue to have our legislative forums and to keep track of upcoming votes to rally our friends to call or email their legislators. We will grade our legislators on the many votes they have taken. Have they supported public education with dollars, not just with words? Have they supported an independent judiciary as the Kansas Constitution demands?
Finally, we will activate our community to elect moderate, commonsense legislators who believe in being fiscally and socially responsible, whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Independents. This year will be an exciting one!