Activists. You've seen them. They're everywhere. Masquerading as soccer moms. Teachers. Entrepreneurs. Accountants. Businesswomen. Pastors. Rabbis. College students. Office workers. Checkout clerks. The establishment is not safe anywhere, these days.
We saw the strength of these activists in the Kansas Primary elections on August 2nd. All across the state, the most extreme of incumbents were thrown over, in seat after seat, and race after race. And by whom? By the voters of course, but spurred and encouraged and empowered by the grassroots activists who have come out to truly save Kansas. Their power does not come from their savvy (though savvy they are). It doesn't come from their numbers (though they pack hearings and forums and streets). It doesn't come from their political power (though they've claimed that power for themselves).
It comes from their passion. Grassroots activists are, before anything else, individual citizens. They see their communities in trouble, and they rise up to fix it. They don't come from established organizations, and they aren't brought along by powerful allies. They meet, they band together, they organize and they bring change.
This is the essence of democracy. And it is powerful.
This year at our annual awards dinner, we are celebrating the tireless work of three grassroots organizations as part of the Year of the Activist. They epitomize our slogan, do more than vote. Stand Up Blue Valley blossomed this year into a force to be reckoned with in Johnson County, relentlessly driving home the issues and the votes for pro-education candidates in Blue Valley neighborhoods. The Johnson County Educators have worked countless election seasons, doing the fundamental work of winning campaigns, calling and canvassing, interviewing and educating, and getting out the vote. And Women for Kansas, homegrown in Wichita, saw explosive growth two years ago and now holds a commanding presence in Kansas politics, with their annual convention and numerous chapters across much of the state.
All of these organizations have one thing in common. They don't want your recognition. They want their communities to be healthier, happier, and more secure. They want their kids to get amazing educations. They want their seniors to live their fullest lives. They want their neighbors to come home satisfied with a good day's work for a good life.
They want you to vote for these things.
Please vote. Please do more than vote.