Dignity is a mainstream value

MainStream's founding issue is the separation of church and state, and as part of that, demanding respect for the rights, freedoms, and beliefs of all individuals. Freedom is not, as some extremists would have you think, the right to do what you will, where you will. Rather, freedom is the right to not be subjected to the morality and beliefs of others. It is why we have always stood for civil rights and against discrimination in any form. It is why we are excited to see and support the wave of LGBTQ+ non-discrimination ordinances (NDOs) being proposed and passed in northeast Kansas these last few months. But it is not enough.

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Leadership needed

Many political and advocacy groups are spending these months between the election and the start of the Kansas legislative session (January 14, 2019!) working on their plans for next year, and 2020 after. We are doing our own work, and have attended meetings, spoken with like organizations, and begun to work with partners on plans. One certainty keeps coming up, time after time. All Kansans will have a champion in Laura Kelly as Governor, but there is a distinct need for leadership in the Legislature to understand that they, too, represent all Kansans.

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Governing is what is next

Throughout the election just past, while we worked to engage voters in all levels of the ballot, we maintained that the single most important election on it was for Governor of Kansas. Not just because the election of Kris Kobach would mean a return to the policies of Sam Brownback, and worse. But because the position of Governor has the power to promote and stall legislation. Depending on the results the Kansas legislative races, that person would either have to act as a firewall against further extremist policies, or be able to support legislative measures we have been backing for years. As it turns out, Governor-Elect Laura Kelly will get to be a little of both, perhaps a more difficult job, but one she is well suited for.

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What’s the moderate with Kansas?

At the MainStream Coalition, we often talk about being moderate when it comes to politics, about getting the moderate vote out, or about moderating extremism. Understandably, a lot of people think "moderate" is a political position. But it's not. Rather, it's an approach to politics. It's the counter to extremism, but doesn't mean one thing or another about your political views. There can be conservative moderates, and progressive moderates, and centrist moderates. And we need more, of all of them, speaking out.

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Thanks

With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, we are reminded to thank all of you, who took a stand and did more than just vote this election. Without your work, the results of this election might have been much different. Thank you.

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Blue wave laps at KS shores

The election is over. First off, thank you for voting. Turnout was incredible, and your hard work was part of that. Second, we've avoided the specter of a Kris Kobach-led Kansas, and the margin was not even close. Governor-Elect Laura Kelly won handily, cementing Kansas' place as a rational, bipartisan state capable of seeing beyond party when necessary. And yes, Kansas was responsible for part of the wave that turned the U.S. House of Representatives away from President Trump's agenda. All of this is amazing, awesome, and worth all the laughing and crying and shouting we did on Tuesday night. The values we share, the priorities we work towards, will be easier to reach because of this election.

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Who, What, Where, Why, and When to Vote

Tomorrow is Election Day. These are midterms, but reports nationwide, and in Kansas, indicate there is a decidedly un-midterm-like voter turnout underway. Early voting is overwhelming previous turnout records, and nobody knows what to expect tomorrow, on Election Day. We have long believed, at MainStream, that when more people vote, more representative government is elected, and that can only be good. Again, in 2014, half the electorate in Kansas did not vote, and we endured four more years of Governor Sam Brownback by the slimmest of margins. So this turnout is great!

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One Week Left

There's just one week left to vote. Everyone calls these the mid-term elections, because there isn't a Presidential election on the ballot (although we might all wish there was!). But that also makes them seem less important. Let's not mince words: this is a critical election.

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You Should Vote Today

Last night we held our annual Stand Up, Speak Out dinner, and nearly 900 people attended the event. We had dozens of elected officials and candidates, and are grateful to everyone who attended, and donated, to support the work we do here. Thank you.

While we are taking this morning a little easy, we do want to remind you that there are 15 days left until the election, and you have a few important tasks.

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The Lowest Hanging Votes

During an election season, you will hear two calls to action. Register to vote! Get out and vote! Both are often directed at those populations that don't vote much, especially youth (we're talking about people aged 18 to 24, in this case). But a look at the data suggests that one of these is misdirected. Registering to vote is crucial, yes, but our efforts, even with youth, will find the most return in getting registered voters to actually vote.

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