Letting go of 2016

This has been a difficult year. The internet is full of memes describing it, from dumpster fire to worse. Politics overwhelmed us, and the results, nationally, were terrifying for people who hold with the positions we support at MainStream. We've told you Kansas was a bright spot in the dark firmament of this year, but it can be hard to accept, we know. So it is time to close the door on 2016, and look forward to 2017.

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Fix the budget first

At our forum a few weeks ago about this upcoming legislative session in Kansas, it was clear that nothing will get better in Kansas until the budget situation turns around. Last week, a coalition of Kansas organizations ranging from economists to child care advocates to representatives from health care and construction all came together to propose a solution to Kansas' woes. Again, it involved fixing the budget. And earlier today, at a forum hosting advocates and legislators, it was said again: Kansas needs to fix the budget before it can move forward.

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The Kansas Legislature turns

Earlier today, the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka chose their leadership for the upcoming legislative session. The Republicans, with a majority in the House of 85 to 40, have chosen Rep. Ron Ryckman, who sports a 0% score on our vote count. Twenty eight Republicans voted for the other candidate, 57 for Ryckman.

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ALERT: KS election hangs in balance of leadership vote

This year, Kansas voted in moderate legislators to bring needed change to the state, but all of that is in jeopardy if Brownback's allies remain in leadership positions. On Monday, December 5th, Republican Kansas House Representatives will elect their Speaker. The Speaker has immense power to set the agenda for the entire legislative session.

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Next for Kansas

On Thursday last week, we held our first forum of the legislative season, title "What now? Kansas Politics in 2017." You can watch it in its entirety on our YouTube channel here:

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A long, strange week

We are not quite one week out from an election that saw the values we hold at MainStream damaged at the national level. The reasons for the result are still being examined and discussed. But the results are clear.

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Vote. Here's why, how, and for whom

Share this post. This is the last chance to do more than vote. Share this with your family, friends, co-workers, strangers at the library. Be obnoxious, be forward, because there is only tomorrow.

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What is at stake?

Last night, we held our annual awards dinner. It was a great event, with 750 people—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, often sitting at the same table—all coming together to celebrate activism and the spirit that is driving change in Kansas this election season. It was a welcome moment of respite, a time to recharge before the final push.

But that final push is here.

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No, not Brownback Partisans

We’ve seen claims lately that some of the incumbents endorsed by MainPAC are “Brownback partisans,” and we would like to clear up any misunderstanding, given Brownback’s distaste for all of our positions on the issues.

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How do you #domorethanvote?

With two weeks left, many of us have made up our minds on how to vote in this election. We've stomached the Presidential race, we've listened to our local representatives, and we've learned about the judicial retention issues. In many Kansas counties, you can cast your ballot today.

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