Hear the people

Our government is getting the message, loud and clear. Last week, hundreds of you made yourselves known, in emails and calls to your state legislators, to your national representatives, at marches and at meetings. The people of Kansas know what they want, and you are not shy about letting your electeds know, too.

Early last week, we asked you to email or call the Kansas state legislators hearing a bill on repealing campus carry. Hundreds of you sent email or called, and you were heard. At the hearing itself, the room was filled to capacity, with many spilling out the door and into the hallway. Impassioned statements were read from dozens of supporters of the repeal, even though they were limited to ninety seconds of testimony. Our own Executive Director testified before the committee. There were a handful of opponents, notably former Kansas legislators with the NRA and the Kansas chapter of the same, who were given "equal time" in the form of ten minute slots. We will continue to fight, and offer you actions so you can show your support.

At the same time, Kansans spent last week calling and emailing their national Senators and Representatives, on everything from education (asking them to turn down Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary) to immigration (calling for an immediate halt to President Trump's action denying refugee entry into the country) to a repudiation of the politics of division (requiring the dismissal of avowed white nationalist Steven Bannon from Trump's White House). We are excited to see so much energy and persistence.

We are also thankful that Kansans continue to stand up and speak out in public. Sunday brought peaceful rallies at airports across the state, with marchers of all stripes carrying the message that discrimination does not make this country great, that we are a nation of immigrants, and that immigrants and refugees are welcome in Kansas.

Finally, at the Resource Fair we co-sponsored this weekend, hundreds of passionate voters from Kansas and Missouri came out to find their niche, to connect with organizations working for change, and to commit themselves to making a difference. MainStream is proud to have had a hand in organizing this event.

What's Next?

This week, we will push out further actions on campus carry in the Kansas Legislature. The House version of the bill will be heard this week, and we will be urging the Senate committee that held hearings last week to work their bill and pass it to the Senate floor. Look for that tomorrow.

We are also holding our workshop on how to run for local office. We have been stunned by the response, and have had to move the event to a larger venue. Please follow the link above or look for the changes in our calendar.

And we never know what might crop up. The discriminatory transgender bathroom bill that was threatened has, in fact, been introduced into the Kansas Legislature. We will watch it and call for action should it progress. Budget and school finance issues continue to be worked on, though nothing has been proposed as yet.

Stay tuned to MainStream's email, Facebook, and Twitter. We will keep you informed.

Remember to do more than vote: listen, learn, engage, and speak out.

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