The Mainstream Coalition is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan grassroots political organization. We were founded in 1993 by a bipartisan coalition of legislators, faith leaders, and community activists with the primary purpose of guarding against ideological extremism and protecting the separation of church and state.

Our sphere of advocacy grew over the years to encompass other issues that stemmed directly from our original purpose, including support for strong public education, responsive and transparent government, healthy communities that lift up every individual, and common sense fiscal policies that do not overburden any one segment of society. We established the Mainstream Education Foundation (now The Voter Network) to engage in voter education, and MainPAC, a political action committee, to engage directly with electoral work.

Mainstream has been incredibly successful, growing relationships with legislators, building partnerships with community and advocacy organizations, and marshalling individuals looking to have a positive impact on the future of Kansas. We are developing an electorate that is educated on the issues, makes informed choices at the ballot box, and organizes around shared priorities. This is how we make sure every Kansans is equitably represented at all levels of government and accountability in our political system.

Today, we remain true to the full work of democracy that has always been integral to our mission: respect for the rights, beliefs, and freedoms of all individuals. We believe that informed, active participation in the political process is critical to securing and defending those rights. We encourage our members and supporters to do more than vote.

Our Founders

Dr. Robert H. Meneilly, founding minister at Village Presbyterian Church, fondly known as Dr. Bob across the Greater Kansas City area, serves as our Chairman Emeritus.

In 1993, Dr. Bob preached a sermon at Village Presbyterian Church that was reprinted by the NY Times. Here is a copy, or you can listen to it here on Soundcloud, courtesy of Village Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Bob came together with the following people in 1993 to form what is now known as the Mainstream Coalition:

  • Dr. Robert H. Meneilly
  • David Goldstein
  • Judy Hellman
  • Carol Sader
  • Nancy Brown
  • Mark Levin

“I need to tell you, in my mind when we first started, I was hoping that this would be very short lived, that we would achieve our objective, and we'd fold up and we'd be done. We'd be a coalition without a cause. And we'd be out of there. And so it's very bittersweet that we're not. The need for Mainstream is greater than ever...”  - Carol Sader, Co-Founder.

“The original agenda [for Mainstream] was separation of church and state—that was what we were defending. And everything that comes up since then is really, one way or another, relating to that separation of church and state.” - Dr. Bob Meneilly, Co-Founder.

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