Now what? Here are some ideas

The Kansas Legislative Session is over. In the end, we saw some successes where MainStream's values are concerned, and some setbacks. What can you do now to make sure Kansas keeps moving forward?

While legislators did put more money towards funding public schools, we believe it will not be enough to satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court that every Kansas child will have the same opportunity at an excellent education. There was no bill even put to a vote to expand health care, as there was last year. A bill to enshrine discrimination based on "sincerely held religious beliefs" into state law passed in the last few days. And while the budget includes some money for areas long neglected under the Brownback Administration (roads, pensions) it took every ounce of advocacy on the part of all of us, and steadfast resistance on the part of many legislators, to hold back the siren song of "MORE TAX CUTS" in an election year. Not even one year after passing much needed tax reform, with Kansans barely able to see over the edge of the fiscal hole Brownback's original tax cuts dug, it seemed the state was poised to experiment once again. But on the last day, moderates and progressives held out, and sustainable fiscal policy won the day.

We may see a special session yet. The Court will review the school finance law and make a decision. If we do, it will have to happen before July 1, the deadline for the next fiscal year's budgets.

Until then, what now? What's next?

The Very Soul of Kansas

Well, clearly what's next is our annual election season in August and September. We will tell you that every election is important, but let's not beat around the bush here, in 2018, we are fighting for the very soul of Kansas.

In 2016, we wrested back some measure of sanity in the statehouse. More than 40 seats turned over, and 2017 felt like a sea change, with tax reform passing, and health care expansion falling just a few votes shy of a veto override. But 2018 proved dismal in that regard. Between transparency promises unfulfilled, women's rights abrogated once again, health care receiving not even a sniff, the consistent drum of the "taxes are theft" crowd, and the final blow, the passing of a bill affirming religiously-based discrimination, this year felt like anything but moving forward.

We sit at a crossroads. Will we protect the seats won in 2016, and send them enough help to push compassionate, responsible, legislation over the top? Or will we see a Governor worse than Brownback sit in the chair, surrounded by new legislators ready to do his bidding?

We know where we stand. Where do you stand?

What You Can Do

May, June, and July will be filled with campaigns for office, fundraisers, get out the vote efforts, and phone calls, phone calls, and phone calls. This is the work that needs to get done to keep Kansas moving forward.

As always, it starts here, with you.

So what can you do? We have some ideas. This is what we need.

Money

There is no way around it. Campaigns need money to reach voters. That money can be the difference between a loss by ten votes, or a win by ten votes. We won't ever have as much money as they do, but all we need is enough money. MainStream will be educating about voting, advocating for our values, and through our political action committee, supporting candidates. We could use your money, and we have a few ways you can give it.

  • Tax deductible contributions to the MainStream Education Foundation in support of our Be A Voter initiative and those projects.
  • Election activity contributions to the MainStream Coalition's Walk the Vote event on June 9. 100% of proceeds will go to election activity.
  • Contributions to MainPAC that will go directly to supporting the candidacies of those fighting to move Kansas forward.
  • Or give directly to the organization or candidate who inspires you the most. We are all pushing in the same direction.

Time

Every campaign, every effort, from get out the vote to canvassing a neighborhood, from charities to campaigns, can use your time and energy. An hour or two during the week, or a half day on the weekend, every moment helps.

  • Host a Vote! Vote! Vote! party with our materials and ideas. Want to drive up voting among your friends? We have some amazing ideas, fun projects, and helpful tips for making it a party. Learn more! Visit the site and look at the materials, then let us know you're having a party!
  • Be a Voter to Voter ambassador! We are creating a non-partisan voter engagement project to encourage people to talk to the people they know about voting, and stay with them through the election season all the way to November. We're gathering partners now! Learn more, and ask to join! Visit the site, or contact Lindsay at lindsay@mainstreamcoalition.org.
  • Call us to find out how to work directly for a candidate. We can connect you with the candidate in your area, just call Lesa at (913) 649-3326 or lesa@mainstreamcoalition.org.

Stay Involved

Stay connected with your legislators, your community, and the efforts going on around you with MainStream's resources to get involved. We'll keep updating them as the elections near. See where you are needed.

Thank you for all that you do. Change begins with you.

It starts here. With you. Do more than vote.

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