The Chambers that Stood Up and Spoke Out

On Sunday, October 25, the MainStream Coalition and Education Foundation will be holding its annual fundraising dinner. The 2016 primary and general elections will be crucial for the future of Kansas, with every seat in the Kansas Legislature on the ballot. We will be working to educate the public about issues in the balance, and advocating for the moderate positions most Kansans support.

At this year’s dinner, we will be honoring Dr. Cynthia Lane, the Superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. We’ve written to you about her before, and we are excited to have her be our featured speaker at the event.

We are also honoring a group of local Chambers of Commerce. Last spring, as the state entered into what turned out to be a divisive and ultimately disappointing budget battle, these organizations stood up to the Brownback Administration, and more importantly, to the powerful Kansas Chamber of Commerce. They sent a signed letter to the Kansas political leadership, arguing for balanced revenue streams (including income taxes), strong local community control, an end to budget shell games stealing from highway funds to cover revenue losses, and strong funding for public education.

Why would they do this? The Kansas Chamber opposes all those things, right?

In their letter, they stated, “ We are all ultimately most interested in creating a State where the quality of life distinguishes Kansas as an ideal place for businesses and families to grow and prosper.”

And they recognize that catering to the few, propping up failed “trickle-down” economic theories, raising sales taxes while crowing about “lowering taxes!”, devastating school districts and leaving the poor, elderly, and disabled without recourse is not going to lead to economic prosperity.

For the bravery to stand up, and the conscience to speak out, we are proud to honor them at our event.

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