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Kansas People's Agenda: Working to change the political discourse in Kansas

By Christopher Renner
News | January 2, 2017

Manhattan, KS. Many have struggled during the past 6 years of the Brownback administration to find their voice as the radical conservatives in the Kansas Legislature set about to dismantle the State of Kansas we loved. Finally, in the 2016 election cycle, Kansans began taking back the state from the ALEC minions who had been elected under Brownback's watchful eye. But there is still much work to be done to reverse the unjust tax system and give back the financial support our public schools and universities need to educate our future generations. The Kansas People's Agenda hopes to give voice to those who are opposed to the direction the State of Kansas has taken under Brownback.

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In the autumn of 2016 Laura Dungan, founder of Wichita's Seed House, and Rev. Sarah Oglesby-Dunegan, pastor of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, began talking about the leadership and work of Rev. Will J. Barber, the leader of the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina that has worked to halt the ALCE-inspired legislation that has destroyed democracy in that state.

Given the similarity between the political events in North Carolina and the Brownback administration's efforts to alter the very nature of state government in Kansas, the two women began to envision a board alliance of organizations and stakeholder groups that could develop enough power to challenge the status quo.

They set up organizational meetings in Salina that brought together representatives from a broad array of constituencies: members of the Kansas Interfaith Action, Sunflower Community Action, Topeka Rainbow Alliance, the KNEA, Trust Women, the ALCU of Kansas, the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, with representatives from African American and Hispanic communities and Mons Demand Action among others.

The organizational meetings established common legislative priorities for each of 15 broad issues ranging from racial justice to infrastructure investment, health care access to voting rights. A complete summary is available at: http://www.kansaspeoplesagenda.org/our-issues.

But more urgent is getting people to turn out for the rally scheduled for January 11th, at 10:15 on the second floor of the Capitol rotunda. The objective is to bring together over 1,000 Kansans from all walks of live, political persuasions, and ethnicities to voice our united opposition the Brownback agenda of taxing the poor, attacking the voting rights of Kansans, refusing to expand Medicare, and the slow destruction of the very foundation of our democracy: our schools!

People interested in attending are requested to register at https://goo.gl/forms/wXlwws0FzKPELP862

They have also created a Facebook event at www.facebook.com/events/1696874487309584/

People should begin arriving at 9:30 AM and enter through the visitor's center on the north side of the Capitol. Participants will be provided with an information packet. The rally will take place at 10:15 and will include speakers, music and stories from people who have been directly impacted by Brownback's mismanagement of our state.

After a break for lunch, participants will visit with legislators and help raise the heat on key issues by working to fuse our separate concerns into a united front.

To contact a planning team member, or ask about transportation possibilities (carpooling and chartered buses), contact kspeoplesagenda@gmail.com


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