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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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Manhattan, KS. Over 200 Kansans attended the Kansas Center for Economic Growth's Rise Up Kansas Rally at the Capitol building in Topeka on December 8th. The rally focused on rolling out a new tax policy for the state by reinstating a top income tax bracket for people earning more than $40,00 a year, eliminating business tax exemptions, increasing the gas tax, taxing Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) and lowering sales tax on food. It would formally end Brownback's "March to Zero" income tax commitment as a starting point in addressing the gaping $350-million shortfall in the current fiscal year (that ends in June 2017) and a projected $580 shortfall for the next fiscal year.
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MANHATTAN, Kan. - On July 23, 2012, over 50 people attended the Kansas Citizens for Science's candidate forum for the Kansas State Board of Education, District 6, at the Manhattan Public Library.

Candidates participating in the forum included: Usha Reddi and Carol Viar, Democratic candidates, and Deena Horst, Republican candidate. Harry McDonald, President of the Kansas Citizens for Science Board of Directors, served as moderator for the forum. McDonald solicited questions from the audience and after general introductory statements, began addressing the questions to the candidates.

The audience had a broad variety of questions: school finance, science standards, virtual schools, comprehensive health education, vouchers, and more.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - I first met Usha Reddi some 13 years ago, when I was a PhD graduate student at K-State's College of Education and she was working on her ESL endorsement as she entered the job market after being a stay-at-home mother.

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Reddi has lived in Kansas for over 20 years. She arrived here when her former husband came to teach and conduct research at K-State. She is the mother of three children, all of whom went to Kansas public schools. Two are now pursuing medical degrees at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City while her eldest is finishing his graduate degree in social work at Columbia University. It was during her children's education here in Manhattan that she became a school volunteer and discovered her love for working with children.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansans will have an opportunity to make sense of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act at the third annual community forum on health care on August 2nd at the Manhattan Public Library Auditorium beginning at 7:00 pm. Janet Witt from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) will be the featured speaker at this year's event.

The Affordable Care Act envisioned an expansion of Medicare to insure the uninsured but the court decided the federal government couldn't force state to expand their Medicare program, even if 90% of the cost of expansion was going to be paid by the federal government. This has lead to a string of Republican governors saying they won't implement the ACA, including our own Governor Brownback.

PhotobucketMANHATTAN, Kan. - The Monthly Film Series, sponsored by the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, presents The Dark Side of Chocolate on Wednesday, July 13th at 6:30 pm at the Manhattan Public Library Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.

Film Synopsis: While we enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate, the reality is strikingly different for African children. Since the '90s numerous non-governmental organizations working in the Ivory Coast and Ghana have reported the use of children as slaves on cocoa plantations. The Ivory Coast alone produces about 43% of the world's cocoa beans. The simple truth is that all the heavily advertised chocolate, M&Ms, Hersey, Godiva, and Nestlé, is made by child slave laborers.

Estimates placed the number of cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast at approximately 600,000. The number of children working these farms is estimated as high as 15,000. Young boys from the age 12 to 16 are forced to work on cocoa farms in order to harvest the beans from which chocolate is made. Most boys that are forced to work on these farms come from Mali were slave trader agents hang around bus stations looking for children who are alone or begging for food.

TOPEKA, Kan. - In response to yesterday's posting on the efforts by the telecom industry in Kansas to undo the Kan-ed program, I received the following statement from Bradley S. Williams, M.S., CIO & Executive Director of Kan-ed. It outlines well the programs and services provided by Kan-ed to the people of Kansas:

I am reaching out to you directly today because Cox Communications (Wichita), who is a Kan-ed Authorized Provider, has elected to lobby against Kan-ed members and their funding. Cox Communications has asked House Speaker Mike O'Neal (R-Hutchinson) to introduce House Bill 2390 to eliminate Kan-ed effective July 1, 2011. The Speaker of the House indicated yesterday he is supportive of the bill and we also know that Representative Joe McLeland (R-Wichita), is also pushing to dismantle Kan-ed as he has done every year since Kan-ed inception.

If Cox and the Speaker are successful with HB 2390, then all Kan-ed connections and services will go away. That includes all network and video connections, Renovo Video scheduler, licenses, and servers, MCU, Kan-edLiveTutor.com (homework Kansas), Empowered Desktop and LS test builder, EMResource (hospitals ER database) and E-rate support just to name a few... all gone.

student-laptop.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - Last week, on March 14th, at the request of the Speaker of the House Mike O'Neal (R-Hutchinson), the chair of the Kansas House Appropriations Committee, Marc Rhodes (R-Newton), introduced HB 2390 that would abolish Kan-Ed and transfer all remaining assets to the state's general fund effective July 1 of this year. Internet access would continued to be administered by the Kansas Universal Service Fund, that is overseen by the Kansas Corporation Commission, but other services provide by Kan-Ed would expire.

Kan-Ed was created by the Kansas Legislature in 2001 and administered through the Kansas Board of Regents. The purpose of the program is to expand the collaboration capabilities of Kan-Ed's member institutions: K-12 schools, higher education, libraries and hospitals through the use of technology.

As such, it provides services including hospital ER databases, provides libraries, schools and hospitals with affordable and high-speed Internet connectivity, the ELMeR videoconferencing network, research databases (including all K-12 databases and Heritage Quest), Kan-Ed Live Tutor (Homework Kansas), and more.

welcome-to-kansas.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - This afternoon, Thursday 17 March, in Topeka the House Judiciary Committee is once again going to take up another xenophobic law that the right-wing extremist Kris Kobach is trying to force on the state of Kansas.

Today the Judiciary Committee Chair, the right-wing extremist Rep. Lance Kinzer, is going to force a vote on Kobach's anti-immigration bill HB 2372. Modeled on the now notorious Arizona legislation that Kobach authored, should this legislation pass, Kansas will face spending millions of taxpayer dollars defending legislation that is nothing more than the race laws passed by Nazi Germany.

While I am a fourth generation Kansan, born and raised in Marshall county, from 1982 - 1998 I lived and worked in Italy. The first four years I lived in Italy, I did so as an undocumented worker. Thus I know well what it means to be an immigrant and why HB 2372 is a morally corrupted piece of legislation.

PhotobucketTOPEKA, Kan. - On Saturday February 27th, approximately 1500 Kansans joined with hundreds of thousands of others across the United States to protest the war on the middle class that is being waged by the Republican Party and their corporate billionaire backers.

Joining with voices echoing the need to return government to the people, working class Kansans from teachers to correctional officers spoke out against the extremism of Sam Brownback and the Koch Brothers.

We heard from Aaron Fowler of Wichita, a member of the American Federation of Musicians union, who emceed the rally. Then, Teresa Molina, a Wichita teacher, Greg Winfield a correctional office at the Lansing State Prison, followed by Jane Carter, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, Emilio Ramirez of the United Steel Workers; Rep. Paul Davis, House Democratic Leader, and Senator Anthony Hensley concluded.

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