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Friday, March 19, 2021

Friend,

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Newsletter – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? Women’s History Month, April Reception with Senator Sanders, 2022 Gubernatorial Race, American Rescue Plan, Vaccination efforts, Social Media Updates, KDP Merch and more!

Interested in helping the Party get out our messaging to encourage Kansans to vote blue? Sign up for our new Letter to the Editor program here!

Generation after generation, women have moved the dial on our most important issues & fought for a better world. This month, we celebrate all women leaders who have inspired progress across Kansas, including Governor Laura Kelly, Congresswoman Sharice Davids and Kansas Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes. We also offer our gratitude to women here at home and across the globe who lead the way in forging stronger communities — from saving lives on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 to advocating for equity and the rights afforded to us all.

This women’s history month, be sure to view KDP Merch at the Kansas Dems Online Store. Make your voice heard by picking up our new shirt from the KDP Store. And remember each purchase includes a donation to the party to help elect Democrats across the state.

SENATOR SANDERS IS (VIRTUALLY) COMING BACK TO KANSAS

Join us on Saturday, April 3rd at 3:00p.m. CT as we host Senator Bernie Sanders for a virtual reception with Kansas Democrats. You’ll hear from the KDP Chair, Vicki Hiatt, and Senator Bernie Sanders, former Presidential candidate and the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee! This is an event you won’t want to miss, and tickets start at only $27.00.

  • Updates to the KDP Bylaws
    • At our recent Washington Days meeting, four amendments were approved and added to the KDP Bylaws. These amendments will ensure business meetings will be run according to the most recent version of Roberts Rules of Order, update the rules for the Platform Committee to give the committee more time to do its work, provide more time for notice of changes, and allow members of Congress and statewide elected officials to designate a representative rather than participate in person. They also provide for remote participation and voting in future business meetings if and when it’s necessary – such as in the midst of a pandemic. And finally, the amendments change the language of the bylaws to better reflect gender diversity, including provisions for gender self-identification and gender-non-binary individuals, among others.
  • Upcoming KDP Trainings
    • Have you ever considered running for office? Do you know individuals in your community who would make outstanding candidates? Take a minute and provide names by completing our candidate recruitment form.
    • The KDP will offer candidate trainings on March 20 and March 23 for potential candidates considering running for office in 2021 and beyond. In addition, KDP will also host a VoteBuilder training this upcoming Thursday, March 25 to better familiarize our participants with the critical tools they will need to win their election. To sign up, please reach out to info@kansasdems.org signaling your interest.
  • KDP Press Releases

KANSAS SENATE PASSES BILL BANNING DISENFRANCHISING TRANSGENDER ATHLETES

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) – Kansas lawmakers moved one step closer Wednesday night to banning transgender girls and women from competing in school-sponsored girls sports, an issue Republican lawmakers in DC and statehouses nationwide have moved to the front lines of the nation’s culture wars.

By a 24-10 margin, three votes short of the 27 necessary to override a gubernatorial veto, the Senate approved the “Fairness in Women Sports Act.” The measure will move to the House, which allowed a similar proposal to die in committee earlier this month. If the bill becomes law, the American Civil Liberties Union has pledged to sue.

Like proposals in more than 20 other states, the Kansas bill specifies that girls sports in K-12 schools and higher education are open only to biologically female participants. As a result, transgender girls and women would be barred.

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN BRINGS MUCH NEEDED RELIEF TO KANSAS

What’s happening?

(WIBW) – Governor Laura Kelly has announced how the American Rescue Plan will benefit Kansans.

“The American Rescue Plan will provide critical relief to Kansas families and businesses who have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “While I disagreed on the allocation formula, these funds will allow us to make targeted and strategic investments in childcare, broadband, education, and our business communities to aid our recovery from COVID-19.”

Gov. Kelly said the ARP is meant to move beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, return children to in-person learning, vaccinate Americans, provide help to families and stimulate economic growth.

SENATE REPUBLICANS CONSIDER BILL ENCOURAGING COUNTIES TO NEGLECT STATE VACCINE PRIORITIES

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) – Kansas lawmakers want to allow counties to set their own rules for who is able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

After four months of shots going into arms — and griping over the state’s decisions on pace and prioritization — Republican lawmakers are proposing a bill that would enable counties to depart from Kansas Department of Health and Environment vaccination guidelines or toss them out completely.

As of Sunday, Kansas was ranked 40th in the nation for vaccine administration per capita according to the Centers for Disease Control, though KDHE has said the count is inaccurate due to data recording troubles. According to KDHE more than 567,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, roughly 19.5% of the state population.

In a related announcement late Monday afternoon, Gov. Laura Kelly said that Kansas will begin phases three and four of the rollout simultaneously on March 22 and that the state will meet President Joe Biden’s deadline to make every adult eligible by May 1.

KANSAS HOUSE REJECTS REPUBLICAN EFFORTS TO MANDATE IN-PERSON LEARNING BY NEXT WEEK 

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital Journal) – A bill that would require all Kansas schools to offer an in-person learning option to every student by March 26 died in the Kansas House on Tuesday.
There were 55 votes in favor of the Back to School Act, and 69 votes against.
While the 39 Democratic members mostly voted against Senate Bill 235, Republicans were split. At least 25 of the 86 GOP members voted ‘no.
The bill’s failure came as a surprise to many, as the act was personally being backed by Senate President Ty Masterson, R-Andover. Only one Republican had voted against his bill in the Kansas Senate.

 SENATOR ROGER MARSHALL’S HYPOCRISY ON IMMIGRATION WAS IN FULL DISPLAY

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) – Let’s check in with Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall, our tour guide for a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border over the weekend.

“There is nothing humane about what we have going on right now at our southern border,” he tells us in a video shot in a helicopter, above the Rio Grande valley. The video includes pictures of what appear to be immigrants trying to cross the river.

Later, on the ground: “This is a crisis on the border. … It is absolutely a national security crisis.”

There is no question the influx of immigrants and refugees from Latin America, many of them children, remains a major national concern. President Joe Biden, like his predecessors, must confront the difficulty of dealing humanely and quickly with thousands of people risking their lives to come to America.

But Marshall’s visit over the weekend was a publicity stunt, aimed at exploiting the crisis for political and personal reasons.

RON ESTES, ROGER MARSHALL, AND JERRY MORAN VOTED AGAINST BRINGING AVIATION JOBS BACK TO KANSAS

What’s happening?

(Wichita Eagle) – A piece of legislation buried in the new federal COVID-19 relief bill could help Wichita-area aviation manufacturers keep some workers on the payroll and avoid further cuts, a year into a pandemic that ravaged the industry and led to thousands of layoffs in Wichita.

Rep. Ron Estes helped introduce the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act last fall as a standalone bill, but voted against the legislation when it was included in the American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden late last week.

The president’s signature on the COVID-19 relief bill means employers like Spirit AeroSystems and Textron Aviation, and smaller supply chain aerospace companies in Kansas, might be able to make use of federal funds to help keep their workers employed.

EIGHT PEOPLE KILLED IN GEORGIA MASSAGE PARLOR SHOOTING RAISING FEAR OF ANTI-ASIAN BIAS 

What’s happening?

(New York Times) – Eight people were shot to death at three massage parlors in the Atlanta area on Tuesday evening, the authorities said, raising fears that the crimes may have targeted people of Asian descent.

Six of the people killed were Asian, and two were white, according to law enforcement officials. All but one were women.

A suspect, identified as Robert Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Ga., was captured in Crisp County, about 150 miles south of Atlanta, after a manhunt, said the authorities, who had earlier released a surveillance image of a suspect near a Hyundai Tucson outside one of the massage parlors.

What’s happening?

Make sure to follow Kansas Dems on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest party news, events, and updates!

Here are some of our top posts from this week.

Onward,

KDP Team

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Kansas Democratic Party
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Topeka, KS 66607
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