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Friday, April 9, 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?  KDP Updates & Trainings, 2022 Elections, American Rescue Plan, COVID-19 Vaccines, 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!

LOOK BACK: VICKI HIATT: DEMOCRATS DELIVER FOR KANSAS WHILE REPUBLICANS PASS THE BUCK 

As of this month, Americans have endured a year-long unprecedented global health crisis. For the most part, Americans and Kansans have endured these challenging times together, watching in awe as our hospital workers, first responders, and front-line workers became superheroes.

Last month, with the help of Representative Sharice Davids and Democrats nationwide, Congress passed one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of all time, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

The ARP is a historic response to the current moment and will make a real difference in the lives of Kansans by creating jobs, cutting child poverty in half, and ultimately saving lives and livelihoods. Help is here!

 

GOVERNOR KELLY COINS APRIL AS CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH

Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Kansas.

This proclamation recognizes the importance of building safe, healthy, thriving communities to support the wellbeing of Kansas children and families.

“The future of our state depends on the wellbeing of our children,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “It’s up to us to protect our youngest and most vulnerable Kansans. During April, I urge all Kansans to familiarize themselves with the signs of abuse and the Kansas Protection Report Center’s resources.”

 

 

  • 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 complete our candidate recruitment form.
    • The KDP will offer candidate trainings on April 14 for potential candidates considering running for office in 2021 and beyond. To sign up, register here.
    • If you’d like to have further input in the Kansas Dems Party Platform, please fill out the form here
  • Interested in writing an op-ed or following your local news? Use our press list to find your nearest news outlet and get connected.

 

 

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS PURSUE VOTER SUPPRESSION BILLS

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) – Last week, the Kansas Senate approved two bills designed to solve problems that don’t exist.

One bill prohibits the governor, or others in the executive branch, or the courts, from modifying state election laws through executive orders or judicial fiat. That one is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Another measure would make it a felony for someone to deliver more than five advance ballots cast by others. It requires signature matching for advance ballots.

 

 

KANSAS RANKS TOP 10 AMONG STATES IN VACCINATING OUR SENIORS

What’s happening?

(Wichita Eagle) –  More than 80% of Kansans aged 65 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, ranking Kansas as the 10th-best state.

“Kansas is one of thirteen states leading on vaccinating our seniors,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a tweet, referring to states with 80% or more seniors vaccinated with at least one dose. “This is how we get Kansans back to work, our kids back to school — and our state back to normal.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine data as of Monday showed that 80.8% of senior citizens in Kansas have been vaccinated with at least one dose and 56.6% have been fully vaccinated. The vaccination rates rank 10th and 24th, respectively, out of 50 states.

 

KANSAS LEGISLATURE PROCEEDS WITH REVISED ATTACK ON TRANSGENDER ATHLETES

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – In an impassioned speech late Thursday, Rep. Brandon Woodard called on Kansas House colleagues to reject the notion a bill banning transgender athletes from women’s sports would create a level playing field, saying it would instead send a negligent message almost certainly leading to bullying.

The Lenexa Democrat said the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act — a controversial measure requiring all school-sponsored sports teams to designate each team based on the biological sex of the team members — would also drive business from the state.

Champions of the measure said it would guarantee a level playing field for girls and women. On the other hand, Woodard and other opponents of the bill have argued it would establish a legal authority to further marginalize transgender people and would almost certainly be challenged in court as unconstitutional.

 

AFTER A CRUSHING DEFEAT BY CONGRESSWOMAN DAVIDS, AMANDA ADKINS SIGNS UP FOR 2022 REMATCH 

What’s happening?

(KSHB) – Second-term U.S. House Rep. Sharice Davids, a Kansas Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Amanda Adkins handily five months ago, but Adkins wants a rematch in 2022.

Adkins formally re-launched her campaign for the U.S. House Representatives on Monday, posting a nearly two-minute ad that features Mike Pompeo, who served as U.S. Secretary of State under former President Trump.

 

KANSAS SETTING ASIDE FUNDS FOR NURSING HOME FOR MILITARY VETERANS

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran stands behind a quest by the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly to build the state’s first nursing home for Kansas military veterans east of Topeka. Kansas has soldier homes near Dodge City and at Winfield, but none directly serving the cluster of military retirees living in northeast Kansas. And, Kansas trails surrounding states in terms of care facilities for vets with Missouri and Oklahoma hosting seven, Colorado at five and Nebraska with four.

Sen. Jeff Pittman, a Democrat from Leavenworth, introduced a bill in 2020 designed to prompt construction of a nursing home for veterans in one of five counties. The governor subsequently issued an executive order broadening possible locations to all counties of northeast Kansas. Pittman also recommended the Senate incorporate Kelly’s executive order into their version of the bill to make the planning process smoother.

“We need this veterans’ home in northeast Kansas due to the heavy concentration of veterans in this area, the efficiencies we will gain from a modern purpose-built facility and to not fall behind our neighboring states when it comes to taking care of those who served our country,” Pittman said.

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS PUSHING THROUGH NEW CONCEAL AND CARRY BILL

What’s happening?

(The Wichita Eagle) – Kansans as young as 18 years old could carry concealed firearms, under a bill that moved one step closer to becoming law Thursday.

On a 30 to 8 vote, the Senate approved a bill to lower the minimum age to carry a concealed weapon from 21 to 18. It would also make valid in Kansas any concealed carry licenses from other states.

The bill, which had already passed in the House 85-38, could now go to a conference committee because the Senate added provisions allowing Kansans with prior convictions to obtain concealed carry licenses after their records are expunged.

 

KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR MOVES AHEAD ON IT UPGRADES AFTER YEARS OF NEGLECT FROM BROWNBACK ADMINISTRATION 

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – The Kansas Department of Labor announced it will seek bids from outside contractors for upgrades to its aging unemployment backend, a move that comes amid ongoing debate over how long modernization will take and how involved outside stakeholders should be in the process.

Agency officials have long warned that the state’s mainframe system, which is the backbone for unemployment claim processing, was developed more than 40 years ago and that meaningful change hasn’t occurred in well over a decade.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, KDOL became overwhelmed with a backlog of unemployment claims, as well as a rash of bogus filings, which officials attribute in part to out-of-date fraud controls.

 

THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS STILL ONGOING AND ESSENTIAL KANSAS WORKERS DESERVE OUR HELP

What’s happening?

(Kansas City Star) -The past year has been challenging, to say the least. Our communities have adapted, made sacrifices and persevered as our country learned more about the coronavirus’ transmission and long-term impact. All the while, front-line workers have ensured that we have had access to medical care, food, shelter, child care, critical infrastructure and other essential services, taking on a disproportionate amount of risk while performing jobs that are disproportionately underpaid.

Toward the beginning of the pandemic, we celebrated these workers for their bravery through donated meals, social media tributes and public displays of support. But this gratitude — which has collectively waned as pandemic fatigue has settled in — is not enough. The Kansas Legislature will likely soon consider appropriating aid for small businesses affected by the pandemic. Essential front-line workers deserve compensation for the risk they have assumed and continue to assume on behalf of all Kansans. Leaders in Topeka must not leave them behind.

 

PARTY AFFILIATION GAP LARGEST SINCE 2012 AS MORE PEOPLE IDENTIFY WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

What’s happening?

(Gallup) –  In Gallup polling throughout the first quarter of 2021, an average of 49% of U.S. adults identified with the Democratic Party or said they are independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. That compares with 40% who identified as Republicans or Republican leaners. The nine-percentage-point Democratic advantage is the largest Gallup has measured since the fourth quarter of 2012. In recent years, Democratic advantages have typically been between four and six percentage points.

Gallup routinely measures U.S. adults’ party identification and the political leanings of independents. In the first quarter, 30% of Americans identified as Democrats and 19% were Democratic-leaning independents, while 25% were Republican identifiers and 15% Republican-leaning independents. The vast majority of the remaining 11% were independents with no partisan leanings.

The latest figures were measured as President Joe Biden was inaugurated despite rioters’ attempts on Jan. 6 to disrupt the certification of his victory in the 2020 election. The first quarter also saw a steady decline in U.S. coronavirus deaths and infections from its early January peak, a great expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations, and the passage of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

 

 

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.

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.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Saturday, April 10

  • Leavenworth County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  9:30 am – 11:30 am
  • 2nd Saturday JoCo Democrats Virtual Breakfast
    • When: 10 am – 11 am

Monday, April 12:

  • Lyon County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  6:30 pm – 8 pm

Wednesday, April 14:

  • Capital Area Federated Democratic Women’s Club Meeting
    • When:  5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Atchison County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday, April 15:

  • Johnson County Democratic Women South 
    • When:  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Labette County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Morris County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  7 pm – 9 pm

Onward,

KDP Team

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