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Friday, August 6, 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? Redistricting, KDP Training & Updates, Platform Committee, Roe v. Wade, CDC Guidelines, Schmidt’s Court Losses, Democrats Care, 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!  

 

REDISTRICTING TOWN HALLS

Kansas Republicans on the Redistricting Committee released the Redistricting Town Hall schedule near sundown last Friday evening and initially announced that they’d be cramming all 14 hearings into just one week and giving the public very minimal notice. Since then, Republicans have backtracked from their stance and House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr announced that a second round of hearings will happen in the Fall thanks to the pressure drummed up by Kansas Democrats. Republicans have been clear about their intention to gerrymander the state for their own partisan benefit. We must demand a transparent process with as much public input as possible.

  • View the full calendar for the first round of Redistricting Town Halls here.
  • Read more about the news here.

UPCOMING KDP TRAININGS

In an effort to ramp up training for upcoming elections in 2021 and beyond, the Kansas Democratic Party, together with the DNC Best Practices Institute, are excited to offer a series of virtual trainings over the course of the next few months. These programs will enhance the skills of progressive activists and volunteers by ensuring comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats all over the country. The training and its description is listed below:

  • BPI State Party Leadership and Staff Resources 
    • The BPI’s 9-part DEI Training Course is now available for use by County Parties. Learn more about the process for implementing the BPI DEI Training Course in your state HERE. Those interested should email bpi@dnc.org to schedule a call with the BPI team.
  • Democrats Care Projects
    • Are you working on a community service project in your area? KDP and the DNC would like to amplify your work as part of the new Democrats care project.
    • To learn about the program, you can read more here.

 

Platform Committee Meetings

  • The Kansas Democratic Party’s Platform Committee will meet in-person on August 14th in Salina to consider changes and updates to the platform and we want your input! All Kansas Democrats are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas with the committee — have your say in shaping Kansas policy by filling out the suggestion form below. Come August 14, input on the platform will only be possible by attending the in-person meeting in Salina.

 

Press Releases

 

 

KANSAS WORKERS TO HAVE ACCESS TO IMPROVED CHILD CARE THANKS TO GOVERNOR KELLY 

What’s happening?

(JC Post) – Kansas families who are searching for work at local workforce centers will now have greater access to child care thanks to a new pilot program announced today by Governor Laura Kelly. The initiative is a partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce and local workforce investment boards administering Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I funding and the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) child care subsidy for job seekers.

“Access to quality affordable child care is one of the biggest barriers that prevents working parents from joining the workforce,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We have recruited new jobs and businesses to communities across Kansas. But in order for those companies to see success and grow, they will need a prepared and available workforce to support them. We want this initiative to be the first of many that supports Kansas employers and Kansas families.”

 

REPUBLICANS PLAYING PARTISAN POLITICS BEFORE REDISTRICTING TOWN HALLS

What’s happening?

(AP) – Partisan bickering among Kansas legislators over redistricting has intensified even before their first public hearings on how to redraw the state’s political boundaries.

Democrats are complaining that 14 town hall meetings across the state are scheduled over only five days, starting next Monday. Each is an hour and 15 minutes and 10 of the events are during the day. Democrats see an attempt to limit public input.

“The integrity of the redistricting process is compromised,” said House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat.

Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing the redistricting process.

House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., an Olathe Republican, said Tuesday that next week’s town halls are only the first step in redistricting and that a legislative committee also will have additional, virtual town hall meetings during the fall.

 

DEREK SCHMIDT CONTINUES TO POLITICIZE HIS WORK AND LOSE IN COURT

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt is asking the state’s highest court to intervene and clarify what he called an unnecessary and confusing ruling on new legislation concerning the Kansas Emergency Management Act.

Schmidt announced Tuesday he had requested the Kansas Supreme Court put a hold on a recent lower court ruling and maintain a new law that limits the governor and local officials’ authority to impose restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. He is asking for the stay while appealing the ruling from Johnson County District Judge David Hauber that Senate Bill 40 is unconstitutional.

“The issues the court sought to reach had been rendered moot by the expiration of the pertinent section of SB 40. Yet the court charged forward with its constitutional agenda notwithstanding that it had already ‘denie[d] the plaintiffs any relief as being moot and untimely,’” Schmidt wrote in the motion to the state Supreme Court.

 

KANSAS DEMOCRATS ADVOCATING FOR FAIR AND TRANSPARENT REDISTRICTING PROCESS 

What’s happening?

(The Topeka Capital-Journal) – Kansas Democrats and voter advocacy groups are criticizing the Republican-led redistricting process and the scheduling of 14 town hall meetings across the state over five days.

The Kansas Legislative Research Department announced the listening sessions for the House and Senate redistricting committees on Friday. The meetings will be Aug. 9-13 in Manhattan, Salina, Hays, Colby, Garden City, Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita, Chanute, Pittsburg, Overland Park, Kansas City, Leavenworth and Lawrence.

Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Redistricting Committee, said she wasn’t consulted or informed of the schedule or rules prior to their release.

“Kansas voters deserve a fair, transparent redistricting process with ample opportunity for citizen participation,” said Sykes, of Lenexa. “Republicans are treating redistricting the same way they treat the legislative process: hastily, sloppily, and with as little opportunity for deliberation and public input as possible. That’s a feature, to them, not a bug. Kansans — and the duly elected Democrats serving on this committee — deserve more respect from Republican leadership than a perfunctory notice about this critical process.”

 

GOVERNOR KELLY ISSUES NEW GUIDANCE TO KEEP CLASSROOMS SAFE DURING COVID-19 

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – New guidance Friday from Gov. Laura Kelly ahead of the start of classes recommends schools actively plan vaccination clinics, implement universal masking policies and create a robust testing plan for faculty and students.

The updated guidance also requests that students in classrooms and school other settings maintain 3 feet of physical distance, but states this recommendation should not be a barrier to keeping students from in-person learning. When distancing is not possible, Kelly recommends schools ensure other preventative measures and guidance, like wear masks, are in place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has recommended masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status. This includes on school premises and all forms of public transportation.

“We know our children belong in the classroom, but it’s critical that we provide Kansas school districts with support and tools they need to keep our kids safe,” Kelly said. “I encourage school districts to follow the science and use the available funds to keep their kids safe.”

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS SIGN ON TO OVERTURN ROE V. WADE

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – Two Republican U.S. senators and three GOP U.S. representatives from Kansas signed onto a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark Roe. V. Wade abortion decision in a case emerging from Mississippi.

The Supreme Court justices are scheduled to hear argument this fall on constitutionality of pre-viability prohibitions on abortions, a question foundational to the framework of abortion rights in the United States. In Mississippi, an abortion clinic filed a lawsuit against the state challenging a law banning most abortions after 15 weeks pregnancy.

U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall along with U.S. Reps. Ron Estes, Tracey Mann and Jake LaTurner put their names to an amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that defends Mississippi’s law. The outlier in Kansas was U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, a Democrat.

 

KANSAS SENATORS ROGER MARSHALL AND JERRY MORAN OPPOSE BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE BILL   

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall was a no-show and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran a flat no on the Senate motion to proceed with consideration of a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

The legislation cleared that hurdle 66-28 with six members declining to register an opinion on the package that was subject of intense off-and-on negotiations. It contains billions of dollars for roads and bridges, electric grid upgrades, Amtrak rail service and broadband expansion. It also would deliver $55 billion for clean drinking water, $46 billion to respond to extreme weather, $39 billion for public transit projects and $15 billion for electric vehicles.

Moran, a Republican, said he didn’t appreciate Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York setting deadlines in an attempt to press ahead with a measure not fully vetted by lawmakers.

“I appreciate the bipartisan effort that is taking place to craft and negotiate an infrastructure bill,” Moran said. “It is important we get infrastructure right, and Leader Schumer shouldn’t set arbitrary deadlines until we have a final product. I do not support moving this bill forward until we have the full legislative text.”

 

CDC CAUTIONS VACCINATED PEOPLE TO WEAR MASKS INDOORS IN CERTAIN AREAS   

What’s happening?

(The Wall Street Journal) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, citing the highly transmissible Delta variant, recommended Tuesday that vaccinated people resume masking indoors in certain parts of the country and that K-12 schools adopt universal masking for teachers, staff, students and visitors regardless of vaccination status.

New guidance issued by the nation’s top health protection agency said fully vaccinated people who live in places with high or substantial transmission of the virus should once again wear masks in public indoor spaces, while emphasizing that Covid-19 vaccines remain effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

The move marks a change from CDC guidance in May that said vaccinated people no longer needed to mask or physically distance in most indoor and outdoor settings. It also shifts the CDC’s guidance on schools after it said earlier this month that only teachers and students who aren’t vaccinated would need to wear masks in schools. Children under 12 years old aren’t eligible for Covid-19 vaccines.

 

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.

 

 

Monday, August 9th:

  • Lyon County Young Democrats – Meeting
    • When:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Wednesday, August 11th:

  • Atchison County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Thursday, August 12th:

  • Jefferson County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Cherokee County Democrats – Monthly Meeting 
    • When:  6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

 

Onward,

KDP Team

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Paid for by the Kansas Democratic Party, Yolanda Taylor, Treasurer

Kansas Democratic Party
501 SE Jefferson St
Suite 30
Topeka, KS 66607
United States