Indivisible KC's Week in Action - Kansas, July 2nd
It's been a pretty rough week of news, no mistake. And we've got a long email with plenty to share to show for it.
But when Saturday came, and hundreds of thousands of us took to the streets across the country to show up for families and immigrants - that's something to really move your spirit.
If you weren't able to make it, here are a few photos and quotes to get you fired up and facing the week:
Rev. Rodney Williams, Pastor of Swope Parkway United Christian Church:
I am tired of politicians talking about family values and they produce policies that have no value to families at all! I am sick and tired of politicians opening their meetings with prayer, but not knowing what the Bible said about "welcoming the stranger." I am tired of Christian nationalist groups praying for more wealth while we have children ripped apart from their families on our borders!
I am tired of America not being what #America said it ought to be! But there is a groundswell of people that are also tired as well! We're going to have to stand together: black and white; immigrant and native-born; gay and straight.
TOGETHER, there is no challenge that we cannot overcome!
No mountain we can't climb!
No political power we can't overcome!
No ICE we can't melt!
Rev. Randy Fikki, Minister of Unity Southeast Church:
The next time you vote I want you to vote for love. If we center in on love and we know that we love ourselves, we know that we love our neighbors regardless of what country of origin they come from, regardless of what border they came through, regardless of what they’re leaving or regardless of what they are trying to achieve, we must look at it first with love.
It was so good for my state of mind, to be among so many other people who are heartbroken, but ready to fight.
Now it's time to take that energy and channel it into hard work - work to reunite families, to save the Supreme Court, and to put a check on the corruption of this administration.
In the News
Keep up with the most impactful stories and be ready to take action on developing stories.
- The resounding primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York proves that it's possible for passion and grassroots effort to overcome icumbency and big money spending. So get out and support the candidates you love!
- With theretirement of Justice Kennedy, another Supreme Court seat is about to be filled. Kennedy generally sided with the conservative wing of the court, including on Citizens United and gutting the voting rights act, but occasionally crossed the aisle for decisions like Obergefell, the case that legalized gay marriage nationwide. McConnell has removed the filibuster for Supreme Court judges so combating extreme nominations will be an uphill battle.
- Following more escalation in rhetoric against the media, a man opened fire on a newspaper office Thursday. He was angry about their coverage of his past stalking convictionand had previously tied his hatred of this particular media outlet to Donald Trump's anti-media statements.
- The Department of Homeland Security asked the military to house more than ten thousand detained immigrant families. This military housing would be even less accessible to journalists and childcare professionals than current facilities. Meanwhile, the Republicans are unable to agree on an immigration bill, and hundreds were arrested at an ICE protest in Washington D.C. including multiple Democratic party legislators. All appear to be free at this time.
- Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort appears to owe ten million more dollars to a Russian oligarch than were previously disclosed. Manafort is still in jail. There have been five guilty pleas so far in the Trump-Russia investigation.
Be ready to elect or reelect officeholders who are working for your values on your issues!
Voter Registration Push
Candidate Research: Democratic Gubernatorial Race
Here at Indivisible KC, we're not endorsing candidates because we endorse YOU. But we want to help you cast an informed vote. To that end, we present the list of candidates who are running in races and ways to find out more about them. Next week, we'll cover the Republicans running for the party's nomination for Governor. (We'll take a look at third party and Independent candidates during the general election season!)
There are three frontrunners in this race. The winner will be on the ballot as a Democrat in the November election.
- Carl Brewer - Brewer is a former two-term mayor of Wichita. Brewer's top issues are fully funding education and growing the economy. He is also calling for full legalization of marijuana. His running mate is former Gardner mayor Chris Morrow. (Website) (Facebook)
- Laura Kelly - Kelly is a current Kansas Senator from the Topeka area. Kelly's top issues are funding education, expanding Medicaid and reforming KanCare. Her running mate is fellow senator Lynn Rogers. (Website) (Facebook)
- Josh Svaty - Svaty is a former Kansas Representative from Ellsworth and the Secretary of Agriculture under Governor Sebelius. Svaty is focused on people's right to access healthcare, to get an excellent education, and to a clean environment. His running mate is Katrina Lewison, a veteran and school board member. (Website) (Facebook)
- Arden Andersen - Andersen is a USAF veteran and family physician. He is focused on the role that the economy plays in Kansas, starting with deprivatizing prisons and Medicaid. His running mate is Dale Cowsert. (Website)
- Jack Bergeson - Bergeson is one of several high school students running for election this year. He advocates for a progressive tax structure and big investments in infrastructure. His running mate is Alexander Cline. (Website) (Facebook)
Remember - the primary is August 7th! You must be registered by July 17th to vote in the primary. If you are unaffiliated, you may select a party's ballot at the voting location.
Calls to Action
Take action on your own schedule! Use your phone and computer to make your voice heard.
Two GOP-led immigration bills failed the House this week. Call your Representative and tell them you expect them to 1) put pressure on leadership to bring smaller, passable bills to the floor. If a clean Dream Act or measure on Family Separation were brought to the floor alone, they would pass. 2) work with Democrats to craft a bill that can pass both chambers of Congress. The White House is too unpredictable, and it's time Congress began to act like a coequal branch of government.
With Justice Kennedy's retirement, the path to a Supreme Court that is not dominated by hardline conservatives is narrow indeed. But there's a plan to #SaveSCOTUS
Step 1: Get to 51 votes. That's going to take every single Democrat standing firm and a couple of Republicans joining to block extreme nominees. It's time to really turn up the heat on Senators like Jerry Moran who have often expressed discomfort with the President, but never taken action. Click for more details and a call script.
Step 2: Retake the Senate in 2018. Every one of us will need to be ready to act in some key races. For KC-area Kansans, there's no better place to start than in helping Claire McCaskill (D-MO) retain her seat. Indivisible has identified several other races around the nation that must flip. Click here for more details on which races are flippable.
Friends, this won't. be. easy. But it's also not hopeless.
Ask yourself right now: "What will I do to flip the House, take the Senate, and save SCOTUS?"
Take action with others! Build energy and connection among like-purposed people. Check our social media frequently for more up-to-date event information.
Monday, July 2nd and Tuesday, July 3rd
Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA is hosting candidate forums for all the candidates in Kansas House Districts 17, 23, and 18. (Double check your district here!). Come to one of the two events to learn who will best support your priorities for public education. More information is available on Facebook about the July 2 event and July 3 event.
Wednesday, July 4th
Did you know that Fourth of July parades are a great place to chat with candidates? Visit your town or neighboring towns' websites to look for parades near you. Candidates will often share their plans to be at a particular parade on their Facebook pages or websites. Start your morning with activism and parades!
Monday, July 16th
Join SURJ KC (Showing Up for Racial Justice) for their July Mass Meeting at 7:00pm for previous attendees or 6:30pm for SURJ 101 for newcomers. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
This week, we'll celebrate our nation's Independence Day. At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a passerby: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
He replied: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
As we celebrate and grill and launch fireworks, take a moment to reflect upon how your work can help to keep this Republic of ours.
See you out there --