November 28 , 2017
Thank you for all you've done to help change the political climate in Topeka.  In January, when W4K activities resume, we will be looking toward the next year . Not only do we need to protect the incredibly positive legislative gains we made in 2016 and 2017, we need to make sure our voices are heard when the legislature convenes. That means offering ideas for policy improvement as well as positive reinforcement for the work of our new legislators.
Over the next year, we intend to finish the job we started: returning even more seats to moderation and, of course, working specifically on the statewide races, including the
all-important governor's race.
.........................STATE LEADERSHIP.........................
Anna Anderson
Crystal Dalmasso
Mary Knecht
Susan Osborne
Tammy Smith
Lynn Stephan
Neva Thiessen
Deanna Zitterkopf

..........................CHAPTER LEADERS..........................
BUTLER COUNTY
Becky Weston  
Annie Wilson
 
COWLEY COUNTY
Jan Drennan  
Pam Moreno  
Tracy Muller
 
HAYS/RUSSELL
Dawn Berry  
Ann Blessing
  Janis Lee

HUTCHINSON
Tomi Foust 
Betty Taylor
 
INDEPENDENCE
Valerie De Fever 
Lea Shepard
MANHATTAN
Susan Adamchak
 
NEWTON
Evelyn Adams
Virginia Benninghoff
Mary Collier
Sue Ice
Gini Johnson
 
NORTH CENTRAL
Janice Norlin
 
NORTHEAST KS
Ethel Edwards
Tai Edwards
Sue Wine

SOUTHEAST KS
Susy Hammons
Marcia Weeks
SOUTHWEST KS 1
Kathy Denhardt
Greta Clark
Kathy Holt
Doris Meng
 
SOUTHWEST KS 2
Lori Bigler
 
SUMNER COUNTY
Kay Ryan
Michelle Schiltz
Jo Roitman
 
WICHITA
Sarah Gilbert
Martha Pint
Lisa Vayda
Joan Warren
Echo Wentz

Thank you again for your belief and
confidence in Women for Kansas
INSIGHT KANSAS: THE 'GREEN SHOOTS' OF CIVILITY?
Dr. Mark Peterson, Hays Post
What do green shoots of civic recovery in Kansas have to do with these concerns about the national political scene? Back in 1922 Emporia's own William Allen White wrote, "When anything is going to happen in this country, it happens first in Kansas." 
Most recently Governor Sam Brownback instigated the conservative legislative purge that drove out senior Republican moderates like former Kansas Senate President Steve Morris. A more thoroughly right-wing and compliant legislature passed steep income/profit tax reductions and severe consumption tax increases that all Kansans have experienced and most have come to dislike.
Women for Kansas, the Kansas League of Women Voters, the Kansas Health Institute, and four former Kansas Governors, Carlin, Hayden, Graves and Sebelius worked to inform Kansans about the harms that ideologically devout conservatives had committed.
Perhaps the green shoots of rationality and compromise are working now to penetrate the public mind as they did in Kansas. Read more here .
EDITORIAL: KANSAS SHOULDN'T HAVE TWO GOVERNORS
Capital-Journal Editorial Board, cjonline.com
In case you forgot, Sam Brownback is still the governor of Kansas. President Donald Trump nominated him to be the new ambassador for international religious freedom in July and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved him on a party-line vote last month, but the full Senate has yet to confirm him. While Republicans control 52 seats in the Senate, Democrats have been working to stall the confirmation process.
They cite a 2015 executive order that rescinded protections for LGBT state workers and argue that Brownback might not be inclined to support people who face religious persecution for their gender identity or sexual orientation.
This means Brownback remains our chief executive - not a comfortable situation for Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who's facing a difficult primary battle against Secretary of State Kris Kobach and needs an opportunity to distinguish himself from his unpopular boss (whose approval rating was 24 percent at the end of October).  Read more here .
KS REPUBLICANS CLAIM TAX BILL WILL BE GOOD FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. IT WON'T BE
Steve Rose, The Kansas City Star
If you are a Bob Dole Republican, as I generally am, it is oh-so-difficult to be gung ho about where the GOP is headed these days, which seems like straight to hell. The party all too often has abandoned traditional Republican principles.
The gargantuan tax bill, touted by President Donald Trump and passed by the House of Representatives, is being debated in the Senate. Only one aspect of the bill personifies Republican principles, and that is a pro-business tilt, which I can embrace, but only to a point. When the result is higher taxes on the middle class, they lose me. To sell this massive tax cut for businesses and the wealthy as a boon to the middle class is an outright distortion. And to claim the bill is not a trillion-dollar-plus budget buster is either a bald-faced lie, or those who support it are living in the same fairy tale as Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
Trump, Yoder and undoubtedly Roberts and Moran, as well as nearly all Republicans in Congress, will be punishing their own middle-class constituents.  Read more here .
STATE NEEDS TO WORK TO FOSTER PUBLIC TRUST
The Manhattan Mercury
Tom Phillips is right: Restoring the public's faith in state government is a
big and important task.
Rep. Phillips - a Manhattan man who
has risen to a leadership position in the House of Representatives - made that point at a meeting at Kansas State University this past weekend. He said state leaders need to "think about how do we restore the trust of the public in the institution of state government."  We have some suggestions:
  1. Operate in the open.
  2. Encourage cooperation.
  3. Fund the schools.
Look, citizens probably ought to be skeptical of their government. It's a healthy way to think. But the degree of lost trust can be alleviated. It's going to take guts, but it's important.  Read more here .
KEY ISSUES TO WATCH IN TAX REFORM DEBATE
Sara Wyant, The Green Sheet Farm Forum
Last week, GOP lawmakers moved a package aimed at updating and reforming the U.S. tax code through the House of Representatives, 227 - 205, with no Democratic support.
The version approved by the Senate Finance Committee last week - which contains quite a few differences from the House version - has already drawn opposition from Sen. Ron Johnson, R- Wisc., an accountant and the founder of a family-owned manufacturing business.
Johnson's primary concern: Many family-owned pass-through businesses will end up paying a far higher rate than corporations.
Another concern has been raised by the GOP's Susan Collins of Maine. She's worried about Senate plans to repeal the insurance coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act as part of the tax plan.
Farm leaders aren't all satisfied with the tax provisions.
Read more here.
BIG CROWD SHOWS UP IN SMALL KANSAS TOWN TO TALK TAX CUTS WITH MORAN
Jim McLean, KCUR 89.3
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran candidly discussed his reservations about President Donald Trump's tax cut bill Wednesday at a town hall meeting in the small north-central Kansas community of Frankfort.
But in response to prodding from some in the crowd of approximately 100, he declined to commit to voting against the bill if Republican leaders don't address his concerns.
Just as he did last summer, Moran bantered with audience members but refused to be pushed into a commitment to vote against the bill. Responding to one persistent questioner he said: "You will not get me to answer your question the way that you would like for me to answer your question, which is to say I fully commit to what you're wanting me to commit to."  Read more here .
KANSAS HOUSE SPEAKER RON RYCKMAN EXPERIENCING DÉJÀ VU WITH K-12, BUDGET CHALLENGES
Tim Carpenter, cjonline.com
Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman senses deja vu in a new struggle to find cash to meet the state's basic financial obligations and respond to demands for greater investment in public education, mental health, computer security and disability services.
"It seemed pretty simple," the House speaker said. "It says that the Legislature shall provide 'suitable' provisions for K-12. Our Supreme Court the last 25 years and the Legislature, regardless of who the governor is, regardless of who is in control, have been debating and arguing and cannot agree on what that word means."
Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, and House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, said legislators irritated with the Supreme Court and intent on adjusting the constitution shouldn't expect help from Democrats.
"I am as frustrated as anyone with the constant litigation," Ward said. "The solution is not to deny access to the courts. The solution is to do our job and fund our schools equitably and equally."  Read more here.
SENATOR MORAN DAY OF ACTION
Call Senator Moran on November 30th!
After a summer of failed attempts to repeal the ACA, the Senate leadership have decided to pay for their tax cuts with a plan that will spike premiums and result in 13 million Americans losing their health coverage altogether.
It's time to pull out ALL. THE. STOPS. Make the commitment to call Senator Moran next week and let him know he needs to vote NO on this egregious bill and reject any plan that cuts health care.  COMMIT TO CALL NOW !
MEDICAID EXPANSION WOULD HELP RURAL HOSPITALS
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board
Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback declared that Nov. 16 is National Rural Health Day in Kansas.  The Brownback administration's statement mentions 39 clinics that received $7 million in state funds for "community-based services," a mobile health care service in Cheyenne County and the Neighbor to Neighbor day center in Concordia (where women can "learn skills such as chair yoga or pain management"). These are all innovative programs that help rural communities cope with their lack of health care resources, but it's important to remember that rural health systems are suffering in Kansas.
According to a study by published by iVantage Health Analytics last year, more than 60 rural communities "experienced a hospital closure" between 2010 and 2016. Another 673 hospitals were "vulnerable or at risk for closure" when the study was released. 
The study also found that one-third of the rural hospitals in Kansas are at risk of closure.  Read more here .
GOP CANDIDATES FIGHT OVER HEALTH PROGRAM SERVING 400,000 KANSANS
Jonathan Shorman, The Wichita Eagle
"A fight between the Republican candidates for governor over the state's privatized Medicaid program could shape what happens to the health care of more than 400,000 Kansans.  The next governor could abandon a proposed work requirement for some recipients of KanCare, which serves people who are poor, elderly or have disabilities. Or he could pursue Medicaid expansion.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is preparing to become governor, spearheaded the creation of KanCare in 2013. Some of his opponents say the current administration, including Colyer, has poorly run the program.
"It still remains to be seen whether KanCare can be properly administered," Jordan said. "I think that's why you're hearing a lot of chatter about the program."
Read more here.
STATE HONORS KANSANS FOR CONSERVATION EFFORTS
Amy Bickel, The Garden City Telegram
Kansas officials this month honored several for their measures to conserve, reuse or adopt better practices to help ensure the future availability of the state's water resources.
"Be the Vision" award recipients were honored during the sixth annual Governor's Water Conference held Nov. 8 and 9 in Manhattan.
"There are many individuals, cities and industries taking extraordinary measures to conserve, reuse or adopt better practices to help ensure the future of our state's water resources," said Tracy Streeter, director of the Kansas Water Office. "'Be the Vision' recognizes these Kansans for demonstrating the strategies included in the Vision, who believe in doing more and leading by example."
Read more here.
THIS COMPUTER GAME COMES THANKS TO 2 SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
Associated Press, The Kansas City Star
The Supreme Court's first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, has helped teach millions of students civics through computer games created by an organization she founded. Now, with a push from the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice, Sonia Sotomayor, the group has translated one of its games into Spanish.
The group iCivics, which O'Connor founded in 2009 after her retirement from the Supreme Court, now has 19 computer games that were played by 5 million students last year. Sotomayor, who grew up speaking Spanish at home, joined the organization's board in 2015. One of her first initiatives has been to try to make iCivics games more accessible to students learning English and others struggling with reading, she has said.  "For me, civic education is the key to inspiring kids to want to become and stay involved in making a difference".  Read more here .
MICAH KUBIC, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ACLU'S KANSAS CHAPTER, IS THE ANTI-KOBACH
Barbara Shelly, The Pitch
The American Civil Liberties Union has brought some of its home-office leaders to Lawrence to launch its "Let People Vote" initiative, carefully laying out a case that Republicans are systematically obliterating voting rights in America, and a grass-roots movement is needed to stop them. Now, Faiz Shakur, the ACLU's national political director, taps a local guy to talk about Kansas' own Darth Vader.
"Micah," Shakur starts, "who is Kris Kobach?"
"Kris Kobach has been the secretary of state here in Kansas since 2011, and during his tenure he has earned the nickname 'the king of voter suppression,'" he says. "Mind you, there are quite a few contenders for that particular crown in the country today, but he is the undisputed champion."  Read more here.
SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE!
Your belief in W4K and the work we do to elect and keep moderates in Topeka has created  14 W4K Chapters across the state!  Thousands of moderate voters thank you.  As you know, 2018 is a momentous election year, and we're looking for committed W4K members. 

If you're interested in being involved, contact a Chapter Leader. A complete list of Chapter Leaders and their contact information is available here.

If you're interested in forming a Chapter, contact Deanna Zitterkopf at beowulfprof@cox.net .

BECOME A MEMBER OF WOMEN FOR KANSAS!
  
Thanks to the efforts of hundreds
of determined Women for Kansas,
2016 was the year we began turning the ship around. In the Senate, we picked up 10 moderate seats; in the House,  we added 28. Not quite a legislative majority but changed enough so that Brownback and his lemmings can no longer stream roll over us.
 
Up next: planning for the 2018 gubernatorial/statewide races.

With your support, Women for Kansas will again help lead the way.

Basic membership $60.00 year
Contributing member $150.00 year
Sustaining member $500.00 year
Student member $30.00 year

Mail your check to:
Women for Kansas
P.O. Box 8774
Wichita, Kansas 67208

Or charge your credit card via  PayPal
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).

FYI: If your dues exceed $75,
we'll send tax-deductible receipt
for the difference.
EDITORIAL: KOBACH DOESN'T HAVE TIME TO BE GOVERNOR
The Capital-Journal Editorial Board
Kobach's "brand" of politics doesn't require much explanation. He's a hard-right conservative populist who knows how to exploit concerns about immigration, hostility toward "elites" in Kansas and Washington, D.C., and reactionary economic attitudes among a large proportion of the electorate.
Instead of explaining how he'll restore our empty reserves, fund our highways and reduce our pension liabilities, Kobach suggests the one "solution" that will reignite all of these problems: A return to Brownback-era tax policy. It's as if he hasn't paid any attention to the perpetual cycle of massive shortfalls and cuts that have made Kansas a blaring warning to the rest of the country over the past few years.
It's a wonder Kobach ever found time to be our secretary of state, but it's clear he doesn't have time to be our governor.
Read more here.
LT. GOV. COLYER TAKING LEAD ON STATE BUDGET PROPOSAL
Associated Press, ksn.com
Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is taking the lead on writing a state budget proposal to submit to legislators when they return to Topeka in January as Gov. Sam Brownback prepares to leave office for a diplomatic post.
Brownback is expected to resign after he is confirmed and Colyer will become governor. Colyer, like Brownback a Republican, is among several candidates for governor in 2018.  Read more here.
KANSANS URGE AMERICANS TO LEARN FROM THEIR ECONOMIC MISTAKES
National Catholic Reporter
There once was a politician who persuaded voters that huge tax cuts, especially for higher-income earners and businesses, would not only financially benefit all taxpayers, but also boost the economy, thus painlessly filling the government coffers.
But it didn't happen that way.
That politician was Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. Now President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are making the same promises, and Kansans are urging Americans to learn from their mistakes.  Read more here .
DOES KS NEED AN AUDITOR? LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE IF THEY WANT A WATCHDOG
The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, The Kansas City Star
Kansans are now engaging in an important discussion about transparency and openness in their state's government, including the possibility of electing a state auditor to keep an eye on public agencies.
The Star recommended the installation of a statewide auditor following the newspaper's eye-opening series on secrecy in Kansas.
We're encouraged that no elected official we know of has rejected the idea out-of-hand.  Kansas had an auditor for more than a century. Now, a strong auditor could put a stop to excessive secrecy in state government. Voters should have their say in 2018.  Read more here .
LOW INCOME KANSAS SCHOOL DISTRICTS STRUGGLE WITH TEACHER SHORTAGE
Celia Llopis-Jepsen; KPR
The shortage of qualified teachers in Kansas is hitting children in low-income communities particularly hard. That's according to an analysis by the Kansas News Service.  Listen here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders.  Visit  here .
STATE GOVERNMENT: HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN KS
From tracking legislation, to contacting your state legislator or governor,
to viewing campaign contributions,
this article is  packed full of
useful information
EVERY  Kansan should know.
PDF of handout available here.

2017-2018 KANSAS ROSTER AND CONTACT INFORMATION
KS House of Representatives Roster
Kansas Senate Roster

NOT SURE WHO REPRESENTS YOU?  WE CAN HELP
Find your  U.S. State Senator
"The practice of democracy is not passed down  through the gene pool.
It must be taught  and learned anew by each generation of citizens."

Visit iCivics.org to learn more.
EDITORIAL: SCRAP INSECURE VOTER SYSTEM
J-W Editorial Staff, LJWorld.com
Given the security concerns surrounding the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, the state of Kansas should be developing a strategy for getting out of managing the database.
Unfortunately, that seems unlikely, given how enamored Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is of the program.
The program expanded to more than 25 states during Kobach's tenure in office.
The problem is, the database isn't even close to being secure, as nonprofit investigative journalism outlet ProPublica demonstrated with relative ease.
At a minimum, Kansas should turn over management of the program to another state and pull out of participation in the database. Better yet, Crosscheck should be scrapped and the data purged. Sadly, neither step is likely.  Read more here .
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