May 21, 2020
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KAC Monthly Newsletter

KAC President John Wilson
As state's needs mount, KAC invests in our team

As many of us shelter in place and work from home, days and weeks have a way of blurring together. Time can seem fluid, with mornings turning into afternoons and afternoons into evenings without notice.
 
But we know that time is passing, and we can see that needs across the state are mounting. We can see that children and families are struggling. At Kansas Action for Children, we believe our advocacy for high-quality educational opportunities, reliable health care, and equitable communities matters more than ever.
 
Achieving these goals wasn't simple before COVID-19, and it's certainly not simple now. It takes all of us, working together, to achieve the results that all 705,000 Kansas kids deserve. They depend on us getting this right as Kansas and the nation navigate through this crisis.
 
That's why, in a time when many are cutting back or limiting what they do, KAC is investing in new members of our team -- to strengthen and expand our work.
 
Our mission for the past 40 years has been to educate, engage, and activate policymakers, legislators, advocates, and the general public. Together, we can improve outcomes for children. And we can't do that without a virtual office filled with talented advocates. That's why we added communications specialist Queren King-Orozco to our team on May 1 (more about her below). And it's why we're in the midst of searching for a health policy advisor.
 
A decades-long effort led by ideologically driven activist groups has created an entrenched and harmful public narrative about government, government programs, and those who use them. This narrative transcends partisan divides and has resulted in the erosion of public support for essential programs that help provide income, health care, child care, housing, food, and other basic needs for our fellow Kansans. These same groups are attempting to go even further during the pandemic, doubling down on failed policies that benefit the few at the expense of the many.
 
We need a KAC at full strength to engage, educate, and mobilize more Kansans to use their voice and vote to improve the lives of kids and their families. Queren provides not just capacity, but crucial perspective. Our new health policy advisor will do the same (more about that job posting can be found below as well).
 
Not all of us love staying at home for weeks on end. But we know that it's necessary -- skewed sense of time and all. We also know it's necessary to keep KAC focused on the needs of Kansas, right now and in the years to come.
 
Persistently,
John
Former KAC board member Pat Anderson
Remembering Pat Anderson

Our state recently lost a true champion for kids and families with the passing of Patricia Anderson, a former Kansas Action for Children board member. Pat was a passionate, authentic, and tireless advocate for KAC's mission and was universally adored by the staff and board. Outside of KAC, Pat was a talented grant writer, mentor, and volunteer.
 
In describing her mom's life purpose, Pat's daughter Lynn said, "every action, every breath -- was committed to the greater good and future of youth."
 
One board member described her as "one of the most genuine and passionate people I have ever known" and said that "the way she smiled and looked directly at you left you with a feeling of being valued and about to learn something."
 
Those are qualities we need to see more of in this world right now. May Pat's life be an inspiration to us all. Let's pick up where she left off and be the advocates that children in Kansas so desperately need right now.
Communications Specialist Queren King-Orozco
Join us in welcoming Queren!
 
Queren King-Orozco has joined Kansas Action for Children as our new communications specialist. She previously worked at Ogden Publications, where she was a digital content specialist and created video content, wrote blogs and newsletters, and managed social media accounts. At Ogden, she also photographed magazine covers and established a community garden.
 
As a first-generation immigrant and Kansas resident, Queren has overcome many challenges to shape her life and career path. She now enjoys the state's rural lifestyle, living on a farm with her husband and daughter. During her free time, she loves to garden and study aromatherapy and herbalism.

Visit her online at www.querenking.com .
KAC job alert: We're hiring a health policy advisor

Kansas Action for Children is now hiring a Health Policy Advisor. The advisor will advocate to improve the health of Kansas children and families through policies related to health care, food security, and early development.
 
This position will support our advocacy for children and families in Kansas on a range of health issues, but that's only part of the story. We're also looking for someone with deep experience in advocacy and organizing policy campaigns, with direct experience in politics, coalitions or lobbying at the state or local level. Because knowing what change needs to be made is only part of the story -- we want to help accomplish it, too.
 
We will start reviewing applications June 1, so please spread the word to your friends, colleagues and networks. Learn more about the position here .

Revenue forecast suggests tough times ahead

The COVID-19 pandemic has created enormous disruptions for Kansas kids and families. Last month, the Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimating Group forecast disruptions for state officials in the months to come. With revenue forecasts for this fiscal year and FY 2021 decreased by a combined $1.272 billion, the state will face enormous pressure to make harmful choices.
 
While this estimate presents a challenge for Kansas lawmakers, we can work together to stabilize revenue without sacrificing vital programs that assist those in need. Direct assistance to Kansas families will help restart the economy better than tax breaks for multinational corporations or giveaways to the very wealthiest Kansans.
 
State officials must also collaborate with the U.S. Congress to make sure that Kansas receives vitally needed federal aid to bolster local and state government finances. KAC stands ready to work with all lawmakers and agency officials, from both sides of the aisle, to ensure this happens as quickly and effectively as possible.
 

UMHMF President David Jordan
KAC teams up with United Methodist Health Ministry Fund for column on federal support

John joined David Jordan, president of the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, in writing a column for the Topeka Capital-Journal and Gannett newspapers across the state last week. They highlighted the challenges created by the coronavirus, as well as opportunities for additional federal funding.
 
Kansas ranks 48th in the federal share of its state budget, meaning our state's residents miss out on life-changing assistance through multiple programs. Please read and share this piece to raise awareness and - ultimately -- bring stability to more Kansans.
COVID-19 resources from the Department of Labor

Knowing what resources are available during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital. As families navigate the loss of income and health insurance, and in some cases housing, this guide from the Kansas Department of Labor includes links and guidance. It's important to share available assistance, so be sure to pass it along.
 
Follow Kansas Action for Children  on Twitter for real-time information.

Like Kansas Action for Children on Facebook to stay connected with our statewide network of advocates.

Visit our website at KAC.org for a comprehensive overview of our work.
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