I went to bed the other night saddened and angry after the Kansas Legislature overrode Governor Kelly’s veto of House Bills 2183 and 2332.
The legislation disproportionately affects the elderly, the handicapped, college students and active duty military personnel by making it more difficult to vote in a number of ways.
One of the reasons why I volunteer for League activities is because we work to help more people participate in our democracy. It seems like the legislature wants fewer, rather than more, participants in the government. And it wants to pick and choose who can vote and who can participate. This is in opposition to our mission.
But the next day I woke up with that old, cheerful song in my head:
“Next time you’re found
With your chin on the ground
There’s a lot to be learned
So look around
Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant
But he’s got high hopes
He’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie
In the sky hopes….”
I still have high hopes, and I know we will persist in our mission as a nonpartisan organization that helps Kansans get informed, vote and be active participants in our government. I’m so proud to be a part of that and to work with other persistent men and women. So back to the drawing board!
Running for Office or Serving on Boards and Commissions
I’m writing this on Friday, May 14. Our municipal elections are in November and the filing deadline is June 1. Right now the election commissioner’s office shows many offices with only one candidate or no candidate at all filed to run. This includes many school board positions, mayoral positions and council positions. Have a look at this list.
Have you thought about serving the public this way, or do you know someone who would be great? Just do it, or encourage someone else to run. These positions affect our everyday lives in real, immediate ways. Public service isn’t easy, but it keeps our communities and our democracy running.
The state League is partnering with the Climate and Energy Project, Kansas Leadership Center and others on a non-partisan series of webinars on how to run for office or get involved with campaigns. It’s not too late to sign up for this, so have a look and get ready to run for office.
Do you want to know more about knowing your “why” is important to the League of Women Voters and other organizations? Take a few minutes to watch this Ted Talk by Simon Sinek.
The national League published a brochure on Kansas state-level data from winter 2020. It tells us 1,123 Kansas League volunteers donated 2,079 hours, contacted nearly 8,000 voters, registered nearly 300 of them and pushed nearly 2,000 to register through Vote 411.
We make a difference, we persist, and I still expect to disappear some rubber trees. Thanks for all your work and keeping up your high hopes!