Are you frustrated by what’s going on in Kansas?

Maybe one of these issues is your personal pet peeve?

•Proof of citizenship requirements to register to vote,

•Voter ID laws,

•Open gun carry

•Payday loan interest rates and policies,

•Harsh penalties for non-violent crime,s

•Stand your ground laws,

•Laws that challenge the dignity of the poor and those needing services,

•A Foster Care system that’s lost more than 70 kids,

•Or whatever is rubbing you the wrong way.

It’s time to let your opinion be heard.

Sitting at home, yelling at your televisions set, or talking bad about our elected officials, is not going to change a thing.

•Change comes from getting involved.

•Change comes from speaking out, especially to those who have power to bring about the change you want.

That’s why we’re heading to Topeka on Thur., Feb. 15 for Kansas Black Legislative Day. We’re calling for a coalition of African Americans across the state to show up at the capitol, be seen, and ask for something.

Two years ago, a group of concerned Black Kansans started the Kansas Black Leadership Council to develop a platform of issues that disproportionately affect African Americans across the state.

The call went out and about 100 people gathered at a historic church in Topeka and we developed a Black platform reflecting issues we wanted addressed. The platform was forwarded to elected officials across the state, and we actually got a bill introduced.

The next year, a few new faces joined us when we met in Junction City. That year we focused our platform slightly, and once again got in the hands of decision makers.

We met again a second year, focused our platform slightly, and once again got it in the hands of the decision makers.

This time, we want to do more. We want the legislators to put a face to the people concerned about and affected by our issues. That’s why we’re heading straight to the capitol.

Please join us for what will be an informative, effective and powerful day.

We’ll learn more about the legislative process and how and where grassroots groups and individuals can get involved to make an impact for change. We’ll receive a report on the State of Black Kansas, as a way of better understanding our community’s needs.

We’ll visit both the Kansas House and Senate to see government in action, but also to be seen.

Over lunch, we’ll hear about bills and issues that most likely will be debated and acted upon during the 2018 session. We’ll focus the presentations on health, education, criminal justice reform and economics – areas that impact us greatly. Members of the Kansas Black Legislative Caucus will join us for lunch and to provide with some much needed insight on the process and the issues.

Then we’ll make it easy for you to share your story, purpose and concerns, with issue templates you can pick up, sign and take right to the legislators.

In addition, it will be a great day to meet other activists and concerned citizens from across the state. You’ll find out more about what they’re doing and potentially build collaborations around common issues and concerns.

You’ll get back home feeling better, because you had a day with purpose. You told it like it is, stood up, got involved, and confronted power.

Join us, the opening session begins at 8:30 a.m.

The day is free, but we’ve planned a working lunch. For $15 we’ll have a box lunch available for you, plus a package full of important information you can take home for reference and reading. If you want lunch, you can pay for your lunch online, the deadline to reserve lunch is Fri., Feb. 9.

The Kansas Black Legislative Day is a collaborative effort of several grass roots, civic and educational bodies from across the state. In addition to the Kansas Black Leadership Council, sponsors include:

The Kansas Black Leadership Council

The Kansas African American Affairs Commission

The Kansas State Conference of NAACP Branches

The Kansas Black Legislative Caucus

The Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs at Wichita State University

We’d love to have more groups and organization join our effort. Invite your sorority or fraternity members, church, social, civic or professional organization to make attendance at Kansas Black Legislative Day part of their civic outreach.

Any questions, feel free to give me or Kenya Cox, director of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission a call. My office number is (316) 681-11555. Kenya’s is (785) 296-4874.

Bonita Gooch, president

Kansas Black Leadership Council

Click here to RSVP.

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