Two ladies, one light, one dark, are traveling across Kansas this week talking about a grassroots movement called, “Women for Kansas.”
Laura Dungan was born in North Dakota, and moved to Winfield when she was a very small child. Becoming part of this effort fits with who she is.
“For me, when there are groups or masses of people that are concerned, and feel that a change needs to be made, and that they feel like they’re the underdog, I’m there,” says Dungan.
Emira Palacios is an immigrant from Mexico, and a naturalized citizen.
“I think what energizes me about Women for Kansas is the fact that small groups are getting together and getting energized about a bigger idea than just electing or taking someone out of office, but more like why are we doing this and talking about how this is effecting our lives.. our communities,” says Palacios.
Palacios says she’s trying to get more Latinos involved, and to educate them about why it’s important to get out and vote. She says it’s also about changing culture. Many places they have come from have left them afraid to go to the polls for fear of retaliation.
Dungan and Palacios have been meeting with small groups of women, which they call “Round Ups,” in Western Kansas coffee shops, living rooms, and libraries.
Women for Kansas is sponsoring a convention, Taking Kansas Back, Labor Day weekend in Wichita. The event includes a rally, workshops on relevant issues, a chance for attendees to give input about policies they want changed, training on a web based voting tool called Get-Out-The-Vote, as well as an opportunity to hear and meet candidates.
The mission of Women for Kansas is to united and activate moderate, independent, and progressive women across the state for the purpose of electing a governor, a secretary of state, and legislators who value:
- A fair, progressive tax system that adequately fund public services, including public education, the arts, and healthcare;
- A court system free from political influence;
- Voting rights for all citizens;
- Equal access for immigrant families; and
- Dignity and opportunity for all.
More information about the Women for Kansas and the Convention of 1,000 Women is available at: womenforkansas.org