Rebuild Kansas

Lightning, dark sky and bare tree, Voting is free, what's the Cost of Not Voting?

Photo with graphics added by Mimi Moffat, Kansas Chapter

By Mimi Moffat, Kansas Chapter Political Chair

My colleague Alan Bauman, a valued member of our chapter executive committee, is also an enthusiastic photographer who generously allows us to publish his photographs in Waypoints and on our website. His photograph of the rock structure in the Flint Hills, which I used for our newsletter header this month, seemed like an apt metaphor for the idea of rebuilding Kansas by electing the leaders we need to confront the challenges of facing our state.

In 1994, South Africa held an election in which all races were allowed to vote. Nelson Mandela, then a 76-year-old Black man who had spent spent 27 years in prison, voted for the first time in his life. If you were old enough to watch television then, you saw images of thousands of people who had walked miles or had stood in line for days in order to exercise their new and precious right to vote. 

If the right to vote is under attack, then democracy is under attack. It's that simple. If we elect candidates who don't accept the peaceful transfer of power as a bedrock principle, then our democracy is in trouble. If our elected officials do not respect the rights of all of us, we are not free. If fear and ignorance inhibit education and scientific inquiry, we cannot solve the environmental challenges we face.

Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when Kansas voters overwhelmingly defeated a ballot initiative to empower the legislature to remove protections for reproductive health care options. But that's just one battle and there's no guarantee that the struggle for reproductive choice is over.  Every issue we care about - climate change, social justice, clean air and clean water, voting rights, LGBTQ+ protections - depends on the people we elect to pass our laws, appoint our judges, and run our governments, federal, state, and local. If the people we elect don't trust elections, don't believe in science, and don't condemn violent insurrections, how can we trust them to lead our state? We can't. 

We've already shared our endorsements with you. But in case you missed them, here's what we recommend.

Laura Kelly for Governor
Energy policy has a far-reaching impact in rapidly changing economy and our every-day lives. Governor Kelly advocates an “all of the above” approach to energy policy, and Kansas is uniquely positioned to lead the way in the development and expansion of clean and renewable energy. She attracted businesses such as Invenergy to Kansas which will bring high-paying, high-skilled jobs to Kansas and will expand access to clean, renewable energy around the country. Her investment in our wind energy industry positioned Kansas in the top spot for wind energy production. Incentives have been created for Kansas companies to develop and export renewable energy technologies.   Under her leadership, Kansas brought the largest business investment project to Kansas, a Panasonic plant that will manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.

Every election matters. Every vote matters. In the 2020 general election, Lindsey Constance, co-founder of the KC Regional Climate Action Plan, lost the race for Kansas Senate to Mike Thompson, former TV weather announcer who compared warnings about climate change to Nazi propaganda.  1604 votes made the difference between winning and losing. 

If you have a mail ballot, mail it now. If you're planning to vote in person, do it as soon as you can. Please.