In The News
October 29, 2014
KMUW: Davis and Schodorf Reach Out At Minority-Led Rally
Kansas People’s Action, a black and Latino-led organization held a political forum and a “Get Out The Vote” rally last Saturday in Wichita. Nearly 200 voters of all races participated in the standing-room-only event….
Davis says a strong coalition has formed. “I think we are going to see a very high turn out from Latinos and African-Americans and I think that’s going to be part of the key to success here,” he says.
October 25, 2014
KSN: Groups go door-to-door to invite people to vote in upcoming election
“It’s very important that we get everyone out to vote but more so the people who have not voted in the last state election who are the infrequent voters and the ones who can really shift this whole election,” said Carlos Contreras from Kansas People’s Action.
October 25, 2014
Wichita Eagle: Wichita rally focuses on getting minorities out to vote
“But our vision is also a very sharp contrast to what the reality is today in Kansas,” KPA president Carlos Contretas said. “In our current system, communities of color, the working class, the poor – we’ve been trampled on, we’ve been stripped of rights, we’ve been thrown under the bus, forgotten – all of this stuff while politicians like Sam Brownback, Kris Kobach and Pat Roberts continue to seek ways to divide us from each other and try to move their own agenda.”
October 25, 2014
KAKE: Davis, Schodorf Speak at Political Forum
“I think this is the most important election in my lifetime,” said Mary Ware of Wichita, “I try my best to be an educated and informed voter so this was a great chance to do that.”
October 20, 2014
In These Times: The Black-Brown Movement That’s Turning Kansas Blue
For [Reverend Carieta Cain] Grizzell, KPA’s ability to unite many different kinds of people around an issue like voting rights illustrates how vital the group’s work is. “I really like the fact that it brings together the African-American, Latino and poor white communities,” she says. “We work together as one united front.”
KPA has made it a mission to expose how policies Kobach and Brownback supported—from voter ID laws to the food stamp cuts in 2013 that kicked 20,000 Kansans off the rolls to an SB 1070-style immigration law—breed racial and economic injustice.
October 15, 2014
Kansas City Star: Schodorf, Kobach
I’ve spent the last twenty-five years fighting against the discrimination my children have experienced growing up. But Kobach’s career has been devoted to promoting himself and his particular brand of the politics of hate, increasing discrimination instead of trying to get rid of it. He’s creating a culture of fear and making it harder for Kansans, especially African Americans and Latinos, to exercise their basic right to vote.
I was encouraged to hear that when Schodorf met with members of Kansas People’s Action, of which I am a member, she committed to broadening voter participation and making it easier for Kansans to vote with measures like same day voter participation. We need more Kansans participating in the democratic process, not less.
Of course, for that to happen, we first need to vote on November 4th and show Mr. Kobach the door!
October 10, 2014
Wichita Eagle: Uniting to Put An End to Abuses
Kris Kobach’s legacy as Kansas’ secretary of state has been defined by his relentless effort to tamper with the ballot box to propel himself – and his own brand of the politics of hate – to national prominence…
On Nov. 4, we’re going to vote for the Kansas we believe in – where all families are treated equally, where our elected officials serve everyone, not just themselves, and where we’re working together to improve our schools, create good jobs and strengthen health care. And that means we’re going to show Kobach and his friends the door.
October 9, 2014
McClatchy: Could Latino voters decide Kansas’ elections?
Kansas may not be considered Latino country, but the small, albeit growing, Hispanic community across the state is emerging as a potential threat to shake up the political landscape…
“Races are being won by 300 votes,” said [Armando] Minjarez, who works on voter turnout drives with Kansas People’s Action and Women for Kansas, left-leaning groups that say they’re pushing for change in Kansas’ leadership. “So if those two, three hundred people I have talked to, if half of those go out and vote . . . if a third of them go out and vote . . . that’s a huge impact.”
October 9, 2014
KSN: Kobach defends ID criticism and claims gov’t report is flawed
“This study just proves what we’ve been saying all along that Kris Kobach has been gaming the system,” said Reuben Eckels, the deputy director of Kansas People’s Action. “He’s been trying to intimidate Latinos, African Americans, women, and independent Kansans.”
September 5, 2014
KMUW Wichita Public Radio: “No Ferguson Here,” A Community Discussion in Wichita
Carlos Contreras, president of Kansas People’s Action, says he’d like to see more of an effort by the Wichita Police Department to understand the communities that they serve.
“We need a little more cultural sensitivity training, especially when you have differences in language, differences in backgrounds.”
June 6, 2014
The Wichita Eagle: Church leaders organize voter campaign, denounce Kansas voter ID laws
The Rev. Reuben Eckels, of New Day Christian Church in Wichita, said laws created by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach have made it harder for minorities and first-time voters to vote. The laws require a photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship for new voter registrations.
Eckels said Kansas People’s Action, which represents about 1,300 people across the state, will host a voters education seminar in Wichita on June 21 and will start canvassing neighborhoods to get out the vote. It will help find documentation for first-time voters and take them to election offices to register, he said.
“If we can get them out in this midterm, we think we can turn back the attempt to take away the right to vote,” Eckels said.
Support for the effort is growing, Eckels said.
May 17, 2014
KSN-TV: Un-elect Kobach movement goes door-to-door
“We are tired of [Kobach and Brownback’s] policies, we are tired of people paying the price, poor people paying the price and giving tax breaks to millionaires and having our communities be the ones suffering,” said Sulma Arias, Executive Director of Kansas People’s Action Political Fund.
February 11, 2014
The Kansas City Star: Federal Judge to decide Kansas proof-of-citizenship voting rule
Among [suspended voter registrations] is [KPA member] Michael Nucci, who moved to Wichita in late 2012 from New York, where he was born. He got a Kansas identification card and registered to vote that same year, even showing officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles his U.S. passport and telephone bill as proof of residency.
The following year he moved into residential home for the disabled in Wichita. Nucci, who suffers from epilepsy and has to arrange for transportation, then went back to the DMV to change his address on his state identification card. A week later, he received a notice that his voter registration had been suspended.
“It is ridiculous,” Nucci said. “And that just made me more aggravated.”
February 11, 2014
KSN-TV: Vocal opposition to proof-of-citizenship voting rule
“It’s a shame that we are still fighting the fights that we thought were won long ago, and we must now reclaim those victories in 2014. Voter restrictions work for none of us. In fact, they directly work against the hard fought victories sought out by pioneers suspending the civil rights of thousand eligible voters creating a papers please burden for everyone working to exercise their legal rights,” added Djuan Wash, Kansas People’s Action member.
January 23, 2014
The Topeka Capital-Journal: Hundreds rally against tax exemption, voter law
The Rev. Reuben Eckels likened the voter registration and identification requirements that went into effect in 2012 and 2013 to “new Jim Crow laws.”
“Our ancestors fought and died so that we could actually exercise our right to vote,” Eckels said. “But now those rights are being trampled on again by new restrictions and justifications for making voting harder.”
Eckels said the voting requirements disproportionately affect low-income and black populations.
January 23, 2014
Associated Press: Progressives protest GOP rule at Kan. Statehouse
Nearly 200 people participated in the event staged by the Wichita-based group Kansas People’s Action, including union officials, environmentalists, advocates for immigrants and liberal community organizers. They later converged outside Brownback’s office on the second floor, delivering a poster-sized yellow card demanding a state government “that works for all of us.”
“We are looking for a new dawn, because a new day is coming,” said the Rev. Carieta Grizzell, pastor at the Grant Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wichita.