"Hundreds of Kansans Throng State Capitol for 'Kansas People's Agenda' Rally"

Hundreds of Kansas residents packed the state Capitol on Jan. 11 to demand a Kansas People's Agenda. 

The Kansas People’s Agenda is a coalition of organizations and individuals representing a 15-piece program delving into health care, racism, voting rights, religious freedom, education, immigration, disability rights, gun policy, indigenous justice, child protection, gay rights and other areas of public policy.

Pictures and links to press coverage can be found inside. 

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2017 Legislative Agenda

KIFA's policies are shaped by the values of our diverse faiths, which connect us to the scriptural concerns for justice, peace, and human dignity. Rooted in faith, we join hands across difference to work for moral and effective public policy in Kansas.

Here are KIFA's priorities for the 2017 legislative session:  

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Join 1,000+ Kansans at the Kansas Peoples Agenda Rally - 1/11/17

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Can you help us keep making a difference in 2017?

To make your tax-deductible donation to Kansas Interfaith Action, click here.

In Jewish tradition there's a midrash (a rabbinic explication of a Biblical story) that says that when the children of Israel were at the Sea, with the barrier in front of them and the raging army of Pharaoh coming up fast behind them, the people panicked (naturally) and even Moses didn't know what to do. A lone man, Nahshon, in a singular act of faith, walked out into the Sea – to his knees, to his waist, to his nose – before the Sea parted and the Israelites were able to make their way to freedom.  

When we began Kansas Interfaith Action at the start of this year we knew we were trying to fill an important role in Kansas public life: as the voice of faith- and conscience-based public policy advocacy in our state. We knew such a voice was desperately needed, given where the state was and how the voice of faith had been largely coopted by the political right. What we didn't know is what would happen next. But like Nahshon, despite the uncertainly, we walked in.

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KIFA Stands with Standing Rock

Many of us have been following with great interest the resistance of Native Americans in North Dakota to the Dakota Access Pipeline. For the crime of defending their lands and waters - not to mention the climate of all of us -- the camp at Standing Rock has been met with militarized policing in the service of private gain. All over the world - in the forests of Brazil, in the boreal forests of Canada, and here, in the Indian lands of North Dakota - it is only the bravery of indigenous peoples that is holding back the continued development of fossil infrastructure that is literally killing our planet. 

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Announcing "Kansans Against Campus Carry"

On July 1, 2017, a law will come into effect allowing conceal-carry firearms on public college and university campuses in Kansas. In keeping with previous legislation, no training or permitting will be required. This policy, known as "campus carry," is a remarkably short-sighted policy, and Kansas Interfaith Action is taking a lead position in organizing opposition to its implementation. 

 

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Four More "Faith and Public Policy Forums" Scheduled

As a faith-based public advocacy organization, Kansas Interfaith Action sees the decisions of government as having an important moral component. Public policy issues often have clear spiritual implications, and it is our role to spell those out and to help the public get good fact- and values-based information on the issues of the day. 

In this election season, KIFA will be holding four "Faith and Public Policy" issue forums at locations around the state, where experts in the issues of taxation and budget; assistance to the poor; healing the sick; and the safety of our university environments will make presentations. These will be non-partisan, facts-only events; we won't tell you who to vote for, but we will help you get the information you need to make educated, values-based decisions in the voting booth.

Dates and participants after the jump.  

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Mother's Day March for Reducing Gun Violence

About 80 people joined us at Temple Beth Shalom in Topeka for the "Mother's Day March for Reducing Gun Violence." Representatives of Heeding God's Call, Moms Against Gun Violence, Kansas Interfaith Action and Kansans for a Gun Free Campus spoke, remembering those who have died from gun violence and calling for effective steps to be taken to address this growing and tragic problem.

Rev. January Kiefer sang a soulful rendition of "Motherless Child", and Rev. Betty Glover led an appreciation for Topeka's police chaplains.

The event was covered by the local news; the article in the Capital-Journal can be found here.

Go to the "flip" for some pictures of the event.

 

 

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Legislative Report - The 2016 Session So Far

The Kansas Legislature returns for the so-called veto session on Wednesday, so this is a good time to give a report on our work in the legislature so far this year. This was our first session as Kansas Interfaith Action, which meant speaking in front of new committees and making new alliances. So in large part, it has been a year of learning. 

We testified on three proposed bills: the first was an extension to the welfare reform bill from last year, which famously prohibited TANF recipients from taking cruises and limited ATM withdrawals to $25 per day – thereby guaranteeing that largely unbanked clients will pay a larger percentage of their limited means in fees. 

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Campus Carry Vigil at the Capitol

On March 24, Kansas Interfaith Action participated in a vigil against so-called campus carry, the introduction of conceal carry of personal guns onto college campuses. The event, organized by Kansas Coalition for a Gun Free Campus, included representatives from KU, K-State and Washburn, as well as KIFA. 

Below is some footage of the event. 

An account also appeared on the Wichita Eagle website. 

 

 

 



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