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. 




Quick Update on Campus Carry

A brief #‎ksleg update: We testified against a conceal carry bill last week, but of course it got through committee, and we started to look at it as a possible vehicle to run an amendment to delay campus carry past 2017. Not that we'd win this year (not with this Senate) but put it on the agenda, get a vote count in the House and work for next year. But now I'm told that the bill won't be brought above the line, because they're afraid of an amendment lowering the age of conceal carry from 21 to 18, which the universities aren't prepared for. As Bob Boone famously said, "Don't ever say it can't get worse."


Media Advisory - 

(Lawrence, KS – March 14, 2016) On Tuesday, March 15, a group of Muslim civic leaders from across Kansas will visit the State Capitol in Topeka to meet with lawmakers about their concerns.

WHAT: Muslim Legislative Day 
WHEN: Tuesday, March 15, 10 am to 1 pm.
WHERE: Meet in lobby of State Capitol for briefing, then visits with legislators.


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Reb Moti Appears on KCUR's Statehouse Blend

On this week's Statehouse Blend, leaders of faith based organizations discuss their unique view on the current political climate in Kansas. To listen click here

Kansas Religious Leaders Oppose More Welfare Changes

Reb Moti testified against a bill (HB 2600), to strengthen last years "welfare to work" bill. This led to a bit of a theological discussion with one of the members of the committee. And article on the hearing is found here:

Rieber said he and the other religious leaders in his group believe welfare legislation should not be punitive or impugn the human dignity of people in poverty. 

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An Important Announcement

For the past 4+ years, I have served as the Director of Kansas Interfaith Power & Light, the statewide organization that serves as “the religious response to climate change.” I have been blessed to meet many of you through this work. Kansas IPL has managed to carve out an important space as an advocate for climate care both in the faith community and in the legislature, despite the (shall we say) lack of sympathy in much of the state toward this issue.
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