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Hundreds of Kansans to Converge on Capitol to Defend State

 

Rally To Feature Broad Cross-Section of Kansans Addressing Extremist Legislation From Corporate Lobbyists
 
Rally with Public Speakers • This Saturday, Feb. 23, at 2pm • State Capitol in Topeka, South Steps
 
Press Contact: Thomas Dewar, AFT Kansas Communications Director • tdewar@aktfs.org • (785) 235-0262
 
Topeka, KS—Nurses, teachers, clergy, elected leaders and others will rally at the State Capitol this Saturday to push back against an increasingly extreme legislative agenda. Kansans from a variety of backgrounds, political parties and professional backgrounds will be in attendance and among the featured speakers.
 
“The Governor and legislative leaders need to know that what they’re doing will not happen in some back room where nobody notices,” explained AFT Kansas President Lisa Ochs. “The people of Kansas will know exactly who is destroying our quality of life and our future.”
 
Divisive, extremist bills being threatened by some legislators are known as "model legislation" from the corporate lobby ALEC—essentially a one-size-fits-all legislative template the group has introduced in a number of states.
 
“They’re threatening Kansas with bills that have nothing to do with our state,” Ochs continued. “They’re the same ones, written by the same corporate lobbyists, we’ve seen submitted in one state after another across the nation.”
 
Speakers at Saturday’s rally will include:
  • State Sen. Anthony Hensley
  • State Rep. Paul Davis
  • Former State Sen. Jean Schodorf
  • Vanessa Oyler, KU Medical Center Nurse
  • Lisa Ochs, AFT Kansas President
  • Rev. Joshua Longbottom, Plymouth Congregational Church Pastor
  • Dave Reber, Free State High School Biology Teacher
  • Resa Boydston, Kansas Neurological Institute Technician
  • Randy Mousley, United Teachers of Wichita President
  • Sulma Arias, Sunflower Community Action Executive Director
“Governor Brownback cannot claim to care about our state’s future while dismantling it," added Randy Mousley, President of the United Teachers of Wichita. "As a science teacher, I can tell you that slashing education and then expecting our kids to compete in a global, knowledge based economy is shortsighted and self-defeating in the extreme.” 
 
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AFT Kansas is the oldest public employee union in the state, and represents teachers, school employees, health care workers and other public employees across our state.