Westlink Neighborhood Association

16 Mar

Tony Decker, one of the founders of the Westlink Neighborhood Association (WNA) and a wonderful person, died unexpectedly. He and his wife Jan kept the records of Westlink members’ activity and kept the bimonthly LinkLetter newsletter going and distributed. In particular, Tony supervised the distribution.

I have been a member of the WNA Board of Directors, one of the distributors of the LinkLetter south of Central, and charged with recruiting more distributor volunteers. I haven’t been very good at recruiting volunteers, but Tony’s initiative made it possible to recruit one new distributor South of Central starting with the January issue and another starting with the March issue, cutting back a little on my own distribution area. However, I will have to pick up some of what Tony did in supervising getting the LinkLetters to the volunteer distributors. (Someone else is picking up another matter Tony handled, email messages.)

Since one of the ten precincts in the 100th Kansas House district is WNA’s square mile South of Central and two more in the square mile North of Central, I gradually get to know a few voters in the 100th District as I enjoy doing my volunteer work with the WNA.


Washington Days 2

5 Mar

It looks like I’ll be missing Washington Days in Topeka again this year. My car is in for a replacement bumper, I haven’t located anyone for a ride, and my wife has a medical appointment on Friday the 6th. It’s not all bad; I’ll have more time to contact people right here in Wichita in my 100th Kansas House district.

Tuesday the 3rd I was an election clerk in my own district at the Country Acres Baptist Church polling place, just a block away from my house. This was a city primary election, and I am not running for any city office, so there was no conflict with my being on the ballot, as there was in previous elections I worked. Walking one block to the polling place instead of driving several miles made for a shorter day. And I had a chance to chat with a number of my friends in the neighborhood as they voted and to identify a few of the voters I hadn’t previously met.

Washington Days: 1

23 Feb

Washington Days, the annual Kansas Democrat Party gathering in Topeka, is coming up, March 6-7. Leading up to it, I have been getting some advice from Perry Schuckman and Jim Lawing about developing my campaign for the KS 100th seat.

Keeping up with my Westlink Neighborhood Association (WNA) activities, one of the WNA founders and the mobilizer of the LinkLetter distribution team died, and I have been spending extra time following up with the newest distributors in the South part of the WNA area, the 519th Precinct.

My new blog on Risks.Wordpress.com and my old one on LuckyLife.Wordpress.com also need attention and linking to this one and to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and other pages.


9 Feb

I am developing income streams to help support fund-raising for the 2016 election, contacting registered Democrats in my precinct (and the nearest other precincts), and recruiting campaign workers, including a campaign manager. Volunteers are welcome!

The Westlink Neighborhood Association comprises the three precincts at the Southern base of the Kansas 100th House of Representatives District, the 517th (where I live), the 518th (West of the little ditch), and the 519th (South of Central). North of 13th are the 516th and 515th precincts, East of them the 508th and 509th, and North of the 516th and the 509th the 510th, 511th, 513th, and 514th.

Now. if I can recruit a committeeman and a committeewoman for each of those precincts, a campaign manager (plus a communications expert, an internet marketing expert, and a fund-raiser for the campaign team), I’ll be pretty well set to get busy with the campaign!

Conservatism (posted by John Willoughby 10/26/14)

26 Oct

Conservatism means saving what is best. The word usually suggests sticking to time-tested,values, such as love, peace, freedom, justice, sharing, beauty, truth, progress, compassion, sustainability, patience, courage–the list could go on and on, and the examples given here are not intended to represent any specific order or priority.

Conservatism is a cognate term to conservation. Concern for the environment, for air, water, and soil, for all forms of life, for societies and cultures, for individual people–these are parts of the environment deserving conservation and should be parts of conservatism.

Conservatism is not only conservation of the past, although that is a very strong component of conservatism. Conservatism means commitment to building a better future, seeking out new ideas for building a better future, testing new ideas through open discussion, listening to proposals which at first glance might seem different from what would produce the best future. Conservatism usually prefers incremental improvement rather than revolutionary change, This means providing opportunity for individuals throughout the world to become free from poverty, misery, violence, authoritarianism, corruption, and injustice–all breeding grounds for revolutionary change.

Conservatism is not only economic and does not place accumulation of wealth as a necessary component of success, although it certainly has no objection to accumulation of wealth, as long as the accumulation of wealth by part of society and parts of the world is not at the expense of keeping other parts of any society down.

By this definition of conservatism, I am a solid conservative.

Issues: Health and Human Services (posted by John Willoughby 10/17/14)

17 Oct

Brownback and the tea-party Republicans have pushed through an administrative takeover of federal programs (KanCare) in the human services area. It has already cut down on the funding for human services in both the purely governmental area and the previous private-public collaborations. The result has been catastrophic cutbacks in services available to the disabled, the poor, the elderly, children, and the chronically ill. All the indications are that the administration and its tea-party puppets in the legislature are planning further cuts in services for the most needy Kansans, using the budget problems caused by their own elimination of one source of revenue after another as justification..

Now they are planning takeover of Medicare from the federal area in order to make cuts in the health services for these same disadvantaged Kansans, after having already turned back Medicaid funds already paid for by Kansans (the rejected funds to be distributed to states which have already accepted the original funds). The ultimate aim seems to be lowering medical service to Kansans unable to cover the steadily increasing costs of health care, with no attempt to control or alleviate those rising costs.

I see no compassion for anyone except the most wealthy in this policy.

Issues: Education (posted by John Willoughby 10/16/14)

16 Oct

Kansas has a longstanding, bipartisan tradition of solid support for education at all levels, from pre-school through post-graduate university education, and adult education. This tradition was built into its very Constitution from the beginning.

Recently, this tradition has been abandoned by the tea-party extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party. They want to weaken education at all levels. They want to cut back on state support for public education, leading to a series of lawsuits based on the Kansas constitutional requirement for state support. These lawsuits cost the State of Kansas unnecessary expenses and end up weakening the quality of education in Kansas, delaying the adequate funding of education at all levels, postponing the introduction of pre-school education, forcing higher costs for counties and cities throughout the state, forcing large tuition increases for colleges and universities in Kansas, and discouraging qualified teachers from choosing to teach in Kansas.

Education funding in Kansas has dropped back from the level it reached ten years ago, while inflation has increased. Minor increases in education funding last year were exaggerated by counting some replacement of the money needed to guarantee adequate funding for pensions (including pensions for government employees in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Kansas government) as if it were direct funding for education. The bill including the minor increases for classroom instruction costs was offset by ideologically based removal of most legal resources available to teachers to protect them from arbitrary, even whimsical, firing at will without any attention to the performance of the teachers as teachers and of pension availability to new teachers.

The tea-party extremists give budgetary issues as the spurious reasons for what is an ideological desire to weaken public education and replace it wherever possible by private schools inaccessible to the poor. The budgetary problems only exist because the tea-party extremists have cut income for the State of Kansas as a whole by reducing taxes on those who don’t need the reductions, the extremely wealthy (which has resulted in no net increase in employment by businesses owned by the extremely wealthy), on mid-sized businesses, and on start-ups which are not yet making enough money to pay any taxes (and these start-ups are the largest source of new jobs).

The tea-party Republicans need to be voted out of office.