Open Letter to Kansas NOW Members

WARNING: THIS IS A RANT

As Secretary/Recorder for the Kansas National Organization for Women, I must insist on your active participation in this Organization. I am frustrated that folks will sit around and complain about the issues at hand, issues that are part of the NOW platform, but will not take action to resolve those issues in local communities and at the state level.

Do you understand that without your direct participation and communication this organization amounts to little more than a coffee klatch? How can we expect our issues to be taken seriously in the legislature and in our local areas if only a few of us are standing up to right-wing extremism?

We need active members to lead the state board and the local chapters out of obscurity and into the 21st century. We need more than a few folks guessing what members want and how we shall proceed on issues such as bylaws, actions, and state lobbying. We need funds for travel earmarked because phone conferences are not effective. We need professional members to make Kansas NOW a priority in their personal lives and bring their expertise to our volunteer organization.  The U.S. economy is so deep in the tank that simply being a card-carrying member and ‘throwing money at a problem’ is no longer an option. While we appreciate your donations, as every organization needs dollars in the bank, we also need your time and effort to be an impressive and successful organization.  Last year, there were approximately 20 members at the State conference. 20 people, out of 700+ NOW members in Kansas! Do you know how disappointing it is to have an event where you expect at least half the membership would attend, and not even 5% show up??!

Ladies & Gentlemen, I understand your fears, your concerns. I’ve heard about local businesses getting boycotted because the owner supports Choice. I’ve been personally affronted on this issue myself, on and off the internet. I understand that our fight sometimes seems insurmountable against the religious domination in our state government. I understand the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s & 1960’s, and the violence that accompanied it, is still fresh in our national memory and can make it very hard to stand up for our civil rights.

That Fear, coupled with Complacency (I’m comfortable, my life is good, don’t rock the boat), has led to this point. Our inaction and ignorance of government has led to the current GOP shenanigans and dominance in state laws.

I ask you to be brave! Stand up and fight back! Borrow courage from Wendy Davis in Texas and other women around the nation to bring the light of women’s equality issues to our own statehouse! If we want to keep our rights, we have to become the squeaky wheel, because Kansans for Life and Operation Rescue have obviously gotten their wheels greased.

Can’t anybody see we’ve got a war to fight?

 

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