Nemaha County Democrats
Submitted by JoLene Bloom
At 10 a.m. Saturday, May 20, the Nemaha County Democrats met at the Seneca Public Library annex with several activities in their future. After the Pledge of Allegiance, reports by the secretary Greg Newlin and treasurer Susan Bowman were approved.
Nemaha County Chair JoLene Bloom reported on meetings of the Congressional District (CD2), and Kansas Democratic County Chair Caucus (KC3) meetings that included information in the process to hire an executive director for the Kansas Democratic Party and the progress of Jeanna Repass in starting her term as State Chair of the KDP. A new director should be hired by June.
The Nemaha County Democrats are waiting to hear if they have been chosen for a Power Lab grant, which will help with expenses of the 2024 election cycle in encouraging Kansans to register to vote, as well as to vote. Bloom spoke of the Contest Every Race and other groups that are encouraging Kansans to run for school board and city positions for 2023 ballots in the Aug. 8 primary and the Nov. 7 general election. June 1 at noon is the filling date for this year’s ballots’ candidates.
Discussion followed of anti-educator and public school legislation, and banning of books in public and school libraries, as well as area schools that are dealing with Wetmore being closed, the impact on area schools for the students, educators and boards, and the appropriate taxation and use of that money by the schools where children are attending — such as the impact on Nemaha Central, Wetmore, Sabetha, Jackson Heights and Bern in providing educations based on appropriate taxes being distributed in relation to where children are attending.
Nemaha County needs to fill a position in the Kansas Silver Legislature, which meets July 29 in Topeka and continues with three days in October for the legislative session. Anyone who is 50 years of age and a Nemaha County resident can apply for the position. A potential candidate can contact the Northeast Area of Aging office for more details. Bill Love of Seneca recently was approved for a board position on the Council for Area Aging.
Mel Baker, vice chair, reported his observations of the discarding of 2018-2020 ballots, envelopes, etc., from previous elections as the Nemaha County Clerk and Election Officer destroyed them on Friday, May 19, at the court house. This is to assure that no contesting of these elections has or will take place and that both political parties were represented at the time of the shredding. In excess of three hours was needed to destroy the documents.
The voting public and anyone who enjoys the benefits of our freedoms and our rights as well as protected elections in the county should call or write Mary Kay Schultejans and DeAnn Koch a thanks at the Nemaha County Court House for their thoroughness and integrity in holding valid, fair elections locally.
In old business, Bloom reported that the Governor’s office has not given a date for Laura Kelly to appear in Nemaha County as a potential special session of the legislature could occur due to the status of some bills. Her appearance will be open to the public with a location and time announced when her office suggests a date; she has not been in the county since June 2019 after her first legislative session as Governor.
The Nemaha County Democrats will host their odd numbered year dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 18. A location and caterer has not been chosen. The group is seeking a caterer and new location. The evening will recognize announced candidates for the CD No. 2 House; Eli Woody of Topeka is the first to share his candidacy as well as an invitation will be extended to the new KDP Executive Director and Jeanna Repass, Johnson County, and the state Democratic chair. The Nemaha County Community Building will NOT be used due to the sub-standard needs of a working microphone, WIFI, kitchen appliances and supplies, lack of security of the rented space from outsiders throughout the day/night, and the significant increases in rental costs such tripling rates, all of which the county commissioners were unwilling to correct or address from the fall 2022 dinner.
The group is hoping to involve newly registered Democrats as well as others in the party. Encouraging potential voters who have recently turned 18 or who will be able to vote in August or November 2023 is another goal of the group as access to high school students has not be re-established since COVID-19 became a barrier to speak to youth in the schools’ settings.
The Nemaha County Democrats are considering volunteering for the KDP booth at the Kansas State Fair that runs from Sept. 8 to 18. It will be an opportunity to speak with Kansans and encourage more to participate in the democratic process.
The next meeting will be 10 a.m. Saturday, June 17, in the Seneca Public Library at Sixth and Main. If a person wishes to join us or has questions about a political issue or concern, contact JoLene Bloom, NM County Chair, 785-336-3641 or firstname.lastname@example.org, who can direct you to the appropriate resource to have your question answered.