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Dorothy Barnett

Faith & Public Policy

3 years ago | Sep 22, 2016
By: Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a Faith & Public Policy Forumhosted by Kansas Interfaith Action. Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA) is a statewide, multi-faith issue-advocacy organization that "puts faith into action” by educating, engaging and advocating on behalf of people of faith and the public regarding critical social, economic, and climate justice issues.

Although the organization is fairly new, our relationship with them started many years ago when former CEP staffer Eileen Horn started the Kansas Chapter of Interfaith Power & Light. KIFA Executive Director, Rabbi Moti Rieber was at first a member of KSIPL’s board before taking over the organization. Moti’s work on the religious response to climate change in Kansas was instrumental in much of the clean energy success our state has seen and I’m excited to see where he’ll lead this new organization.

Listening to the Kansas Center for Economic Growth outline our difficult budget picture and Kansas Action for Children share their report "Repairing the Kansas Safety Net” helped me have a greater understanding about the challenges facing all Kansans. As a parent with a college student, I was glad to know that a newly formed coalition, Kansans Against Campus Carry will be hosting a Concert on Sunday, September 25th at Liberty Hall to kick-off a statewide campaign to prevent campus carry. I found this great editorial by KSU professor Philip Nel on their Facebook page.  

While listening to the Health Reform Resource Project, what struck me was not only concern for the more than 150,000 Kansans who currently fall into a health coverage gap, but also by the economic opportunities the state is leaving on the table. According to information shared by the Alliance For A Healthy Kansas, if KanCare was expanded, more than 3,800 jobs would be created across the state.

My portion of the panel focused on potential economic opportunities for renewable energy and energy efficiency. I spoke about the current KCP&L Energy Efficiency docket and ways for citizens to share their thoughts on utility EE programs. I talked about trends and opportunities for expanding access to clean energy and I also shared an update on the Clean Power Plan and how important our voices are in our energy future.

I hope you’ll join one of the upcoming Faith & Public Policy Forums and learn more about all of these very important issues. Your voice matters in each of these critical issues.

Wednesday, September 28th 7 pm Fitzgerald Auditorium – Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina

Wednesday, October 12th 7 pm The Family Resource Center – in Pittsburg

Monday, October 17th 7 pm – in Hays


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