Representative Mari-Lynn Poskin, from Kansas House District 20, spoke with members of the ESU Young Dems via Zoom last Friday as part of an ongoing effort to promote local politics prior to the 2022 elections.

“Because we did not break the supermajority in the 2020 state house elections, which I really, really thought that we would, I explained to (the Young Democrats) that they have to work on messaging when talking with legislators,” said Poskin.

While weather advisories and concerns over Covid-19 continue, Poskin said virtual events like these offer more opportunities to do outreaching events, which is important because events like these are increasingly important as Kansas approaches the next election cycle after failing to break the republican supermajority in the House.

“We talked about the importance of the politics that happen in your backyard,” Poskin said. “We discussed how many of the issues that spur their interests in politics can and are being addressed at the local level. For instance, (Non-Discrimination Ordinances) have passed at the municipal levels here in Johnson County, as has the banning of single use plastic bags. It is interesting to note the state legislature’s majority party, long a champion of ‘local control’, is trying to pass legislation to essentially squash these efforts. (So) I encouraged them to become engaged in every level of government.”

Five people joined the virtual presentation, which anonymized the pre-approved viewers and prevented them from interacting with the stream.

“We did not have very many people at the meeting on a Friday night. I think college kids have other priorities (than to come to events like these),” said Raiden Gonzales, freshman political science major and president of the ESU Young Dems. “We really focused on ways to get involved in Emporia and statewide through both the local democratic party and the plenty of other opportunities statewide.”

Gonzales said that it has been hard during the pandemic to go out and recruit members, especially when they have had to change how they go about recruitment.

“We have just established a high school transition program to help gain new members,” Gonzales said. “(So that should help us prepare) for the next elections in 2022."

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