We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected.

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday May 6,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 to hear from our speaker.

Zoom link

Special Guest: Suzanne Gladney from the Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund

Suzanne is an Immigration Attorney. She founded MFAF in 1984. She retired from the West office managing attorney position at Legal Aid of Western Missouri in 2013 after 37 years of service. She manages MFAF full-time.

Migrant Farmworkers Assistance Fund mission statement:

No human being is illegal. Migrant farmworkers, like others, have fundamental rights to healthcare, education, and meaningful participation in society. MFAF serves, accompanies, and advocates for these unique and often marginalized people.


  • Help farmworkers meet emergency material needs.
  • Provide health education, healthcare, advocacy, and individual medical and dental case management.
  • Provide referrals for legal advice and/or representation.
  • Promote personal and communal growth and development through educational opportunities and leadership training.
  • Raise community awareness about migrant farmworkers’ lives and the challenges they face.

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday May 20,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting.            

Zoom link 

Special Guest: Peyton Browning from Prairie Roots, speaking about Rural Participation

Originally from Sedgwick County, Peyton has organized and worked on over 50 campaigns across Colorado. Peyton recently moved home to work as the Deputy Finance Director of Barbara Bollier’s U.S. Senate campaign and was the Operations Director for the 2020 Coordinated Campaign at the Kansas Democratic Party.

Prairie roots specializes in year-round community organizing in Kansas. 


“If leaders like Stacey Abrams have proved anything, it’s that investing in organizing and voter mobilization in any state — no matter how much of an uphill battle that might have been in the past — can lead to historical change.”

— Barbara Bollier

A Light in the Dark

by: Christine Morgan

The 2021 legislative session has been turbulent, to say the least. From déjà vu over tax cuts eerily reminiscent of the Brownback experiment to attacks on our transgender friends and legislative overreach into our schools, it has sometimes been hard to watch. Yet each and every day, our elected Democrats have gone into those chambers, heads held high, and made the case for sanity.

A few weeks ago, I asked Democratic Senators and Representatives from Johnson County to share something positive from the legislative session, a point of pride or glimmer of hope. This proved to be a challenging request! There is no doubt that this has been a dark year, and that we have a lot of work ahead of us to re-elect Governor Kelly in 2022 and get our Democratic Representatives a few more friends. 

Despite the challenges, many of our elected officials were able to shine a light in the dark, presented below in their own words. But the consensus was that we need to build our base. Our best hope is for the future, and to achieve that, we must all work together, starting now. 

THANK YOU to every Democratic senator and representative in Topeka, fighting the good fight. And a special thank you to those who were able to take time from their busy schedules to share some hope with us today.

From Our Democratic Legislators…

Dinah Sykes, Senate Minority Leader:

While the 2021 legislative session has been politically challenging – and I don’t want to downplay the very real problems our state is facing as a result of the extremism in the Kansas Legislature – it has also been very rewarding for me as a Kansas Democrat. My caucus has fought tirelessly for commonsense policies that put Kansans first and has fought just as hard against the many bad bills that have come to the Senate floor. We are a dynamic and resilient group, and I know that while we don’t win every fight, we will never stop fighting for what’s right for Kansas families.

Senator Ethan Corson:

I’m proud that I was able to get my worker safety bill signed into law. The legislation is supported by both our friends in Organized Labor and the utility and telecommunications companies. The bill passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support. It requires drivers approaching utility and telecommunications vehicles pulled over on the side of the road with their flashing lights on, to slow down and move over a lane if they can safely do so, and if they can’t move over, to proceed with caution and slow down, just like drivers have to do for police cars and ambulances. It’s a simple but important step we can take to protect these workers, whose jobs are already dangerous and difficult.

Senator Pat Pettey:

The 2021 legislative session has been extremely challenging with a super majority of conservative Republicans in the Kansas senate. Under the leadership of Dinah Sykes, the Democratic senators have worked extremely hard to support Governor Kelly and her fiscally conservative budget to fund K-12 schools, provide for higher ed, maintain our infrastructure system, and state services that Kansans rely on.

I am most proud of my work through the Early Learning caucus to provide three educational seminars for legislators and for working to defeat the Student Enpowerment Act. Just a name for vouchers that directly take base state aid. A strong public education system is good for our children, our families, our economy, and the future stability of our state. Public education is the fuel for individual and state prosperity.

Thank you so much for all the support the JOCO Dems have provided.

Representative Jarrod Ousley:

While this year has been challenging, there have been surprising successes. The Senate blocking the horrible education funding position pushed by far right extremists in the house, and the failure of the Senate’s attempt to co-opt the good work the House Children and Seniors committee accomplished with the Office of the Child Advocate bill will allow us to fight once again to pass a positive, bi-partisan Office of the Child Advocate for our state’s vulnerable children. While the horrible and discriminatory anti-trans bill has unfortunately passed along with voter suppression bills, we have Governor Kelly as a backstop to veto dangerous legislation, and that is because of everyone who worked so hard to get her elected. With the success of the Biden Administration in delivering stimulus checks and vaccines, we are hopefully now able to see the light at the end of the Covid tunnel, and we can continue to work for good policy here in Kansas.

Representative Linda Featherston:

The highlight of my first legislative session was Music in our Schools Day on March 18th. Along with Reps. Stogsdill and Curtis, I helped arrange a proclamation celebrating music and the arts in schools and the teachers of these subjects. The proclamation had widespread support from both sides of the aisle. To top off the day, Rep. Byers, Thomas, and I performed over the noon hour. For one hour, the Capitol was a joyful place where we didn’t have to worry about all the issues on which we disagree. Legislators and staff just gathered in the rotunda to enjoy the celebration. I must say that a good time was had by all. Although, this wasn’t part of my motivation in scheduling Rep. Byers to perform, I hope her performance can help our colleagues across the aisle see what a truly wonderful person she is and realize that our LGBTQ+ sisters and brothers deserve our support and protection.

Senator Cindy Holscher:

There are two rules about Topeka:
1) Bad bills never die
2) If you think it’s bad now, keep in mind, it can always get worse

So, here are the implications. First, there were a number of bad bills that were brought forward in the session that didn’t make it all the way through the process. Don’t expect those bills to just go away; they’ll be back next session or even possibly, during the veto session in May. We have to be vigilant and keep putting pressure on legislators to do the right thing.

Secondly, things are bad in Topeka, but know it CAN get worse, in fact, much worse. Right now the extremists have a supermajority, however, they can’t always get members of their party aligned to get the 2/3 needed to overturn vetoes by the Governor. If, however, we lose Laura Kelly in 2022, then they will only need a simple majority to get horrible bills across the finish line. Frankly, this group with their extreme ideology will make the Brownback years look like child’s play. Keep in mind, Senators have four year terms; none of them will be on the ballot in 2022. So, our lot is cast in that regard. That is why it is imperative that we re-elect Gov. Kelly and try to pick up a few House seats. That work starts now. Donate what you can to Laura’s re-election. Communicate to your friends and neighbors the fact that despite a pandemic, Gov. Kelly and Lt. Gov. Toland are bringing in a substantial level of business growth to our state. Additionally, she started her term with the state in shambles. Due to her efforts and the fact that revenue growth increased, we were able to enter this pandemic on much stronger footing than if her predecessor had been in office. Additionally, she gets no help in any way from the extremist legislature, particularly leadership; their goal has consistently been to deny the Governor any wins, even if that means it hurts the people (i.e. preventing Medicaid Expansion).

So, there’s no time to rest; it’s time to get busy! The future of our state hangs in the balance.

Building the Future of Tomorrow, Today

The work of electing Democrats doesn’t take a year off. In odd years, we still have to organize, engage voters, and recruit volunteers. Much of this work is done by candidates for local office, at the bedrock of American democracy where many important decisions are made that directly impact our lives. These public servants set policies for essential infrastructure such as schools, roads, and energy. They also often become our future senators, representatives, and governors.


Dean Vakas for Olathe City Council At Large is already hard at work, and he needs your help to reach over a hundred thousand potential voters. His campaign is actively recruiting volunteers right now to knock doors and make phone calls. They’re even offering training, so whether you’re an old pro or have never canvassed before, they can help you make a real difference in your community. Get started now by clicking one of the links below. 


Volunteer Interest/Yard Sign Form 

Canvassing Shift Sign Up 

Feel free to e-mail the campaign with any questions or concerns, or if none of the canvassing shifts will work out for you: info@vakasforolathe.com

Let’s all get to work today to build a better world for tomorrow. 

April South Meeting Recap

Thank you to Representative Brandon Woodard for a riveting discussion about student debt and the cost of college education. And for fighting for student debt relief in Kansas.

Representative Woodard shared that Kansas has done practically nothing to attract youth to our state, or to help keep them here after graduation. No wonder we’re losing our youth! In the recession of 2008, Kansas made significant cuts to funding for higher education, causing tuition to go up dramatically. We now need senators and representatives in Topeka who believe in funding education at ALL levels, from prekindergarten through post-secondary education.

Thanks to all who attended – it was a lively discussion!

* * *

Ready to take political discussions to the next level? Why not run for office!

We’ve already got some great candidates, but we still need a few more. If you have EVER thought of running for office, we have great opportunities on a local level – school board, city councils, mayors, and more. Check out the list of positions available at:


See you online soon!

Cassie Woolworth
President, JCDW South

April North Meeting Recap


Highlights from Becky Fast, Johnson Board of County Commissioners, April 1, 2021

Download Power Point

In 2016, the BOCC was all male; since 2020, there is a 4-3 majority of women.

Every 10 years, a Charter Commission must be formed to review the County Charter. This commission was convened in 2021 to have recommendations by February 2022. The importance of electing Democrats to the Kansas legislature from Johnson County has had a major positive effect on the Charter Commission. The Republican majority Kansas Senate has assigned three Republicans to the commission. The Johnson County majority Democratic legislators have assigned three Democrats. Republicans and Democrats are evenly represented in the Charter Commission.

Appointed by the Senate – Republican Legislators have the majority

1. Wendy Bingesser
2. Jane Dirks
3. Karin Brownlee

Appointed by the JOCO-KS House of Representatives – Johnson County Democratic Legislators have the majority

1. Dawn Rattan
2. Zach Thomas
3. Ed Peterson

By Johnson County Political Parties

1. Jim Denning – R
2. Greg Smith – R
3. Joy Koesten – D
4. Greg Shelton – D

The KC Regional Climate Action Plan has a goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The county has placed greater emphasis on aging services like in-home services and meals delivered.

There is increased emphasis on mental health.

The issue of affordable housing is being studied.

The process of renaming Negro Creek is underway with community input.

Becky Fast is up for reelection in 2022!




KFDW 2021 Virtual State Convention April 30-May 2

The women of the Kansas First Congressional District are pleased to host the 2021 KFDW Virtual State Convention. We are proud to offer an interesting, fun and robust program over the 3 days of the convention. From the meet-n-greet on Friday night to the presenters, speakers and elections on Saturday, we look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, as well as walking away on Sunday with actionable information on leadership and fundraising. 

Friday, April 30-Sunday, May 2.

Where: Online

Cost: FREE, but love donations are welcome.

It is through donations that KFDW is able to turn around and donate to candidates. During the 2020 election cycle, KFDW donated $3,000 to the following State House and Senate candidates:

Dinah Sykes
Shanna Henry
Wendy Budetti
Mary Ware
Becca Peck
Cindy Holscher
Derek Milligan
Jim Ward

2022, KFDW will donate to Governor/Lt Governor and five statewide races as well as the State House races.


About Us

Johnson County Democratic Women North and South are part of the  Kansas Federation of Democratic Women, which is part of the National Federation of Democratic Women


Our mission is to empower women to run for office and to support the election of like-minded Democrats to state and local office. We do this through education and training, but especially through donations to qualified candidates. Your financial donation to either of our organizations will go directly to Democratic candidates running in Johnson County. 

Donate Today!

JCDW South


Act Blue Link

JCDW North


Act Blue Link

Check out the Johnson County Democratic Party Event Calendar for more ways to get involved this month!



We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected.

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, April 1,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 to hear from our speaker

Zoom link

Special Guest: County Commissioner Becky Fast

Becky is the County Commissioner for Johnson County District 1, which includes Fairway, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Westwood, Westwood Hills and northern Overland Park and portions of Leawood.

Becky Fast has a long history of public service and commitment to the county. She served two terms on the Roeland Park City Council and was elected unanimously to serve as council president. She is a graduate of the Johnson County Citizens Academy and the Northeast Johnson County Chamber leadership training program. She has participated in the Shawnee Mission School District MVP program, volunteering in her neighborhood schools.

Other experience includes directing public policy research at the University of Kansas, working closely with the Kansas legislature. She also served as the director of constituent services for former Congressman Dennis Moore. In that role, she helped cities in northeast Johnson County access federal funds to improve storm water management and the Turkey Creek Streamway conservation and trail corridor. Commissioner Fast has a master’s degree in public administration and social work from the University of Kansas.

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, April 15,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link 

Special Guest: Representative Brandon Woodard

Topic: Our Student Debt Crisis

Brandon Woodard is a community organizer, advocate, and lifelong Kansan representing District 30 (Lenexa and Olathe) in his second term in the Kansas House of Representatives. Outside of the Legislature, Brandon works as a higher education fundraiser. In Topeka, Brandon is a fierce advocate for public K-12 and higher education funding, LGBTQ rights, and reforms to make Kansas an attractive destination for young people. This term, Brandon is the ranking minority member on the Higher Education Budget Committee, and serves on Federal & State Affairs, and Taxation.

Kansas Federation of Democratic Women

2021 Virtual State Convention

April 30- May 2

 The Kansas Federation of Democratic Women invite you to join us for our 2021 Virtual State Convention. Attendance is Free. Love offerings appreciated.

See Details and Register


North Meeting Recap

We had a conversation with rural Kansas Democrats: 

Kali Barnett, who ran for US House in District 1

Mark Pringle, who ran for state house in District 2

Alana Cloutier from District 2

Democrats face intimidation from Republicans in rural Kansas in the form of stolen or vandalized signs. They are reluctant to speak up or write letters to the editor.

4 hospitals in District 4 have closed.

Laura Kelly has helped rural communities and we need to make sure they realize that.

Kali would like to register new voters, and start getting middle and high school students interested in voting and civic participation.

We need to approach the numerous independent colleges in District 1.

The idea of sister cities was suggested, and needs to be fleshed out.


South Meeting Recap

I want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to the panel of honest, earnest, hard-working candidates, Deann Mitchell, Michael Shimeall, Katie Dixon, and Stacey Knoell , as well as support staff, Carol Shimeall and Nikki Johnson-MacDonald, who shared stories of campaigning – the heartache, exhaustion, and intimidation right alongside the joy of meeting neighbors, forging lifelong friendships, and having a “POSSE” to call their own. We’ve all worked, cheered, and sobbed throughout the past few years.

A VERY special thanks goes out to Michael and Carol Shimeall as one week ago, Michael underwent heart surgery.

It was a lively discussion, full of great advice for both candidates and volunteers. If you missed it, and want to know more about becoming a candidate, the Johnson County Democratic Party will have upcoming trainings – you can contact them here.

Still not sure you want to run? Check out this article: Run for Office? You’re More Qualified Than You Think

At Johnson County Democratic Women South (and North) we strive to get women Democrats elected to office (and men who advocate for women’s issues). That is the mission. We also strive to help, empower, lead, follow, command, share, commit, and assist any Democratic candidate in Johnson County. We are a PAC so we can also assist financially (please join, you must be a member to partake in funds).

In the next few months, you’ll see candidates at our meetings. (How about you? Would you like to run for School Board?) If you don’t want to run, there are still MULTIPLE ways to assist a candidate. If you find someone you connect with or someone you can stand behind, I ask that you do so. Find someone to support. Or come to our meetings to connect with the candidates!

Cassie Woolworth
President, JCDW South

So, now what?

Currently we have 39 seats up for election in 2021. In 2022 we will have our House Reps, Governor/Lieutenant Gov., and other elections. We’re going to need to build our coalition – our POSSE.

Here are the open/available offices .

About Us

Johnson County Democratic Women North and South are pat of the  Kansas Federation of Democratic Women, which is part of the National Federation of Democratic Women


Our mission is to empower women to run for office and to support the election of like-minded Democrats to state and local office. We do this through education and training, but especially through donations to qualified candidates. Your financial donation to either of our organizations will go directly to Democratic candidates running in Johnson County. 

Donate Today!

JCDW South


Act Blue Link

JCDW North


Act Blue Link

Check out the Johnson County Democratic Party Event Calendar for more ways to get involved this month!



We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected.

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, March 4,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link

A Conversation with Rural Kansans

This month, we welcome special guests from western Kansas.

The Democratic chair of the second district, Alana Cloutier, will talk to us about issues and opportunities facing their district. The second district basically runs from Nebraska to Oklahoma, from Missouri to somewhat west of Topeka. Jake LaTurner represents them in the US House.

Mark Pringle will join us, from Kansas House District 13 in southeast Kansas. He ran for office in 2020 and has some insights to rural voters.

Also joining us is Kali Barnett, who ran for US House in Kansas District Big One, which is basically the western half of Kansas.

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, March 18,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link 

A Conversation About Running for Office

This month, we welcome former candidates and campaign managers to talk to us about what it’s like to run for office or work on a campaign. Guests include:

Stacey Knoell, candidate for Kansas Senate

Angela Schweller, candidate for Kansas House

Katie Dixon, candidate for Kansas House

Mike Shimeall, candidate for Kansas House

Carol Shimeall, treasurer of JCDWS and campaign manager

Deanne Mitchell, chair of the Johnson County Democratic Party

Greg Mitchell, former member of the water board

Nikki McDonald, community leader and campaign organizer

Game Night Fundraiser Brings in $2,700

Thanks to our members and donors, Game Night was a huge success. Through ticket sales and individual contributions, we brought in $1,350. This money was DOUBLED thanks to an anonymous donor, so we now have $2,700 to give to local campaigns. That money, along with our endorsements, will go out in August, after the primary. 

A million thank yous to everyone who helped make Game Night a success. 

North February Meeting Recap

We want to thank Jane Kleeb for coming to our JCDW meeting February 4. She had a lot of information and ideas, and was very encouraging. Here are some take-aways:

Continue to show up and continue to engage rural people, not just during election cycles.
Listen to them.
Develop actions to do together by finding common goals, working through differences, and setting aside issues like guns and abortion. Be authentic about abortion and gun rights.
Never ridicule anti choice people.
Commit to help deal with problems, such as natural disasters.
Create paths.

Find unifying themes such as roads, water, or sewers. Get specific. The Ogalalla Aquifer was suggested as a possible commonality.

Concerning green energy, we need an outreach to find ways for rural wealth creation and placement of wind and solar farms. Bringing broadband with green energy would create something for the community. Green energy companies should not behave the same way Trans Canada (Keystone pipeline) has behaved, when they intimidated farmers, ranchers, and indigenous Americans, and abused eminent domain.

Implement block captains who will commit to staying in contact with 50 voters 3 times a year.

Local papers and radio stations are a good way to communicate with rural voters. Write letters and be a guest on conservative radio.

Rural areas are getting more racially diverse. Ask community leaders and activists of those groups to run for office, ie Hispanic meat packers.

Send welcome post cards to new Democrats.

Jane will send a block captain manual.

We may need legislative action against lies, such as a Fairness Doctrine.

She encouraged county parties to tell state parties and the DNC what they need.


South February Meeting Recap

Thank you all for coming to the General Meeting on Feb 18th – it was AMAZING! Dr. Barbara Bollier joined us and our fantastic democratic family during the mingling session and then wowed us all! She knows how to run a campaign (hard), how to handle misinformation (keep calling it out) and what to do about Topeka (let them know you’re paying attention). I’m still in awe of her warmth, laughter, and friendship – she’s a gem of a Dem. THANK YOU, BARBARA!
In March, our focus is on Running for office – the tips and tricks from those in the know – our ACTUAL CANDIDATES! We’re hosting a panel of candidates for a very candid discussion about running for office. Let’s pull back the curtain and see what it actually takes.
So, for our “ACTION” in March, find an office to run for!!! (or a candidate to run)
In 2021 we elect the Mayors, City Council Members, Water Board, and School Board members as well as other elected positions that YOU ARE QUALIFIED FOR. Yes. YOU.
Up for grabs in 2021– something for everyone!
School Boards:
USD 229 Blue Valley
USD 230 Spring Hill
USD 231 Gardner Edgerton
USD 232 De Soto
USD 233 Olathe
USD 289 Wellsville
USD 491 Eudora
USD 512 Shawnee Mission
Mayors and City Councils:
Bonner Springs, De Soto, Edgerton, Fairway, Gardner, Lake Quivira, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Spring Hill, Westwood, Westwood Hills.
Others in JOCO:
Johnson County Community College Trustees
Merriam Drainage District Trustee
Monticello Drainage District Trustee
Water District (Water One) Trustee
Notice anything? – WE LIVE HERE!!!!
Take a look at the spreadsheet and let us know where you’d be interested in running:

Let’s get our rears in gear and find good candidates, educate them, assist and fund them, and then ELECT THEM so we can keep pushing for equality.


Bring a Friend

Don’t forget to bring a friend to the JCDW South Third Thursday Meeting for your chance to win a $10 gift card to a small, local, progressive busines. 

Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31st is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate transgender individuals, raise awareness of discrimination, and celebrate transgender contributions to society.

Right now, it seems to be open season on transgender rights in Topeka. 

A Kansas Senator has proposed a bill that would block transgender girls from participating in youth sports

Earlier this session, a proposed House bill would have made it illegal for a doctor to perform gender reassignment surgery or hormone replacement therapy on minors. This, thankfully, died in committee, but discrimination against transgender youth is still alive and well.

From a recent article in the Kansas Reflector:

Why I will do anything to counter the Kansas Legislature’s poisonous narrative about transgender kids

Help me understand how some legislators get from openly defying science, rejecting our governor’s order for masks and gathering restrictions in the name of “individual liberties” and “we know what’s best for our family” to: “We know what’s best for Kansas transgender kids and their families”?

You can read the full article here.

About Us

Johnson County Democratic Women North and South are pat of the  Kansas Federation of Democratic Women, which is part of the National Federation of Democratic Women


Our mission is to empower women to run for office and to support the election of like-minded Democrats to state and local office. We do this through education and training, but especially through donations to qualified candidates. Your financial donation to either of our organizations will go directly to Democratic candidates running in Johnson County. 

Donate Today!

JCDW South


Act Blue Link

JCDW North


Act Blue Link

March Events

Check out the Johnson County Democratic Party Event Calendar for more ways to get involved this month!



We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected.

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, Feb. 4,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 to hear from our speaker

Zoom link

With Special Guest: Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb

Jane Kleeb is an experienced grassroots organizer, manager, political strategist and nonprofit entrepreneur. Recently profiled by PBS in a film called “Blue Wind on a Red Prairie,” Jane is a leader who deeply understands the need to connect issues that rural and urban communities are facing to politics in order to win elections in Nebraska. Jane Kleeb started her term as the Nebraska Democratic Party Chair in December 2016.

Leading the statewide healthcare reform project called Change That Works, Jane brought together grassroots advocates and allied groups such as AARP and Nebraska Appleseed. While more work must be done to bring down the costs of healthcare for families, the effort was successful in helping ensure pre-esxiting conditions are a thing of the past and that all Nebraskans have access to health care. In 2010, Kleeb founded the grassroots group Bold Nebraska leading farmers, ranchers and Native allies in an effort to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Jane’s organizing style earned her the title “Keystone Killer” and she was featured in the NY Time Magazine. Bold Nebraska expanded into the national Bold Alliance focusing on protecting property rights, water and the clean energy transition.

She wrote the book, “Harvest the Vote – How Democrats Can Win Again in Rural America” which was released in September 2020. (Keep reading for book details.)

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, Feb. 18,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link 

With Special Guest: Barbara Bollier, who will discuss the KS Abortion Amendment

Barbara Bollier attended Shawnee Mission Schools, KU, and University of Kansas School of Medicine. Following medical school graduation, she did a residency in Anesthesiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

During medical school she married Rene Bollier, a fellow SME grad and medical student. They have two grown children, Anne-Marie and Robert.

After 15 years of medical practice, Barbara became an active community volunteer. Her work included mentoring a student from 2nd grade through high school graduation, serving as an Elder at Village Presbyterian Church, serving on the board of the KUMC Alumni Association, and teaching bioethics for the Center for Practical Bioethics at KCUMB.

Barbara was elected to the Kansas House in 2010, followed by the Senate in 2016. She just completed a run for US Senate. During her time in the legislature, she was a champion for Medicaid expansion, education funding and policy, and women’s rights. 

 Virtual Game Night Fundraiser

It’s time to PLAY!

JOCO Dem Women South invites you to GAME NIGHT, an evening of fun, fantasy, cards, and laughter. Join us for ZOOM Rooms where you’ll find Cards Against Humanity, You Don’t Know JACK, HASBRO, and others!

When: February 20, 2021 from 6-9 PM

Where: ZOOM

Sign Up Now!

$15/single ticket
$20/two tickets
Only $10 per ticket after that

After donation you will receive two links – the Survey Monkey link for registration and the ZOOM link for entry.


Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams Book Discussion

When: February 13, 2021 2-4 PM

As part of our year of ACTIVISM, JCDW South is hosting a book discussion to talk about how we can apply the wisdom of Stacey Abrams to Kansas. This discussion is absolutely FREE and open to anyone who wishes to attend. 

The book is available in hardback, ebook, and audiobook. 

ZOOM link


South January Meeting Update

I’d like to thank everyone who joined our first meeting of 2021. We had a wonderful turnout of over 60 people! If you attended, we’ll make sure you’re matched with your Precinct Leader, even if the PCL wasn’t available for the meeting.

What we learned from Melissa Stiehler of Loud Light is that it’s all about that base. Grass-roots organizing is how we’re going to turn Kansas blue. It’s all about you and your neighbors. We also talked about the enthusiasm you are all bringing to JCDW and how much work we still have to do.

My vision for 2021 is ACTION.

There is A LOT going on this year – even with it being an “off” year, and we need your help to succeed. Every month, we’re going to have actions for our members to do, starting with a quick and easy one – fill out the survey with your top 5 issues. We’ll use this information to schedule future programs and actions.

We’re also looking for people to join posses – friends will help us send e-mails to legislators, push our agenda through FB or Twitter, and deliver signs. Fill out the form below with your areas of interest:


Now is not the time to dawdle.
See you online soon!

Cassie Woolworth
JCDWS President

North January Meeting Update


We had Stephanie Clayton come to our JCDW North meeting in January to talk about the return of the Kansas Constitutional Amendment Bill that would ban abortion in Kansas, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or life and health of the mother.

As of today (1/26), the bill, HCR 5003, passed the House on a party line vote, 38-86. Now it goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass with the 2/3 necessary vote. Governor Kelly cannot veto it. The bill names the August 2022 primary as the election to appear on the ballot.

Harvest the Vote

From Democratic Party rising star Jane Kleeb, an urgent and stirring road map showing how the Democratic Party can, and should, engage rural America

The Democratic Party has lost an entire generation of rural voters. By focusing the majority of their message and resources on urban and coastal voters, Democrats have sacrificed entire regions of the country where there is more common ground and shared values than what appears on the surface.

In Harvest the Vote, Jane Kleeb, chair of Nebraska’s Democratic Party and founder of Bold Nebraska, brings us a lively and sweeping argument for why the Democrats shouldn’t turn away from rural America. As a party leader and longtime activist, Kleeb speaks from experience. She’s been fighting the national party for more resources and building a grassroots movement to flex the power of a voting bloc that has long been ignored and forgotten.

Kleeb persuasively argues that the hottest issues of the day can be solved hand in hand with rural people. On climate change, Kleeb shows that the vast spaces of rural America can be used to enact clean energy innovations. And issues of eminent domain and corporate overreach will galvanize unlikely alliances of family farmers, ranchers, small business owners, progressives, and tribal leaders, much as they did when she helped fight the Keystone XL pipeline. The hot-button issues of guns and abortion that the Republican Party uses to wedge voters against one another can be bridged by putting a megaphone next to issues critical to rural communities.

Written with a fiery voice and commonsense solutions, Harvest the Vote is both a call to action and a much-needed balm for a highly divided nation.

Buy on Amazon

JCDW South Proposed New Bylaws

Dear Members,

On February 18th, 2021, at our third Thursday meeting, we will vote on a proposed new set of bylaws for JCDW South. These new bylaws would significantly change the structure of our board and, as a result, will create some extra work during the transition. We feel that these changes are necessary, and that they will make us a better organization, one more answerable to our members.

To summarize the key changes:

1. Instead of a board consisting of four elected Officers and four appointed Chairs, we will have seven elected Officers. The new Officers will be:

Vice President of Fundraising
Vice President of Membership and Retention
Vice President of Programming
Vice President of Communication

2. Each Officer will serve a two-year term. The President, Vice President of Fundraising, Vice President of Communication, and Secretary will be elected at the Annual Membership Meeting in January of odd years. The Vice President of Programming, the Vice President of Membership and Retention, and the Treasurer will be elected at the Annual Membership Meeting in January of even years.

3. The woman nominated for President no longer needs to have been the Vice President. Any Active Member in good standing can be President.

You can see the full, newly proposed bylaws here:

You can see the current bylaws here:

These changes are essential for the continued success of JCDW South because:

1. The current bylaws require that the new President be the previous Vice President, and do not stipulate what would happen should that position be vacant.

2. The current bylaws set a one-year term for President, with no option for a second term, a pattern that virtually ensures our President will not have sufficient time to learn the position before being relegated to Past President. The new bylaws have the President serving a two-year term, with the potential for reelection should no qualified replacement emerge. The position of Past President continues to ensure continuity of knowledge.

3. The new bylaws further propose a system in which every member of the Board is elected by and answerable to the Members, making us more democratic (little ‘d’).The four Vice Presidents each take charge of duties previously filled by appointed Chairs while simultaneously empowering them to take such leadership roles as running a meeting in the absence of the President or representing our organization at other Democratic meetings. This is firmly in line with our mission to empower women to fill leadership roles.

*Should these bylaws pass, we will hold special elections to fill the newly minted Vice Presidential offices. (Per a motion made and approved at the January 2021 meeting.)

Please, e-mail any questions to jcdwsouth@gmail.com.



About Us

Johnson County Democratic Women North and South are pat of the  Kansas Federation of Democratic Women, which is part of the National Federation of Democratic Women


Our mission is to empower women to run for office and to support the election of like-minded Democrats to state and local office. We do this through education and training, but especially through donations to qualified candidates. Your financial donation to either of our organizations will go directly to Democratic candidates running in Johnson County. 

Donate Today!

JCDW South


Act Blue Link

JCDW North


Act Blue Link

February Events

February 13 from 2-4 PM “Our Time is Now” Book Discussion

February 20 from 6-9 PM Game Night Fundraiser

Check out the Johnson County Democratic Party Event Calendar for more ways to get involved this month!



We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected.

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, January 7,  2021

Come at 6:30 to socialize or at 7:00 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Special Guest: Stephanie Clayton, who serves in the Kansas State House 19th District. She will talk to us about the expected Republican effort to amend the Kansas Constitution to state that women have no right to an abortion in Kansas. Hear the history of the effort in 2020 and what to expect in 2021.

Stephanie Clayton is a native of Johnson County, and a product of the Shawnee Mission School District. She put herself through college at Emporia State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Following graduation, Stephanie and her husband, Ben, returned to Johnson County to grow their family, and have lived in their Overland Park home since 2005.

At the legislature, Stephanie is a fierce advocate for government transparency and accountability. As the Vice-Chair of the Social Services Budget Committee, Stephanie is a strong supporter of education. She fought to stop the defunding of the Parents as Teachers program which is critical to early childhood education in Kansas. She is also an advocate for the Children’s Initiatives Fund which promotes the health and welfare of Kansas kids. She serves as the Ranking Minority Member of the Sub-Committee on Sports Wagering and sits on the Federal and State Affairs, Taxation, and Education committees.

Stephanie is a proud founder and leader of the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus, which was instrumental in reversing much of Brownback’s tax policies and stabilizing the Kansas Budget.

In her local community, Stephanie has served on the Johnson County Commission on Aging since 2013. She is active with the PTA of John Diemer Elementary, and serves on the executive board of the Shawnee Mission South Cheer Booster Club. She is an active member of the Ambassadors Rotary Club, which is comprised of members from across Johnson County.

Nationally, Clayton is Vice President of the National Council of State Legislators Women’s Legislative Network. She is a State Director for Women in Government and is also a State Director for Women’s Legislators Lobby (WiLL). She serves on the Budget and Revenue Committee for the National Council of State Legislatures.

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, January 21,  2021

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link 

Special Guest: Melissa Stiehler from Loud Light

Melissa Stiehler joined Loud Light as Statewide Advocacy Director in November of 2020. She is a civil and workers’ rights activist formerly with the ACLU of Kansas, where she was Senior Organizer for their Kansas Citizen Participation Campaign, and Planned Parenthood, where she served as Regional Organizer in Southern Florida and Iowa State Electoral Organizing Director for the 2016 Elections. Previous to this, she worked as an International Human Rights Organizer with the Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity with focus on Latin America and how U.S. military and economic policies drive migration. Melissa began her career as a Community Organizer with the AFL-CIO, where she managed electoral and issue campaigns in Missouri, Minnesota, and Nevada. While serving as the Cross Border Network’s Vice President, Melissa created the first ever LGBTQIA focused human rights delegation to Honduras. Melissa is a Kansas City, Missouri native. She studied economics with a focus on labor studies at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and has applied her education in analyzing the impact of fiscal policy on domestic inequalities, international human rights, and the intersectionality of global movements.

Nevertheless, We Persist!

By: Cassie Woolworth, Acting President of JCDW South

As 2020 comes to a spectacular close, I want to reminisce about the progress of Johnson County Democratic Women South – a club that is only three years old. We came into being in 2017, when the outcry from the Trump election swelled JCDW North so much, we needed a second club to handle all the enthusiasm! But when JCDW South was born, we had some heavy lifting to do. Our fellow Kansans had elected far-right GOPers who were pro-life and pro-gun, who decided women’s rights and equal rights were not worth fighting for. The Kansas legislature was made up of 85% Republicans, with only 15% Democrats.

Since our inception in 2017, JCDW South has:

  • Raised over $25,000 to give to candidates.
  • Helped pass a Non-Discrimination Ordinance in Every city in Johnson County (even though the GOP led KS Congress failed to do so).
  • Helped elect Democrats as mayors and to water boards, education boards, and city councils.

We’ve changed the landscape throughout Johnson County and – even – KANSAS.

And It. Was. Hard.

I want to thank EVERYONE who ran, walked, phoned, wrote, and donated anything to any Democratic candidate. In 2020, we had a Johnson County challenger in nearly every race. Amazing!

Now, in 2021, with some setbacks, We Persist.

This coming year we will harness the enthusiasm from the past four years and sling-shot Kansas into the 21st Century with social programs, school funding, Medicaid expansion, equal rights across the board, and more.

Here is what we are planning for 2021:

  • Grassroots Organizing 

  • Candidates Counsel

  • Creating action plan for 

    • Immigration 

    • Healthcare

    • Women’s Reproductive Rights

  • Experiencing Fellowship with Like-Minded Johnson County residents

To achieve these goals we need to:

  • Expand our reach

  • Grab neighbors’ support

  • Pursue candidates for office 

I look forward to seeing all of you on January 21st at 6:00pm to plan our assault!

Let’s do this!

Until then, may your heart fill with so much love you have no choice but to share it.


South Board Elections

On January 21st, JCDW South will be holding board elections. We currently have nominees for every elected position, but nominations can also be made from the floor by any active member. 

Our nominee for President is Cassie Woolworth.

Our nominee for Vice President is Christine Morgan.

Our nominee for Secretary is Laura Wiltanger


Message from Deann Mitchell, President of JoCo Dems

Happy New Year! We start 2021 with a feeling of joy we have not felt in 4 years. The election of President Biden proves that we Dems are the party of humanity, empathy, and heart.

My goals as the new Chair of the JoCo Dems will be the add diversity to every level of leadership, increase the number of filled precinct leader positions, create a toolkit to standardize the job of PCL, and develop a chain of messaging to share within our ranks and into the community.

This year will bring its own challenges (every year does!). We will met them head on and overcome them together.

About Us

Johnson County Democratic Women North and South are pat of the  Kansas Federation of Democratic Women, which is part of the National Federation of Democratic Women . 


Our mission is to empower women to run for office and to support the election of like-minded Democrats to state and local office. We do this through education and training, but especially through donations to qualified candidates. Your financial donation to either of our organizations will go directly to Democratic candidates running in Johnson County. 

Donate Today!

JCDW South


Act Blue Link

JCDW North


Act Blue Link

January Events

Check out the Johnson County Democratic Party Event Calendar for more ways to get involved this month!


Each November, it’s nice to reflect upon the past year, to celebrate our victories, lick our wounds, and rest in preparation for the next fight – because it’s not over!

So, let’s start by celebrating our WINS!

Congratulations to Jo Ella Hoye, Linda Featherstone, Brett Parker, Brandon Woodward, Cindy Holscher, Pat Pettey, Ethan Courson, Dinah Sykes, Cindy Neighbor, Stephanie Sawyer Clayton, Mari-Lynn Poskins, Jerry Stogsdill, Lindsay Vaughn, Susan Ruiz, Jarrod Ousley, Rui Zu, and Melanie Haas. We have an enthusiastic set of Dems ready to serve us next year, but we still need to add more fantastic Dems!

In our National races, Sharice Davids held onto her seat, and Biden/Harris won the ticket! I don’t know about you, but seeing Harris walk onto that stage in the white pantsuit drew me to tears – 100 years ago, women won the right to vote, and this year, we can finally say, “Madam Vice President!”

I’m so very proud of the volunteers who worked on campaigns. (MOST OF YOU!) You all worked tirelessly to help elect these candidates as well as very hard on the campaigns that didn’t taste victory.

And to the candidates who didn’t win – BRAVO! THANKS FOR RUNNING! You put yourselves out there, worked tirelessly to spread the word, and busted yard-sign RECORDS. You moved the needle in Johnson County, growing our base and shattering the long-held belief by the GOP in Kansas that they would never face a democratic opponent.

Again – multiple thanks, warm wishes, and hugs – you all are gold in my book.

So, where do we go now, from here, knowing that half of us think President Trump was a good idea (AGAIN!)?

With some organization and this group of dynamic, energetic women, I believe the future is FEMALE.

In January, the South Chapter of Johnson County Democratic Women will be electing its leadership. The election will take place at the general meeting on January 21st at 6:00 pm where we jump-start our involvement for the 2021 races (yes, it’s never over). January 21st we start our planning for the year, and we want everyone to be involved. We need ideas, actions, thoughts, and wisdom of a thousand women who have come before – won’t you continue the lineage?

For all those who have been bloodied by this battle, those who added their blood, sweat, and tears, next year looms brighter because of you and the election of Biden/Harris. My heart is healing, but we have lots of work to do. Until January, enjoy…



As so many of you know, Moscow Mitch controls the US Senate unless Democrats can gain the majority. So, its now GEORGIA, GEORGIA, GEORGIA. Stacey Abrams through Fair Fight brought us a blue state, now we need both senate seats.


Fair fight


Act blue Georgia Runoff




Georgia Runoff Involvement

Fair Fight

Help us turn Georgia Truly Blue.
With that, I’ll see you all in January, on ZOOM.


Cassie Woolworth

JCDW South Acting-President

an Chapman

We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, November 5,  2020

Come at 6:30 to socialize or at 7:00 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Special Guests Ben Meers, Executive Director of the KS Democratic Party and Chris Reeves, our DNC Representative

Join us to discuss the critical 2020 election!

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, November 19,  2020

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Special Guest: Tammi Watkins 

Tammi Watkins is Nurse Practitioner with a board certification as an advanced practice registered nurse in hospice and palliative care. She has 20 years of experience in hospice and palliative care; with the last 7 years as a nurse practitioner. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree of Science from Mid America Nazarene University and her Master’s of Science degree from University of Cincinnati. She is currently an APRN with KC Hospice and Palliative Care where she cares for patients in various settings providing hospice and palliative care.


If you have a mail-in ballot that you have not yet returned, experts suggest that you don’t send it through the post office this close to the election. Instead, drop it off at the election office or at one of the drop boxes scattered throughout the county. You can find a list of locations here

As a JCDW member, it’s almost certain that you either have voted or have a plan to vote. Yet others in your life might not be as energized. So let’s all take a page from the airplane safety manual. First, secure your own mask (make sure you’ve voted), and then assist anyone who might need it. 

The Johnson County Election Office is reporting record early turnout, but this isn’t over yet. If you’re not sure how to help, contact the local candidates on your ballot — some of them will be phone banking all the way to the end. It’s time to finish strong!


PSA About Vote Counting by Anita Parsa, local voting advocate

Counting ballots after the polls close isn’t “flipping” the election; it is how elections are legally conducted in a number of states.

On Election Day, be patient.

Every ballot received in compliance to local election law must be counted, and in some cases close races may not be called for several days due to heavier than usual use of absentee ballots.

Some races can be called easily on election day if the number of outstanding absentee ballots is less than the margin of in person votes on election day.

Closer races could take several days to call, and this will vary from state to state because each state’s election law provides for a different amount of time after election to count all votes and certify final results.

They range from one week to count/certify results to about a month after election.

News organizations “call” elections on election night but those are predictions, not official certifications.

Just under half of states count absentee ballots before Election Day or during the day on Election Day (green dots below) before polls close.

The process is unfortunately especially messy in Pennsylvania which is critical swing states in the Presidential election. Because of the way ballots are being counted in Pennsylvania, there could be wild swings in reported vote tallies.

So again, be patient on Election Day or election week or whatever it ends up being. Don’t use garbage sources.

And be very, very, very skeptical of anyone who tries to claim that ballots delivered to election officials in accordance with local election law should not be counted.

That’s un-American.

See You on the Other Side

By Hollie Niblett

I just finished reading the latest Vox article featuring three women activists from Johnson County, Kansas. Perhaps you know one or all of them. I suspect you do, or you at least recognize the names. It was not only a shout out to suburban women everywhere who have been doing the foundational work required to win elections, but also a call to sustain and increase their political knowledge, their power, and to use it to shape the future. (see the full article Here).

We have created strong and critical social networks (now hubs of political and personal connections with not a small amount of local power), and made personal, lifelong friendships, all in the name of reaching a common goal: taking and using power for good in our communities. I wonder if women (those like you and me) had more power and influence than we realized all along. 

I recently mentioned to a friend that the realm of politics was now my church. Most of the women I know today I know through political activism as the sole social connector between us. She agreed that the analogy was a logical one. We are people with shared values who want to see those values enacted in the world. Yes, I said. Exactly. She went on to explain a concept by Brene Brown she’d heard on a podcast about power in communities, where Brene discusses the difference between “power over” and “power with.” 

“So with power over, the goal is to leverage fear, to divide, destabilize, and devalue decency as a sign of weakness and for suckers. Really, being decent is seen as weakness, and the goal is to divide and destabilize because it’s how you maintain power, which you have to do when you believe it’s finite. When we talk about power with, and power to, shared power, the goal is to leverage connection and empathy to unite and stabilize, and actually, it’s interesting, because decency is valued and seen as an actual function of self-respect and respect for others.”

In a culture of pervasive misogyny and patriarchy, we are learning how to cast aside old ideas and norms about female power. We’ve only had the right to vote for a few generations. Black women for even less time, so we are behind the eight ball in the art of wielding power. But together, we are learning. Finally, the old ideas about women, politics and power have gone the way of the corset. Standing on the shoulders of all the women who came before us, we are now mo re confident than ever before about demanding our seat at the table.

I have a confession to make. I understood the meaning of words like racism, sexism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, and patriarchy. I read books and watched documentaries. I took history class in college. But I’d never felt what it meant in my bones before. I’d never felt it running down my cheeks before. I’d never woken up from nightmares because of it. 

I don’t think I’d be alone in admitting to a slight case of the Dunning-Kruger Effect; before 2016, I thought I knew way more than I actually did. But I’ve learned. We all have. The following are some details about our government, political structure, history and culture I’m embarrassed to admit I wasn’t entirely aware of prior to that fateful November day: 

  1. I didn’t know the House of Representatives, State and US, were up for reelection every two years. Now that I do know, I think it’s a stupid idea. I mean, who has time to govern when you can never stop campaigning (Admittedly, this is only a bad idea because of our current campaign finance laws, something we obviously need to fix)?
  2. I only had a vague notion of how my local party politics worked. I did not understand how crucial neighbor-to-neighbor and precinct-level involvement were to gain power and make changes. I did not know who the leaders of my local and state party were. Like so many of us, I’ve learned not only the structure of the Party, but I personally know most of the people involved in the Democratic Party in my area. This has made me a more effective organizer and a more informed voter, as well as a source of information for friends and family. 
  3. Voting apps, campaigning apps, email marketing, campaign strategy, finance reports, database management, newsletters, Zoom links, social media advertising, online registration, event management, chat rooms, private pages, public pages, oh my! I’ve seen a lot of brave tech learning going on in surprising corners. Go us!
  4. My 2015 self was less aware of all the small and large ways patriarchy and white supremacy were a part of the founding of our country, continuing to spin their lies, and just never seeming to loosen their fists around our collective throats. The two are inseparable:  feeding each other and dependent on one another. The Dark Twins. Ushering a known sexual assaulter, serial womanizer and known racist (I still get a cold, dark feeling when I realize that all of these atrocious qualities belong to the same person) into the White House, layered in with the Me Too and BLM movements, has at last peeled my eyes open to how toxic our culture is. I didn’t wake up to this realization in a general sense, but in a deep and personal way. It was a visceral awakening. It was a rebirth.
  5. Communication, leadership, strategizing, voting rights and laws, organizing, history. How many books, articles, documentaries and videos have you watched on these topics in the last few years? How much better are you at being a positive communicator, a servant leader, an effective volunteer? How much more informed are you about our government and how we got here? Me too, Sister. 

I could go on about the things i didn’t know or don’t know or should know, but to save myself some embarrassment I’ll stop there (One can only be so vulnerable, after all, Brene).

So that’s where we’ve been, and thinking about where we’ve been begs the question- where do we go next? 

I’ve seen some comments and questions about the future of the movement. I know people are thinking about it, and some are undoubtedly planning for it. As most of us very wisely keep our noses to the grindstone, doing the real work of turning out every possible vote

, in a few days we will need to have some idea of where we want to go from here. How do we want to use our newfound power, skills and knowledge? How do we keep working towards our lofty goals? And when, someday, we see our dreams of a better world become a reality, how do we ensure that the women after us never fall asleep again? That they never take their eye off the ball? How do we communicate that the fire must burn forever and ever? That the torch must be passed, no matter who wins this election?

I recently learned about a Liberian woman named Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was a social worker, a peace activist, a women’s rights advocate. In spite of not being monied or connected, and having no formal political power, she nevertheless stopped a devastating civil war and saved countless lives. She believed it was women’s responsibility to proactively work for peace, which led her to bring Christian and Muslim women in her country together to form the Women for Liberia Mass Action for Peace (read all about Leymah HERE). The following are some details from one of her peace demonstrations:

“…At a crucial moment when the talks seemed stalled, Leymah and nearly 200 women formed a human barricade to prevent Taylor’s representatives and the rebel warlords from leaving the meeting hall for food or any other reason until, the women demanded, the men reached a peace agreement. When security forces attempted to arrest Leymah, she displayed tactical brilliance in threatening to disrobe – an act that according to traditional beliefs would have brought a curse of terrible misfortune upon the men. Leymah’s threat worked, and it proved to be a decisive turning point for the peace process…”

This story of a small group of women with nothing more or less significant than their courage and their own bodies to end a ruthless war is one of many treasures I keep close to help me hold onto hope. Holding onto hope. I’ve heard it called a discipline. I think it’s also an essential ingredient for any successful movement. 

As THE DAY approaches, the day we’ve all been thinking about, worrying about, dreaming about, for 4 years, I see a lot of hope mixed with realization that the fist gripping our country’s throat won’t go away quietly or peacefully, regardless of the outcome of the election. Unlike 2016, we know to prepare for the worst, and we are ready. We are no longer the women who thought our corner of the world was, at the end of the day, an ordered and safe place. The women who thought the big battles for civil and human rights had been fought and mostly won. The women who spent some time with the covers pulled over our heads crying when the reality of the 2016 election became obvious (even the stoics among us cried). 

Armed with knowledge and political power, what do we reach for next? Is there something we as women have been called to achieve that is unique to us? Perhaps fully funded public education, mandatory family leave, affordable childcare and a country where no child goes hungry are problems that have been waiting for us to fully address and finally fix. Would it be possible to help heal our nation by bringing women of all political stripes together in a way men have not been able to or refuse to do among themselves? Will we use our networks and political force to achieve something never seen or dreamed of before? I hope so.

I have another confession to make. No matter the outcome next week, I’m going to cry. But this time, I won’t be crying alone. Instead, I’ll be crying with the flame keepers, the breast beaters, the human shields, the torch bearers, the hope givers, and the power seizers. 

Whatever we decide to do as we move into the next chapter of this story, I think we can all agree on who we are, a strategic advantage by every measure. I’ll see all you Power Seizers on the other side. 

November Events


November 14th: Johnson County Dems Virtual Breakfast Meeting 8:30-10:00 

We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, October 1,  2020

Come at 6:30 to socialize or at 7:00 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Meeting ID: 280 573 3293
Passcode: NJCDW2020

Presenter: Zach Thomas, Democratic candidate for JOCO DA

Zach began his career in civil law, but soon determined that he could do more for people who needed help by representing those accused of crimes. He worked in the Johnson County Public Defender’s Office from 2012 until opening his own private practice in 2014. He is proud of the reputation he has built for being a successful trial lawyer. He is proud of the work he have done for my community through his term as president of the Asian American Bar Association and on the board of the Johnson County Bar Foundation.

Zach will talk to us about his plans to improve criminal justice in Johnson County, which includes creating specialized courts.

He believes that the people of Johnson County deserve to utilize progressive, evidence-based practices to implement smarter prosecution policies and to relieve the burden that punishment based systems put on the tax payers, victims and each citizen living and working in Johnson County.


See you there!


South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, October 15,  2020

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Special Guest: Diana Gonzalez

My name is Diana Gonzalez. I am a member of KSMODA and I believe in the power of storytelling. I majored in Communication at Truman State University and understand the importance of creating strong stories. Being part of KSMODA has helped me to be more involved in the community and be more active in our democracy. I have met amazing leaders in the organization that serve their communities. I am grateful to be part of KSMODA and the work they are doing. 

KFDW Virtual State Convention

The Virtual 2020 State Convention will be held on October 2nd – 4th.

The cost is $10 per delegate and no charge for any other attendees. Non delegates participate at no cost.

Go HERE FOR DETAILS ,to register as a delegate, or to donate. Contact your chapter president to get more information about delegates and find out if you’re one of them!


All Things Voting!!


Join Kansas House and Senate Democrats for a virtual fundraiser with EMILY’s List!







October Events


September 30th 6:00 pm Emily’s List Fundraiser

October 2nd-4th: KFDW Virtual Convention

October 10th, 8:30-10:00 am: Johnson County Dems Virtual Breakfast Meeting 

October 17th: Women’s March


an Chapman

We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, September 3,  2020

Come at 6:30 to socialize or at 7:00 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Presenter: Avis Smith, ACSW, LSCSW, LCSW

Avis Smith is a licensed clinical social worker and adjunct instructor at the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas. She has 35 years experience in child/adolescent mental health and was a diversity, equity and inclusion trainer for over 10 years. Avis learned far too late in life that being passionate about anti-racism and having a good heart does NOT prevent one from acting in ways that are harmful and damaging to people of color.

Presentation: Deconstructing Whiteness

Avis will introduce us to a 17-minute video presentation about White Privilege by Dr. Robin Diangelou, Associate Professor of Education at University of Washington, Seattle. Afterwards, Avis will facilitate a discussion about the unintended ways white progressives often cause harm to people of color and reinforce white supremist structures. Come prepared for straightforward, honest dialogue and self-reflection!

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, September 17,  2020

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Special Guest: Jamie Katz, MPH, CPP from Johnson County Mental Health

Jamie currently serves as a prevention coordinator for Johnson County Mental Health Center. She has over 15 years of experience in working with communities on adaptive change to address substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion by focusing on facilitating collaborative approaches to leverage resources addressing priority concerns to support optimal behavioral health outcomes.

Jamie is an internationally recognized credential as a certified prevention professional. She holds a Master’s degree in public health from University of Kansas Medical Center and a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and Jewish Studies from Indiana University – graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and With Honors in psychology.
Jamie enjoys spending time with family and friends, including her husband, two amazing children, and two dogs. She also enjoys working out, eating out, and cheering on the Indiana Hoosiers.

JCDW 2020 Endorsements

August 18, 2020

One hundred years ago today, the Tennessee State Legislature approved the 19th amendment to the constitution, finally establishing the right of women to  vote across the United States.

 The fight was long, its roots established well before the founding of this nation. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the women’s suffrage movement was fought state by state. A handbill published by Florence Luscomb in 1919 depicted the effort through three maps illustrating the movement’s progress over time, beginning in 1869 when only Wyoming guaranteed this right. At the bottom, the words “Finish the Fight” spurred readers into action.

Though women have had the right to vote for a century, the fight is not over. Voter suppression is alive and well, especially among people of color. Today, though we have worked hard to create a “more perfect” union, we know that the struggle continues. It never really ends, only changes shape, requiring us to be constantly adapting to new challenges.

Today, JCDW is proud to endorse candidates who we believe will continue to #finishthefight. These women and men will work for fairness, for justice, for the rights of women and minorities still being denied their share of the American Dream.

We hope you will join us in supporting these candidates.


For Kansas State Senate


Senate 6

Pat Pettey

Senate 7

Ethan Corson

Senate 8

Cindy Holscher

Senate 9

Stacey Knoell

Senate 10

Lindsey Constance

Senate 11

Joy Koesten

Senate 21

Dinah Sykes

Senate 23

Wendy Budetti

Senate 37

Becca Peck


For State Board of Education

District 2

Melanie Haas


For District Attorney 


Zach Thomas


Ethel Griffin

For Kansas House of Representatives

House 14 Angela Justus Schweller

House 15 Cole Fine
House 16 Linda Featherston
House 17 Jo Ella Hoye
House 18 Cindy Neighbor
House 19 Stephanie Sawyer Clayton
House 20 Mari-Lynn Poskin
House 21 Jerry Stogsdill
House 22 Lindsay Vaughn
House 23 Susan Ruiz
House 24 Jarrod Ousley
House 25 Rui Xu
House 26 Mike Shimeall
House 28 Sally Jercha
House 29 Brett Parker
House 30 Brandon Woodard
House 38 Sherri Grogan
House 43 Pam Finley
House 48 Jennifer Day
House 49 Katie Dixon
House 78 Kathy Meyer


*Johnson County Democratic Women endorse Democrats running for state and local offices who meet our endorsement criteria. If a candidate in your district is not listed here, it doesn’t mean we don’t support them. We want to see as many Democrats elected to the Kansas Legislature as possible to break the Republican super majority. Candidates who receive endorsements have joined our organization, attended our meetings, practiced their stump speeches on our members, and generally allowed us to get to know them well.

We do not endorse for President, US Senate, or US House of Representatives, though we encourage you to vote for Biden/Harris, Barbara Bollier, and Sharice Davids.

Dear Members,


JCDW North and South are pleased to announce we are donating over $20,000 to 2020 Johnson County candidates. The recent matching campaign was a huge success.

Over a 3 year period, we’ve jointly donated $44,000 to Johnson County local candidates. Nancy/Anne, how many JoCo candidates won their races over this period?

I am so pleased and proud of the passionate hard working men and women in our organizations that are working to flip JoCo blue!

To those of you that donated, worked, or attended a JCDW North or South fundraiser, thank you!

We are very excited and pleased! You all rock!



Becca PecK

President, JCDW South

Get your Mail-In Ballot!

The Johnson County Democratic Women recommend you request your advanced ballat as soon as possible and we have a very simple way to do that in Kansas (Missouri – not so much). Below is how you can APPLY for an advanced ballot application. You still need to fill it out and return it – but in Johnson County, Kansas they have USPS, FAX or Email. If you choose to mail it in please use a 55 cent stamp to apply first class postage.

A separate application must be submitted for each election unless the voter qualifies for permanently sick/disabled status.


Download the Advanced Ballot form here: https://tinyurl.com/y38qp6by

Snail Mail:
Johnson County Election Office
2101 E. Kansas City Road
Olathe, KS 66061

Or FAX: (913) 791-8931, (913) 791-8932 or
(913) 791-8933

Or Email: Scan (take a picture) and email the application to election@jocoelection.org. 


Download the form here:

Either Way, Snail Mail it is…
(use 55 cent stamps)


Or just take the Advanced Ballot to the Library –
any KCMO Public Library should be able to take it.


September Events

September 1st: Blood Drive at Jo Co Dems office. Appointment is required. 

September 12th: Johnson County Dems Virtual Breakfast Meeting 8:30-10:00 

Mark your Calendars!

The KFDW virtual state convention is October 2nd and 3rd. It will cost$10 per delegate and will be free to all other participants. House parties are encouraged! Watch the KFDW website for details. (KFDW.org)

We are the Johnson County Democratic Women, North and South

We are sister organizations, working together to engage women in politics and help get Democrats in Johnson County elected

North ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, August 6,  2020

Come at 6:30 to socialize or at 7:00 for the meeting!

Zoom link

Speaker TBA

South ZOOM Meeting

Thursday, August 20,  2020

Come at 6:00 to socialize or at 6:30 for the meeting!

Before the meeting, we highly recommend that you read White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.

Zoom link:

Special Guest: Dr. Robert Newby

Robert Newby is professor emeritus in the sociology, anthropology and social work department at Central Michigan University. Newby was a member of the department for about 20 years. Prior to his appointment at Central Michigan University, Dr. Newby was on the sociology faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Professor Newby received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1974.

Prior to academe, Dr. Newby worked as both a regional director and education specialist for the Michigan Commission on Civil Rights.

Dr. Newby taught public schools in Pontiac, Michigan after receiving his undergraduate degree from Wichita State University in music education.

Dr. Newby has published extensively on issues of race and class inequality.
He has served as president of the North Central Sociological Association, the Association of Black Sociologists and the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists.

Dr. Newby continues is now a columnist for a group of Michigan newspapers writing on issues of the day.


Dr. Newby is the father of Bukeka Bosede Blakemore of Lenexa and Makeda Hawk of Kansas City


Johnson County Democratic Women are hosting a GAME NIGHT!!!

Supporting Democratic candidates has never been more fun!

JOCO Dem Women South invites you to GAME NIGHT, an evening of fun, fantasy, cards, and laughter. Join us for ZOOM Rooms where you’ll find Cards Against Humanity, You Don’t Know JACK, HASBRO, and others!

Sign up now by donating to JCDW South. A donation of $20 or more gets you in the door, and we have MATCHING FUNDS FOR DONORS!

JCDW South has been given up to $5,000 – YES – $5,000 to match to your donation. So GIVE TILL IT HURTS as 2020 is going to be a whirlwind.

And, if you can, make it monthly to help elect MORE and MORE JOCO Democrats!

The ZOOM link will be sent after we receive your donation.

The more the Merrier – Join Game Night Today!

Sign Up



August 4th Primary

We have a primary election coming up on August 4th! Those of you who signed up for advanced ballots may already have received them — these can be dropped in the mail (they must be postmarked by August 4th and received no later than August 7th) or returned directly to the election office (by the election day).

If you haven’t registered to receive an advanced ballot you still have time!  Go to KSVotes.org and request your advanced ballot application. Requests end 7/28/2020 – so get your’s now!

You can look up your voter information or get a sample ballot at the Johnson County Election Office websitehere

Notice of Proposed Bylaws Change

Dear Members,

The Board of JCDW South is proposing amended bylaws, which will be voted on at our August 20th General Member Meeting. All Active and Lifetime Members are eligible to vote, and a simple majority passes the bylaws.

Holding elections during the height of campaign seasons has been a problem, and COVID is exacerbating the issue.

These changes primarily:

  • Decreased requirements for Board Members
  • Decreased the requirements for President
  • Decreased VP requirements
  • Changed to one signature due to covid.
  • Specified duties related to Treasurer
  • Added training to Planning Meeting
  • Changed date of our Annual Membership meeting to January so we can hold elections AFTER National/Local elections.

In addition, we will be holding a separate vote to ask the membership to extend all currently held Board positions to January to cover this Annual Membership Meeting gap.

Our CURRENT bylaws can be found on our website here.

Our NEW PROPOSED bylaws are located here.

The vote on approval of changes shall occur on Thursday, August 20th at our Monthly Meeting.

See you on Aug.20th!


Becca PecK

President, JCDW South

Membership Renewal August 1

Don’t forget to renew your membership to JCDW by August 1st. Candidates, your membership must be current to receive an endorsement. All other members, you must be current to be eligible to vote in elections. 

The easiest way to register is to click on the link in the reminder e-mail you were sent. To renew even without your email reminder, login to the “renewal” section of the KFDW website. A popup immediately reminds you to renew your membership. 

KFDW State Convention — Save the DATE!


Greetings KFDW Members!

Yes, we are having a virtual State Convention!

When: October 2nd-Executive Board Meeting
October 3rd-Business Meeting


While plans are still developing, we will likely split into Zoom “breakout rooms” to meet about specific issues members would like to discuss. Watch for our survey so you can have input about those topics.

*If you are an officer of a chapter whose members have not submitted emails to KFDW, please forward this information to your members.

Thank you,
Candace Ayars
President, KFDW

Our Newest Board Member

JCDW South would like to offer a warm welcome to our newest board member, Laura Wiltanger. Laura is the mother of three as well as a middle school teacher in the Olathe school district. She was raised in Olathe and is proud to call the area home, particularly as we watch the political landscape shift. She is eager to connect with like-minded women.

Laura has been appointed to fill the recently vacated position of secretary. 

Our PAC offers more than endorsements. Each month, we bring in interesting speakers to help inform an educate. We also offer candidate training and support. This is why JCDW membership, and especially board membership, can be a springboard into running campaigns or running for office.

We are still actively seeking a Vice President, Fundraising Chair, and Membership Chair. If you’re interested, please contact Allison Hougland at ahoug@kw.com. 

Forever the Free State Gala


This year’s Forever the Free State Gala will be held on August 23, 2020. Due to COVID-19, it will be online. You can learn more here