September 2019 Newsletter

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.

It’s September in Kansas, and you know what that means…Sunflowers! If you need a little Zen break this month, check out either Grinter Farms near Lawrence or Berry Hill Upick Farm Sunflowers near Topeka.


September Speakers

North Meeting

When: September 5th, 6:30pm (6:00-6:30 for networking)

Where: Lucky Brewgrille, 5401 Johnson Drive, Mission, KS 66205

 Our candidates have all been invited to join us at our September 5th meeting for our annual Speed Dating with Candidates. This involves each candidate moving around the room, visiting with small groups for about 5 minutes each. It’s a fun and personable way to get to know your candidates!

South Meeting

When: Thursday, September 19th at 6:30

Where: Old Shawnee Pizza, 19617 W 101st St, Lenexa, KS 66220

Our guest speaker in September will be Angela Williams, an immigration attorney in Kansas City.

Angie is an immigration and criminal defense attorney in Private practice in Kansas City. She works primarily in the area of removal defense and federal criminal cases and also advises defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal activity.


Going to meetings is a great way to meet like minded friends, get new and important information, and meet the leaders in our community who are making a difference! And, it’s just really fun! Please join us!

Contact us if you have any questions: Anne Pritchett, President, JCDW North, 913.940.4414 or Becca Steffens Peck, President, JCDW South, 913.634.0506.

Notes from Lynn Horsley

(If you missed the JCDW North August meeting, Lynn was kind enough to write a summary of our very important discussion on local media and politics in Johnson County.)

Lynn Horsley of The Kansas City Star.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to address the group August 1 and it was great speaking with you. To recap my key points:

I took a buyout from The Kansas City Star in March, and I’m trying to figure out the next phase of my life. But for 30 years I was a reporter at The Star and I really loved it. I covered the Kansas City School District, then City Hall in KCMO for 19 years and then I started covering Johnson County in Sept. 2017. I was pleased when your group president, Anne Pritchett, reached out to me. We met decades ago when I covered the KC School District and she was a teacher. Now she saw I was covering JOCO, and she shared her insights about Johnson County politics.

I really enjoyed covering Johnson County and I didn’t think I would. It’s full of vibrant communities, with smart, engaged and active citizens who kept me on my toes. I must confess that when I covered KCMO for 19 years I thought Johnson County was an afterthought. And I think many people in JOCO consider KC to be an afterthought, or worse. But really, both sides are wrong and both sides of the state line need each other. More leaders need to realize that. Kansas City’s new mayor, Quinton Lucas, has said he will  prioritize regionalism, and let’s hope he does. With the new bi-state agreement to avoid tax incentives for poaching jobs across state lines, perhaps politicians on both sides are realizing that this area benefits far more when everyone works together than when they work at cross purposes.

Other regions that already realize this are eating our lunch in terms of growth and progress.

Take Denver for example. Their suburbs realize the value of the city. They also have regional funds, ie for transportation. And see what a difference it has made, with light rail from Littleton to Denver and even out to the Denver airport. Johnson County transit is making baby steps to work with Kansas City, and here’s hoping they can build on that, with micro transit and other strategic investments.

With regards to the local media scene, it’s obvious that it’s fragile. The Star’s reporting ranks have dwindled severely in the past 10 years, but it remains the most vital and influential source of local reporting. The Star has just hired Sarah Ritter to cover Johnson County, so please watch for her stories. You can reach out to her at

The Star also has excellent statehouse reporters in Kansas and Missouri. Watch for Jonathan Shorman’s stories from Topeka and Jason Hancock’s reports in both Kansas and Missouri.

Another great source of Johnson County news is the Shawnee Mission Post, which is well worth a subscription. During this upcoming political season, local news has never been more important, and it really needs the community’s support.

This next year in politics is going to be amazing to experience. The U.S. Senate race from Kansas will be watched nationally. It will also be interesting to see how Sharice Davids navigates the delicate balance of following her principles but also being pragmatic in a red state. She’s facing pressure not just from Republicans but from progressives.

In Johnson County, key issues to watch will be the debate over non-discrimination ordinances, ongoing battles over development in neighborhoods and the need for more affordable housing. Another crucial issue will be the big box store commercial appraisal appeals that will make their way through the courts. Those appeals could lower commercial property taxes, with possibly major consequences for schools and other government services.

I’ll end on a personal note. I took a buyout from The Star but I’m not retiring. I’m just rebooting. Anne Pritchett gave me an excellent piece of advice for anyone making a major life change. She said Don’t retire FROM something. Have something to retire TO. So if you are planning to retire this year, or next year, or in the next 30 years, think ahead to your plan B. Retirement or semi-retirement can be wonderful or it can be unsettling. Make the most of it and make it as fulfilling as you can.


2019 Candidate Endorsements


JCDW North and JCDW South each go through a totally separate and independent candidate endorsement selection process. All questions about endorsements should be directed to each caucus president.  For the 2019 General Election, both caucuses are endorsing the following candidates:











We are very grateful to all of our members who support our fundraising! We are able to make donations to candidates because you buy our buttons, raffle tickets, and tickets to our events. Your support is greatly appreciated! –Anne Pritchett, President JCDW North

September Events

Flip it Blue

JCDW South is at it again, hosting their second annual Flip it Blue Barbecue! This is one of two fundraisers they host for the year and all proceeds to go towards Johnson County Democratic candidates. For more information and to purchase tickets, go HERE!


Old Settlers Days

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Can you spare a couple of hours to staff barricades at the Old Settlers Days in Olathe? All proceeds for this service will go to fund candidates.

Follow the link to reserve your preferred time slot(s). The festival runs from September 5th – 7th.

If you are unable to participate this year, we understand and thank you for all you do.

Thank you for supporting South JCDW and our Johnson County candidates!

Red Cross Blood Drive

Blood donors, we need you on Tuesday, September 3! If you’ve never donated but want to help, you are needed. The Johnson County Democratic Party is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive at their office from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. 8971 W 75th St. You can make an appointment at the link below. Enter 66204 as the zip code and scroll down to September 3. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Children’s Mercy Donations

Thank you to all who have donated coloring books for Children’s Mercy Hospital! JCDW members are always so generous!




Forever the Free State Gala

For more information about the annual gala benefiting Johnson County Democrats and to register go HERE.

Sunset in the Flint Hills of Kansas with Cattle grazing in the far background.


Watch THIS SPACE for updates about speakers, workshops, sponsorship details and opportunities to come. Registration will open November 1, 2019. Those interested in being a part of this exciting planning committee should contact Hollie Niblett at

The Communicator

Newsletter of the National Federation of Democratic Women

In this newsletter:

President’s Message

Convention Pictures

National News

Suffragette History Calendar

State Reports

From NFDW President, Cindy Jenks

New York hosted a fabulous convention in Albany! We were warmly welcomed by the New York Convention Committee. The Desmond Hotel was charming and the speakers and workshops were inspiring. Kudos to Donna Schick and her Convention Committee for their hard work in preparing to host our 48th NFDW Convention. The tour to the Roosevelt properties was inspirational and special, with several members of the Roosevelt family there to welcome us and give us some history about the homes and the Roosevelt family. Everyone had a wonderful time and New York did themselves proud. READ MORE…

Great News!

August saw another Johnson County city pass an NDO-that’s “non discrimination ordinance” for those of us who don’t do acronyms. Way to go, Shawnee!



Overland Park, you’re up next.

From Brett Hoedl of Equality Kansas:

For those following along on the Non-Discrimination Ordinance push in our local cities…Overland Park is up next. I will be traveling next week but if you live in Overland Park or own a business in Overland Park it is extremely important to let the council know you want to see OP be the next city that passes LGBTQ protections.

This will be heard in the Community Development Committee at 7PM next Wednesday Sept 4th at Overland Park City Hall.

The ask would be to have them vote to send a recommendation to the full City Council to pass a comprehensive NDO.

I would hope that the City Attorneys have started looking at drafting the Ordinance. They have a multitude of NDOs to base it on. The Shawnee NDO that passed earlier this week is a good example.

We need to be asking for a speedy process. Folks have been asking for this in Overland Park for close to a year now and this is the first opportunity the Council has allowed it to come up for discussion. Ask to follow Shawnee’s lead and get it done quickly.

If you can’t make it please email the entire CD Committee and let them know you support this:

Are you a candidate, campaign worker or party activist who'd like to learn some new skills?

Watch this video to see what the National Democratic Training Committee is all about…


The National Democratic Training Committee ( is hosting a training session for local Democrats on September 7th, 9-4:30, in Kansas City, Missouri. All local Democrats are welcome to attend.  To register for his training, go HERE.