Visit to SW Kansas

The Kansas Democratic Party has been making strong efforts to engage Kansas Latino organizations and communities to better understand the issues we shareKansas Dems in common. To those ends we have recently hired Carlos Lugo to serve as our new Hispanic Outreach and Field Director.

Carlos has already begun meeting with and listening to local activists about how we should move forward. Just last weekend, the Kansas City Star highlighted Carlos’s recent efforts and outlined what Kansas Democrats are doing to prepare for 2014 and beyond.

And now Carlos is taking his show on the road.

All week long, Carlos will be touring southwest Kansas with Kerry Gooch, the KDP’s political director, to better understand the issues facing this fast growing region. And during their time on the road, Kerry and Carlos will be providing us with updates about where they’ve been and who they’ve met with this week. Check back in to see just what the KDP is doing to make sure all Kansans’ voices are heard.

Day 1: Dodge City

We couldn’t visit southwest Kansas without first visiting Boot Hill Cemetary. So that’s where we started our week long adventure.

Boot Hill

We took this photo in Dodge City on Tuesday at the Boot Hill museum. We stopped by the parlor in the museum and had a few “Sapsaparillas”. Sapsaparillas were the first form of root beer and can only be found now in a few places. The Boot Hill museum is built at the base of a old and very famous cemetery. Every year people travel all over the world to visit Dodge City and this museum which were made famous because of the long running tv show “Gun Smoke”.

Day 2: Liberal, Kansas

Our second day on the road started with a meeting with Kay Burtzloff, Executive Director of the Seward County United Way.

Kay Burtzloff

In addition to working as the Executive Director of the Seward County United Way, Kay also serves as the Secretary of the Seward County Democratic Party. Kay informed us of all the programs United Way works on in the community and made suggestions about what other local community leaders and activists we should contact during our trip or on subsequent return visits.

Kay also asked us to give her a quick Votebuider training. Even when we’re out of the office, we can’t get away from Votebuilder! Votebuilder has never been used in Seward County and Kay’ enthusiasm and excitment showed when she started learning about all the great tools Votebuilder can provide county party volunteers and staff.

Following this great meeting, we met up with Don Chewy, a strong advocate for southwest Kansas and a great guy. Don Chewy showed us around Liberal and introduced us to local small business owner Patricia Alfalo.

Don Chewy Patricia Alfalo

Patricia could not have been more accomodating and was kind enough to show us around her thrift store that provides clothes and other items for very low prices in Liberal, Kansas. Patricia’a store is an important part of the Hispanic community and serves a many local families. As a small business owner, Patricia is one of the growing number of Hispanic store owners in Liberal who try to provide goods and services for low and discounted rates because of the low wages many people in the community are paid.