News Briefs

Location, other details released for Kansas redistricting town halls

By: - November 17, 2021 1:04 pm

A crowd of about 100 attend the first redistricting town hall Aug. 9, 2021, at the Kansas State University student union in Manhattan. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas legislative staff released details Wednesday about how to participate in upcoming public meetings on redistricting.

Lawmakers are gathering input before redrawing congressional and legislative boundaries in the upcoming session, and plan to listen by live video feeds to public comments from four virtual town halls.

GOP leaders previously announced they would hold the virtual town halls in response to criticism about the first round of public meetings in August. Those meetings were announced on short notice, and held during working hours at a time when census data had yet to be released.

The information about where to go and how to submit comments for the new round of meetings arrives less than a week before the first town hall, which will coincide with an unrelated special legislative session.

To participate in the upcoming meetings, residents must call or email the Kansas Legislative Research Department at 785-296-3181 or [email protected] at least 24 hours in advance. Written testimony will be accepted at the same email address up until the start of the 2022 session in January.

The meetings will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with public comment at the following locations.

Nov. 22

  • Atchison County Emergency Operations Center, 10443 U.S. Highway 59 in Atchison.
  • Prairie Band Casino and Resort, Council Bluffs and Chicago rooms, 12305 150th Road in Mayetta.
  • Ottawa City Hall, city commission chambers, 101 S. Hickory in Ottawa.
  • Memorial Hall Civic Center, 410 N. Pennsylvania Ave. in Independence.

Nov. 23

  • Emporia State University, memorial union veterans hall of honor, 1331 Market Street in Emporia.
  • Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, board room, 1125 Williams Street in Great Bend.
  • Seward County Commission, commission chambers, 515 N. Washington Ave. in Liberal.
  • Kansas Municipal Utilities Auditorium, 2090 E. Avenue A in McPherson.

Nov. 29

  • Meridian Center, SP2 and 3, 1420 E. Broadway Court in Newton.
  • El Dorado Civic Center, 201 E. Central Ave. in El Dorado.

Nov. 30

  • First Baptist Church, 19950 Broadmoor Lane in Stilwell.
  • Bonner Springs City Hall, city council meeting room, 200 E. 3rd Street in Bonner Springs.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the editor in chief of Kansas Reflector. He writes about things that powerful people don't want you to know. A two-time Kansas Press Association journalist of the year, his award-winning reporting includes stories about education, technology, foster care, voting, COVID-19, sex abuse, and access to reproductive health care. Before founding Kansas Reflector in 2020, he spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2004, back when the school still valued English and journalism. He was raised in the country at the end of a dead end road in Lyon County.