Kansans with Causes: Rally at Capitol kicks off legislative session

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hundreds of people from across the state gathered in the Capitol on the first full day of the 2019 Kansas legislative session to make sure their voices are being heard.

Speaker after speaker came up to the podium at Tuesday’s third annual “People’s State of the State” rally to talk about issues they believe are important to Kansas.

"I'm a Dreamer, a DACA recipient, so someone who lives in the shadows of the fear of immigration, having possibly my family ripped apart at any moment," Sarahi Aguilera, immigration justice organizer for Sunflower Community Action, said. "It's great to be that voice and be able to stand up for people who might be afraid."

Hours after signing her first executive order, Gov. Laura Kelly spoke to advocates for legislative change.

"There will be a totally different attitude across the state in terms of the needs of people all across the state, regardless of who they are, where they're from, what their economic status is,” Kelly said. “We are all Kansans, and we will take care of one another."

Tuesday’s event was put together by the Kansas People's Agenda.

Alejandro Rangel-Lopez, a student at Dodge City High School, addressed voting rights, specifically in western Kansas.

"My main message is that change can come from the people, and change can come from anywhere, even from an 18-year-old,” Rangel-Lopez said. “That's mainly what I want to do, and spur activism, so that people can be their own saviors if they see an issue in their community."

In addition to speeches, attendees at the rally gave spoken word and musical performances touching on key issues facing the legislature this year.