Rep. Davids announces five federal grants for Wyandotte County

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., today announced five federal grants for Wyandotte County projects.

They were among 14 grants totaling $31.2 million in the 3rd District.

Each of the Davids-requested projects were submitted in tandem with local officials and selected for their potential to improve health and safety in the community, tackle climate change, and bring economic opportunity to the 3rd District, according to Rep. Davids’ office. Appropriations requests are subject to strict transparency and accountability rules.

• The University of Kansas Medical Center will receive $2,594,226 for the purchase of a new MRI scanner allowing community members to participate in the latest research studies for many years to come, and $2,956,507 for a CT scanner allowing researchers to obtain 3-D reconstructions of internal organs, a technology the KU Medical Center currently lacks.

“On behalf of the University of Kansas Medical Center, I would like to express our sincere thanks to Representative Davids for securing this funding,” said Dr. Robert D. Simari, executive vice chancellor for KU Medical Center. “These funds will be used to strengthen KU’s research capabilities, including access to cutting-edge medical equipment for researchers throughout Kansas. These types of medical innovations ensure that all Kansans can benefit from the latest research discoveries, clinical trials and treatment.”

• The Wyandotte County Public Health Department will receive $750,000 to increase access to mental and behavioral health services by integrating mental health services and funding new staff, helping reach more residents with better care.

• The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities will receive $3,707,250 for the purchase of an emergency electric back-up generator at the Nearman Water Treatment Plant, the primary water treatment facility in the event of electrical service disruptions.

• The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will receive $2 million for a Kaw Point Wastewater Treatment Plant project aimed at reducing both long-term operation costs and rates paid by the public.

“We are extremely grateful to Representative Davids for the continued support and funding,” said Interim County Administrator Cheryl Harrison-Lee. “This is an important investment in infrastructure that not only supports our community today but creates great potential for our economic development growth in the future.”

• The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will receive $1 million to address the aging infrastructure of parks in KCK. Specific upgrades include restoring rock work, improvements to shelters and play equipment, and rectifying issues with lighting for safety.

“We are excited and grateful to Representative Davids for the continued support of our parks,” expressed Unified Government Parks and Recreation director, Angel Ferrara. “Parks are a clear reflection of a community’s quality of life. They provide a sense of identity for residents and are an important factor in a community’s livability. Being able to repair and restore aspects of our parks to ensure every member of the community has equitable access to amenities, infrastructure and programming creates a better and safer community for our residents.”

Some of the grants in other parts of the 3rd District include: Olathe will receive $300,000 to upgrade technology in the Olathe Police Department, the city Police Command Post; the city of Shawnee will receive $126,750 to install solar panels at two Shawnee Fire Department locations; the city of Overland Park will receive $5. million for infrastructure upgrades to the College Boulevard Bridge in Overland Park, Kansas, and $4 million for the reconstruction of 167th Street from Switzer Road to Antioch Road; the city of Gardner will receive $3 million for their Gardner wastewater infrastructure project; the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will receive $4 million to help further incorporate battery electric buses into the already established RideKC network, which covers the urban and suburban regions of the bi-state Kansas City area; the city of Olathe will receive $750,000 to design a new dam and spillway approximately 900 feet downstream of the current Cedar Lake Dam.

  • Information from Rep. Davids’ office

Davids celebrates passage of same-sex marriage law

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, right, was at the signing of the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act. (Photo from Rep. Davids’ office)

U.S> Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., applauded bipartisan passage of legislation she introduced to enshrine marriage equality in federal law.

The Respect for Marriage Act passed both the U.S. House and Senate with bipartisan support and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Davids joined her colleagues to introduce the Respect for Marriage Act in July following Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs v Jackson, in which he stated that the Supreme Court “should reconsider” previous rulings codifying same-sex marriage protections. The Respect for Marriage Act repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and provides additional legal protections from attempts to undermine marriage equality at the state level.

“After the Dobbs decision, people across Kansas and the entire country felt fear and anxiety as many of our individual freedoms were called into question or outright stripped away,” Rep. Davids said. “That includes marriage equality for same-sex couples, which was explicitly threatened by Justice Thomas. I’m proud to have introduced legislation that will help lessen that fear and provide stability to so many families, and I applaud the bipartisan group of lawmakers who joined me to stand up for our rights.”

The Respect for Marriage Act will:

• Repeal DOMA. The Supreme Court effectively rendered DOMA inactive with its landmark decisions in United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges, but it did not repeal it, meaning the unconstitutional and discriminatory law still officially remains on the books. With passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, DOMA will finally be repealed.

• Enshrine Marriage Equality for Federal Law Purposes. The Respect for Marriage Act requires, for federal law purposes, that an individual be considered married if the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed, even if that state is not where the individual lives permanently. This gives same sex and interracial couples additional certainty that they will enjoy their Constitutional right to equal treatment under federal law—regardless of where they live.

• Provide Additional Legal Protections from Individuals Seeking to Undermine Marriage Equality While Acting Under Color of State Law. The bill prohibits any person acting under color of state law from denying full faith and credit to an out-of-state marriage based on the sex, race, ethnicity or national origin of the individuals in the marriage, provides the Attorney General with the authority to pursue enforcement actions, and creates a private right of action for any individual harmed by a violation of this provision.

The Respect for Marriage Act is strongly supported by leading national organizations including: ACLU, Center for American Progress, Equality Federation, Family Equality, Freedom for All Americans, GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Women’s Law Center, and PFLAG National.

  • Information from Rep. Davids’ office

Rep. Davids elected vice chair of New Democrat Coalition

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist. (File photo)

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-3rd Dist., has been elected vice chair of the New Democrat Coalition.

The New Democrat Coalition, one of the largest Democratic caucuses in the House, represents 96 members of Congress who have set a goal of bridging the gap between parties, passing pro-economic growth, pro-innovation and fiscally responsible policies.

“A commitment to finding common ground and addressing everyday issues is how we got so much done this session, from the bipartisan infrastructure law to lowering health care costs to boosting domestic manufacturing. New Dems have been at the table and leading the charge on all of those efforts,” Rep. Davids said in a news release. “I’m honored to have the support of this pragmatic group of lawmakers, and I look forward to continuing that progress in the next session.”

It is her second term in the NDC, where she was vice chair of member services last year.

She worked with the NDC to pass the bipartisan infrastructure law and the major, bipartisan manufacturing law. The caucus has also addressed inflation, releasing an action plan that was praised as the “best plan yet” to lower costs for American families.