I’m proud to call Kansas home and raise my family here. My mother’s family, the Lewis’s, have deep Kansas roots - specifically in Barton and Rush County, and my great-grandfather Lewis grazed cattle on the Cheyenne Bottoms in the late 1800s, as a young boy. The original Lewis forebears lived in a dirt dugout when they first were pioneers in the late 1860s. I’m pioneer stock, and I’m deeply honored by the opportunities we all have now because of the hard work our ancestors did on our behalf.
Though I was born in Illinois, and raised in Missouri, Kansas was always on my mind. I’d heard stories from my elders on their childhoods and old home in Kansas, and I always wished to return. I had the opportunity to do so in 2004, as my soon-to-be husband was finishing up at KU, and I first worked in a pharmaceutical lab, and then for the State of Kansas. A 12-year veteran of the State of Kansas workforce in environmental water quality, I became active in KOSE in 2012, because I looked around my workplace and saw all kinds of things I knew were wrong – and I wanted to be able to fight them and make a difference with my Union. Like many employees of the State of Kansas, when I started I wasn’t even aware we HAD a Union until later on – and that’s one of the most important things we can work together to change – growing and gaining, together.
After I joined I never looked back, becoming a steward almost immediately, then the KOSE Board Secretary in 2015, and then as the KOSE President in 2017. Activism and shining the light on what’s REALLY going on is the cornerstone of organized Labor – and I’ve learned and grown with the absolute best Union members ever. We are #KOSEStrong, to be sure.
I’m proud of our Union and our members – it’s our shared diversity and shared goals of positive change that makes us so strong and so formidable. The past years under Brownback were hurtful for ALL Kansans – but especially state employees. State employees do the work that every Kansas depends on, and while we have great challenges to face and move forward with, I can think of no one better for the job than KOSE members.
I’m lucky to be here – and I never forget who makes that possible – every single one of you.
Have a question? Concerns to air? Questions about membership and what that entails? Call me at (785) 354-1174, or on my cell phone at (785) 691-8857. KOSE members and their needs are my priority.