Woman's Legacy Inspires Political Movement in KC
By: Cynthia Newsome
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new group in Kansas City is trying to maximize the influence black women have in politics.
Shirley's Kitchen Cabinet is a new non-profit in Kansas City inspired by the life and legacy of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
"We do not suffer from interest and participation," said Michele Watley, founder of Shirley's Kitchen Cabinet.
"We are one of the largest consistent voting blocks in politics; but we need to go beyond the ballot box to get involved in city government, local school boards and community organizations, to be a voice at the table making decisions and influencing decisions on issues that impact black women, their families and their neighborhoods," said Watley.
Team captains with Shirley's Kitchen Cabinet are assigned to different zones in the community to get people to register to vote. Since March, they have registered 200 people to vote in Kansas City.
Shirley's Kitchen Cabinet does not endorse candidates. They simply organize people to connect them to the political process. They have identified four key areas revealed in a survey that are important to African American women in Kansas City, which mirrored a national survey of Black women.
Those issues are:
Health and Vitality
The organization is hosting a Free Heartland Legislative Forum on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m. at Colonial Presbyterian Church, 9500 Wornall Road in Kansas City, Missouri. To register online, click here.
The mission of Shirley's Kitchen Cabinet is to get 5,000 African American women positioned to fully step into advocacy and wield collective power to create, influence and challenge the trajectory of public policy to benefit black women and the world.