Going backward on voting rights
Women did not gain the right to vote until 95 years ago – after 70 years of struggle. Now it seems that we are going backward on voting rights with recently passed restrictive voting laws.
Kansas was the first state to allow women to vote for anything. Wichita had the first League of Women Voters chapter. Unfortunately, such progressive thinking and vision are becoming a thing of the past with barriers to voting becoming the norm – again.
The league will remind the citizens about the 95 years of female voting by celebrating with an exciting event at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Wichita State University Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 29th Street North and Oliver. This event will remind the public of the importance of living in a country with the right to vote – no matter your gender.
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Former Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger will speak, and former Sen. Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker will be in attendance. Baker was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate on her own merit. Do we see a pattern of firsts for the state of Kansas?
The league asks citizens to remind their legislators of Kansas’ progressive history and urge them to make voting as accessible as possible.
League of Women Voters-Wichita/Metro
I have been a regular user of the facilities of Health Strategies for more than 14 years, and was taken aback when I heard of the potential closing (Aug. 6 Business Today). The nonprofit operators of the club, Life Strategies Foundation, have been most guarded in releasing information to members.
Health Strategies started as a facility for Wesley Medical Center employees, but when the new building was opened in 1988, physician Cramer Reed specifically targeted seniors throughout the community. To this day Health Strategies is one of the few gyms in Sedgwick County that welcomes an older population. It has special exercise and swim classes and makes a conscious effort to tailor or adapt classes for those with varying abilities. There also is a dietitian who can discuss general health and diet issues and free health-monitoring machines.
We constantly read and see that there is an aging population, and Health Strategies is the model of a facility that encourages those citizens to keep as healthy as possible.
The social aspect of Health Strategies cannot be underestimated. It encourages social intercourse among the members. It even provides free coffee. I can think of no other club that routinely sees a 90-year-old exercising, and has an instructor older than 92. Gym members routinely support one another.
There has been an ongoing loss of members. No doubt younger users have migrated to newer, larger and better-maintained facilities. But as they age they will also want gyms such as Health Strategies.
JOHN M. DAVIS
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