TOPEKA (KSNT) – A non-profit that transcribes interviews with government officials is hosting a seminar for community members to better understand how legislators make policies.
The Kansas Oral Historical Project, Inc. (KOHP) is inviting the public to listen in on interviews and ask questions to the interviewers about their findings. People can listen to four oral history collections “Diverse Voices in Public Policy” and “Kansas Courts and the Rule of Law”, according to a press release from the KOHP.
Other collections include “Kansas Governors and Notable Kansans”, which will have interviews from Governors Bill Graves, Kathleen Sebelius and Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum. Finally, “Statehouse Conversations”, which has eight new interviews including Majority Leader Jim Denning and Democrat Leader Anthony Hensley.
Leaders of the organization say viewing these collections and hearing from those who interviewed policy makers will help people see the challenges Kansas leaders face.
“Both of these new collections are remarkable for the insights gained about the challenges key Kansas leaders faced in formulating or implementing public policy,” said Dr. Ramon Powers, President of the Kansas Oral History Project.
“Jim Denning’s candid comments about why Medicaid expansion never passed provide historians and journalists useful information about major issues of the day.”
“Diverse Voices in Public Policy” contains 10 interviews with former legislators, cabinet officials or other well-known policy makers. Interviewers discuss issues like race, ethnicity, gender and what challenges minority groups face.
“Kansas Courts and the Rule of Law” will have 12 interviews in the series. State and federal judges retired Supreme Court Justices. Other court personnel and legislators will discuss how legislature is changing and a basic understanding of the judiciary system.
The seminar is open to anyone and will be June 2 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kansas Capitol Visitors Center Auditorium.
The KOHP has been operating since 2015. According to its website, the organization is dedicated to “preserving and providing access to the voices of Kansans in all walks of life including those in public policymaking. The goal of this organization is to produce civic education materials to schools and community members, to help everyone get the knowledge to understand what’s being discussed by the policy makers in Kansas.