Now more than ever, voters want information about local and state elected officials and candidates. At the same time, electeds and candidates who want to say one thing - and do another while in office - don’t want their votes and views publicized. They certainly don’t want their billionaire backers exposed. So Stand Up Blue Valley has been an ongoing target of misinformation - because we regularly publicize key votes, actions, and statements of elected officials working *against* our BV students and FOR special interests like Americans For (Koch) Prosperity. Here’s some real information you may find helpful, especially if you’re a new follower.
Q: Who is Stand Up Blue Valley? A: We’re a group of Blue Valley parents and patrons who volunteer our time to closely follow key issues impacting our BV students and their schools. We track votes, read in-depth about education-related matters, study campaign finance reports, attend meetings and forums, listen to hours of the Kansas Legislature on its live-feed, attend School Board meetings, talk to community leaders...and boil down ALL that information for the benefit of Blue Valley voters. Most of us moved here for the schools, we care about them (along with our property values), and want to keep our neighborhood public schools strong.
Q: How many paid staff do you have? A: LOL. None. We are all volunteers.
Q: Did you really think you could take on candidates funded and supported by anti-public education billionaires? A: In 2015, the foundation of SUBV was laid during a local BV school board race. Americans for Prosperity promoted a candidate for BV School Board. Several community members organized to defeat that candidate, and some of us committed to stay together and be ready for the upcoming legislative election. That’s how Stand Up Blue Valley was formed. In 2016, we educated our community about legislators who were claiming to support our kids and their schools…but then voting to cut funding and give our tax money to private schools. The BV community listened, and it made them mad, and they voted for the interests of our kids and their schools. Maybe we were naive; maybe we don’t have much sense to battle billionaires. They have yachts, we drive mini-vans. But we haven’t gone away and we plan to keep up the fight for our community’s kids.
Q: What’s your relationship with the school district and school board?
A: We are parents of kids who attend BV schools, BV community members; some of us are graduates of BV Schools. That’s it. We have no ties to the district, any more than any other BV residents. None of us are district employees, or related to district employees. We support pro-BV school board candidates, and we oppose candidates who will not work for the best interests of our kids and their schools. ProTip: Candidates financially backed by Koch Industries and its associated Americans For Prosperity (AFP), Kansas Policy Institute (KPI), The Kansas Chamber (NOT a chamber of commerce) virtually never vote in the interests of our BV students and their schools.
Q: What’s your relationship to the “Teacher’s Union”? A: NONE. Anyone who claims we work for, represent, take money from, or meet with, the BVEA or KNEA (which aren’t “Unions” BTW) is lying.
Q: I heard that SUBV has a liberal agenda? A: We have endorsed both Republicans and Democrats for public office, since 2016. We endorse pro-BV student, pro-community candidates. We don’t know why that would be characterized as a “liberal agenda.”
Q: Where do you get your money?
A: SUBV receives donations from parents, patrons, business owners, retirees, BV alumni, and teachers, who support our mission. They moved here for the schools, too, and they want to help elect legislators, school board members, city, county, and state officials, who value our local schools like we do. We deliberately decided to structure as a political action committee (PAC) from Day One, which means we report our donations just like candidates do. We could’ve structured as a dark-money (501) organization, like AFP and KPI. But we chose not to. We are highly critical of the influence of dark-money groups in our local elections.
Q: Do candidates pay you to support them? A: No. Some donors who agree with our mission happen to be, or have been, or become, candidates and elected officials. Most are not.
Q: If these answers are true, it seems like I’ve seen a lot of people, groups, and local politicians lying about SUBV. A: Our answer comes in the form of a question back to you: Why would politicians lie about Stand Up Blue Valley? Why would people and groups spread lies and try to discredit us? If you look at what these sources all have in common, and THEIR agendas, you’ll find your answer.