The Great Divide
Determining economic and political
interdependence of rural and urban
communities within Kansas
Rural communities across Kansas have expressed increasing concerns about the “brain drain”, decline of retail establishments, and the potential loss of political representation to urban areas. Although urban cities are aware of these trends, few understand the economic implications on urban businesses, state government revenue, or the overall health of the state economy. This event will explore the reality of the trends, identify the economic linkages, and discuss how these changes might impact public policy and business demand.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex - Room 132
5015 East 29th Street North, Wichita KS 67220
(29th Street N & Oliver)
early registration has been extended
SPEAKERS - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 | The Great Divide
TENTATIVE AGENDA ITEM - Wednesday, May 22, 2019
|REGISTRATION / NETWORKING|
BENCHMARKING URBAN/RURAL TRENDS
This presentation will cover urban and rural demographic and economic trends. Benchmarking these trends will provide a clear picture of the state of rural communities in Kansas and set the background for the other presentations at the event.
CHANGING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT - REDISTRICTING
The next round of legislative redistricting promises to increase the representation of suburban areas in both the Kansas Legislature and Kansas's U.S. House delegation, with rural areas losing representation. Census projections predict a difficult challenge for state government in fulfilling its constitutional obligation to adjust district lines to match population growth and decline. With divided partisan control in Topeka a near-certainty during the Laura Kelly administration, Kansas is set for another chaotic round of redistricting debate in 2021.
CHANGING POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT - ROLE OF RURAL KANSAS
Kansas is a state with a mostly urban and suburban population, but with a rural heritage. The November 2018 elections saw a surge of suburban voting for Democrats, but conservative Republicans made gains as well. No matter what emerges from the 2019 Kansas Legislative Session, a stable coalition in state government will have to include rural support.
IDENTIFYING ECONOMIC LINKAGES
While rural and urban areas are geographically separated from each other, commerce connects them together. This presentation examines the connections between rural and urban counties in Kansas through retail sales.
EXPLORING INTERCONNECTIONS OF COMMUNITIES
CLOSING REMARKS / ADJOURN
Evan Habluetzel - Urban Rural Trends
Gentry Thiesen - Redistricting
Dr. Neal Allen - Role of Rural Kansas
Mike Busch - Identifying Economic Linkages
Pattie Bradley - Interconnections of Communities
Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Request for Accommodations
Please contact Jill.Johnson@wichita.edu to request an accommodation
for participating in the conference by April 22, 2019.