Wichita Young Professionals Group Pushes For Voter Engagement

Oct 25, 2017

A Wichita young professionals group says it wants more young residents getting involved in this year’s elections. Members met with city council candidates Tuesday night in one of the final weeks before Election Day.

The event was a chance for young voters to meet potential city leaders face-to-face: Brandon Johnson and Mike Kinard in District 1, William Stofer and incumbent James Clendenin in District 3, and Cindy Claycomb in District 6 (Sybil Strum did not attend).

“If we can get the young professionals to connect to the local elections and get them engaged and get them thinking about it, then when an event comes up or there’s an issue that comes up for the city council people, it’s really easy to contact them if you already know them," said Zach Wiggins, chair-elect of Young Professionals of Wichita.

Attendees of YPW's candidate meet-and-greet listen to a speaker during the event Tuesday.
Credit Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Wiggins says the group’s members could have an impact on next month’s elections, and on important local issues including new developments downtown and around the river as a way to attract and retain talent in Wichita.

"If young professionals are overwhelmingly wanting to say, 'We want this type of investment,' then we need to get the young people to start talking about it," he says.

Voter turnout has historically been low in local elections: 16 percent in 2015, and 6 percent in 2013.

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