Capitol Update: Rep. Heather Meyer humbled by opportunity to ‘be the change’ in Topeka

"This is the “People’s House” after all, and you deserve to be seen, heard, and respected, even if we don’t see eye to eye on every issue," writes Rep. Heather Meyer in this week's Capitol Update column.

Each week during the 2022 Kansas legislative session, we will provide Shawnee Mission area legislators the opportunity to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol.

Below is this week’s submission from Democratic Rep. Heather Meyer of Kansas House District 29, which covers a segment of Overland Park. She was appointed last year to fill the seat for the remainder of the current term when former Rep. Brett Parker resigned.  

Coming into the legislature mid-session has been an exciting introduction to serving in public office, especially amid a pandemic.

Thankfully, as both a social worker and a mom (as well as a studious policy wonk), this level of organized chaos isn’t new to me. For most of my life I’ve looked to our leaders to create legislation to protect and enrich our communities, watched as they did the hard work of navigating a difficult landscape and pushed for change as a constituent.

Now I’m humbled by the opportunity to truly “be the change” and am looking forward to sacrificing a little sleep to do the hard work on your behalf.
I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk.

As I walk through the halls of our beautiful capitol building, I pay reverence to the history contained within these walls, by remembering that I am here to represent your voice and your will. This is the “People’s House” after all, and you deserve to be seen, heard, and respected, even if we don’t see eye to eye on every issue.

While I bring my own unique experiences and perspectives to representing our district, the most important part of my job is listening to the stories each of you share, carrying them with me to every committee meeting and holding them in my heart as I cast my votes on the floor.

So far, I have co-sponsored two bills, and three resolutions, for which Kansans in my district have expressed support for:

  • HB2487: which eliminates the food sales tax
  • HB2540: which authorized a memorial for Kansas Gold Star families;
  • HCR5024: which proposes to amend the constitution of the state of Kansas to expand Medicaid
  • HCR5025: a constitutional amendment legalizing the recreational use of marijuana
  • and HCR5026: a constitutional amendment authorizing the medicinal use of marijuana. \

Additionally, I voted against SB 355, otherwise known as the “Ad Astra 2” map, which attempts to usurp the will of the people by gerrymandering our congressional districts and dividing our community.

I have also signed on to co-sponsor several other bills, which I look forward to sharing with you as soon as they are formally introduced.

While I may still be getting my sea legs when it comes to navigating the inner dynamics of life at the Capitol, I am confident I am doing the work of the people by listening to your voice and representing you in the best way I can-with honesty, transparency, and grit. I look forward to hearing from you as the session continues!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any of your concerns. Email me: heather.Meyer@house.ks.gov or call me at my office: 785-296-5413 or on my cell at: 913-735-0304.

Ad Astra per aspera!