Community
5:57 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Conservative Advocacy Group Draws Protesters To Downtown Kansas City

Protestors, like disabled veteran Sara Campbell (at right), held signs across the street from ALEC's meeting in Kansas City, Mo. Chuck and Tina Tribble (left, and center) planned to stay until the meeting "broke for dinner."
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC, hosted two days of meetings on May 1 - 2, with about 600 legislative leaders at the Downtown Marriott in Kansas City, Mo. The council is a conservative advocacy group.

On Friday, protesters gathered across the street for a Stand Up to ALEC event.

"There were a couple hundred," estimated Kansas City Police Sgt. Simons. Shortly after the protest, Simons stood with two other officers near the entrance to the hotel. "We didn't do any official counting."

He added, "There were no arrests, no issues that I saw."

According to its website, ALEC "works to advance limited government, free markets, and federalism." Backed by corporations and conservative funders, the council writes "model legislation" on issues ranging from minimum wage, gun control, voting rights, and health care.

This legislation has been introduced by state legislators across the country, including in Kansas and Missouri.

A small group of protesters sat near the fountains at Barney Allis Plaza holding signs.

"My sign reads: 'Disabled vet. I need money to buy my own Congressman and Senator. Please help,'" said Sara Campbell, who served in the army.

Campbell said she doesn't like that there's the "same exact verbiage" from state to state in legislation written by ALEC.