Former Kansas lawmaker John Wilson to join advocacy group

State Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, stands with his wife, Jami Jones, on the House floor to announce his resignation from the 10th District House seat on June 26, 2017.

? Former state Rep. John Wilson of Lawrence will soon join an advocacy group that lobbies the Kansas Legislature on children’s health and welfare issues.

Kansas Action for Children announced Thursday that Wilson will join that group as vice president for advocacy, starting in September.

Wilson, a Democrat, resigned his House seat in June, saying he needed to devote more time to his family and career. The announcement from KAC came the day after his successor, Eileen Horn, was sworn into office.

For the past 11 years, Wilson has worked for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national nonprofit organization that works to battle childhood obesity.

“So many factors influence the health and well-being of kids. It’s going to take all of us — lawmakers, schools, businesses, families, and communities — working together to make Kansas better, and KAC is uniquely positioned to facilitate that,” Wilson said in a news release announcing his new position.

State Rep. John Wilson, D-Lawrence, stands with his wife, Jami Jones, on the House floor to announce his resignation from the 10th District House seat on June 26, 2017.

In the news release, KAC said Wilson will direct the group’s communications, research and government relations strategy, “to build statewide support for policies that improve the lives of all Kansas kids.”

KAC executive director Annie McKay said Wilson will not be directly involved in lobbying the Legislature. Amanda Gress, KAC’s director of government relations, will continue in that role.

“John joins KAC at a critical time in our state’s history,” McKay said in the news release. “His experience and leadership will be necessary as we begin the hard work of restoring programs and services for children and families, and — equally important — as we restore the belief that Kansas is a place where all children and families can prosper.”