ABC News Launches National Tour in Wichita
After the recent inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, America is in the midst of a major transition. On Tuesday, Feb. 28, ABC News kicked off its new “Listening to America” national tour right here in Wichita. The tour is dedicated to sharing the thoughts and feelings of Americans across the nation in regards to the direction the our country is heading.
“ABC News reached out to Wichita,” said Megan Lovely, Communication Manager for the Mayor and City Council. “They wanted to start in Wichita because it’s the Heart of America and we’re one of the 50 largest cities in the country.”
An article from ABC regards Wichita as “an industrial hub that is commonly referred to as the 'Air Capital of the World' and is home to Koch Industries.”
An informal lunchtime interview panel was held at The Anchor, located at 1109 E. Douglas Ave. During the non-publicized event, six Wichitans were asked a series of questions regarding the country’s current political situation. According to Lovely, the selection process for interviewees was random.
“They [ABC] wanted a fair and balanced representation of views in Wichita. Schane Gross of the Anchor was instrumental in putting a call for participants out on Facebook,” Lovely said.
Gross Told ABC that she’s noticed an increase in political action in Wichita since President Trump took office.
“There wasn’t a lot of political activation that happened in Wichita while Obama was in the presidency, but with Trump being in the presidency there’s a lot of political activation," Gross told ABC News. "There are people who have never been involved with politics before that are stepping up and running for office or supporting people that are running for office that I’ve never seen before.”
“It’s great that Wichita is getting national attention not only for our position in the country but as a thought leader,” Lovely said.
Naomi Shapiro, Communications Director at The Anchor, expressed similar feelings.
“It’s nice to know that people outside of Wichita want to know what we’re thinking about and it’s nice to be on the national radar,” Shapiro said. “Part of the Anchor’s charm is that we really just go with the flow. We’re really proud to be part of the community. We welcome everyone, and we’re a place where people are allowed to speak their mind not matter what their political feelings are,” she added.
At 8 p.m. this evening (local time), President Trump will give his first major congressional address in which he will outline his plans for the nation. The address will stream live on abcnews.com/live.
An additional panel of diverse Wichitans will be featured in a nationally-broadcast town hall panel immediately following the address. Held at Wichita State University, the town hall will feature questions regarding the content of the address.