Oletha Faust-Goudeau

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Oletha Faust-Goudeau
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 29th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2009
Preceded byDonald Betts
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 84th district
In office
January 26, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded byDonald Betts
Succeeded byGail Finney
Personal details
Born (1959-08-05) August 5, 1959 (age 61)[1]
Wichita, Kansas
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceWichita, Kansas
Occupationcommunity activist

Oletha Faust-Goudeau is a Democratic member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 29th district (central/northeast Wichita) since 2009 -- the first African-American woman in the Kansas Senate.[2] Most recently, she is the Senate Assistant Minority Leader.[3]

She was previously a Kansas Representative, serving from her appointment in 2004 until 2009.[4][5]

She is a community activist from Wichita.

Early life and education[edit]

Born August 5, 1959 in Wichita, Kansas,[6] Faust-Goudeau is one of five children of Oretha Faust,[4] a prominent inner-city Wichita community activist and politician.[7]

Faust-Goudeau studied pre-law at Wichita State University,[6][8] and became a photographer and community activist.[6]

Kansas House of Representatives[edit]

In 2002, she ran for the seat of retiring Kansas State Representative Jonathan Wells, representing the 84th District (inner-city Wichita) -- but was defeated by fellow Democrat Donald Betts. However, in 2003, Betts was appointed to fill a state senate vacancy, and by a vote of precinct committeemen and committeewomen, Faust-Goudeau was appointed to fill Betts' vacant seat in the Kansas House of Representatives. In 2004, she was elected to the seat, becoming the first African-American woman elected to represent the district.[4][5] In 2006, she was re-elected to the seat.[4]

Kansas Senate[edit]

In 2008, Faust-Goudeau was elected to the Kansas Senate, representing the 29th District (Wichita) -- becoming, upon inauguration in 2009, the first African-American woman in the state senate's history, and one of the only two African-Americans in the Kansas Senate (as of January 2016).[4][9] She is currently Senate Assistant Minority Leader.[2]

She was re-elected by wide margins in 2012,[4] 2016 (unopposed),[10] and 2020.[11][12]

Her 29th Senate district -- predominantly inner-city central/north-central and northeast Wichita -- includes most of the minority neighborhoods -- and the city's poorest people, along with its richest.[4][13]

Committee assignments[edit]

Faust-Goudeau serves on these legislative committees:[4][14]

  • Ethics and Elections
  • Federal and State Affairs
  • Joint Committee on Arts and Cultural Resources
  • Joint Committee on Children's Issues
  • Commerce
  • Joint Committee on Economic Development
  • Local Government

Major donors[edit]

Some of the top contributors to Faust-Goudeau's 2008 campaign, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics:[15]

Kansas National Education Association, Kansans for Lifesaving Cures, KTLA Consumer Civil Justice, Kansas Contractors Association, AT&T

Labor interests were her largest donor group.


Faust-Goudeau characterizes herself as a "Republicrat," representing her district's voters regardless of party.[2] Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley has characterized her as "the strongest pro-family legislator in the Legislature," building her career chiefly on helping families and children.[2]

Faust-Goudeau's chief activity has been in protecting rights and services for seniors, the disabled, and children -- including children in state custody[9] -- and in promoting business/development interests. Some legislation which Faust-Goudeau introduced, which became law:

  • "Grandparents' Rights" bills, 3 of which she introduced, became law in 2006-2012—latest became law in 2012 with unanimous Legislative backing—essentially forcing the State and the courts to consider grandparents' for possible custody requests in most child-custody cases in which the State has intervened (e.g.: foster care cases). Prior laws she introduced required grandparents to be heard in foster-care cases, and—if caring for their grandchildren as foster parents—to be reimbursed by the state the same as foster parents.[2][16][17][18][19]
  • Firefighters' Insurance bill — became law in 2012 with unanimous Legislative backing—ensuring that the families of firefighters killed in action are able to continue receiving protection under their firefighter's insurance coverage for the first 18 months following their firefighter's death in the line of duty.[18][20]
  • Drug paraphernalia prohibition bill — outlawing the distribution of certain kinds of drug paraphernalia, became law.[2][21]
  • Poor/Working-Class Issues - Representing the inner-city area of Wichita (the state's largest city), Faust-Goudeau frequently takes the lead in speaking out on, and advocating for, the needs and interests of poor and working-class Kansans. Examples include:
  • Opposing welfare restrictions. When the newly-libertarian Kansas Legislature in 2015 began a series of "attacks on the poor," these included bills introduced with exceptionally detailed lists of restrictions on welfare recipients, forbidding a wide range of purchases with welfare money, and limiting welfare cash disbursements to $30 per day, severely complicating bill-payment and other financial management issues for welfare recipients -- unusual restrictions which drew international attention. Faust-Goudeau was the most frequently cited opponent of the proposed restrictions.[22]
  • Food sales tax elimination bill. With the increasingly-libertarian Kansas Legislature in 2014-2015 opposing taxes at every turn, Faust-Goudeau joined with new Republican/libertarian legislator Michael O'Donnell to propose the elimination of sales taxes on food (widely decried as a "regressive" tax disproportionately affecting the poor and working class families, and outlawed in several other states). Specifically, their Senate Bill 263 would have eliminated the state tax on fruits and vegetables. At the time of the bill, the Kansas sales tax on groceries was among the highest in the nation (second only to Mississippi), further aggravated by Kansas localities often adding additional taxes to groceries. However, during a growing state funding crisis brought on by Republicans' previous tax-cutting measures, the grocery tax-relief bill faced little support from the Republican/Libertarian-controlled legislature and Governor. But, at the close of the 2015 Legislative Session, a variation of Faust-Goudeau's plan passed the Kansas Senate, and (at this writing, June 8, 2015) awaits House approval.[23][24][25][26][27][28]

Sedgwick County Commission candidacy[edit]

In 2010, Faust-Goudeau was the Democratic Party nominee for County Commissioner for the Sedgwick County 1st District.[2] She was defeated by Republican Richard Ranzau.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2008: "10 to Watch in 2010"—list of 10 noteworthy leaders cited by the state's largest newspaper, the Wichita Eagle.[29]
  • 2008: Service Award (for work as Co-Chair of the Sedgwick County legislative delegation), Sedgwick County, Kansas[30]
  • 2011: "Legislator of the Year Award, 2011," by the "Silver-Haired Legislature"—a Kansas senior-citizens' lobbying organization.[31]
  • 2017: Wichita- Butterfly Award, Katherine Johnson Scholar Sisters Elementary STEM Club[35]
  • "Perfect Attendance" record—appearing for all Senate votes, in 2010, 2011 and various successive years, —according to various press releases by the Senate Minority Leaders' Office, and other sources.[36]


Current & former board memberships


See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.kanfocus.com/FMPro.php?-DB=House_Profiles_KS&-Lay=Contact&-format=Contact_Senate.html&Name=Oletha%20Faust-Goudeau,%20D-29th&-find
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "County hopefuls focus on property taxes," October 20, 2010, Wichita Eagle, retrieved January 9, 2021
  3. ^ Smith, Sherman: "Senate President Susan Wagle says she lacks votes for veto override," Apr 3, 2019, Updated Apr 4, 2019, Topeka Capital-Journal retrieved January 8, 2021
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephens, Ken: "Faust-Goudeau continues pushing her mother's legacy," January 2019, Active Age, Vol. 37, No.2, retrieved from Issuu.com January 9, 2020
  5. ^ a b Shorman, Jonathan: "Three Kansas senators are resigning. Voters won't get to pick their replacements," November 28, 2018, Wichita Eagle, retrieved January 9, 2021
  6. ^ a b c "Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau papers," September 9, 2016, University of Kansas library, retrieved January 9, 2020
  7. ^ "In Memory of Oretha Ann Faust - 2007 Legacy Award Winner," in 2007 "Legacy Award" Winners, NAACP Wichita Branch, retrieved January 9, 2020
  8. ^ "Diverse Women's Summit today (Wednesday, March 8) and Thursday, March 9,", March 6, 2017, WSU News, Wichita State University, retrieved January 9, 2021
  9. ^ a b "Wichita senator questions racial composition of child-welfare task force," March 25, 2019, Topeka Capital-Journal retrieved January 9, 2021
  10. ^ [1], June 1, 2016 Updated June 2, 2016 The Community Voice, retrieved January 9, 2021
  11. ^ "2020 Kansas State Senate - District 29 Election Results" Nov. 3, 2020, Updated Dec. 5, 2020 USA Today, Gannett, retrieved January 9, 2020
  12. ^ "2020 Kansas State Senate - District 29 Election Results" Nov. 3, 2020, Updated Dec. 5, 2020 Ellwood City Ledger, Gannett, retrieved January 9, 2020
  13. ^ "Senate District 29" (PDF). Kansas State Legislature. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  14. ^ Profile from the Kansas Legislature
  15. ^ Oletha Faust-Goudeau 2008 campaign contributions
  16. ^ [2] "Senator pushes for grandparents' rights," February 25, 2012, CJonline.com, Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper
  17. ^ [3] "State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau files for re-election," April 26, 2012, Wichita Eagle newspaper, Topeka bureau, by Dion Lefler.
  18. ^ a b [4] "Grandparents, firefighters celebrate bill signings," June 1, 2012 excerpt from "Author Archives: Dion Lefler", WichiTopekIngton archives, Wichita Eagle newspaper.
  19. ^ [5] "Good work on grandparents’ rights," June 10, 2012 excerpt from "Category Archives: Child welfare", WE Blog, Wichita Eagle newspaper.
  20. ^ [6] "New Kansas laws help seniors, families of firefighters killed," June 3, 2102, Tulsa World newspaper (from the Wichita Eagle)
  21. ^ [7] "NAACP Wants Drug Paraphernalia Out of Shops," Jan. 19, 2007, Wichita Eagle, reprinted on Media Awareness Project at mapinc.org
  22. ^ Marso, Andy, "Kansas Senate Passes Passel Of Welfare Restrictions" Apr 2, 2015, KCUR-FM radio news.
  23. ^ "Wichita senators seek to eliminate grocery sales tax", Wichita Business Journal, Oct 22, 2014
  24. ^ "2 senators seek to eliminate food sales tax in Kansas", Salina Post, Oct. 22, 2014
  25. ^ Weeks, Bob, editor, "Kansas sales tax on groceries is among the highest", October 21, 2014, WichitaLiberty.org (prominent Wichita Libertarian news blog)
  26. ^ Wingerter, Justin "Legislators Debate Sales Tax on Food", June 3, 2015, Topeka Capital-Journal in the Salina Journal
  27. ^ "Kansas Senate considers eliminating food sales tax", Feb. 24, 2015, WDAF-TV "Fox 4 KC"
  28. ^ "Kansas Senate approves tax increases, state budget", June 7, 2015, Wichita Eagle in Kansas City Star
  29. ^ [8] "10 to Watch in 2009: Oletha Faust-Goudeau," Dec. 28, 2008 item listing under "10 to Watch" articles in Wichita Eagle archives, on Newsbank.com
  30. ^ Meeting Of The Board Of County Commissioners, Regular Meeting, January 2, 2008, Board of County Commissioners, Sedgwick County, Kansas, retrieved January 9, 2021
  31. ^ [9] "Silver-Haired Legislature Names Faust-Goudeau 'Legislator of the Year'," October 13, 2011, The Oskaloosa Independent newspaper, Valley Falls , Kansas
  32. ^ Annual Report 2017, Kansas Children's Service League, retrieved October 27, 2020.
  33. ^ "Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau receives the 2017 Distinguished Service to Children Award." Spring/Summer 2017, KidsView Vol. 124, No. 1, retrieved January 9, 2021
  34. ^ "Former President at Wichita State Wins at Voices for Choice," May 10, 2017, URGE.org, retrieved January 9, 2021.
  35. ^ "Wichita- Butterfly Awards Banquet," February 10, 2017, in "Calendar", The Community Voice, retrieved January 9, 2021M
  36. ^ [10] "Nearly half of Kansas Senate had perfect voting attendance," June 21, 2011, by Earl Glynn, KansasWatchdog.org
  37. ^ [11] "Blogger profile: Oletha Faust-Goudeau - Representative District 84 Kansas House, 2008"

External links[edit]

Oletha Faust-Goudeau on her:

...and on Kansas Democratic Party sites:

...and elsewhere: