City Hall cut corners and handed over $15,000 to bring one of the worlds highest-paid athletes to Kansas City. Its for the children.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
Problem is, boxer Floyd Mayweather has a record for domestic violence, serving time for it. The city manager, unaware of Mayweathers less illustrious record, approved the deal without enough input from other staff or council members.
Fix the process. A few steps can be added, stifling the inclination toward, Hey, that sounds good. Write a check, fund the inner-city program.
Besides, trotting out sports figures for inner-city kids benefit is questionable for long-term impact anyway.
What many of the children need are consistent male role models, not the famous and fabulous rolled in for a quick publicity shot.
Fund those programs. Let Mayweather perform his good deeds on his own dime, or as part of community service for his crimes.
Mayweather isnt going to charter a jet to fly into the downtown airport for the candlelight vigil the next time some young man is gunned down in Kansas City.
He wont be there, standing next to the grieving mother, consoling the siblings who too often wind up on the same path.
And even if he were, its unlikely that the people who know who pulled the trigger would step forward to fess up to such star power. No, they do that to the people they recognize from their daily lives. The outreach workers who know the back stories on many struggling families.
Ironically, people like Ossco Bolton, the man who suggested Mayweather come in for the now-scuttled Dec. 8 event. Bolton has been doing this work to steer young people from violence for more than two decades now.
Long enough to see a lot of programs come and go, some sapping government funds they didnt use well, others with more success.
City Halls dilemma is that many of the people who do outreach well arent inclined toward or highly trained in grant writing, filling out complicated invoices and proposals to meet government funding specifications.
Sure, youth idolize sports figures. But a one-chance shot to meet one rarely turns a difficult life around.
Mean Joe Greene tosses a jersey to a kid in the tunnel after the football game. Its a feel-good, old-school commercial, but such moments alone arent likely to keep a kid drug-free and head him toward college.
Sports figures are fine for fundraising. The draw of a heavyweight at a well-organized dinner can bring out the higher end donors.
But the neediest kids in this city, the ones who literally die for lack of a consistent male role model, would fare better if city money was spent differently.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to email@example.com.