March is National Woman’s History Month. Joelouis Mattox, a former member of the Missouri Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission On Civil Rights, dedicates this column to Lucile H. Bluford, who encountered state-sponsored racism in 1939 when she was denied admission to the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Andrew Johnson, a co-founder of the Midtown Community School Initiative and director of the Pilgrim Center, writes: The failed negotiations between Académie Lafayette and Kansas City Public Schools have once again exposed a deeper division in our urban community, one that goes beyond those two sides of the negotiating table.
Mayor Sly James of Kansas City writes: Entrepreneurship has defined Kansas City’s past, and it is critical to our future. It’s about starting and growing companies that create more jobs in Kansas City. Let’s do more than just celebrate it.
Matt Condon of Fairway, champion of the Greater Kansas City Chamber’s Big 5 Entrepreneurship Initiative, writes: The Startup Act is about economic development. It would immediately initiate growth in new businesses and support our country’s incredibly important small business sector, which generates over a million new jobs each year, accounting for most of the nation’s annual job creation.
Jacob W. Kipp, who retired from federal service in 2009 and is an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, writes: Dead Russians and dead Americans will not guarantee a de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Instead, both sides are very likely going to be trapped in a dialectic of escalation.
Don Schoening, a retired federal executive and now a substitute teacher in the Olathe School District who lives in Lenexa, writes: Our daughter feels more comfortable being a free-range mother in Shanghai, with 23 million residents, than in Southern California. The girls are taking Mandarin in school and can give directions to taxicab drivers.
Former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, in eulogizing Missouri Treasurer Tom Schweich said that the campaign that led to the death of Schweich was the low point of politics, and now it’s time to turn this around. So let’s make Tom’s death a turning point here in our state.
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Lawton R. Nuss, who has served on the Kansas Supreme Court since 2002 and as chief justice since 2010, writes: Perhaps those admirers of the Lone Star State who want to turn Kansas’ 57-year-old merit selection system into Texas-style elections should carefully consider the opinion of the former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
Mike Burke, a Kansas City attorney who co-chaired the Mayors Bistate Innovation Team and serves on the board of KC Digital Drive, writes: Picture the year 2027. You must be in St. Louis for an afternoon meeting. You hop into your car, all electric, punch in the address of the destination in St. Louis and hit the “Travel” button. For the next four hours or so you can relax knowing that you do not have to worry about driving.
Caroline Meek, a student at Sumner Academy for the Arts and Science in Kansas City, Kan., writes: America values a good education. This value, however, appears to have become trivialized in our state of Kansas.
Jon Copaken, principal at Copaken Brooks and newly named chairman of the Downtown Council, writes: Companies seeking to tap a broader talent pool and get into the flow of innovation are looking back to downtown. The leaders and influencers who deny that the move to downtown is real — and is even in their best interest — need to ask themselves why the innovative, entrepreneurial companies see it, understand it and are doing it.
Aaron Deacon, managing director of KC Digital Drive, a local nonprofit seeking tech solutions for a better city, writes: The Internet may be open, but it certainly isn’t free. Amid all the lessons learned in Kansas City’s tech boom of the last few years, this one may be the most important.
The U.S. attorney general job is an important one. The “general” leads the U.S. Department of Justice, enforces rights established by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, prosecutes violations of federal law, protects our nation from violence and terrorism, and ensures the president and all federal agencies follow the law.
Elliott Clark of Kansas City, a husband, father, Christian, Marine Corps veteran and volunteer with Communities Creating Opportunity, writes: The good news is that the federal government, specifically the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is working on a new set of rules that, if done right, could curb the worst abuses of payday lenders.
The Rev. Rafael Garcia, a native of Cuba and the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Kansas City, writes: Change is needed and probably inevitable, especially after soon-to-be 56 years of Castro family dictatorship, but the question is how can this realistically happen?
Donna Ziegenhorn, author of “The Hindu and the Cowboy,” a play inspired by stories from Kansas Citians of numerous faith and cultural traditions, writes: We face a long walk in understanding Islam. But it’s a walk that’s needed for a 21st century in which the positive, humanistic threads of all our world’s religious (and nonreligious) traditions can be known and valued.
Thomas E. Perez, the U.S. secretary of labor, writes: As we mark Martin Luther King’s 86th birthday, it is my hope that Americans will remember a less celebrated element of his dream — a belief in the importance of unions, labor rights and robust worker voice.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and The Rockefeller Foundation found a silver lining. We asked the question: What if we focused on planning and preparing as much as we do on disaster reaction and response?
Democratic Rep. Louis Ruiz of Kansas City, Kan., who has been serving in the Kansas House since 2005, writes: The Latino/Hispanic electorate has been referred to as a “sleeping giant.” This last November, the giant opened an eye, took another sleeping pill, rolled over and fell back asleep. What do we do and where do we go now?
Robert Stewart, the editor of New Letters, the literary magazine published at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the director of the Midwest Poets Series at Rockhurst University, writes that Williams, the poet, teacher and editor who died Jamn. 1 in Fayetteville, Ark., also looms large in the literary life of Kansas City.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas writes: We know Washington regulations don’t create jobs. If we truly want to expand the earning power of American workers, we must encourage investment to grow our economy. That starts with protecting us from the central planners in Washington who continue to stifle lending.
Dwayne Crompton, board chairman of the Kansas City Freedom Schools Initiative, writes: No task, in my opinion, could be more important than preparing toddlers to learn. All Kansas Citians should step up and join the effort to expand and enhance early childhood education.