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.
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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.
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?
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?
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.
Nancy Zurbuchen, co-founder of the Kansas City Council of Women Business Owners and president of Motional Multimedia, writes: Females need to see successful role models at all levels of the tech industry and the pipeline that feeds into it.
Jim White, who has long been involved in housing and community issues in Kansas City, writes: The Rev. Norman Rotert lived his life as a warrior for justice. Beginning with his 1965 trip to Selma, Ala., to walk with the Rev. Martin Luther King seeking voting rights and the end of Jim Crow racism, Father Rotert, who died Dec. 17, never backed away from a just fight or a difficult assignment.
Jim Strahle, a civilian in the Kansas City Police Department’s media relations office until his retirement last year, writes: A comment quoted by followers of the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice was officers only gave him a two-second warning before firing their weapons. However, one obvious question comes to mind: How long does it take a person holding a pistol in his hand to point it at an officer?
Robert Minor of Kansas City, chair of the Kansas City Workers’ Rights Board of Missouri Jobs with Justice and emeritus professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas, writes: We call upon Missouri administrators and the General Assembly to reverse all staff cuts to the Family Support Division and take necessary steps to ensure that Missourians in need always have the ability to see a caseworker face to face to share their unique circumstances.
Anne Foster, a Kansas City native who worked at an international nonprofit based in Kansas City and volunteered with many local nonprofits, writes: We donors are often frustrated to learn that half of our donation — or less — goes to the “cause” and the rest goes toward the organization’s advertising, fundraising or administration costs.
Andrew B. Wilson, a resident fellow and senior writer at the Show-Me Institute, writes: A surprised and outraged Franklin D. Roosevelt called it “a date which will live in infamy.” But Dec. 7, 1941, may also be remembered as one of the great turning points (for the better) in world history.
“As Missouri residents, we need to be on guard for the next attempt to take over our schools,” writes ames Wrolstad, who has been a professional educator for more than 30 years. “Support our teachers and school boards — not misguided multimillionaires — and let them do education reform.”