Yes on pre-K
I was disappointed that the Kansas City Star Editorial Board declined to endorse the mayor’s pre-kindergarten ballot initiative. (March 28, 12A, “Vote no on pre-kindergarten plan that’s too expensive, too confusing and hurts the poor”)
Funding greater access to high-quality pre-K is an investment in the future of our children. Not only is the investment worth it, but it would reap economic and social benefits for years to come. More important, we have a moral obligation to ensure that all our children have fair opportunity. Supporting Question 1 on Tuesday’s ballot will give our children that opportunity.
We have a serious problem in Kansas City. Nearly half our children cannot read proficiently by the end of third grade. These students are four times less likely to graduate from high school than their peers. It is appalling that we let this happen.
At a time when too many children enter the public schools in Kansas City behind both academically and emotionally, supporting access to high quality pre-K is a proven way to ensure students start school ready to learn.
A yes vote on Question 1 is a vote for Kansas City children, our schools and our city.
Why was Sen. Roy Blunt smiling and standing with the president Wednesday when they announced they intend to end the Affordable Care Act, which could leave 20 million of us without health insurance coverage? (March 27, KansasCity.com, “Democrats pivot to health care as Trump attacks ‘Obamacare’”)
Why do we have a senator who is standing with such a poor decision? And why would he expect me to vote for him again next year?
A different break
The International Olympic Committee is considering making break dancing an Olympic sport at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. (March 14, 1C, “Weekend+”)
How about Kansas City leading the charge to petition the IOC to add pothole dodging in 2028?
Real new voices
A Monday letter to the editor was surely meant to be in the comic section. (5A) Sadly, I am sure the writer was not being satirical.
With condescension, he attributes the electoral success of new Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to “an ethnic popularity yearning by our youth.” The writer then compares them to the aura of excitement once generated around John Kennedy.
But they are no Kennedy — no white war hero man with bright ideas, a media star who brought the “enemy” (communists) to the border. They don’t have the experience of “integration into mainstream politics at birth, an Ivy League education or the benefit of a majority philosophy.”
If Kennedy left such upheaval, what can be expected from young women of color with diverse backgrounds who have political philosophies that are energizing and passionate but no less American? Are their female voices and congressional votes a threat?
I am surprised The Star would print such a dog whistle.
Despite efforts to improve health care, more than 40 million Americans live without health insurance, including more than 240,000 people in Kansas. This lack has had damaging ripple effects on our society.
Health care has been debated for years, but if we want to create a more equitable society, the system must be improved.
The recently introduced Medicare for All Act, HR 1384, is an important step toward creating a more accessible and efficient system to provide quality health care. The act would provide comprehensive health care benefits to all citizens, without deductibles or co-pays, by expanding the current Medicare program. Expansions would include provisions for dental, mental and maternity care, and its single-payer model would reduce administrative costs by 14-19 percent.
An effective health care system would greatly benefit Kansas by creating a healthier and more productive society, expanding opportunity for our citizens.
I urge Rep. Sharice Davids to consider co-sponsoring the Medicare for All bill when it reaches the House floor. As part of her platform, Davids states she will work to protect affordable health care and expand opportunity. Ensuring health care for all is the first step toward creating equitable access and opportunities for all Kansans.
Scratch this back
President Donald Trump says he wants to cut federal spending, so he proposed eliminating $17.6 million for the Special Olympics, before reversing course Thursday afternoon.
But Politico reports that Trump’s golfing buddy Jack Nicklaus would see his children’s hospital program receive a new $20 million in that same budget.
I guess Special Olympics officials start playing golf with Trump so they can continue to receive their money — but they better let him win.
Time has come
On March 27, 2002, The Star published a guest commentary I wrote about a woman being elected president in 2020. (6B, “Look toward 2020 and a woman as president”)
It is as appropriate today as when I wrote it.