Letters to the Editor

Readers weigh in on stoplights, equal pay and bigotry

Stoplight concerns

I was told recently that the city manager, mayor and City Council representatives, including council members Katheryn Shields and Jolie Justus, have decided to ignore the expressed needs for safety represented by the stoplights at 49th and Main streets. The whims of developers supersede those of the neighbors.

Brian Douglas, a Mariner vice president, said the “stakeholders at 49th and Main are Mariner Real Estate, Van Trust Reality and BNIM.”

The stated reason was to reduce speed and increase safety. You cannot reduce accidents below zero.

City staff sought approval from the South Plaza Neighborhood Association for removal of the stoplights and the addition of angled parking on the west side of Main Street between 49th and 48th streets. The unanimous disapproval from the association board, members and retail businesses was ignored.

Considering the serious safety concerns and the fact that disabled citizens and residents of the neighborhood want the stoplights to remain, it seems obvious that Kansas City is not a city of neighborhoods but a city that is owned and governed by developers.

I suggest a rebranding of Kansas City as a town where developers rule and neighbors are discounted and ignored.

Keith Spare

President

South Plaza

Neighborhood

Association

Kansas City

Equal pay need

Seventeen-year-old Jensen Walcott was simply doing what she thought was both right and common sense when she asked her friend and male co-worker Jake Reed what he was getting paid for the same job they were doing at the local Pizza Studio (6-28, A7, “Local teen stokes debate over gender wage gap”).

It turned out that Jake was getting paid 25 cents an hour more, despite having the same qualifications and work experience.

One hour after Jensen was hired, she was fired, and Jake was also let go. The restaurant claimed it was because employees are forbidden to discuss compensation, despite neither Jensen nor Jake being told of this policy.

That’s why I introduced the Workplace Advancement Act to fix this situation. My bill would allow employees to discuss compensation solely for the purposes of determining equal pay for equal work. My legislation would help give women tools to empower themselves and to overcome the obstacles they face.

The American workforce should promote merit, not gender. It’s ridiculous and wrong to punish employees for what is a sensible response to a potentially unequal work environment. The Workplace Advancement Act can be an important part of the solution to moving our nation’s workforce in the right direction.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins

Topeka

Moderates do job

With all the inaction in Congress, we need to send positive fuzzies to the moderate Republicans in the Kansas House for fighting it out among themselves until they got it right.

Unlike their counterparts in Washington, D.C., they stood up to their own party of far-right nut jobs and stuck it out, doing the jobs they were elected to do and passing a measure to keep schools open and funded.

We need to remember this at election time.

In a state lacking in Democratic representatives and senators, moderate Rep. Melissa Rooker acted in the interest of those who elected her — voters of both parties — to do what we wanted her to do. And she was able to bring others along, illustrating her ability to work with both sides and, wait for it, compromise.

What a concept.

Maybe someone should point this out to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Thanks, Rep. Rooker and the other moderates who came through, for putting Kansas children first.

These people are an example of how this job is supposed to work. Shame on Gov. Sam Brownback for ignoring this process.

Ellen Murphy

Mission Hills

Costly bigotry

When we discriminate against a group of people, be it by race, sex or sexual orientation, we are the ones who lose.

As a business owner, I lose the opportunity to hire the best person.

As a business person, I lose the opportunity to serve some of the best customers and patrons.

As a state, if we discriminate, we are legislating hatred and will lose business and respect. As a person, my life would be less rich and exciting.

It is not up to me who another person loves. I am just so happy that they love.

Sheryl White

Kansas City

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