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Kansas City Firefighter Discrimination | 'Billion Dollar Loser'

Carlos Moreno/KCUR 89.3
Kansas City commission member Brandon Ellington poses questions to Fire Chief Donna Lake during the Dec. 10, 2020 city council meeting.

Kansas City, Missouri, councilman on allegations of harassment and discrimination against Black and female members of the city's fire department, and the story behind the rise and fall of WeWork.

Segment 1, beginning at 5:00: Councilman Brandon Ellington says when it comes to the fire department, "you can literally pick any Black firefighter out and they will tell you the issues."

Ellington says even when he was in state government he heard stories from department members regarding policies that overlooked Black and women members. Now that he is sitting on the city council, Ellington is looking for actions to stop the unfair treatment.

Segment 2, beginning at 30:15: It was a simple idea driven by a visionary leader. So what happened to the work-sharing space provider?

WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann preached a message of community and boasted that the company would change the world. At a pace previously unseen in the investment and real estate communities he took the company to "decacorn" status but ten years after Neumann started he found himself ousted from his historic start-up.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.