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Kansas City's mayor worries that 'hateful rhetoric' from state lawmakers will drive people away

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Carlos Moreno
Mayor Lucas says that he is growing frustrated because he thinks that lawmakers on both sides of the state line "are working against us every day."

Mayor Quinton Lucas touts Kansas City's ability to attract big events like the NFL Draft and the 2026 World Cup. But he worries that the "hateful rhetoric" and anti-LGBTQ policies coming out of statehouses in Missouri and Kansas could drive some residents and major gatherings away.

State lawmakers in Topeka and Jefferson City have spent their respective legislative sessions mulling over bills that would ban transgender girls from girls' sports and limit gender affirming care for trans kids, among others.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says he is frustrated with this kind of legislation being pushed in Missouri and Kansas. Beyond his general disagreement with these bills, he also views them as "a true existential challenge" for Kansas City when it comes to attracting big events in the future.

"One of the biggest hits that Kansas City had in its scoring related to getting the World Cup related to human rights issues," said Lucas. "For (both state legislatures) to spend their time just trying to marginalize and hurt young people and families is something that is incredibly distressing."

He also believes that it could be damaging to Kansas City's reputation, preventing people from staying in the city — or moving here in the first place.

"I've had peers in the South for years who settled in places like Alabama and others who've said, 'You know what? I just don't feel comfortable here.' I shudder to think that maybe that will happen with Missouri and Kansas if this keeps going on," Lucas said.

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