Kansas City Mayor | KCUR

Kansas City Mayor

Here's the deal with potholes in Kansas City and beyond.

It feels like potholes are everywhere in Kansas City, especially if you listened to Mayor Quinton Lucas' recent speech. That's why we're devoting a full hour to studying the pothole from different angles with people who are taking matters into their own hands. After all, potholes may be universally hated, but they don't impact everyone in the same way.

Segment 1: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews the year that was, and discusses his 2020 to-do list.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has only been in office for five months, and has been busy for the duration. He defended his record on curbing tax incentives, standing up for tenant's rights, and pushing to make bus service free in Kansas City. Lucas also answered questions on the city's soaring crime rate.

Segment 1: Mike Pompeo looks more likely to enter the race for Kansas' U.S. Senate seat.

When it comes to the race for president, The Call's Eric Wesson expects another four years of Trump. However, Mike Mahoney of KMBC sees U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar as the sleeper Democratic candidate while Caroline Sweeney is looking at Andrew Yang to gain ground. They also analyzed the U.S. Senate race in Kansas, the early days of Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and former city manager Troy Schulte's shift to Jackson County government. 

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas

Nov 11, 2019

With more than 100 days in office, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas reviews his progress and future challenges.

Policing gets a lot of attention, but Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says addressing violent crime requires a holistic approach. To help find solutions and opportunities for the region's youths, Lucas says he's working closely with many local school districts. On the subject of tax incentives for property developers, the mayor who campaigned on reducing them says he's not "torpedoing every project," but they can't all be on the backs of taxpayers.

Segment 1: Port KC wields power beyond the banks of the Missouri River.

The goal of Port KC, is to drive economic development in Kansas City, Missouri, but many are questioning the agency's ability to act without answering to municipal voters or elected officials. Today, the organization's chief lends his perspective to the conversation, and defends their conduct when it comes to awarding tax incentives and taking on projects that are miles from the Port of Kansas City.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Robbie Makinen, CEO of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, has more important matters to discuss than his inability to see. Ask about his vision loss, and he'll redirect the conversation.

Segment 1: Former mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, can be remembered for more than brick-and-mortar accomplishments

With his successor officially sworn in as mayor, Sly James has ended his eight years  at City Hall. His legacy goes beyond a convention hotel, a single-terminal airport and the streetcar. A panel of non-profit representatives spotlighted James' fights for a higher minimum wage, women's equality and literacy in young children. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

A new era of Kansas City, Missouri, government has officially begun.

Mayor Quinton Lucas and new city council members were sworn in on the 26th floor of City Hall on a gray, rainy Thursday morning. 

"For some people, clear blue skies are this beacon of good fortune, but for me rain is the thing I look for all the time," Lucas said, citing the downpour on the night he was elected in June.

Segment 1: Documentary follows the Quinton Lucas campaign

Ater receiving unfiltered access to the Quinton Lucas campaign for mayor, KMBC reporter Micheal Mahoney saw things no one else got to see. He shared what Lucas was like off-camera, his personality quirks and his team's reaction to winning the election. 

Segment 1: Kansas City, Missouri's mayor reflects on his time in office. 

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James leaves office July 31. He discusses his eight-year legacy before he hands over the job to the next mayor.

  • Sly James, mayor, Kansas City, Missouri 

Segment 2, beginning at 37:13: The legacy of a Kansas City theater director, actor, and entertainer.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James doesn’t officially hand over the keys to his office until the end of July, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying a victory lap of sorts Sunday afternoon.

Speaking at an event dubbed “Sly’s Farewell Cookout,” the outgoing mayor told supporters that Kansas City “used to be the city that always wanted to be like Denver or St. Louis, or someplace else.” 

“Those cities now want to be like us,” James said. “Take it to the bank.”

Segment 1: What's behind the statistics for maternal mortality in Missouri?

Missouri ranks 42nd in the United States for maternal outcomes, with a number of pregnancy or childbirth related deaths per capita among the worst in the nation, according to a recent article in the Kansas City Star. Our guests say that's an indicator of poor health in the state overall.

Segment 1: An inside look with the people whose job it is to get a candidate elected.

A panel of political operatives revealed the challenges of money, time and resilience in running several of the recent campaigns for Kansas City, Missouri mayor and city council.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Quinton Lucas takes office as Kansas City mayor on August 1. No matter how politically skilled and well prepared Lucas is, he's likely to discover that the job is harder than he thought.

Before the election, KCUR asked former mayors Charles Wheeler, Emanuel Cleaver, Kay Barnes, Mark Funkhouser and Sly James for their insights and lessons learned. They said their advice would apply no matter who won. (Richard Berkley did not respond to interview requests).

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The day after Quinton Lucas defeated his fellow Kansas City Council member, Jolie Justus, in the city's mayoral election, Lucas said he had a roadmap for what he would consider a successful tenure. His three criteria are based on his major campaign issues of crime, infrastructure and housing.

Number one on his priorities list, he said, is creating a safer city.

“I want to see us get below 100 homicides for like two years in a row, not just one,” Lucas said. “I want to see us out of the top 10 most dangerous cities list.”

Segment 1: Post-election wrap-up with new Kansas City mayor.

Voters selected a new mayor for Kansas City, as well as some new council members. We spoke with mayor-elect Quinton Lucas then analyzed Tuesday's election results. 

Kansas City General Election Results June 2019

Jun 18, 2019

During Kansas City’s municipal general election Tuesday, voters elected a new mayor, members of the city council and municipal judges. Kansas City residents also voted on Question 1, a ballot measure that proposed capping property tax abatements for development incentives at 50%.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Quinton Lucas will be the next Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

Lucas is a private attorney, lecturer at the University of Kansas School of Law and in his first term on the city council. He defeated fellow councilmember Jolie Justus, 59% to 41%.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Tuesday is Election Day in Kansas City, Missouri. Voters will head to the polls to decide who will replace outgoing mayor Sly James as well as elect a new city council. Their decisions will determine the path Kansas City takes from here.

But drive 30 minutes outside Kansas City, and you might be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s been paying attention to the race.

Segment 1: Kansas City native reveals how her interest in politics developed.

Sarah McCammon discussed her coverage of abortion including what has occurred in her home state, how she started in public radio and what her Kansas City childhood was like. 

Segment 2, beginning at 25:43: Kansas City mayoral candidate conversations

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City Mayor Sly James made education a top priority when he took office eight years ago.

He succeeded in getting the business and philanthropic community to rally around third grade reading, but he couldn’t convince voters to pass a pre-K sales tax.

Now Kansas City is about to pick a new mayor.

Mike Russo / KCUR 89.3

Quinton Lucas has tried to position himself as the progressive candidate for Kansas City, Missouri mayor, taking bold stances on tax incentives and criminal justice reform.

To get a better look at Lucas on a more personal level, KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez went to Ward Parkway Lanes with the mayoral hopeful to talk about spending time in Hutchinson, Kansas, his (rusty) Spanish and more. Take a look here:

Mike Russo / KCUR 89.3

Jolie Justus has built her mayoral campaign around pragmatism and the idea that Kansas City needs a mayor to focus on issues like affordable housing and crime — and focus on growing the city's profile on the national stage. 

And, as it turns out, she's also pretty darn good at throwing axes.

KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez went to Blade and Timber with Justus to chat about her time in the Missouri General Assembly, her four rescue dogs and a whole lot more.  Take a look here:

File photos

The struggle is real for many Kansas City, Missouri, residents deciding who to vote for in the mayoral election on Tuesday, June 18. 

Candidates Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas are both current city council members with similar voting records. Both are Democrats and attorneys at notable law firms.

Both say the biggest issues facing the city are crime, affordable housing and equitable development.

But while the two agree on many things, there are key differences, including how to solve the city’s most pressing issues.

New high-rises are going up downtown, the streetcar is helping revitalize parts of Midtown, and a new airport terminal will eventually welcome visitors. All good news, yet violent crime remains a concern, Kansas City’s building boom stops at Prospect Avenue, and gentrification threatens to displace residents elsewhere. Addressing those concerns and others will be the next mayor's job.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3 file photo

For a young professional, The Grand apartment building in the heart of downtown, blocks from the Power and Light district, is a dream — it’s home to the highest rooftop pool in Kansas City, an indoor theater, a yoga studio, a digital sports lounge and a pet spa. Yes, a pet spa.

Segment 1: 3rd District councilman lays out his plans if he wins the June 18 election.

A native son of Kansas City's urban core, Quinton Lucas responded to disparaging remarks made by his opponent Jolie Justus and then explained his approach to campaign issues including homelessness, affordable housing and policing in Kansas City.

Segment 1: Mayoral candidate Jolie Justus shares her plans for Kansas City if elected.

Crime is one of the top concerns Jolie Justus hears when speaking with voters. The mayoral candidate explains why criminal justice reform is in her plans to address the city's crime rate. Justus also discussed her approach to using economic development incentives. 

Segment 1: New data analysis of Kansas City's public school environment.

A new analysis shows public and charter schools in Kansas City are more segregated, more expensive to operate, and more complicated than they were 20 years ago. We talked with two officials behind the report about these issues and others, and discussed possible solutions. 

Segment 1: Celeste Ng

Best-selling author Celeste Ng's most recent book is about a lot of things: idealism gone awry, the dark-side of suburbia, and just how complicated family relationships are.

Pages