(UPDATE: A poster asks how voters can learn about forums before they happen.
On Mondays, The Star tries to publish a listing of expected forums for the week ahead. Look for it.)
Last night’s mayoral forum at UMKC focused on the thorny issue of housing segregation and racial disparity in Kansas City. Candidates were asked when in their lives they’ve actually reached out to other ethnic groups. Some candidates have immersed themselves in this issue, while others have mostly encountered diversity through volunteering or through their children’s educations. Their answers:
Alvin Brooks – He said he’s made it his life’s work to bring together different racial and religious groups, beginning after the riots in 1968 when he was appointed the city’s first Human Relations Director.
Charles Eddy – He’s served on the Don Bosco board, which helps refugees from around the world.
Janice Ellis – She grew up in segregated Mississippi and transformed her life through education. As past president of Partnership for Children she worked with the Kansas City School District, including reaching out to Hispanic and Somali parents. She says her website is the only one available in Spanish.
John Fairfield – He hired a Hispanic campaign manager, and his daughter has spent time with some public school classmates who live in Section 8 housing.
Jim Glover – He’s the only candidate who lives in the inner city. He chose to rebuild an abandoned house in the Troost Corridor and says the neighborhood is racially and economically diverse.
Henry Klein – He’s been an active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and with Crosslines Adult Literacy Program.
Becky Nace – Her mother was Hispanic and she grew up in the Ivanhoe neighborhood. More recently, she participated in school events with her sons that brought together families representing cultures around the globe.
Albert Riederer – He and his wife have volunteered at Holy Family Catholic Worker House and have attended community celebrations at St. James Church at 39th and Harrison.
Katheryn Shields – She advocated a diverse workforce as Jackson County Executive, and was active in launching her son’s language immersion public charter school, which has a diverse racial and socio-economic student population.
Candidates John DiCapo, Mark Funkhouser and Stan Glazer were no shows.
Posted by Lynn Horsley