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Behind the tax incentives ordinance stuck in Kansas City Council limbo

Backers of Ordinance 220701 say it will bring consistency to the way Kansas City government and affiliated agencies can grant a tax break to developers. But it has been on a rocky road. In the four months since the proposed legislation was filed in Kansas City Council’s Neighborhood Planning and Development Committee, it has been…

Data map: How did your neighbors vote in Kansas City, Missouri?

After a long and contentious midterm election, the election boards representing Kansas City voters have released their official election results for 2022. The results among Kansas City precincts offer a detailed look at the political landscape within the city, with clear political divisions visible on election maps within and across county lines. With another election…

The Unified Government is run by an 11-member board. Here’s what they do.

Among the counties in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Wyandotte County is unique for its Unified Government, which merges the city of Kansas City, Kansas, with the county government. Nearly half of the elected representatives of the county government will be up for reelection next November, including four commissioners representing districts in the southeastern portion…

KCATA tackled its driver shortage. Now, bus drivers want to see more change

Will Howard knows exactly why bus drivers in Kansas City are stepping away from the steering wheel.  “We just had an 18-year veteran say they can’t do it anymore,” said Howard, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1287, the operator union representing bus drivers in Kansas City. “She’s working at the water department now.” Since…

Missouri votes to increase KC’s police budget despite local voters’ wishes

The Kansas City Police Department will see a budget increase in spite of Kansas City voters’ wishes, following a statewide vote on Constitutional Amendment 4 on Nov. 8. Within the Kansas City Election Board’s jurisdiction — the part of Kansas City located in Jackson County — 61% of voters opposed the amendment, with all precincts…

This year’s election will introduce four new Clay County positions

After voters in Clay County approved a new county constitution in 2020, this year’s election will look a little different to voters. On Nov. 8, they will select at-large county commissioners for the first time in the county’s history, as well as an additional Clay County commissioner from each of two districts. Before the constitutional…

This ballot question would fund ‘deeply affordable housing’ in KC

Housing activists like Maya Neal have had their differences with city hall. But an afternoon in late October found Neal knocking on doors in south Kansas City in support of a ballot question sponsored by Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council. “I’m going around talking to neighbors about Question 2 on November’s ballot. It’s…

Inside Clay County’s proposed $1.7 million tax cut

Commercial property owners in Clay County may soon see a tax cut if voters decide to roll back the property surtax by 10% on Nov. 8. This represents roughly $1.7 million total in tax revenue and it would make Clay County the first county in Missouri to reduce the surtax since 1985. This proposal has…

Here’s why all eyes are on the Jackson County executive race on Nov. 8

Over the past seven years, Jackson County has seen three different county executives. After then-County Executive Mike Sanders resigned at the end of 2015 — and went to prison in 2018 for corruption — Fred Arbanas served for one week as interim executive until Frank White  Jr. was appointed to the role in January 2016. Now,…

Live in KC, Independence or Lee’s Summit? Here are your Jackson County Legislature candidates

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the county executive’s ability to vote in the Jackson County legislature. Some of the races for the Jackson County Legislature were decided in the August primary election, and one district’s incumbent is running unopposed. But voters in three legislative districts will see a…

Who will Jackson County voters pick to represent them in the County Legislature?

After a primary election that already unseated an incumbent, Jackson County residents will see at least six new faces in the nine seats of their County Legislature. In the at-large races, six candidates are competing for three positions. Although each at-large legislator is elected by voters in the entire county, candidates must live in their…

Who are the Kansas judges on the November ballot?

Elections for high-profile judicial positions like state Supreme Court justices get a lot of attention, and for good reason. The court issues consequential decisions on fundamental questions of democracy, like redistricting and abortion rights, so there’s a lot at stake.  But nearly everyone who interacts with the courts only ever does so at the trial…

KC Tenants announces sister organization focused on building political power

Since its creation in 2019, KC Tenants has drafted a Tenants Bill of Rights and secured its passage through the City Council. The group has successfully lobbied for the right of people faced with eviction to be represented by a lawyer. Its members fought against evictions in the pandemic and opposed development deals that give…

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