Wow. Last week was a whirlwind of activity here at CCO and in Kansas City!
We journeyed to the 26th floor of City Hall to urge the city council to pass a higher minimum wage for Kansas City before the Missouri Legislature passes its bill to forbid cities from doing just that. This effort ended in a huge victory: the council approved an $8.50 per hour wage by September 2017 and $13 by 2023. The fight is not over, as the Legislature could still attempt to strike down Kansas City's higher wage retroactively, but it's a start.
Incidentally, CCO published its first blog post this week, on the wage victory. Read all the details on the vote, including who voted for and who voted against, on CCO's website.
Then Missouri Governor Eric Greitens joined CCO in a NightLIFE Peace March from Metropolitan AME Zion Church down Prospect Avenue. We heard from Kendra Jackson and Natasha Flemons, two anti-violence activists who lost sons to gun violence. Rev. Susan McCann and Rev. Ken McKoy spoke of the public policies needed to address violent crime; Rev. McKoy started the NightLIFE marches in St. Louis, where he leads them three nights a week. We then heard from Governor Greitens, who said we need to ensure young people have access to quality education and jobs, but also know they are deeply loved.
This was not an endorsement of Governor Greitens or any of his past or current policies. This was an opportunity to urge him to support policies that immediately act to reduce violent crime, to show him the conditions that lead to violence in Kansas City neighborhoods, and to express our love for and solidarity with our brothers and sisters living in dangerous places long abandoned by local government.
Speaking of violence prevention, this has become one of CCO's organizational priorities. There are four key areas to which CCO will devote its focus and its passions:
- Health access and equity
- Economic dignity, particularly related to wages and debt
- Racial equity and inclusion
- Violence interruption and prevention
Please click on the focus area(s) you're interested in to get involved!
Have a blessed week!