KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As Mitt Romney prepares to accept the Republican nomination for president, minimum wage workers in Kansas City organized in protest. The group Kansas City 99 met on the Plaza on Thursday to protest what they call a Romney Economy.
Kansas City 99 is mainly made up of minimum and low wage workers in the area who want to see change in Washington D.C. They oppose the 1 percent of American population that they say holds the majority of the wealth, power and decision-making positions.
Stephen Kilgore, 24, works at Dunkin’ Donuts and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. All together, he works up to 60 hours a week to make ends meet.
“I make $7.40 an hour at Dunkin' and I make $7.50 at Fuzzy's,” he explained.
This week, Kilgore knows his paycheck won’t cover rent. So, he’ll wait to a pay a week late. He just hopes late-fees don’t catch up with him.
“I don't see why it is that we can't share with everybody's quality of life when we're all working to have a good quality of life,” he said.
Kilgore works too many hours to pay attention to the political hoopla happening in Tampa this week. Instead, he shared with 41 Action News a simple vision he has for America.
“There's a power struggle almost that the people who have more in life so desperately want to hold onto it that they think by sharing with us, there won't be enough for them as well," Kilgore explained.
The 1% this group is opposing, organizers say, is led by Governor Mitt Romney. So, the protest was planned in conjunction with his acceptance speech.
Romney has the chance to sway fringe voters, like independents or even people part of the KC 99%, with his speech on Thursday. Politicos all across the country have been anxiously awaiting his speech.
“I expect Mitt Romney will articulate a plan for turning around the economy of this country, a vision that pragmatic people will be able to resonate with,” explained Ronnie Metsker, chairman of the Johnson County Republican Party.
Policy is important, but Rockhurst University Professor Charles Moran thinks Romney has even more work to do on his likability. In fact, he compared Romney’s situation to that of President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
“He came across as someone very distant, an elitist, and Bill Clinton running against him said, ‘I feel your pain,’ and people identified with Clinton. I think you've got a similar challenge facing Romney and he's not the incumbent either,” explained Moran.
Plus, getting to know Mitt Romney also means getting to know the Mormon faith. Faith is a subject Moran is confident Romney needs to address on Thursday night.
“Kennedy, in 1960, won in spite of the fact that he was a Catholic. It cost him votes. It'll cost Romney some votes," he said.
However, Moran said, the mystery behind Romney’s personality and faith could work in his favor.
“While you see that the negatives of Romney are greater than they are for Obama, the negatives for Obama don’t' go away because we know this man,” Moran said.
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