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Kansas City voters cite Troost divide as biggest issue facing next mayor

Posted: 4:46 PM, Jun 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-12 18:16:53-04
Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City mayoral race is heading into the final stretch between Councilman Quinton Lucas and Councilwoman Jolie Justus.

There are several issues that matter to Kansas City voters, and 41 Action News narrowed them down to five: public safety, roads, housing, the Troost Avenue divide and development. In a poll conducted outside the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, reporter Steven Dial asked voters what issues matter most to them when choosing a new mayor.

"Tough one, probably public safety. From my personal interest and my situation, public safety is the most important for my family," resident Bruce Moothart said.
 
For others, affordable housing is the most important issue facing the city, while some believe bringing in more development and businesses will spur change.

But in the 41 Action News poll, the Troost divide was mentioned the most as an issue the next mayor needs to address. Troost Avenue is known locally as a racial and economic dividing line in the city.
 
"I feel like (the issues) are all connected," resident Katie Jones said. "More equality, housing goes with the Troost divide, goes with the roads. It's all connected."

"The roads are important because of the potholes; isn't that what we pay for?" Tyler Lemanz asked. "But the Troost divide hits home."

Judy Covell agreed that the physical divide only separates residents in the city.

"It's such a big divide between blacks and whites," she said. "I don't think there is animosity, but it just doesn't seem to end."

41 Action News will host a mayoral forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. It will air on KMCI-TV 38 the Spot and be streamed live on the 41 Action News Facebook page.

Voters will choose the next Kansas City mayor at the polls on June 18.