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KC Tenants rallies against stadium sales tax proposal hours before no-excuse absentee voting opens

KC Tenants rally against stadium tax vote
Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 19, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — No-excuse absentee voting began Tuesday.

Many voters plan to take to the polls to make their voices heard on one specific issue: the sales tax vote that would essentially help fund renovations to the Chiefs' GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and aid in the construction of the Royals' Crossroads stadium.

RELATED | Chiefs, Royals give updates on negotiations ahead of April 2 sales tax vote

Jackson County resident Pola Firestone said she never misses an election. But when it comes to the sales tax vote, she's on the fence.

Pola Firestone, Jackson County voter

"I think that it’s very early in this process, and I don’t know if I have enough information to make an informed decision," Firestone said. "But I do like the idea from an economic point of view."

Members of KC Tenants, however, know exactly how they're voting.

The group was outside the Kansas City Election Board Tuesday morning rallying against the proposal of a downtown stadium hours before polls opened.

They chanted, "Billionaire ballpark, that ain't right! KC Tenants, fight, fight, fight!"

Volunteer Sarah Deder was emotional when speaking to the crowd about her concern the stadium would price her out of her Crossroads home.

"The next 40 years of our future is being determined at the ballot box," Deder said. "I am a lifelong Chiefs and Royals fan, and that’s been hard for me to reconcile because these teams who have brought us together as a community for so many years are ripping mine apart."

Sarah Deder, KC Tenants volunteer

Another volunteer, Dante Davis, admitted he never particularly cared about voting until this issue came up.

"You can’t complain about change if you’re not actually going to try to impact change, right?" Davis said.

Dante Davis, KC Tenants volunteer

Shelbie Rosenblum and Aneisha Barnes aren't part of KC Tenants but they watched the rally.

Both work for Help for Housing, which helps place people in low-income housing, and believe a downtown stadium would make their jobs more difficult.

Barnes said it's important to remember to "put people first," which Rosenblum echoed.

"Clients want to live in Crossroads area, downtown, things that are close to public transportation because they rely on it," Rosenblum said.

Aneisha Barnes and Shelbie Rosenblum, Help for Housing

While Firestone still is unsure where she stands, she said she knows it's a decision she must make.

"I don’t want to see businesses displaced, I don’t want to see people displaced," Firestone said. "Think big picture; what is good for the city?"

The general municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2.