41 Action News Anchor Dia Wall sat down with Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas to look back on 2020. In this part of their conversation, Lucas discussed the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his stance on the eviction moratorium and the Chiefs Super Bowl parade.
41 Action News Anchor Dia Wall: Mayor Lucas, thanks for joining us.
Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas: Yes ma'am, happy to be with you.
DW: I'd like to start with, what are you most proud of this year?
QL: You know, I think I have to say I'm most proud of zero-fare transit in Kansas City. That was something a lot of people say could not be done.
We put money back into the pockets of working men and women in Kansas City each day, and I think it's something that's gotten attention all around the country.
DW: What are some of the others?
QL: When I ran for mayor, I said that we were going to change our marijuana policy, our approach to how we handle things and we've seen that happen in Kansas City with a decriminalization at least as to the city ordinance process.
We were able to get out of committee an issue relating to parking tickets and making sure those become civil and administrative charges, not the sort of thing that could ultimately get somebody in jail.
DW: How would you grade the city's response in this unprecedented, I mean, health emergency?
QL: I'm proudest of Kansas Citians, and so I'll start with them. We have changed a lot in a year. People are worshipping differently, studying differently and going to work differently. Some businesses have been shuttered, many businesses have been shuttered, and all have sacrificed. And I think if I was asked to give a letter grade, I have to give a B or B-plus.
Kansas City, Missouri, has given more than $3.2 million in small business relief, more than I believe any other jurisdiction around us. We have continued to do that even though we haven't always received the funds that I think we need from our county and state partners.
I'm glad the vaccine is here, but we know it may still be a tough few months, but I think Kansas Citians are ready to meet them.
DW: You’ve asked to extend the eviction moratorium. Why?
QL: On the eviction moratorium, I think it is very important for us to make sure that we remember that the reason everything's happening right now is that this is a public health crisis, first and foremost.
I don't see that our health threat has changed in some ways here in Kansas City, and in Missouri, in Kansas, it's only gotten worse.
DW: You may have forgotten, but you started the year celebrating on a float, the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl. What was that experience like for you?
QL: You know, I was just thinking about that earlier today. It was probably my greatest memory as a Kansas Citian because there were so many of us who came together. We all look different. We all came from different places, and everybody got to be in unison about something that was exciting for us and our region. And I can't wait until we get back to that.