Virtual Town Hall: Kansas City’s future with coronavirus

Virus Outbreak Missouri Daily Life
Posted at 7:31 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 20:31:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City has a special place in the hearts of many of its residents and, while the coronavirus pandemic is testing our community’s resiliency, there is a future.

Not only is there a future, but it’s a future we can shape and influence.

As part of The Rebound KC, an effort to help Kansas Citians bounce back from the pandemic and all its collateral damage, 41 Action News was proud to host a virtual town hall Wednesday, April 22, with a select panel of civic leaders.

READ: Learn more about Rebound KC

41 Action News anchor Dia Wall moderated the discussion with six Kansas City area leaders about what lies ahead in Kansas City and what discussions should be taking place throughout the community to turn the pandemic from a challenge into an opportunity.

The panel included:

  • Joe Reardon, president and CEO, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Mark Bedell, superintendent of the Kansas City, Missouri, Public School District
  • Dr. Dana Hawkinson, University of Kansas Health System infectious disease expert
  • Maria Meyers, executive director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center
  • Ruben Alonso III, president of AltCap
  • Hannes Zacharias, professor at the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs and Administration

The panel acknowledged that the city, region and country can't remain in a state of lockdown forever, but it also acknowledged that reopening our economy is fraught with challenges.

Panelists also spoke about how taking steps to address Kansas City's digital divide can usher in brighter days for our education system.
Additionally, despite the damage caused by COVID-19, both in terms of lives lost and jobs lost, Kansas City finds itself on the cusp of opportunity to make fundamental changes that have challenged the community for decades.

We hope to continue the conversation as part of our coverage.

You can submit story ideas and provide feedback by e-mailing us at, visiting our Rebound KC Facebook Group or The Rebound KC resource webpage, or leaving a message on our The Rebound KC hotline at 816-932-4111.