Thursday, December 14, 2017
TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! MEET KANSAS CITY POWER PLAYER WHITE GUYS AGAINST WESTPORT PRIVATE STREETS!!!
The sordid topic of identity politics has worked its way into a major decision for Kansas City's oldest party district. However, our KICK-ASS LOCAL JOURNALISM offers another vantage of this debate and its players beyond stereotypical racial conflict.
Like it or not, some very important local white guys have spoken out against street privatization in principle and practice. And so this issue isn't Black vs. White but instead represents a struggle betwixt the civic elite vs. small biz & bars.
To wit . . .
CHECK THESE TOP RANKING KANSAS CITY WHITE DUDES AND THEIR PUBLIC OPPOSITION AGAINST WESTPORT STREET VACATION!!!
Sure, online discourse and small biz statements are nice but THESE LOCAL LEADERS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN MOST PARTY DISTRICT PLEBS and that merits special attention from our blog community. Natch.
So, without any further ado . . . Here's on the record Westport vacay opposition and a bit about these local honchos . . .
Eric Bunch - Bike Walk KC Policy Director and Co-founder
Here is why BikeWalkKC finds this street vacation problematic:
Private streets are private forever.
When the City signs over ownership, the streets become the property of the CID, most likely, forever. The city would have to buy back the property in order to return it to the public realm. Public rights-of-way have value and should not simply be given away for the benefit of private intrests.
Private streets are not compete streets.
A major component of the mission of BikeWalkKC is to ensure that our public spaces remain open for people to safely move through, gather, and experience. Shoudl the Westport vacation move forward there will be times when Westport Rd. and Pennsylvania Ave. will be closed to thru traffic including bicyles, pedestrinas, and transit vehicles. Those simply wishing to walk through may have to pay a surcharge at the gate. At these times people who live in or near Westport will have to pass through a metal detector and have their bags searched just to et home or go to the grocery store.
Private streets are inequitable.
Our atreets are not only critical for mobility but they are places for people to gatehr and even protest. These civil liberties are not guaranteed on private streets. While we applaud the CID in their efforts to infuse protection of civil liberties into an MOU with the CIty, the idea ahat civil liberties are guaranteed is fundamentally incompatible with the concept of private property.
BikeWalkKC envisions a community where public spaces are accessible by all. Privitizing our streets undercuts this vision.
Matt Staub - Streetcar Advocate - Chairman, Kansas City Parking And Transportation Commission
"Imagine if generations before us had privatized Westport's streets as a response to short-term concerns of the time. It would have never evolved to become the treasure it is today.
"We - all of us together - own our streets. We owe a debt to the city builders before us. We share an obligation to the future citizens of Kansas City. We must preserve its public space and nurture the role of its public infrastructure in facilitating an evolving, growing city."
Danny Rotert - Resident Of The 4th District - Senior Strategic Consultant at Burns & McDonnell And Former Communications Director for Congressman Cleaver And Mayor Sly James
"Public places, like the streets of Westport, should be open to all. Attempts to make the district less diverse could be an effort to make it more comfortable for white visitors. This will never be explicitly stated, but we have a history of policies that are enacted for this purpose disguised as the promotion of "safety".
"Sadly, we have a long history of discrimination in our City punctuated and interrupted by amazing and selfless acts of bravery and heroism. We do not need to add to that history. Perhaps this is an opportunity to employ the idea that: If it is not for all, it is not for us.
"By luck of birth, I was born white male in a world where that is an advantage. I have been fortunate to be able to learn, and in a small way, understand that struggle of civil rights from people who have lived and breathed that struggle. I have even more responsibility to stand up for the rights of others and bring them into the conversation because my voice is more likely to be heard."
Accordingly . . .
WHAT SHOULD CITY HALL DO AMID THE TESTIMONY OF THESE IMPORTANT KANSAS CITY WHITE DUDES STANDING AGAINST PRIVATE WESTPORT STREETS???
You decide . . .