Dear Editor: Hispanic and NE Chambers should work together

January 9, 2013 

The Old Northeast and Independence Avenue have received media attention recently. While not all positive, the attention has been on issues that affect everyone, not just about drugs and prostitution. I have some questions for the news media and the citizens.

The Old Northeast has an Hispanic population three times the size of the west side, but we receive no money from the city for Hispanic culture events while the west side does, especially from the tourism fund.

Why does the Northeast Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber not work together to advance Hispanic business interest? I have spoken to the Hispanic Chamber and walked away with a sense of hostility for the Old Northeast. I asked (Northeast Chamber President) Bobbi Baker-Hughes the same question and got a roll of the eyes. I have no idea what that meant.

The city spends a lot of money every year on the ethnic food festival in Swope Park. Since the Old Northeast is the most diverse area in the city, why not in our community? It would be nice on Cliff Drive where all residents of the city can see the beauty and diversity of our community.

Why not have a weekend of culture exchange with events in Budd Park, Lykins Park and the Concourse? The answer is a lack of leadership. Who speaks for the Hispanic community/Somalian? Ethiopian? Others?

We have not had anyone to look out for our interest at City Hall for at least 30 years. I hoped we would have with the election of Scott Wagner. However, as I feared, he has been swallowed by the northland. While he is an improvement, we can do much better.

My question to everyone is who will step forward and lead? We deserve better.

- Charles Melton
Kansas City, MO

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