Fixing the Killa City

The social media meltdown was swift this past weekend after Mayor Pro Tem and Mayoral candidate Scott Wagner dropped the “killa city” moniker at a local church campaign visit when describing what we urban core dwellers know as the norm on Kansas City’s East side. While some may view the comments as racially-charged or incendiary, this straight-talking NewsDog says kudos to Wagner for calling it like it is and advocating for change in what has long been accepted normal urban behavior.

As a thirty-year urban core resident and former neighborhood association head honcho that has worked hand-in-hand with local law enforcement on cleaning things up in this here Cowtown, this pooch is sick and tired of hearing local prosecutors refer to “the matrix” at the jail as an excuse for rolling violent offenders back out on the street, then lamenting overcrowding at the county hoosegow in the same breath. Such roll-outs contribute heavily to the crime that at times, seems to run rampant in the city’s urban core and contributing heavily to the “killa city” moniker. Dare we remind our readers about the infamous absconder and cat-burgler Deandre Buchanan who repeatedly had his bond reduced to the point where he rolled back out in the community to continue the family line of work preying on law abiding citizens?

Frankly, the Dog doesn’t understand the outrage. Wagner has a long history of being a straight shooter, pun unintended. His stance on the Paseo re-naming debacle and his hardball questioning of the Airport agreement with Edgemoor show that he’s no patsy and isn’t bought with a hot lunch at the Capital Grille. But the Dog digresses.

What’s lost, however, in the video footage of the “killa city” reference is what Wagner says next. This, however, doesn’t fit the narrative, so the outrage manufacturers continue to run screaming down the street with their hair on fire. For the record, Wagner went on to talk about the keys to fixing the “killa city” moniker is to break the cycle that leads to the endless upward spiraling homicide rate. Addressing the blight, offering mentorship opportunities for youth, and offering intervention mental health services to residents deemed at risk.

Those who follow Wagner’s social media presence will recall his lamenting the shots that were fired during the funeral service of a Central Academy student roughly two weeks ago. That social media post garnered some serious positive attention, including a pledge from this Newsdog about our organization offering a paid journalism/media internship opportunity this summer for aspiring urban high school students. That pledge will become a reality thanks to a couple of our community partners here in the Historic Northeast community. The opportunity will be an eight-week program offering a variety of media opportunities including multimedia news delivery and ethics in journalism. We’ll have a little more details on that opportunity and what it looks like in upcoming editions of The Northeast News, so be on the look-out.

Here’s the bottom line: Those hair-on-fire types crying crocodile tears about being dealt hard truths by a mayoral candidate have a choice. They can continue to be part of the complaining problem, or step up and start working proactively to change the environment and be a force for positive change for the youth of Kansas City. We’re stepping up. How about you?

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