Letters: Readers discuss Liz Cheney, renaming KC streets and jobs for the homeless

·3 min read

What she said

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has shown what has been described as courage for a simple statement of fact regarding the 2020 election. (May 13, 2A, “Cheney ousted from House GOP leadership post”) For this the Republicans say she can no longer be trusted in a position of leadership in the party.

I must say that I find it very interesting that the people who voted for Donald Trump because he is not afraid to say anything don’t seem willing to allow anyone else even to state facts without consequences.

- Dennis Way, Roeland Park

Go native

Bees and other pollinators are vital to our ecosystem. Can The Star help promote the planting of wildflowers and grasses in parks and near highways?

Aren’t we better than Texas, which has had a wildflower promotion policy since the founding of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1982?

Native plants are much lower maintenance than grass, and they are more tolerant of drought and shade. Their stronger root systems can also reduce erosion.

- John Davies, Kansas City

Leave them be

Changing the names of streets is never, ever a good idea. (April 14, 1A, “Parks board votes to rename 3 streets for King”) It causes confusion and expense to many.

I’d prefer to see Blue Parkway, Swope Parkway and Volker Boulevard remain as they are. Changing the name of Oak Street from 45th to 52nd streets to honor William Volker is beyond ridiculous. Talk about confusing.

The fact that many other cities have named streets for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. doesn’t mean Kansas City has to be a copycat. The best idea — by far — is to name our new terminal at Kansas City International Airport after King.

- Diane Capps, Kansas City

It isn’t right

Nearly 60 million people say they would join a union today if they could. The problem? Union busters, big business and woefully outdated laws continue to undermine the right to collectively bargain. Kansas has been an anti-union “right to work” state since the late 1950s.

Just recently in Montana, working families and union brothers and sisters defeated an attempt to pass a “right-to-work” bill. In that state — and it’s a supermajority Republican-led state — they get it. In Missouri, “right to work” was defeated by folks who understand that “right to work” is wrong.

Here are the results: On average, workers in states with “right-to-work” laws make nearly $9,000 less per year than workers in states without these laws. The rate of workplace deaths is 37% higher in states with “right-to-work” laws.

The Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act was passed by the House last year but blocked in the Senate. This year, we have another chance to make history. It’s time to pass the PRO Act and end “right to work” for good.

- John Nave, Executive vice president, Kansas AFL-CIO, Topeka

We can work

A recent story in The Washington Post on aid to cities notes that, “in Seattle, local leaders plan to vastly expand a program, modeled on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, that pays the homeless to clean up parks and roadways.”

Kansas City should do likewise. This is a low-cost approach that is absolutely transformative for the hardest-hit people in the hardest-hit communities. Frankly, we should go further, offering a local “Job Guarantee,” hiring anyone who can’t find a private-sector job to do community service at the minimum wage. But even a smaller scale program like Seattle’s can have an enormous impact.

I urge Mayor Quinton Lucas to look into these initiatives.

- Sam Levey, Kansas City

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