A month as mayor

Quinton Lucas was inaugurated into office Aug. 1. In Lucas’ inaugural speech he promised a “safer, healthier and stronger city." One month after this speech has left us wondering what has been put in place to keep this promise.


Mayor Quinton Lucas shakes retired Mayor Charles Wheeler’s hand during the inaugural cocktail party Aug. 3. Lucas was celebrating his new beginning as Mayor of Kansas City while spending time with Wheeler. photo courtesy of Rivas Photography

by Lilly Frisch, Writer/Page Designer

This summer ended the eight year mayoral tenure of Sly James.  In a race which included eleven candidates, including six that were current City Council members, Quinton Lucas came out on top with 58.6% of the vote June 18. 

Mayor Lucas was born and grew up in the urban core of Kansas City.  He earned an academic scholarship to attend The Barstow School in South Kansas City.  From there he went to Washington University and Cornell Law School. He returned from law school and after clerking for a federal judge went on to become one of the youngest law professors at the University of Kansas. Prior to becoming mayor he served on the City Council, chaired the Housing Committee. He also served on the Neighborhoods and Public Safety, Planning, Zoning and Economic Development, Transportation and Infrastructure committees. 

These assignments became the backbone of his campaign platform. His primary focus was economic and racial justice. Promises of criminal justice reform became his top priority and the most frequently discussed topic on his campaign trail.  

“I’m not saying it will change everything about a 15 year old’s mind, but what it allows an officer to do now, instead of having to go through a list of questions, they say we have the authority to make arrests and seize weapons,” Lucas said.

His campaign promises include plans for increased neighborhood safety, more and better trained police and stronger gun laws. Mayor Lucas promised that his actions as mayor would improve the community and lower crime rates.

If delivered these actions could make a big impact on school shootings which represent 24% of all mass shootings in the United States. 

 “The vast majority of mass shootings do happen at schools and that’s kind of terrifying to me,” junior Ailis Reavey said. “I want to be able to go and learn in a safe environment without having to worry about my safety.”

A 2019 report from “Safe Wise” ranks Kansas City the 5th most dangerous big city in the country. Mayor Lucas’ top priority is reducing the crime rates. He plans to have smarter police on the streets by having them go through more training exercises. 

Lucas promised to lower crime by making stricter gun laws. This would reduce the amount of shooting in the Kansas City area. 

Quinton Lucas was sworn in as Mayor of Kansas City Aug. 1. Less than 48 hours later, The New York Times reported two shootings 1,600 miles apart left at least 29 dead and 53 injured.  

Mayor Lucas now believes that there is a way to reduce gun violence by keeping minors in Kansas City from getting handguns. Lucas stood alongside Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II Aug 8. to pitch his idea of lowering gun violence. 

“What we’re trying to do is limit minors picking up guns, end them getting used to them, trying to end a culture of violence, trying to end a culture of gun possession,” Lucas said. 

Kevin Jamison, president of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance commented on the ordinance’s potential success. He said his team would work with Lucas if he ensured the rights of gun owners in our community.

“Some of these cases should be handled in municipal court so we’re not giving a kid a record,” Jamison said.

These two ordinances were proposed Aug. 8 and are set to be viewed by City Council. State law often prevents Kansas City mayors from making drastic changes on gun control. There are Missouri state laws that prevent mayors from passing certain gun law restrictions such as gun buybacks. 

“I definitely think that gun safety and education is something they could be pushing more for,” Reavey said “I also think gun control could be a lot more effective if people just put it in action.”

Although Lucas’ main focus is foreseeing these ordinances and their success, he has also made several appearances in the KC area. 

Local Kansas City residents could meet with Lucas Aug. 29 at the Southeast Community Center where he talked about neighborhood violence. He discussed what they can do and how they can make their community safer. 

Along with community safety, Lucas wants the people of Kansas City to have better public transportation. He met with KCATA’s CEO Robbie Makinen Aug. 27. They discussed how they could start the use of free buses to help lower income residents get to work.   

Mayor Lucas has been our city’s mayor for less than 45 days. He promises to keep doing work for our community to make it safer and more efficient. Lucas recently held an anti-violence town hall meeting Sept. 1.

“The public should focus its attention on public safety,” Lucas said. “We should always ask ourselves how does this make our community safer?”