Mayor Quinton Lucas has been in office for a year now and during that short period, he has faced a global pandemic and the rise of crime and civil unrest, but a Facebook group called “Recall Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas,” with over 10,000 members, isn’t cutting him any slack.
They want him removed from office immediately.
Their effort didn’t sit too well with another community group. Members of Keeping Communities on Guard (KCOG), a Kansas City anti-violence non-profit, have begun a counter measure to support Lucas. They see Lucas as a progressive leader who has shown accountability through the pandemic and worked to keep the community safe.
The two groups have dueling petitions and each side is calling for community support.
In August, the recall group created its petition and by law, have until Sept. 24 to acquire the 10,000 signatures needed to get the recall of Mayor Lucas on the Nov. 3 Ballot. While KCOG hopes to get 40,000 signatures on their petition, no matter how many signatures they get, their petition cannot stop the recall petition. If the other group turns their petition in on time with the correct number of qualified signatures, the recall issue must be put to a vote by the citizens of Kansas City.
On Wednesday, Sept. 2, more than 20 members from the “Recall Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas” group gathered at Berkley Riverfront Park for a press conference where they explained their concerns about Lucas. Only a few people were seen wearing masks, and social distancing wasn’t enforced.
Along with many other concerns about Lucas’ leadership, recall supporters talked about struggling local businesses and landlords, the city’s rising crime rate, protestors who were not prosecuted for breaking city laws during June’s protests against police brutality, and the mayor’s broken promise to the Fraternal Order of Police to pursue local control of the Kansas City Police Department.
At the press conference, one recall supporter, Shannon Yeager Bjornlie, said Kansas City used to be one of the top cities to raise children in, but now it is one of the top cities for murder. She stressed this change as one reason she was motivated to sign the petition and get involved.
After one local reporter who covered the event said the group “didn’t want to give into Black Lives Matter demands,” their group’s Facebook page lit up with comments about fake news, and lopsided reporting. While the group made a lot of comments amount the lack of action against protestors, and on their Facebook post you can find negative comments about Mayor Lucas chanting with the protestors, “no justice, no peace,” and anti-Black Lives Matter posts can be found on their the group’s page, at the press conference, members of the group – many of whom sported MAGA hats and Trump t-shirts – did not formally say anything against the concept of Black Lives Matter.
“No … the message was that our mayor should be protecting our city and its citizens. Holding those accountable that destroyed and continue to destroy our city is his job. He has failed,” wrote Cole Dee, on the recall group’s Facebook page.
Although they never formally talked about masks at the press conference, the group regularly posts about their disapproval of the mask mandate. The Recall Facebook group’s description says, “We are here to create and organize public support to recall and remove the tyrant Mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas, for his egregious disregard of our constitutional rights, and insane, anti-scientific mandates. One man should not have the power to choose winners and losers when it comes to small business or ‘force’ people to wear masks until JANUARY. Enough is Enough.”
“People are not taking this pandemic serious, which is irresponsible, and some people might not witness the trauma that other people are facing,” said Chrystal Tucker, a member of the pro-Mayor Lucas faction. She sees Lucas’ mask mandate and other COVID restrictions as positive action designed to keep citizens safe.
“Even though we want to get our businesses back up and running, we need to take safety precautions on our well-being and that’s something that we shouldn’t take lightly, so he made the best decision that anyone could basically make,” Tucker said.
KCOG also says the mayor has not been in office that long, and with the city in a pandemic half of that time, and they feel the mayor has been doing a great job, despite tough times, and that he’s been “showing up for the community.”
“His actions are showing he is for us and he’s thinking of us all as a whole and that is what we need,” Tucker said.
KCOG will hold a town hall in the coming weeks for more information on how the community can help support Lucas.
You can find locations where you can sign the petition to recall Mayor Lucas on the “Recall Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas” Facebook page.
To sign the petition to keep Lucas in office, click here: https://www.change.org/p/kcog-keeping-communities-on-guard-initiative-petition-to-support-mayor-quinton-lucas-to-stay-in-office?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=57532740-ed2d-11ea-8570-97656b7d6dc9