A coalition of organizations across the state of Missouri has come together to denounce Amendment 4, on the ballot statewide this November. This historic committee brings together legacy Civil Rights organizations, faith-based groups, LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, and more in an unprecedented show of unity against this harmful amendment. 

Amendment 4 would force Kansas City to raise its minimum police budget from 20% to 25% of general revenue.  The group says the Amendment would repeal the Hancock Amendment,  A provision in the Missouri amendment passed in 1980, the Hancock Amendment mandates Missouri’s general assembly cannot raise taxes or fees above a certain threshold in a given year without voter approval.

 “Amendment 4 is an example of taxation without representation,” said Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.  “The people of Kansas City should have a say in where their funding goes, but more importantly, state politicians should not force Kansas City to do anything with the budget that is contrary to the community’s rights. That’s why it’s important we do what we can to reclaim our community and vote no on 4 this November.”

In a letter signed by the leaders of each of the coalition made up of non-partisan organizations opposed the amendment but appeared to go further with their statement “Each community should have the final say on matters affecting the community.”  

The root of the amendment goes back to the law that gives a commission appointed by the Missouri governor control over Kansas City’s Police Department.  

“By attempting to increase the police budget, state politicians in Jefferson City, most of whom have never lived in Kansas City, are reinforcing control over Kansas Citians.,” the letter says.  

Missourians should be careful. The vote, they write, “establishes a precedent for state control throughout Missouri.”

Organizations in the coalition are:  Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, Inc., MORE2, Urban League of Greater Kansas City, SCLC-GKC, Sunrise Movement KC,  Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, KC Tenants, Liberation Lit, Decarcerate KC, Missouri Faith Voices, Inc., Stand Up KC, KCLEAP (Kansas City Law Enforcement Accountability Project), Friday Night Protest, PROMO, Pro-Choice Missouri, Metropolitan Congregations United, Action St. Louis and Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter ActionTo read the complete letter go here.  The link is to the full letter with sign-ons which will be updated as other organizations join.

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Bonita Gooch

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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