Hispanic News endorses Justus for Kansas City Mayor

Councilwoman’s track record proves she gets results

As KC Hispanic News has covered the campaign of both Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas for Kansas City mayor over the last several months, we realize that one candidate had more experience than the other. Jolie Justus was able to communicate her vision of safer neighborhoods, job opportunities and affordable housing to the voters. She talked about bringing city services to our neighborhoods and the residents we spoke with like what they are hearing. Justus will also bring fresh ideas to our city and she will be an all inclusive leader to the people of Kansas City. KC Hispanic News is proud to endorse Jolie Justus as our next KC Mayor.

By Joe Arce Publisher KC Hispanic News

Jolie Justus is no stranger to politics at both the city and state levels, having served on the Kansas City Council for one term (4 years) and having served as a senator (6 years) in Missouri’s statehouse before that. In that time, she has cultivated a reputation for being a hard-working advocate for all people – including Hispanics – and this is only one of the reasons that Kansas City Hispanic News is proud to endorse her as the city’s next mayor.

On multiple issues that are near to the hearts and minds of the city’s Hispanic residents and voters in general and Westside neighborhood specifically, Justus’ values and actions have proven her to be an effective leader who listens and acts in residents’ best interests.

Making government more accessible

Justus, at a debate last month at the Guadalupe Centers, told residents that she wishes to bring certain services from City Hall into the communities she serves. For voters who might have difficulty understanding the machinations of government, this will be a welcome addition to the community.

“If you don’t know the city, how to navigate the system, you’re lost. It takes you forever,” one member of La Raza Political Club told KC Hispanic News. “There’s a learning curve. It’s a process, from parking to where you go and what papers you need as you head to city hall.”

Justus has numerous supporters from all corners of the city, from labor organizations to the Business Political Action Committee to La Raza Political Club, which officially endorsed her earlier this month. And Justus won’t just bring services to predominantly underserved areas of the city – she will ensure members of those communities have a voice at City Hall, too.

“She has promised to see we get more Hispanics into (City Hall and the new Kansas City International Airport),” said Lali Garcia, La Raza’s president. “The Hispanic people will be very well represented in all these jobs.”

Neighborhood safety and infrastructure improvement

The beautification of neighborhoods designed to entice residents to stay and tourists to come in and explore has been at the center of Justus’ campaign as well. Again, here is an area in which the La Raza member says she can be trusted to do what she promises, unlike opponent Quinton Lucas.

“Once (Justus) became our councilwoman, she was able to get us resources for neighborhood improvements – curbs, lights, sidewalks, parking,” he said. “She’s done what she’s said she would do. She’s got a great track record.”

As for Lucas?

“We had four years of him on the East Side,” the La Raza member recalled. “We asked him for resources for a lot of our social services, and he never delivered. He gave us a lot of lip service and he didn’t do a thing.” Those neighborhoods shouldn’t just look good they need to be a safe place for everyone. Recent shootings in the Sacred Heart area and on 23rd Street continue to plague residents and keep doors and windows shuttered.

“The older people are scared to come out and sit on their porch. I think she will get something done about it,” said Garcia, citing Justus’ longtime support of the West Side CAN Center.

A voice for Hispanics

In addition to experience – which Justus has in abundance – a politician also must simply have a love for the city he or she governs. Garcia said Justus has the head and the heart to lead Kansas City into a bright future.

“She has a big heart for communities like ours. She’s always voting to help us and she’s done so much for us,” Garcia said. “To me, she is a friend of the Hispanic people.”

We at KC Hispanic News wholeheartedly agree, with the statements in this and the people we with whom we spoke for this editorial. A vote for Justus is a vote for a better tomorrow. On Tuesday, June 18, vote for Jolie Justus.