Hindsight, Insight: Four Former Mayors Appraise KC

Emanuel Cleaver, Kay Barnes, Mark Funkhouser, Sly James, Nick Haines
Graphic of four mayors with Hindsight, Insight title text
Thursday, January 26, 2023
Reception: 
5:30 pm
Program: 
6:00 pm
Room: 
Truman Forum Auditorium
In Person Event
Event at Capacity

Affordable housing is now a voter-approved priority. The streetcar route is nudging north. A new downtown baseball stadium looms larger.

Kansas City can point to progress or the promise of it. At the same time, gun violence remains a plague. Questions continue about subsidies and other tax breaks for developers. Shouldn’t the streetcar head east?

As current Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas nears a run for a second term – the April primary is a little more than two months away – four of his predecessors gather for the first time in an extraordinary forum co-presented by the Citizens Association of Kansas City and Kansas City PBS. They take stock of our city today while looking back at what their administrations were able to achieve over the past three decades and what they’d hoped to accomplish but couldn’t.

They look, too, at why some perennially promised things are so hard to deliver. Street repairs. Upgraded water and sewer lines. Development on the East Side.

Joining the conversation are Emanuel Cleaver (mayor from 1991-99), Kay Barnes (1999-2007), Mark Funkhouser (2007-11), and Sly James (2011-19). Nick Haines of Kansas City PBS moderates. Audience members can get involved, submitting their own questions.

The presentation will air February 3 at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.

The Citizens Association is Kansas City’s oldest political organization. Founded in 1934 , it was instrumental in eliminating corruption at City Hall in the 1930s and has worked since then to support the city. During election years, the association screens, endorses, and campaigns for a slate of mayoral and city council candidates.