Kansas City, MO – The two-year battle over the dress code at the Power and Light District continued yesterday, as a city council committee heard public testimony on a proposed tougher ordinance on what a dress code may not prohibit. The one at Power and Light bans athletic attire and garb associated with the Hip-Hop culture. Developer the Cordish Company says it is just about clothes. But the ACLU's Lisa Watson said it's really about who gets excluded for wearing the clothes.
Watson told the Planning and Zoning Committee that the Constitution and the Supreme Court have been consistent: "If there is a disproportionate impact on people of color, they require that we look at it in terms of strict scrutiny."
Watson supports a proposed ordinance that specifies that it is discriminatory ito ban the specific kinds of attire prohibited by the Cordish dress code. No Cordish representative appeared. Bur a restaurant spokesman expressed concerns that the ordinance interferes with letting businesses define themselves. The committee will continue its discussion of the ordinance next week.