minimum wage

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

By a margin of fewer than 900 votes, residents of Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday acted to prohibit city officials from moving forward with any streetcar extension without first gaining citywide voter approval. 

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Below are the unofficial results for the Aug. 8 special election in Kansas City, Missouri, and other municipalities. You can find full results from the Kansas City Election Board, Jackson County Election Board, Clay County Board of Election Commissioners and Platte County Elections Board.

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Just because court filings suggest illegal opioid use is down in Kansas' wealthiest county doesn't mean its residents are unaffected by rising usage nationwide. Today, we'll find out what opiate use looks like in Johnson County. Then, we learn what exactly makes sports fandom such a big deal in Kansas City, whether it's for the Chiefs, the Royals or Sporting KC.

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Updated, Tuesday, 2:21 p.m.  

Streetcar extensions. Minimum wage hikes. Clay Chastain's latest light rail plan. It's okay, we're also feeling a little déjà vu over the issues on Kansas City's Tuesday, Aug. 8, ballot.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

When it became clear the Republican-controlled state legislature wouldn’t be raising the minimum wage above $7.70 an hour, leaders in St. Louis and Kansas City took matters into their own hands.

Catherine Wheeler / KCUR 89.3

At the end of the 2017 legislative session, we took the podcast on the road to ask an important question: are Kansas City's communities of color being heard in Jefferson City?  

This podcast was recorded live at the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

 

Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri. But sometimes, it feels like its interests aren't at the forefront of the discussion in Jefferson City. Two former Missouri legislators turned Kansas City council members talk about how the city's priorities fared during the 2017 session and what's on their agenda for the future.  

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Mayor Sly James initially said the ordinance had failed, but after a moment of confusion he announced that the Kansas City Council has enacted a $8.50 an hour minimum wage, effective Sept. 18, 2017.

The ordinance calls for an eventual $13 minimum wage in 2023.

But it might not stand. The Council voted just hours after the Missouri House fast-tracked a bill to prevent cities from adopting a higher wage than the state minimum, which is $7.70 an hour and the current rate in Kansas City.

Stand Up KC

Councilman Quinton Lucas says Kansas City needs to act to raise the minimum wage — now. 

In the past few weeks, the debate over raising the minimum wage is Kansas City has been revived. Here's a quick overview of what's happened so far:

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that St. Louis can raise their minimum wage to $11 by 2018. 

This reverses a lower court's decision in 2015, which struck down the increase because it would conflict with a state law that prohibits municipalities from enacting a minimum wage higher than the state's. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

It’ll be August before Kansas Citians can vote on a minimum wage increase.

A Jackson County Circuit Court judge ruled Tuesday that the city should get more time to review a proposed ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2021.

Petitioners had hoped Judge Margene Burnett would force the city to place the measure on the April 4 ballot.

The city initially declined to put the question on the ballot in November 2015 because Missouri law forbids cities from enacting a minimum wage higher than the state minimum of $7.70 an hour.

Danny Wood/KCUR 89-3

The latest attempt to get a minimum wage proposal on the Kansas City ballot in April continued in front of a judge today.

The petitioners want Kansas Citians to vote in April on their proposal calling for a minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2021. But despite a Missouri Supreme Court ruling in their favor, last month Kansas City council members refused to put the issue on the April ballot.

The petitioners, including Pastor Lloyd Fields, appealed to a Jackson County Circuit Court Judge today.

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Based on a true story, the new film 'The Founder' tells the tale of how struggling salesman Ray Kroc found the McDonald's brothers and their California burger shop. We meet a few Kansas Citians whose own personal stories cross paths with growth of the family burger joint turned billion-dollar chain.

Plus, one long-time McDonald's worker shares his story, and his fight for higher wages.

Guests:

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

An ordinance seeking to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City to $15 an hour by 2021 failed to get enough votes from the city council to make it onto the ballot in April.

After Thursday's decision, Dr. Vernon Howard, president of Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City called the no vote “morally bankrupt.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The Missouri Supreme Court says Kansas City voters deserve a chance to weigh in on a higher minimum wage.

Last fall the City Council declined to put a minimum wage hike on the ballot because it would’ve contradicted state law.

“We often try to make sure before we’re putting something on the ballot it’s something that could be legally enacted in Kansas City, Missouri, thereafter,” Councilman Quinton Lucas says.

But Lucas, a lawyer, says Tuesday’s ruling turns that thinking on its head.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A sea of red beanies, T-shirts and flags filled the median at 63rd and Paseo in Kansas City Tuesday night as more than 400 people gathered for the final phase of the "Fight for $15's Day of Disruption."

Workers nationwide celebrated the fourth anniversary of the Fight for $15, and the $61.5 billion low-wage workers have reportedly earned since the movement launched in 2012.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Speaking at a campaign stop in Lee’s Summit Friday, Missouri Republican gubernatorial hopeful Eric Greitens tried to position himself as more qualified than his Democratic opponent to lead on race relations.

“If you’re happy with Ferguson, you can vote for Chris Koster,” Greitens told the packed room. “If you’re happy with what you’re seeing at the University of Missouri, you can vote for Chris Koster.”

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Alice Chamberlain admits it's often uncomfortable for white people to talk about prejudice, white privilege and institutional racism.

That's why she's excited. 

On Monday, more than 300 people — most of them white, like her  — showed up at St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church in Kansas City to have a conversation about just those topics. 

Low-wage workers nationwide are continuing their fight to raise the minimum wage and have a voice in the workplace. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk about the important role women play in the labor movement, back in the 60s and today. 

Guests:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander joined area janitors Saturday to help kick off their campaign for higher wages.

Members of SEIU Local 1, a union that represents 50,000 working people across the Midwest and nearly 4,000 in Kansas City, say that while downtown Kansas City is experiencing growth, the working people who clean it are struggling to get by.

Kander told media and local union members that the average janitor in the metro makes $1295 a month, which is well below the poverty line in Kansas City. 

Andrea Tudhope / / KCUR 89.3

Last November, for the first time, Kansas City child care workers spoke out about their low wages, as they officially joined fast food and other low wage workers in the Fight for 15, a movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City-area childcare workers joined the minimum wage fight Tuesday with a rally and protest at a childcare center on Troost Avenue.

The workers used the event at UBUNTU to publicly join the "Fight for 15," a national movement raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

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The prepaid debit cards Kansas and Missouri use to pay state employees without bank accounts got a thumbs-down this week from a consumer advocacy group.

“Most cards don’t charge you if you want to find the balance is on your card,” says Lauren Saunders of the National Consumer Law Center, “but the Kansas card, if you go up to the ATM and ask what the balance is, they’re going to charge you a dollar.”

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this week's Statehouse Blend, columnists and bloggers speculate about spooky legislation we might see in 2016 and discuss the legislative ghosts that might carry over from 2015. It's a Statehouse Blend Halloween Special.

Guests:

The Kansas City Council on Thursday grudgingly repealed the minimum wage ordinance it passed in July. 

The council instead endorsed efforts to get the minimum wage increased at the state level.

Council members unanimously said the repeal did not indicate abandonment of the minimum wage cause, and that the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the Missouri General Assembly.

Cody Newill / KCUR

A court order Tuesday has officially killed the petition initiative to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City.

Presiding Judge Justine Del Muro of the Jackson County Circuit Court ruled Tuesday that the initiative, which called for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, should be removed from the Nov. 3 ballot.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Kansas City officials are working to dismantle both an ordinance and a coming vote for a raise in the city's minimum wage in response to a veto override by the Missouri Legislature.

The city passed an ordinance in July that would've raised the local minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2020. Petitioners with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City felt that wasn't enough, so they decided to move ahead with their own petition for $15 an hour by 2020.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City restaurant workers rallied in Westport Thursday afternoon to show solidarity with fast-food employees in New York, where a wage board has voted to increase the minimum wage to $15.

“I think everyone should know that for a better economy, better neighborhoods, everyone should be paid well,” says Terrence Wise, who works more than 60 hours a week at McDonald’s and Burger King. “If workers in general have more money, then they have more money to spend and boost the economy.”

Stand Up KC

The Kansas City Council passed an ordinance earlier this summer that would've raised the city's minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2020. And while the move was praised by social justice organizations and workers, many business groups felt it was done too quickly.

In the weeks since then, a lot has changed with the minimum wage debate in Kansas City. Competing initiatives, an election and state law have all converged into a confusing mess.

To straighten out the tangle of procedures and petitions, KCUR has put together a timeline of the major developments surrounding the minimum wage. This isn't an exhaustive list, but it is our best effort to compile the significant dates and moments in the minimum wage conversation in Kansas City.

Cody Newill / KCUR

The Kansas City Council passed an ordinance this summer that would've raised the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2020. But competing petitions and state laws have complicated the issue, and threatened the raise for Kansas City workers. 

'A glorious day for workers'

Activists and low-wage workers with activist group Stand Up KC protested for higher wages for years before the council's vote. For Subway worker Dana Whitman, who has struggled to pay rent on the wages she earns, that day earlier this summer was a day of joy and relief. 

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