East HS Scholars Host Forum for Mayoral Candidates

Students question nine candidates about a wide variety of issues during Dec. 5 event


Kansas City, December 7, 2018: Board Policy 1.0 states that Kansas City Public Schools will help our scholars become high-achieving critical thinkers who are prepared to succeed in a constantly changing world and who are engaged in the improvement of their community. The young scholars of East High School demonstrated that they are already engaged in the improvement of their community by planning and hosting a public forum with the candidates who are running to become the next mayor of Kansas City, Mo.

Held on Wednesday evening, Dec. 5, at EHS, the forum included nine mayoral candidates, including:

  • Business owner Rita Berry
  • City Councilwoman Alissia Canady
  • Business owner Phil Glynn
  • City Councilwoman Jolie Justus
  • City Councilman Quintin Lucas
  • Attorney Steve Miller
  • City Councilman Jermaine Reed
  • City Councilman Scott Taylor
  • And Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner

The forum was started as an idea generated by the students in Social Studies teacher Katherine Perna’s Social Justice class. Prompted by Ms. Perna’s lessons around the importance of civic engagement during elections, her students planned, organized and hosted the event, with support from the KCPS Communications and Community Engagement Department. The students researched who was running, invited the candidates to participate, decided on the event format, promoted the event and created materials for the event.

The forum moderator was Jalen Anderson, who was recently elected to the Jackson County Legislature as the 1st District At-Large representative.

Over about an hour and a half, the students asked questions they had carefully crafted to get the views of the candidates on a wide range of issues impacting their school, community and the entire city. The candidates shared their perspectives on complex issues like affordable housing, police training and education funding.

Kansas City, Mo. residents will winnow down the mayoral candidates during the primary election on April 2, 2019. A general election between the top two vote getters will be held on June 18. Visit the Missouri Secretary of State’s website to learn more about how, when and where to vote.

Everyone at KCPS thanks and congratulates the students of East High School for organizing this forum and for helping voters make a better-informed decision when they go to the polls!

Visit the KCPS Flickr site for more photos from this event.