Quinton Lucas

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Quinton Lucas
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (cropped).jpg
Lucas in 2021
55th Mayor of Kansas City
Assumed office
August 1, 2019
Preceded bySly James
Personal details
Born (1984-08-19) August 19, 1984 (age 37)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationWashington University (BA)
Cornell University (JD)

Quinton Donald Lucas (born August 19, 1984)[1] is an American politician serving as the 55th and current mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. He was elected in 2019 and is the city's third African-American mayor. Before his election, he was a law school professor, community leader, and city council member.

Early life and education[edit]

Lucas was born in Kansas City, Missouri to Quincy Bennett Johnson, a single mother. At a young age, Lucas earned a scholarship to attend the Barstow School, a private school characterized by more comfortable socioeconomic circumstances than those prevailing in Kansas City's low-income East Side. "He saw we were struggling," Johnson said. "One time we lived in a hotel, and it was horrible. Quinton would go in the bathroom to study."[1][2] Lucas never met his father.[3]

Lucas was elected student body president twice and was one of the top students in his class. According to Lucas, he experienced a conflict of identity due to the disparity between his social background and his ambitions. He felt reluctant about leaving Kansas City upon graduation.[4] Encouraged by his college counselor, Lucas decided to attend Washington University.

In college, Lucas majored in political science and studied abroad in South Africa.[5] Living in Cape Town, he observed the political and cultural legacy of apartheid. This experience strongly influenced Lucas' perception of the inequalities experienced by Black people in the United States.[4]

He attended law school at Cornell, where he was encouraged by a professor to assist in Curtis Osborne's appeal for clemency. Though the appeal failed, Lucas found the legal experience to be transformative.[6]

Quinton Lucas joined the University of Kansas Faculty of Law in 2012. At KU, he taught administrative law, contract law, and securities regulation.[7]

Early political career[edit]

In 2015, Lucas won a city council seat representing the Third-District-at-Large, gaining more than 70% of the vote.[8] His message was concerned with bridging the cultural and socioeconomic gaps between the eastern and western areas of the city. When asked about the greatest challenge facing Kansas City, Lucas said, "How do we get people from jobs in my part of the city, the east side of Kansas City, off into other parts of the city or even to Kansas?"[9]

Housing policy became a primary focus once Lucas joined the city council. He advocated both the development of new housing supply and the renovation of existing properties.[10] Lucas played a decisive role in shaping a 2018 ordinance that defined affordable rent as equaling 30% or less of the city's median income, which was then $1,100 a month.[11] In an interview with the Kansas City Business Journal, Lucas said that "$1,000 a month is still pretty high for a lot of people, but what we’re trying to do is say that we will not give incentives based on affordability standards for units that are north of that figure.”[12]

During discussions surrounding the finance and development of a new airport in August of 2017, Lucas advocated for transparent municipal decision-making by calling for fewer closed Council sessions. He told The Kansas City Star, “I think the spirit of the Sunshine Law is not for council to deliberate on myriad issues on public policy in secret.”[13]

Mayor of Kansas City[edit]

In the 2019 mayoral election, 11 candidates ran to replace term-limited incumbent Sly James.[14] The field later narrowed to Lucas and fellow city council member Jolie Justus. Lucas won after receiving approximately 59% of the vote.[15]

On March 10, 2020, Lucas attempted to vote in the Missouri Democratic presidential primary, but was turned away at the polls because a worker mistakenly entered his name as "Lucas Quinton."[16] The mayor used the incident to highlight the importance of voting, and his tweet describing the situation received over 13,000 likes.[17] He later returned to the polls and successfully cast a vote.

In late August of 2020, citizens organized a petition to remove Lucas from office, but were unsuccessful. These petitioners criticized Lucas's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and said that his mask regulations were harming the city's small businesses.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Lucas has been a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs since childhood. The New York Times reported that he takes detailed notes on the performances of Kansas City sports teams.[19]

In October of 2018, police in Lawrence, Kansas found Lucas asleep in his car after getting "a call of an unconscious man at 8th and Massachusetts." Lucas "was booked for misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs ... and released on a $750 bond."[20] He said that he "had attended an event where he drank alcohol and decided to wait in his car until he felt it was safe for him to drive." The charges were later dropped.[21]

Lucas married his longtime girlfriend Katherine Carttar on April 9, 2021.[22] That same month, the couple welcomed a son who they named Bennett.[23] Lucas lives in the historic 18th and Vine district.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Quinton Lucas looks like the most promising East Side candidate for City Council in two decades". Thepitchkc.com. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Steve Kraske: Remember the name Quinton Lucas, a politician of startling potential". Kansascity.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Henneberger, Melinda (February 6, 2019). "From homeless to Ivy League to mayoral candidate, Quinton Lucas has 'always been like that'". The Kansas City Star.
  4. ^ a b "Quinton D. Lucas '09 Success Story". Lawschool.cornell.edu. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Awards Season: KC Councilman Quinton Lucas Underscores Library's Value to Community". Kansas City Public Library. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  6. ^ "Quinton Lucas looks like the most promising East Side candidate for City Council in two decades". Kansas City Pitch. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "Quinton D. Lucas". School of Law. July 16, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Sly James coasts to victory as KC mayor in near record low voter turnout". Kansascity.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Rodriguez, Lisa. "City Council Newcomers On The Biggest Challenges Facing Kansas City". Kcur.org. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  10. ^ "City Councilman Quinton Lucas talks about housing in Kansas City". Kansascity.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "KC's vision of 'affordable' rent may give you sticker shock". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "KCMO.gov » About Councilman Lucas". Kcmo.gov. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Steve Vockrodt (August 6, 2017). "KC mayor threatens council members with ethics complaints for leaks". The Kansas City Star. ISSN 0745-1067. Wikidata Q96112965..
  14. ^ Rodriguez, Lisa (January 16, 2019). "Here's Who's Running For Mayor Of Kansas City, Missouri". KCUR.
  15. ^ "Check election results here: Kansas City votes for new mayor, city council members". June 18, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  16. ^ Hollingsworth, Heather; Lieb, David (March 11, 2020). "Kansas City mayor runs into problems attempting to vote". AP News.
  17. ^ @QuintonLucasKC (March 10, 2020). "I made a video this morning about the importance of voting and then got turned away because I wasn't in the system even though I've voted there for 11 years, including for myself four times! Go figure, but that's okay. We'll be back later today! #Vote #KCMO" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Cortlynn Stark; Allison Kite (September 17, 2020). "With 30 days to get 13,713 signatures, effort to recall Kansas City mayor falls short". The Kansas City Star. ISSN 0745-1067. Wikidata Q104666631.. See also: Dodge, Abby; Holmes, Maggie (August 27, 2020). "'Group of Kansas Citians Launch Petition for Mayor Lucas to Resign'". kctv5.com. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  19. ^ Shpigel, Ben (October 14, 2018). "'He's Ours. Patrick Mahomes Is Ours.'". Nytimes.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  20. ^ Shannon O'Brien (October 19, 2018), Kansas City councilman, mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas arrested for DUI in Douglas County, WDAF-TV, Wikidata Q96112160
  21. ^ Greenstein, Melissa (April 11, 2019). "DUI charges dropped against Kansas City mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas". KSHB Kansas City.
  22. ^ Mahoney, Micheal (April 19, 2021). "Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas marries longtime girlfriend in civil ceremony". KMBC. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  23. ^ "Mayor Quinton Lucas marries longtime girlfriend, welcomes baby, surprising Kansas City". FOX 4 Kansas City WDAF-TV | News, Weather, Sports. April 19, 2021. Retrieved April 19, 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Kansas City
2019–present
Incumbent