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We asked, you answered: Here’s what Star readers want to see in our Opinion section

Our Kansas City Star Opinion team launched a survey last month, asking readers to let us know what topics interest you in these pages, and to encourage you to contribute your own letters and guest columns. I’m happy to say that we received a good number of well-thought out responses and suggestions.

Why do we care what you think? Smart media understands that we don’t exist in a vacuum. We are here to serve our readers by providing information to help make sense of a complicated world.

Here are your top 10 coverage suggestions in no particular order:

1. Public policy (education, housing transit, the environment)

2. Social and criminal justice reform

3. Abuse of power

4. Health care access

5. Gun rights

6. Tax assessments

7. Crime

8. Success stories of local business and K-12 schools

9. Local sports

10. More balanced political coverage

All these areas of coverage are important and needed, especially a look into criminal justice. One reader writes: “As I see it, our only hope is in more informed juries,” adding that The Star “needs to write about miscarriages of justice as they are happening. People need to understand that we are all at risk. All of us are at risk of going to prison even though we’re innocent.”

Justice for abuse, racial injustice, student loans

Readers, I’m happy to report that our writers and editors are providing what you asked for. Let’s take a look at how stories we’ve published in the last month align with your interests:

Melinda Henneberger talked about reform in her chilling tale of a woman who was abused at a massage business and fought to get justice.

Toriano Porter brought a different perspective on crime stories, including one about a Black man killed in Kansas City as his white assailant hurled the n-word.

I wrote about education, discussing the overturn of affirmative action in higher ed and on the student loan debacle.

And the editorial board tackled several of these issues, bringing a fresh look at areas of police and crime, public policy stories, even sports.

And yes, we have written about politics — a lot — but only you can determine whether you think it’s balanced coverage.

Voices from community members

I can’t leave you out, with your well-written and thought-provoking guest commentaries and letters. Here are just a few:

Freelance commentator Joel Mathis handled health care access in his column on Kansas kids losing health care over a paperwork problem.

Retired General Services Administration Heartland Region deputy director Bond Faulwell wrote about telling Sens. Josh Hawley, Eric Schmitt and Roger Marshall to fess up about Donald Trump.

Jackson County Executive Frank White got a lot of traction defending property tax hikes.

Notice how many of the topics you want were covered in your own writing? I want to create more opportunities for you to share your voice. For now, you have two ways:

  • To send letters: Visit KansasCity.com/letters to submit your letter to the editor of 200 words or fewer. You may also mail your submission to Letters to the Editor, The Kansas City Star, 4741 Central St. #600, Kansas City, MO 64112. Include your address and phone number for verification only.

  • Guest Columns: The Star welcomes exclusive essays of up to 600 words. Email the essay and a photo of the author to oped@kcstar.com. All submissions are edited before publication.

Are we done yet? Absolutely not. Will we continue to listen to you? Affirmative. We vow to be first, reflect on critical issues and discuss the topics you care about.

By the way, it’s not too late to take our online survey asking what issues are most important to you. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to share your thoughts.

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