Government should again prioritize people over corporations amid crises, author urges | Opinion

People power

Kansans remember the government acknowledging hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing relief checks. This reminds me of Proverbs 19:17: “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”

Many companies faced cutbacks, despite employing many essential Kansas workers. Yet special interests seem to hold more sway during our toughest times. These powerful interests, who held more power in government than the people, received government pandemic assistance while also cutting people’s jobs.

Organizing unions and protesting businesses isn’t enough. We deserve better. We shouldn’t have to work into our 80s. Low birth rates reflect economic anxieties. It’s time to prioritize people, not corporations.

I look forward to lower food costs as Kansas eliminates the grocery sales tax. I look forward to a president uniting us, and not dividing us. Join RepresentUs, the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in the United States devoted to combating political corruption, to fight for fair representation and a secure future for all. We need a stronger federal government.

- Ryan Service, Overland Park

For the children

June 21 was national Asking Saves Kids, or ASK, Day, encouraging parents to ask whether homes their children visit have firearms stored safely. It’s an important step in solving a gigantic problem.

Some 4.6 million children live in homes with unlocked, loaded guns. Studies confirm keeping kids safe relies on safe gun storage, but a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found nearly half of gun owners surveyed fail to do so. Children are not only victims. Last year, children unintentionally shot and killed 157 people while injuring another 270, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Each year, guns in the U.S. account for some 45,000 deaths. Father’s Day weekend alone, at least 50 people were shot and killed in nearly 200 shootings, according to the national Gun Violence Archive. Yet in the past 10 years, little meaningful gun-reform legislation has passed Congress. In Kansas and Missouri, laws that have passed make owning a gun even easier.

Real change will happen only when a majority of us supporting gun reform elect like-minded candidates. In this election year, we have to vote as though our lives and those of our children depend on it. Because they do.

- Judy Sherry, Grandparents for Gun Safety, Kansas City

Taxpayers’ due

The fuss over building new stadiums for the Kansas City football and baseball teams raises the old adage: Socialize the cost and privatize the profit. Yes, soak the taxpayers for building costs while the team owners take home the profits.

What about making a sports stadium a public utility in the first place? Because at today’s entertainment costs, most of the public can’t afford the ticket or concession prices in the first place.

- Mike Schilling, Springfield, Missouri

Need to hear

For many years, The Star’s editorial board decried cross-border business raiding, carried out by both Missouri and Kansas. This was something of a cause célèbre of the board’s, and for good reason. In the not-too-distant past, both states finally agreed to call it off.

Now, with the future locations of the Royals and Chiefs unresolved, Kansas has decided to woo the teams out of their homes in Missouri.

The reporting has been fine, detailing the various proposals and reactions. But one of the first pronouncements was by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, stating that the border war truce would not apply in this instance.

Without getting into the merits of the proposals and where I think each team will land, I want to know why the editorial board has been eerily silent regarding this obvious breach of the agreement not to raid major corporations from across State Line Road (though Star Opinion Editor Yvette Walker criticized it in a column). This is not a metropolitan-wide effort to keep one or both teams from leaving for Nashville, Portland or wherever. This is about as egregious a proposed interstate grab as any we have seen here in decades.

Editorial board, please speak up. We can’t hear you.

- Paul Blackman, Kansas City

What’s different?

I find it curious that so much energy is being spent discussing the disadvantages of building stadiums in Kansas. For the same reasons, why would Missouri’s residents want to keep the stadiums?

- Dan Wakeman, Lansing

Women’s voice

The statement “abstinence is a cruel joke” in a June 16 letter to the editor (16A) is a perfect example of how women have been brainwashed into subservience, into thinking we owe men free, uncommitted sex outside of marriage. Who is the joke really on?

- Jo Heinzman, Kansas City

Stay strong

As someone who helped organize the first gay pride celebration in Kansas City in 1966 with the Christopher Street Association, the first openly gay group in the city, seeing this year’s PrideFest was amazing.

I was grand marshal of the parade two years ago and rode with Missie B’s last year. This year as a guest and a founder, I viewed the procession merely as an observer for the first time. I am so proud of the hard work every participant put into making this the best Pride ever.

With all the anti-LGBTQ sentiment we are seeing today, my message is: Stay strong, my loves. Be out and proud, and know that I support all of you. Thank you for your dedication and grit.

- Lea Hopkins, Leawood