Kansas City Consensus Records (1065kc)
Founded in 1984, Kansas City Consensus has provided a citizen voice in public policies discussions. “Consensus provides citizens with the neutral environment and tools they need to understand, analyze, and address public policy issues. Its work has produced new approaches to old problems and significant breakthroughs on issues that matter to people.” It is one of just eighteen such citizens-league type organizations in the United States, addressing a range of issues that affect its metropolitan area. However, it was the only one that has used statistically valid, random surveys to identify key issues. It provided a link between citizens and the business, civic, and government sectors by working with laypersons to develop sound conclusions and innovative recommendations based on accurate findings. Its work has been the catalyst for new laws, new programs and new approaches to a range of issues, among them school boards, downtown revitalization, child care, urban redevelopment, race relations, safe neighborhoods, and bi-state funding for culture and recreation.
In its early years, Consensus recommended the Metropolitan Child Care Council – housed at the Mid-America Regional Council – along with other initiatives such as those to strengthen minority business development, improve how Kansas City uses its blight ordinance, and allow Missouri issue elections to be held entirely by mail. A 2001 study of school boards recommended legislative and program changes that encouraged school board members to be more effective policymakers. In 2000, a Consensus study recommended doubling the number of residents in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, by 2010 as a means to increase that area’s vibrancy. And, as a result of a 1999 study on leadership, Consensus encouraged new connections among the 60 leadership programs in the region. The organization is perhaps best known for recommending a bi-state cultural tax, then spearheading a ten-year effort to pass enabling legislation in Missouri and Kansas. Others then got voter approval and the funds were used to renovate Union Station.
In July of 2003 Kansas City Consensus became a ‘virtual’ organization without a physical office using the World Wide Web as a tool to network citizens and community.
The records include administrative files dealing with the method and content of the various initiatives explored and undertaken by Kansas City Consensus. Included are Executive Committee and other committee minutes, reports, and working data; information on task forces that focused on topics; background research data; and financial reports and working papers. 1984 - 2003.
40 cubic feet.
© State Historical Society of Missouri
Monday, February 07, 2011
State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu