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Clinton Praises Dole and Calls for Political and Social Cooperation
November 23, 2015

Former President Bill Clinton at the Dole Institute Leadership Award Lecture

Lawrence-Former President Bill Clinton says the key to progressing in a divided world is sharing what united people, not focusing on what divides them.

Clinton was in Lawrence, Kansas Monday to receive the Dole Institute leadership Award.

The former president defeated former Senator Dole in the 1996 Presidential campaign. But Clinton said he and Dole worked well together on many projects before and after that campaign.

Clinton says Dole was able to see the common good in many people.

Dole was not present for the ceremony.

The former President said sharing common traits and outlooks works in politics and in life.

“And we know when people practice inclusiveness and cooperation, good things are going to happen.”

He added that terrorists groups like the one that attacked Paris are able to recruit young suicide bombers because they only show them what divides the recruits from the rest of humanity.

“They have been swayed in another direction. One that allows them to believe there is glory in pre-mature death.”

Clinton, however, remains very optimistic.

At one point he told the several hundred people at the lied center in Lawrence he would trade his presidency for the opportunity to see more of the 21st Century.

“Because I think there is a good chance this will be the most peaceful, prosperous time in human history,” he said, “a time of breathtaking scientific advances, in which all the bad things we’re worried about will probably not be quite as bad as we feared, and the good things we hoped for will probably be more than we dreamed.

All 6 Living Missouri Governors at Hawthorne Foundation Luncheon
November 20, 2015

Left to right: John Ashcroft, Bob Holden, Jay Nixon, Kit Bond, Matt a blunt, Roger Wilson Sent from my iPhone

Kansas Cuts Budget After Revenue Projections Dip
November 7, 2015

 (AP) – Kansas has slashed its revenue projections, and Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director has announced immediate budget adjustments so the state keeps paying its bills on time.

State officials and university economists on Friday issued a new, more pessimistic forecast for state government. The new forecast predicts $354 million less in state revenues from now through June 2017 than previously predicted.

The new forecast created a deficit in the state’s current budget. Budget director Shawn Sullivan immediately announced $124 million in budget adjustments to close the gap and avoid delays in meeting the state’s bills.

The new forecast came hours after the Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments about whether a school funding law enacted earlier this year is valid and whether school districts are owed another $54 million in aid.

Jail Report Calls for Higher Pay, More Training & New Jail?
November 2, 2015

A new report says Jackson County Jail Corrections officers suffer from high turnover, and low starting wages.

The report, issued Monday also calls for the County to look into the possibility of replacing the 31-year old high-rise jail in downtown Kansas City.

The report says the starting wage for some officers of $11.45 an hour is not enough to lure people into a stressful job with long hours.

Commission Co-Chairman Al brooks says the County’s pay scale is not competitive.

“And the County couldn’t keep up with what the other industries were doing. In fact the County was the lowest in the region,” he said.

The report also suggests the County Department of Corrections improve its training and seek accreditation.
Brooks said that could also improve practices and standards at the jail.

The report was commissioned after incidents earlier this year of guards being accused of excessive force.

One of the key finding calls upon Jackson County to consider the feasibility of a new jail.

Brooks says the current facility, first built in the mid-1980’s and often at, or near its 720-inmate capacity; is outdated.

“You don’t build jails anymore 6-8-10 stories anymore. So it’s campus style. So it’s both for the employees and the detainee,” Brooks said.

Jackson County officials will starting building their 2016 budget next week. It’s expected they’ll plan to raise the wages for jail guards.

KC Mayor Sly James WORLD series ‘ Letter to America’
October 28, 2015

Here the text of the Mayor’s letter promoting Kansas City as the World Series puts a spotlight on his town:

Dear America,

I have been struck over the past several days at how much you have embraced Kansas City and our World Series-bound Royals. Last week, I traveled to the White House to discuss early childhood education and everywhere I went people were telling me how the Royals are “America’s team.” I couldn’t agree more and you will not find another Mayor in the country that is both as humbled and proud as I am.

You see, I’ve lived in Kansas City all my life. I’ve seen the good and the bad. I’ve seen times when Kansas Citians were proud of their hometown and times when they weren’t. But I have never seen anything like this.

Baseball has made us the darlings of America at this moment, but this is about more than baseball. This is about our City taking its place as a major league city in every sense of the word.

Trust me, I have plenty of statistics about how great our economy is, how lovely our parks are, how efficient our government is, how much safer our neighborhoods are, how cheap our cost of living is. Those statistics would leave half of you rolling your eyes and the other half asleep. So, why bother?

I am all about data-driven strategies and results. But sometimes the most important components of a community’s confidence are things that aren’t easily quantified – like charm.

I have to believe one reason the Kansas City Royals are so popular is because of their charm. Those guys are hardworking, friendly, classy, edgy, and fun. How could all of that rolled up in a single package not be charming?

The same can be said about our City. I love being the Mayor of Kansas City because we don’t pretend to be something we are not. We are hardworking – not needy. We are friendly – not cold (although our winters would suggest otherwise). We are classy – not pompous. We are edgy – certainly not boring. And we are fun – as evidenced by our propensity to combine good music and good barbeque whenever possible (and people flocked here during prohibition, so what does that tell you?).

Our charm isn’t limited to adjectives alone. There are few metropolitan areas in the nation where you can choose to live in a downtown loft or a sprawling farm and still not leave the city limits. You can do that here. Plus, our vibrant neighborhoods make residents and visitors alike feel as if they live in a small town, although our population is over 450,000.

Above all, we are real. We know our strengths (entrepreneurship, arts and culture, medical research, food, music, sports, to name a few) and we know where we can improve (We must lower our crime rate and we must ensure every child has access to a world-class education – and as long as I have any say at all, we will.)

Being real resonates. It’s charming. And it’s Kansas City.

That sound you hear is Kansas City pulling up its chair to the table of great cities. We worked hard to get here. We’re going to continue working hard to stay here. And we’re going to win some games along the way.

I hope you’ll come visit us and I promise your time won’t be wasted. Hit me up on Twitter (@MayorSlyJames) or follow me on Facebook ( and let me know your favorite thing about Kansas City and the Royals. And I’ll give you some tips on what to do and see while you’re here – but I won’t tell what my favorite barbeque joint is. That’s like disclosing your favorite child.

Being Mayor means I’m Kansas City’s head cheerleader and that’s my favorite part of the gig. Our boys in blue are giving us a huge stage on which to show people why we deserve to be “America’s City.” Here are some pretty convincing reasons:

Be royal and stay frosty.


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