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kc labor history





Kansas City's business leaders have been memorialized in many ways. We drive on streets celebrating employers like packinghouse giant Armour, and we attend sports events in Kemper Arena and Kauffman Stadium. Such public works celebrate our history, but where are the tributes to the working men and women who built Kansas City? Their contributions are hidden from view.

Recently Kansas City named its first street after a labor leader: Cesar Chavez, leader of the United Farm Workers Union. Although Cesar Chavez was from California, his life inspired many of us here. But naming a street after him does nothing to honor the contributions of Kansas Citians who worked here for the justice and dignity of working people or to make visible the proud history of our unions.

We think Cesar Chavez needs company. We therefore propose that we name streets, build statues, like the Firefighters Memorial at 31st Street and Broadway, and find other ways to recognize individuals and groups who fought for the rights of working people. Please email us with your nominations and a short description of the person or group's qualifications, and we will post them on this site.

We will start off our campaign with two nominations of people honored on the labor history tour:



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