Saturday, August 22, 2009

MAST meeting, continued...

More musings on the MAST meeting concerning ourselves with the coverage in various venues in the city. If you do not live in MAST's service area, or a area of mutual aid (Grandview, pay attention) just think of it as large lessons on city government. Just put on your hip waders, because it might get deep around here.

First, media coverage. KMBC did a nice video piece; my only gripe with it was the lack of speakers of color on it. Maybe it's because white women hollar louder. KSHB also had a nice video piece, and featured a feisty black lady. On internet scan, (I am not watching TV at this time) WDAF and KCTV did not have either a text or video story on their internet sites.

The Kansas City Star had no coverage on their Internet site or the dead tree version. Very disappointing, and the reader's rep is going to have an earful from me.

Tony's Kansas City, as usual, does a terrific job. His tipsters are awesome. It's so good, that I'll let you all read it right here, as well as providing a link.


The biggest Friday Night Fight in Kansas City Community politics took place Southeast Community Center and Local 42 represented by a few thuggish firefighters lost.Here's why:A BUNCH OF WHITE GUY FIREFIGHTERS YELLING IN THE MINORITY COMMUNITY ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF THE HOSTILE MAST TAKEOVER HAVE NO CREDIBILITY!!!For years the lack of diversity in Kansas City's Fire Department has been lamented and now it looks as if Local 42 is going to pay the price for that neglect.Here are the heretofore unpublished highlights from the Meeting that KICKASS TKC TIPSTERS have provided:
White dude firefighters who probably all live up North seemed out of place at Southeast Community Center.
They sat together and took video and did their best to shout down all opposition in typical Union thug fashion . . . Which is kinda sad because TKC is mostly pro-Union when power-grabs aren't involved.
MAST supporters collected DOZENS OF SIGNATURES for their petition intended to stop the hostile takeover. Word is their signature gathering drive is going well.
To be fair, a bunch of white people supporting MAST showed up as well . . . Local 42 fired back with arguments that mostly involved empty threats. The overriding theme of the meeting was clear . . . NOBODY TRUSTS KANSAS CITY LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO MANAGE HEALTHCARE!!! But all of these points are really civic issues that don't interest TKC much . . .On the funny side, Local 42 quickly used the "Hero Card" in order to make arguments for a City Hall takeover that would quickly put MAST under Fire Department control. . . Unfortunately, because they lack a diverse perspective . . . Firefighters at the meeting might not remember that a recent death of 7 year-old student hit by a fire truck that was subsequently BLAMED ON THE VICTIM was perceived as less than heroic behavior by a great many in Kansas City's minority communities.And here's the most important part:FIREFIGHTERS AND LOCAL 42 HAVE BEEN OUTMANEUVERED IN KANSAS CITY'S DIVERSE COMMUNITIES BECAUSE OF THEIR OVERALL LACK OF REPRESENTATION!!!The leaders of this petition movement are all females and Firefighters look less than heroic when using their bully tactics against a bunch of women.More importantly, while I'm sure KC's Fire Departments meet quota . . . The lack of real diversity in the department guarantees that whenever Local 42 shows up in a minority community they're going to come off as nothing more than a bunch of angry white guys giving orders.Now, the KC Unions and Firefighters could take TKC advice and strenghten their commitment toward diversity which is pretty much non-existent . . . But what's most likely is that they'll just go recruit some sellouts and continue making empty threats.In the meantime . . . The initial stages of the petition effort will be successful because only around 4k signatures are needed and Union folks without diverse community representation have no credibility in a great many parts of Kansas City.

The tipsters and Tony are absolutely right: the union guys looked completely out of place and even uncomfortable. As well, there was a black guy who identified himself as a firefighter who spoke in support of the KCFD takeover of MAST, who did seem like a sell out. There was something about him that was just as slimy as the identified union guys. It's a slightly different perspective from my own, but interesting we came to the same conclusion: no one trusts the city's ability to manage anything, the change is for no good reason, and creates a high risk that ambulance service will be mismanaged. Which just doesn't cut it for the bottom line: Emergency services should be above politics as much as possible, and left to their business of saving lives.

OK, enough blogging for one day. It's beautiful outside. I'm going cruisin' in Belton. Hope to see you there.

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