In his youth, Quinton Lucas was homeless. As a young adult, he graduated from Cornell Law School. When he was 30, he was elected to city council.
And now, he’s the youngest person in the Kansas City mayoral race.
“There’s not a room I can enter where I don’t identify with someone; there’s not a group of people I can’t talk to,” Lucas said of his diverse background. “There’s no one running with that same life experience.”
Lucas emphasizes improving quality of life for all Kansas Citians, even those who may never vote or attend a neighborhood meeting. As mayor, his two biggest focuses would be affordable housing and combating violent crime.
As the chair of the Housing Committee, Lucas knows the obstacles of creating affordable housing but also knows how to overcome them.
“Particularly around UMKC and Rockhurst University and a number of our dense urban areas, we still have zoning that is antiquated,” said Lucas.
Lucas explained many of these zoning measures prevent large-scale housing units. He promotes the idea of up housing and building affordable housing, especially around transit areas.
“A young person who’s at UMKC now says ‘how can I live in our diverse community?’ and ‘how can I afford it?’,” Lucas said. “I think if we have neighborhoods that are strong, housing that is affordable and a good cultural life, then we can have a real turn around in Kansas City.”
For combating crime, he has concrete, reasonable plans on making a difference, including community policing, social services in every police station and more engagement between officers and the people they serve.
Lucas represents Kansas City’s 3rd District, which encompasses most of the economically- stricken east side, but he knows there are struggling families and homes all over Kansas City.
Lucas also serves on the Neighborhoods and Public Safety, Planning, Zoning and Economic Development, Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
“Every important policy question or issue that the city has seen over the last seven years, I’ve been fortunate to be a part of,” Lucas said.
Lucas serves on the most committees of all council members.
He has spent years mentoring at local prisons and works as an attorney at German May. At 28, he started teaching at the University of Kansas Law School, making him one of the youngest tenured law professors in the country.
Lucas’ mother works at UMKC in the graduate department, and he says when he was studying for the bar, he often found himself studying at UMKC’s library.
“Like many a Kansas City kid, I thought I would go practice law in New York City or Washington D.C,” Lucas said. “But this community brought me back.”
Lucas is one of nine candidates running for mayor, six of whom also sit on City Council.
To find out more about his campaign, visit quintonlucas.org