Al Brooks, Founder of Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, Named Kansas Citian of the Year

KC Chamber’s 132nd Annual Dinner Celebrates Brooks, Economic Border War Truce

Note: a surprise guest is expected to speak at approximately 7:45 p.m.

Kansas Citian of the Year:

He was one of the first African-Americans to serve on the Kansas City, Missouri Police force; he founded and directed the city’s Human Relations Department shortly after the 1968 riots; and he is the founder of the notable Ad Hoc Group Against Crime.

Al Brooks has received the 2019 Kansas Citian of the Year Award, presented by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. The award presentation came as the finale of the Chamber’s 132nd Annual Dinner meeting, held at the Kay Barnes Ballroom in the Kansas City Convention Center.

Mayor Barnes, last year’s recipient of the Kansas Citian of the Year Award, presented this year’s award to Al Brooks.

The 87-year-old Brooks moved to a segregated Kansas City in 1933 from his birthplace in Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the years, he’s been a police officer, assistant city manager, City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem, a member of the KCMO Police Board, and a member of the Hickman Mills School Board.

Another former Kansas Citian of the Year, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, said to Brooks, “If anybody in this town deserves this award, it is you. You have been a fabulous role model for many of us. Thank you.

The Chamber award is presented to an individual whose civic contributions and achievements have reflected the insight, creativity and consciousness necessary to build and maintain a quality urban community. Previous Kansas Citians of the Year include: Ewing Kauffman, Mayors Ilus Davis and Carol Marinovich, Don Hall Jr. and Sr., and KC Call publisher Lucile Bluford.

Celebrating the Truce in the Missouri-Kansas Economic Border War

The theme of the Chamber’s Annual Dinner was “Greater KC,” and one of the key accomplishments celebrated from this past year was the signing of a border war truce by Governors Mike Parson of Missouri and Laura Kelly of Kansas. The truce has been a long-time priority for the KC Chamber. Both governors attended the Chamber’s Annual Dinner to receive the organization’s appreciation, and both Outgoing Chair Gordon Lansford and Incoming Chair Carolyn Watley thanked them as well.

Two murals, representing Kansas and Missouri, were unveiled at the dinner. Created by artists JT Daniels and Phil “Sike Style” Shafer, the murals were designed to document the idea of “One KC.” Both murals appear along I-35 highway and can be seen by locals, commuters, and travelers. Gerald Smith, founder and owner of Plexpod, underwrote the creation of the two murals – the first in the River Market at the corner of Independence Avenue and Delaware in KCMO; the second at Plexpod’s Lenexa location, 10000 Marshall Drive.