Carol Coe, Kansas City activist and councilperson, dead at 74

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Outspoken former State Representative and Councilwoman Carol Coe in 2017 // Photo by Tracy Thomas

Carol Coe, attorney, civil rights activist, and former Kansas City Councilperson, died on Sunday.

Coe was a councilwoman from 1991 to 1995. According to city records, she was on the Finance Committee and the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors.

Mayor Quinton Lucas wrote an article for The Pitch about Coe on December 21. Lucas says she had a “fiery passion for her constituents and community.”

Coe was involved in Freedom Inc., an influential Black political and civil rights organization. She also established and directed Green Acres, an urban farming project.

“She is a ferocious defender of those who are often overlooked or underrepresented in our community,” says Lucas in his article. “A time or two, I have actually been on the receiving end of her fierce offenses. And I’m better for it.”

Rodney Bland, president of Freedom Inc, says Coe fought hard for small and Black-owned businesses.

City Council adopted a resolution declaring the bridge near East 19th and Vine streets be named the “Carol Coe Bridge of Opportunity” in October.

Coe’s daughter says she leaves behind four children and nine grandchildren.

“She was tenacious in everything she did,” says Bland.

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