Celisa Calacal

Celisa Calacal

Celisa Calacal is the economics and civic engagement reporter at The Beacon. She previously worked at KCUR as a news intern before helping produce the daily talk show, Central Standard. She’s also contributed to KCUR’s newest podcast, A People’s History of Kansas City. Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, her work has appeared in Salon, The Nation and The American Prospect.

Kansas City families prepare for the end of the expanded federal child tax credits

By: - December 11, 2021

Paying down debt. Taking a family vacation. Defraying child care costs. These are a few of the ways Kansas City families have used extra income they received this year from monthly federal child tax credits. Since 1997, most working families have been eligible for an income tax credit based on the number of children in a […]

Housing group, mayor share differing visions on a housing trust fund for Kansas City

By: - October 27, 2021

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon. As Kansas City grapples with an affordable housing crisis, three proposals could guide the city’s first housing trust fund — a program that uses ongoing fees and dedicated funds to preserve and produce affordable housing. But each proposal is different. There’s one from local tenant […]

Formerly incarcerated people can still vote in Missouri. This KC group shows them how

By: - September 28, 2021

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  Kansas City resident Christine McDonald didn’t know she could vote after completing her prison sentence in 2007. As someone who was formerly incarcerated, McDonald thought she lost that right. “Nobody told me that I could vote,” she said. But the same year McDonald left prison, she […]

Dangerous properties owned by Kansas City land bank draw frustration

By: and - September 22, 2021

This story was originally published by the Kansas City Beacon.  The house on 2415 Kensington Ave. has been wasting away for years. Inspection records show that the building has been subjected to repeated illegal dumping and, most recently, an intense fire that damaged it beyond repair. It was scheduled to be demolished in 2020, after […]

‘Where are we gonna go?’: New jail to displace over 100 Jackson County residents

By: - August 12, 2021

For more than a hundred residents at Heart Mobile Village in eastern Jackson County, Missouri, the neighborhood has been many things: a chance for a new start, a path toward owning a home, a place to raise a family. But come February 2022, the residents in this community of RV trailers and mobile homes will […]

How the pandemic pushed Missouri moms to redefine their relationship with work

By: - April 5, 2021

Throughout the pandemic, Deanna Munoz of Kansas City had to adapt to remote work and adjust to a new position at her corporate job, all with three kids learning remotely. Then on Oct. 22, Munoz’s brother died from COVID-19. A few days later, her mother died of a heart attack, on the way to his […]

How a local coalition is trying to improve internet access in Kansas City

By: - February 15, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of adults and children into remote work and online learning last spring, the divide between those with adequate internet and the knowledge to use it, and those without, became even more prominent. There were students who needed devices, households that needed more affordable internet and older adults who needed […]

How Missouri is using COVID-19 funds to tackle internet access

By: - January 28, 2021

Christina Sexton pays for the highest internet speeds that Spectrum offers in her Belton neighborhood. The connection is good when the internet works but has gotten worse throughout the pandemic. And with all three of her kids doing remote learning and her working from home, it hasn’t been fast enough to support the whole family […]