C.J. Janovy

C.J. Janovy

C.J. Janovy is a veteran journalist with deep roots in the Midwest. She was the Opinion Editor for the Kansas Reflector from launch unit l June 2021. Before joining the Reflector, she was an editor and reporter at Kansas City’s NPR affiliate, KCUR. Before that, she edited the city’s alt-weekly newspaper, The Pitch, where Janovy and her writers won numerous local, regional and national awards. Her book “No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas” was among the Kansas Notable Books of 2019.


What I learned on my pilgrimage to the U.S. Center Chapel in Kansas

By: - June 28, 2021

I had some unfinished business with the Boss. Back in February, my actual boss, Kansas Reflector editor in chief Sherman Smith, considered sending me out to Lebanon, pop. 252 (at last count), site of the Jeep commercial in which Bruce Springsteen begged Americans to walk back their fury at each other and find common ground. […]


Kansas should celebrate the legacy of Jon Reed Sims, son of Smith Center

By: - June 21, 2021

Jon Reed Sims was born in Smith Center, Kansas, in May 1947. When he died, in July 1984, it made news in San Francisco. A newspaper there showed then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein giving Sims a key to the city. The caption said he was “a favorite” of the woman who is now a long-serving U.S. senator. […]


Meet the woman newly charged with raising Black voices in Kansas

By: - June 14, 2021

Stacey Knoell’s loss in a Kansas Senate race last November turned out to be a win for Black people in Kansas, which is to say a win for everyone in Kansas. Knoell, a Democrat who’d never run for office, was seeking to represent Senate District 9, the southwestern corner of Johnson County. She lost to […]


What these Kansas business owners learned about paying $15 an hour during the pandemic

By: - June 7, 2021

Here’s a story of some Kansans who opened a restaurant six months before the pandemic, lost the majority of their revenue and still decided to pay workers $15 an hour. Like so many real-life pandemic survival stories, it’s more complicated than all the recent political rhetoric about workforce and wages. In fact, the story of […]


‘Everybody’ is to blame for Kansas’ foster care problems, says lawmaker who’s been trying to help

By: - June 2, 2021

Rep. Susan Concannon tends to get troubling information. Over the past three years, foster parents have gone to her with their problems. “I have a legal pad full of these stories, and I write out in the margin the name of the caseworkers,” says Concannon, a Republican from Beloit who chairs the House Committee on […]


Kansans should pay more attention to this Chamber of Commerce and less attention to that other one

By: - May 26, 2021

There’s more than one way to support business interests, Kansas. It’s a good time to remember this, after a couple of weeks in which the Topeka-based Kansas Chamber made headlines for eye-rolly reasons. First was a report that the organization was throwing a middle school mean-girl fit and ending its relationship with the U.S. Chamber […]


How to imagine a Kansas where the anti-abortion lobby doesn’t control everything

By: - May 24, 2021

Brett Parker seemed a little shocked. Earlier this month, the Democrat from Overland Park announced he was resigning his seat in the Kansas House of Representatives to lead a Stacey Abrams-inspired statewide community organizing effort. Joining him is former Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier, whose run for the U.S. Senate last year raised high hopes […]


After finding their old school for sale on eBay, a Kansas community goes to work saving its stories

By: - May 17, 2021

I’m sorry to say, Kansas, that I’d never heard of the Frankfort Boys. I now know these are 32 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from the small Marshall County town of Frankfort who were killed in World War II. “This small rural town has the highest number of casualties compared to any town of similar […]


How Kansans can refute politicians’ cruel notions about unemployment benefits

By: - May 14, 2021

I’d like to suggest a different way to think about the Republican vs. Democrat skirmish of the week. This week, it’s about cutting off the extra $300-a-week COVID-19 federal unemployment benefit because businesses are now complaining that they can’t find workers. It started here after the occasionally incompetent Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who initially inherited […]


Let us now mourn just a few of the ways lawmakers missed out on helping Kansans

By: - May 12, 2021

Really, the first responders weren’t asking for much. It was a surprise to me, as I imagine it was to many Kansas Reflector readers, that they weren’t already getting worker’s compensation benefits for PTSD. “Kansas state law does not recognize PTSD as an eligible workman’s compensation claim. There are no job-related mental health benefits; care […]


A Kansas fitness-club magnate’s quest for tax breaks offers a window into political dystopia

By: - May 10, 2021

Really, Kansas? Even by the standards set during this year’s now mercifully concluded session of lawmaking, your state Senate came awfully close to setting a new low before it was all over Friday night. That’s when the body took an actual vote on — as in, seriously considered — the creation of a property tax […]


This Kansas Democrat likes Ike — and wonders how many Republicans still would

By: - May 7, 2021

Boog Highberger knew it was almost lunchtime. So when he stepped to the podium in front of the Kansas House of Representatives, he said he’d try to be brief. It would be a week of some very long speeches in the Kansas Legislature, and this was only Tuesday. That morning, the House had been considering […]