The Forty-Nine Sixty-Three Neighborhood Coalition is one of the oldest continuously operating neighborhood organizations in Kansas City, Missouri. It is also the only neighborhood organization with residential areas on both sides of Troost Avenue, the historical and psychological racial diving line in the city.
The Coalition was founded in 1971 by a group of committed activists which included residents as well as representatives from churches, businesses, Rockhurst and UMKC. The purpose was to combat white flight, block-busting, and segregation .
The Coalition helped spearhead the enactment of a City Ordinance rezoning the area to R-1-b mandating that any future use of houses would be single family only. A grandfather clause allowed those dwellings that housed more than one family to maintain that status.
Numerous changes have taken place along the way. In 1993, 49/63 obtained one of the original COMBAT grants. This allowed the Coalition to employ a full-time person to combat drug use and abuse in the area. A full-time Codes Inspector was also assigned to 49/63 to work with the COMBAT coordinator in closing drugs houses, many of which had property code violations.
In 1994, the 49/63 Community Action Network was established. Two Kansas City, Missouri police officers were assigned to work with residents and businesses on a variety of issues related to crime, drugs and property maintenance.
The last COMBAT Coordinator employed was in 2013. The Community Police Officers were reassigned to other duties in 2016. Some work still continues related to abandoned housing in the area.
In the 1990’s, the Coalition encouraged the organization of smaller neighborhood organizations within its boundaries. Crestwood, a homeowners association, was incorporated in 1922. Troostwood, although not incorporated until 1999 was active as a neighborhood group. Astor Place was incorporated in 1996 and Rockhill Ridge in 1998. Troost Plateau and Rockhill Crest, are no longer incorporated but still function as neighborhood associations. Troost Avenue Lawn was incorporated in 2012. Wing & Steen, Kingston Heights and South Park are not organized at this time.
In 2017, the Coalition did not hold an election. In the Spring of 2018 a small group of residents met as a steering committee to look at ways to restructure the organization. In August, an Executive Committee was elected and the organization’s corporate status was reinstated and the necessary work was done to update the organization’s 501(c)3 status as a not-for-profit corporation.
In November of 2018 an annual meeting was held. By-laws were adopted to structure the organization more along the lines of an umbrella organization, a coalition working with the neighborhoods, businesses and institutions. At that time a nine-member board was elected to manage the functions of the Coalition.
The mission and structure are still evolving.