For the past five years, I have represented South Kansas City in the Missouri legislature. During this time, I have worked to make real progress for both Kansas City and our state. I have found success comes by gathering input from diverse interests, being open to new ideas, building partnerships, and seeking common ground. I will bring these same qualities and skills to city government, so we can make Kansas City a city that works for all of us.
I am meeting with residents and groups from across the city to discuss what we can do to make our city better. Kansas City is making progress is many areas, but much work remains to be done. Below are some of the key priorities that deserve the focus of our city government. Please check back often for updates and feel free to contact me if you have a question or would like to offer input. I do not pretend to have all the answers, and I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.
Thank you for your interest in our campaign, and I hope to talk to you soon.
Our residents and businesses deserve a safe neighborhood to call home. Kansas City’s crime rate has been too high for too long, and recent instances of violent crime in South Kansas City underscore the critical importance of this issue. We must ensure that tax dollars allocated to public safety are being used where they can make the most impact in combating and preventing crime. We should continue to support KC NoVA, a focused, deterrence-based crime fighting strategy, which has shown significant results in getting some of our city’s most violent criminals off the streets. In the legislature, I have sponsored legislation that would enable the creation of an armed offender docket pilot project. This was a recommendation from the Attorney General’s Urban Crime Summit and would facilitate the swift prosecution of criminals who commit crimes with firearms. If elected to the council, I will continue to work with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and state partners to make progress on this issue to provide a safe community for all.
Our city, and South Kansas City in particular, has substantial needs in terms of deferred capital improvements and maintenance. Our city’s geographic size, a land area of 320 square miles, low densities, and dispersed development, present unique challenges in improving and maintaining our infrastructure. We need to ensure that funds that were intended be allocated to infrastructure improvements and maintenance, whether for streets, bridges, curbs or sidewalks, are actually used for that purpose. In addition, we need to develop out a long-term solution with public input and discussion that will allow us to continue to improve and maintain our infrastructure in the future.
To attract and retain residents and business, we must deliver quality city services. The 2014 Citizens’ Satisfaction Survey showed progress in certain services, but it also identified specific areas where improvements are needed, such as stronger enforcement of code and nuisance laws, mowing of vacant lots, demolishing dangerous buildings, and regular bulky item pickup. We can make improvements in many of these areas without significant investment of resources. We should also seek out opportunities to utilize new technologies to improve response times and efficiencies. I support data-driven programs like KCStat that help streamline processes and improve performance. Efforts like that of Kansas City’s Code for America Brigade, which leverage the talents of private tech developers, also offer a cost-effective opportunity to increase transparency and efficiencies in city government.
South Kansas City is experiencing a renaissance in economic growth and development, and we need to leverage these investments to foster continued growth and opportunity for our residents. In the legislature, I sponsored and passed legislation to end the tax incentive, job-poaching “border war” with Kansas. I fought for the passage of this legislation because we need to stop the irresponsible movement of jobs across state line at the expense of taxpayers. Our strategy and approach to economic development must be global, and we need council members who will be aggressive in recruiting employers from high growth sectors, such as the technology and health care industries, to our city. We need our city to welcome potential employers and make it easy for them to choose Kansas City as their home. I support the AdvanceKC initiative, which will help streamline our economic development process so we can better attract and retain businesses in the future.
The Citywide Five-Year Business Plan provides specific, measurable objectives based on financial modeling that will enable us to develop and maintain a structurally balanced budget for our city’s future. By following this plan, we can transform our budget process and resource allocation from a one-year, reactionary exercise to a more proactive approach that addresses strategic, multi-year priorities. The city has increased the level of citizen engagement and involvement and should continue to make improvements in this regard. I will work to expand the use “Citizen Work Sessions” and “Public Engagement Sessions” in the 6th District to obtain more public input in the budget-making process, so that all citizens have a voice in our city government.