For the past four years, I have represented the 6th District on the City Council for our City. Prior to that I represented South Kansas City in the Missouri Legislature for five years. 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 continue to bring these same qualities and skills to our City government, so we can make Kansas City a City that works for all of us.
As a Councilman, I have been meeting with residents and groups from across the 6th District and our City to discuss what we can do to make our City better. Kansas City is on the move, 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 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. Every neighborhood in our City needs to be a safe one. 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. On the Council, I have advocated for more funding for our Police Department. We must do more to connect our neighborhoods with law enforcement officers, to forge a partnership to strengthen our community. My commitment to fighting crime is long-standing. In the Legislature, I 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. As your Councilman, I will continue to work with community stakeholders to make progress on this issue to provide a safe community for all.
During my first term on the City Council, our City has made substantial investments in infrastructure: first, with the passage of the General Obligation Bonds (GO Bonds), dedicated to roads, bridges, curbs and sidewalks, and second, by renewing the Public Improvement Advisory Council (PIAC) funds. As Vice Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee I have and will continue to work diligently to ensure the 6th District receives its fair share of these funds. We also need to finish what we start, ensuring major projects like the new KCI terminal progress with accountability and transparency through completion.
Our taxpayers deserve the delivery of quality City Services. Collectively, we have improved enforcement of codes and nuisances laws, mowing vacant lots, demolishing dangerous buildings, and bulky item pickup. Our residents and businesses rely on quality City Services. If our City is going to continue to attract and retain both citizens and businesses, we must continue to do better. Part of doing better is using technology and efficiencies for “smarter” and more effective delivery of City Services.
The 6th District has been experiencing a renaissance in economic growth and development, and we need to leverage these investments to foster continued growth and opportunity for our residents. I have been a tireless advocate on the City Council for economic development and job growth. In the 6th District alone we have seen tens of millions of dollars invested in both new and expanding businesses, creating thousands of jobs. The most important investment we can make is in our people. I am committed to renewing our focus on partnerships that will increase education, vocational, and skills training opportunities for our residents. On the Council, I will continue my advocacy for our City’s growth as I did in the Legislature. There, 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.
As a Member of the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee I have been a strong proponent of utilizing the Citywide Five-Year Business Plan which provides specific, measurable objectives based on financial modeling that has enabled us to develop and maintain a structurally balanced budget for our City’s future. By following this plan, we continue to transform our budget process and resource allocation from a one-year, reactionary exercise to a more proactive approach that addresses strategic, multi-year priorities. Our City has increased the level of citizen engagement and involvement and should continue to make improvements in this regard. Throughout my first term on the City Council I have met with more than 50 neighborhood and community groups and hosted open forums for citizens to express their concerns during our Second Friday’s meetings. Additionally, I have co-hosted regular community meeting with the 6th District At Large Council Member. Your voice is important to me and one I need to represent you and the 6th District with success.