Economic Development Action Plan
I’m not a status quo reactive public servant. I am an action oriented and hands-on community leader, and invite people to look at my proven track record of solving problems and identifying opportunities for our city. I’ve worked as a volunteer to support and encourage economic development and building in our city, and want to continue at a higher level for our city. I’m excited about working on the council to build upon my work and experience for the benefit for our entire city.
- I will work with businesses and unions to get us into the school districts on a regular basis to introduce students to an alternative path for career education for those that don’t chose college. I already have a good relationship with 4 districts. We need to change the culture and make sure that students, their parents and school counselors recognize that college is not the only good option for the students. I will work with you on materials to demonstrate the various benefits and salaries that they can expect in the various trades to make it sound exciting!
- Started and built a viable, proactive organization with a strong Board in south Kansas City, based on a need. We are recognized citywide, and have been successful at speaking with one voice for our citizens and businesses, the South Kansas City Alliance. Some of the initiatives that I’ve led are listed below.
- I envisioned & created an annual Economic Development Summit with a skilled team where we have showcased the major employers, received construction updates & available business opportunities over the past 5 years in South Kansas City. It serves as a “commercial” for our community, meant to spur others to join in the active development. (Cerner, Burns & McDonnell, CenterPoint, Lane4, Northpoint, etc.) with new housing, commercial development and other businesses.
- We created and implemented my idea for a Cerner Employee Survey, where I wanted to ask some of the employees (16,000 coming in over 10 years) what they wanted from our community (housing, retail, businesses, services, recreation, etc.) I actually got permission! Then, we presented the findings to developers, builders, and other interested parties to share the great opportunities based on the needs shared in the survey – with the goal of encouraging them to do business in our community, South Kansas City. The survey has been shared city-wide and used to spur some development!
- I had an idea to host a “$15+/hour Job Fair” this past Summer. I was initially asked by Cerner to host one for them to help fill 600 immediate openings. I used the opportunity to assemble a great team & we invited several other businesses to participate . We also did a prep session a week in advance to prepare the job seekers (resume writing, interview tips, social media tips, etc.). We had 400 people in show up for the Job Fair in South Kansas City. I’ll host “$15+/hr Job Fairs” quarterly once on the council to connect employers, employees and unions who obviously need to connect with one another.
- I am continuing my advocating efforts to expand future streetcar routes into South Kansas City next. I know that economic development and building buildings follows the streetcar in our city.
- I’ve assembled a group of people active in the residential industry to proactively address the creation of more affordable housing options in our city. I also serve on St. Michael’s Veterans Place Apts. Board where I’ve actively advocated elected officials (including the governor) to continue offering tax credits to help us build Phase 3 (another apartment building).
- We need to create an environment at city hall that is welcoming to new development & investors. It is not that way now, based on my research. We need to make it easy for them to choose to create additional development and housing in our city.
- I’ve supported the proactive Bannister Redevelopment plan (east of the Cerner campus) where the EDC through PIEA used outside the box thinking to make it easy for developers and builders to apply for incentives as a way to attract new development (multi-family housing, retail, commercial, etc) in South Kansas City. I testified in favor of it and actually scheduled a meeting and invited potential developers, and business owners to learn of the opportunities so that they can start building and developing in this specific and targeted community.
- In another effort to support and build new businesses to develop our city and new construction projects, I personally invited procurement professionals with Edgemoor and the city of Kansas City to share with businesses at our South Kansas City Alliance Economic Development Forum in December 2018 how to participate in major upcoming city bids and projects. I wanted them to learn of the Strategic Partners Training programs available through Clarkson centered around the airport project. We had a full room of people (including MBE/WBE) that now know of opportunities to grow their businesses and get large contracts in our city (and beyond), hopefully.
- I’m interested in promoting the Opportunity Zones across the city to share information with potential developers and investors across the city. This is a great opportunity to create new businesses and create commercial and residential developments in our community. My goal is that more people will learn about the business opportunities available to build in our city, and that you get your workers on the construction jobs to start (followed by long term permanent jobs in the future).
There is no other candidate that has done more for the development of South Kansas City, particularly in a volunteer, than I have over the last 9-10 years in a variety of capacities. I am ready to CONTINUE my work to highlight that South Kansas City is the economic engine of the city (with the major projects & expansions), keep all Kansas Citians working, and our city growing attracting new citizens and retaining current one. I have the proven leadership and extensive experience working between city government and my community. I look to get your support.