My answer to people asking where I live depends on who’s asking.
If it’s someone local, I live in Independence. However, I don’t need to be far from home to change my answer to “Kansas City.” Not trying to be deceptive. Kansas City is simply more widely known beyond this area.
I think all area residents benefit from being part of the larger Kansas City community. No individual city can match what the broader community offers. Unfortunately, we rarely act as one community. When we do, it’s amazing! I’m convinced if we, collectively, decided to make a united Kansas City community our top priority, ongoing rewards would be astounding.
We are capable when we choose to be. Required commitments are positive attitudes and a willingness to fully embrace the three C’s: cooperation, collaboration and compromise. Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté exemplifies such commitment. He recently offered to relinqish money budgeted for officers if those funds were directly applied to remove blight in the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods.
Back to the question of where we live. I’m betting, based on the Royals’ World Series victory (yes!), many of us tout living in Kansas City, home of the Royals, to people living elsewhere. Funny how we’re Forever Royal Kansas Citians when we’re celebrating but revert to petty divisions in daily life.
The Royals showed the world:
▪ Kansas City is a great city.
▪ They are a team first, with each player contributing to team success.
▪ How to play with heart and energy, and genuinely celebrate teammates’ successes.
▪ A relentless pursuit of every win. They combined amazing defense, speed, power and just plain smart playing. They were incredible!
The post-World Series parade was a celebration of our Royals’ success. It showed Kansas City as a dynamic, wholesome and highly desirable city. Three arrests among hundreds of thousands of people. We proudly claimed Kansas City as home. Together we can build on that momentum, think big and act as one unified community to solve substantial metrowide issues.
Take public transportation. The World Series parade demonstrated without doubt that Kansas City lacks functional public transportation. Fortunately, we have leaders capable of leading and supporting a common goal of solving problems — like better public transportation — and sharing strengths to build a cohesive community. And, if community leaders choose the concept of one Kansas City community as their legacy, consider the possibilities.
Regional and local organizations possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Significant, sustainable change requires high accountability standards. Examples from relevant cities and small-scale local experiences can be evaluated.
There’s no place for individual/city perspectives or egos. Think common good. Reliable public transportation can cost-effectively deliver workers to jobs and those unable to drive to their destinations, combat sprawl, reduce wear and tear on personal vehicles and roads, and provide viable transportation options for those pursuing environmentally friendly living.
Beyond value to riders, fully functional public transportation could diminish many ills across our community, while providing extensive measurable benefits. Forget “border wars.” Inclusive beats divisive every day. Issues and opportunities affecting many take precedence.
And, while it’s not reasonable to expect public transportation to be fully functional by next year’s World Series, we need to make considerable progress before then. Consider it part of being Forever Royal.
Lisa Hays of Independence operates her own business intelligence firm, A Fresh Perspective LLC. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.