The 5th District Council race is a fiercely competitive race between former City Councilman Ken Bacchus and Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor Alissia Canady.
They are seeking to fill the seat currently held by acting City Councilwoman Cokethea Hill and formerly held by Michael Brooks, who left office at the beginning of 2015.
Canady won the five-way primary race with 38 percent of the vote, followed closely by Bacchus with 37 percent.
Bacchus touts his council experience and urban-planning background, while Canady emphasizes her crime-fighting background and her commitment to combating abandoned housing and promoting thriving neighborhoods. Each candidate has won significant endorsements and has strong backing from different constituencies.
Occupation: Urban planning and public policy, Urban Initiatives Group LLC
Education: Bachelor’s degree in political science and economics, Jackson State University; graduate studies in city and regional planning, Southern Illinois University; master’s in public administration and urban policy, UMKC
Public service: 5th District at-large City Council member, 1991-1999; served an unexpired term on the Jackson County Legislature, July to December 2014.
Major endorsements: Amalgamated Transit Union; Freedom Inc.; Fire Fighters Local 42; Citizens Association; Downtown Council; La Raza; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Positions on three key issues:
KCI: I am in favor of reviewing all plans, proposals and the work of the mayor’s study group, the intentions and interests of major airlines operating at KCI, and the recommendations of the city manager. When and if any plan is proposed by the City Council, it should be presented to the voters of Kansas City.
Kemper Arena: Hopefully there will be a future use for Kemper Arena, and any renovation to accomplish a different use would be weighed at that time.
Streetcar expansion: This needs to be part of a comprehensive public transportation plan that shows how it may integrate streetcar, bus, park-and-rides, a potential commuter system, and a financing plan with a variety of options to accomplish those needs. I support a citywide election for extending the streetcar if the city is required to issue and guarantee the bonds.
Occupation: Assistant prosecuting attorney, Jackson County
Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, Park University; community economic development certificate, UMKC; law degree, University of South Dakota.
Major endorsements: Fraternal Order of Police Local 99 and 102; Fire Fighters Local 3808; Carpenters’ District Council; Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus; KC BizPAC.
Positions on three key issues:
KCI: To make an informed decision, the council needs a feasibility plan and input from the airlines about their commitment to Kansas City and their willingness to support either project (renovation or new terminal), neither of which have been made available to the public that I am aware of.
Kemper Arena: I am in favor of a plan that would allow repurposing from the existing structure by a venture that has the ability to independently operate the facility without subsidies from the city. Absent that scenario, and after a reasonable amount of time for a diligent search, then I would consider demolition.
Streetcar expansion: Any additional investment must serve a broader purpose. This discussion should be broadened to determine how any expansion would fit into long-term plans for regional rail transportation.