How to register to vote in Kansas City
Kansas City’s 5th District doesn’t have a lot of things it needs, but it does have two good candidates running to represent it on the City Council.
The Star Editorial Board endorses Edward Bell II and Ryana Parks-Shaw in the April 2 primary. Two candidates will advance to the June election in the race to succeed Alissia Canady, who is running for mayor.
Bell, a business consultant and substitute teacher, has already represented his district on the Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) for the last four years, and has seen first-hand the way city government does and does not work.
He wants to concentrate on workforce development and hopes to raise expectations.
“Our community’s been made to believe this is the best we can have,” with only insiders — and always the same insiders — benefiting from the status quo.
During Bell’s tenure on PIAC, he pushed to get the budget of the Starlight Theatre moved from the 5th District to the 5th District-at-large, to free up more funding for neighborhoods. “I can’t take credit for being the first one to say it, but I was the one who got it done.”
He successfully lobbied every PIAC district to support the expansion of the Kansas City Community Gardens, and “nobody felt hustled, nobody felt swindled, because we were operating with integrity.”
Parks-Shaw, who has owned her own small business and worked as a hospital executive, is currently the director of health care partnerships at Hospice Partners of America.
If elected, she wants to concentrate on improving basic services and public safety.
Stephan Gordon, Mitch Sudduth and Bryan Dial are also running for the 5th District seat.
The Star is partnering with the nonprofit Verify More on candidate background checks, and you can see the results of that screening process here.