Lewis Diuguid

Council and mayoral candidates’ campaign promises should focus on quality of life concerns

Candidates for mayor and City Council in upcoming Kansas City elections should focus on getting more businesses and residents to go green like J.E. Dunn Construction. Here are solar arrays atop the company’s headquarters at 1001 Locust St. in downtown Kansas City.
Candidates for mayor and City Council in upcoming Kansas City elections should focus on getting more businesses and residents to go green like J.E. Dunn Construction. Here are solar arrays atop the company’s headquarters at 1001 Locust St. in downtown Kansas City. The Kansas City Star

The filing deadline for the Kansas City Council and mayoral races was Tuesday, opening the door to candidates saying what they hope to accomplish if elected this year.

The primary is April 7, and the general election is June 23.

Put aside the obvious lingering issues of what to do with Kansas City International Airport, the expansion of the streetcar line and creating a viable plan for Kemper Arena. The focus should be on more down to earth concerns to improve the lives of people in the six council districts, where the needs in some areas are enormous.

One thing the new City Council could tackle is to get Kansas City to join cities like Seattle in phasing in a minimum wage increase to $15 in the next couple of years. That would benefit low-wage workers living in some of the town’s hard-pressed 3rd and 5th council districts.

The council could create incentives to get businesses and residents to invest in renewable energy sources like solar panels. Promoting green could make Kansas City internationally famous.

Body cameras for Kansas City police would be a plus, helping to reduce confrontations with citizens. Incentives also are needed to get more families to move into urban core neighborhoods, where vacant land is plentiful.

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