Kansas City needs a leader who will invest in our greatest resources: our people, our neighborhoods, and our river. For too long city officials have given taxpayer dollars to those who don’t need it, neglecting schools, libraries and neighborhoods in the process. We need a leader who is not afraid to challenge the status quo.
Phil is a successful businessman who has built affordable housing in and brought quality jobs to economically distressed communities nationwide. Where other investors only saw poverty, unemployment and other barriers, Phil saw opportunity. Phil has created thousands of jobs and affordable homes in struggling communities. He is the only candidate with the experience and knowledge we need to move beyond our entrenched dividing lines.
Phil has proven himself as a leader willing to fight for social justice and against inequality. In 2015, Phil was removed from the Tax Increment Financing Commission (TIF) because he voted against the status quo and wealthy developers and for our libraries and schools. Kansas City needs a leader willing to challenge old assumptions and work creatively to find new solutions.
- We must invest in high quality, comprehensive pre-k for all our children, but not in a way that further burdens our low-income families. In my business, I invested in the first Educare center on Native American land—through a mixture of private and public financing—to help low-income kids be better prepared for kindergarten. My business provides employee childcare because it helps us attract and retain talent. We can think creatively to give the same opportunities for all families right here in Kansas City.
- We can no longer take resources from our schools and libraries to fund TIF and other incentives for economic development in wealthy areas of town. We must use incentives only when it provides a return to our communities, not to pad developer’s bottom line.
Kansas City’s economy is growing. But it’s reinforcing the economic inequality that has plagued our community for decades. A lack of job creation, job skills and transportation to those jobs is locking our communities of color out of the economic revitalization. It is time to change.
- Limit the use of any local tax incentive program to businesses and projects in census tracts under 60% of area median income. Incentives only for projects that pay living wages and any housing component must adhere to new inclusionary zoning requirements (see Affordable Housing section below).
- Appoint a chief skills officer and create a job skill endowment to focus on preparing young Kansas Citians for entry into the skilled trades. This position would work with unions, contractors, trade schools, community colleges, high schools and parents to ensure our building boom benefits our local KCMO graduates.
- Get rid of red tape and inefficiency that burden entrepreneurs and slows down progress. It takes too long to get building permits and other regulatory approvals in KC. As a business owner, I will streamline our system to work better for those who are taking risks and creating jobs.
Kansas City is experiencing a crisis of violence. Young people are dying before their time. Communities are suffering from loss and trauma as a result. Other candidates think the answer is to put control of the police department in the hands of politicians at City Hall. I think the answer is to address the root causes of crime.
- We must work creatively to implement common sense gun control legislation.
- Add a returning citizens coordinator position to the Kansas City No Violence Alliance. I believe in focused deterrence, but we need to ensure our efforts to deter violence include those who are returning home after incarceration.
- Focus our housing and economic development resources on our most economically distressed communities to provide hope for all our families.
Kansas City must produce more housing affordable to households in all our neighborhoods. My business has created 5,448 affordable rental homes in more than 20 states across the country for underserved communities. I am the only candidate with a proven track record on this important issue for Kansas City.
- Institute an inclusionary housing policy to ensure we build homes affordable to families at or below 80% of area median income.
- Create a housing trust fund to create additional funding for affordable housing assistance.
- Coordinate Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) activity to stabilize families. I will work with local developers and MHDC to put the power of the Mayor’s office behind developments within walking distance to public schools and public transportation.
- Freeze property taxes of long-term low-income residents to protect against gentrification.
Transportation & Walkability:
Existing public transportation only reaches 18% of the jobs in Kansas City. This is an unacceptable barrier that keeps our citizens from getting and keeping good jobs. It is time to match private sector innovation with a re-thinking of how we move people around our City.
- We need to re-focus our attention and our dollars on the most flexible and cost-effective way to move around our city—the bus system.
- Require all new rideshare or innovative mobility companies to demonstrate how they would improve our job percentage before granting permits and licenses to operate in the City.
- We must think boldly to create a more pedestrian friendly community. We should plant more trees, prioritize protected bicycling routes, and create more pedestrian-only thoroughfares.
- We must not let our (lack of) trash service hold us back from creating healthy and strong neighborhoods. Every household needs a large plastic trash can and dedicated recycling bin. The trash must be picked up on time and consistently. Enough is enough.
- Hardworking families in Kansas City simply can’t keep up with skyrocketing water rates. Bringing higher quality jobs to town will help. But it’s also time to work with EPA to make changes to our long-term overflow control program. It has been a decade since we began this process. The climate, the political environment and technology have changed a lot during that time. Now is the time to work with EPA to make changes that move us toward our goal and stop counter-productive shut-offs.
Kansas City may not have beaches or mountains, but we have America’s longest river. This asset is under appreciated and can be a source of strength for our community.
- Kansas City needs to put access to clean, reliable, affordable water at the top of all of our economic development retention and recruitment efforts. Water must be a part of Kansas City’s brand.
- Many fast-growing cities across the Country can’t sustain their growth because they face water crises. If we make Kansas City a hub for innovation in the water economy, we can use our water abundance to attract the companies and families we need to grow.
- The Missouri River can be a living laboratory for children to visit as part of their school curriculum and a jumping off point for history lessons.