Joey on Crime
Everyone is worried about crime and we should be. People move out of the district because of the random shootings and violence. Our kids are traumatized by it. Joey has lost friends and loved ones to senseless violence and so have many of you. So, what’s the answer? Is it flooding the neighborhood with more police, or cameras? When communities lift each other up and watch out for each other, crime is lower. Joey believes that we need to have the courage to stand up to the violence by reporting things when we know something. Joey wants to see the city deal with the systemic issues that are at the root of crime; poverty, mental illness, addiction and homelessness. Joey also understands that communities where there is economic development, affordable housing and access to good education, crime is much lower. So, the city needs to invest in the Third District in new and innovative ways to reduce crime, not just today but well into the future.
On Economic Development
The city has made some progress in this area, with things like the 1/8th cent sales tax approved in 2017, which provides funding for ten years for commercial and residential development projects. Joey would like to see additional investment in the urban core that goes beyond property development activity. Investment focused on providing low-interest loans, entrepreneurial training and technology investments so that new business owners have the financing, training and technological resources to thrive in the 21st century. Additionally, rather than only relying on tax dollars for funding, Joey would like to see the city partner with the private sector in new and interesting ways that helps take some of the burden off citizens.
The city needs to do a better job of supporting the Kansas City School District in many ways. The current conversation on early childhood education and how to pay for it is long overdue and Joey supports EVERY child having access to quality education and robust resources to ensure that they have the same ability to thrive as their peers in more affluent parts of the city.
On Handling Gentrification in Urban Neighborhoods
The city’s role in dealing with gentrification is unclear at best. Joey will continue to listen to the concerns of citizens of the Third District on this issue. As swaths of houses and land are bought by people who don’t live in and have never lived in the Third District, there needs to be thoughtful consideration given to the impact this migration into the urban core has on the citizens already living in these neighborhoods, many of them for multiple generations. Joey is committed to working with his friends and neighbors in the community on this complex issue.
On Affordable Housing
Joey doesn’t think $1,600/month is affordable housing for most people, let alone citizens in the Third District. He believes while the city continues to work on this issue, the Third District’s voice needs to be loud and clear. No residential developer should be given tax incentives without guaranteeing that taxpayers of EVERY district where these projects exist, are treated equitably and humanely!