TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! KANSAS CITY TOP 13 UNDER 30 FOR 2013!!!
This year we've seen Kansas City work toward a better future in a myriad of different settings from a toy train to economic development with mixed results but mostly for the benefit of established local interests . . .
To wit and as an alternative to this trend . . .
THE TKC EDITORIAL BOARD HAS SELECTED THE TOP 13 MOST INFLUENTIAL KANSAS CITY 20-SOMETHINGS FOR 2013!!!
More than anyone else, this diverse group of young, local power brokers have served to define what it means to be a 'rising star' in Kansas City. These top 13 Kansas City residents under 30 have already accomplished quite a bit and look to influence this town well into the future.
Check our list:
Wick Thomas is a Kansas City librarian and youth activist. Earlier this year Mr. Thomas earned the Keith Spare Youth Leadership Award - "For your dynamic leadership of the next generation of Civil Rights soldiers."
This year Wick has been focused on LGBT advocacy and youth mentoring in the process of creating a teen literary magazine.
Wick is also the lead singer in a band that bares his name and a denizen of just about every place the cool kids gather in Kansas City.
On the topic of being a young, rising star in Kansas City, Wick Thomas shares this advice:
"If you can find it, there is power in being underestimated . . . The best and worst part of being a young person who is active in Kansas City is that sometimes you aren't taken seriously but because of that we have a lot more access to pursue different projects without being so heavily scrutinized . . . Even though I feel like I'm pretty scrutinized."
On his approach to community activism, Wick Thomas tells us:
"I had a lot of formative experiences as a teenager that really influenced the way I see stuff. I held my first protest @ 16 against the Missouri Marriage Amendment, got my friends together and just held up signs . . . I went on the Equality Ride @ 19 - That was a trip to Conservative religious colleges that had been discriminating against LGBT students and while I was on that trip I read a lot of Gandhi and Thoreau. Gandhi really resonated with me in helping me think of activism and public service as an aspect of every part of my life rather than just something I do."
Future plans for Wick Thomas . . .
"I would really like to work on amplifying the voices of teenagers in the urban core of Kansas City. The way that we talk about young people in this city is very discouraging at times. The language in stories regarding young people is exceptionally negative from Plaza "flash mobs" to a great deal of education reporting - The words being used discount young people are unfair. We're the ones who have set up the systems that negatively impact youth in the urban core and then we're discounting young people for being a part of it. It's not on them."
Certainly, we look forward to more activism from Wick Thomas and now invite readers to check the rest of these influential Kansas City 20-somethings . . .
KCPS Board Vice President Crispin Rea, Jr.
Serving as Vice President of The Kansas City School Board and working in the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office - Crispin Rea Jr. stands at the apex of power in Kansas City Proper. It's no secret that Vice Prez Rea is planning an important 3rd District run and will undoubtedly only gain influence in Kansas City as time passes.
This year Northeast News was once again Kansas City's best community newspaper. The news outlet broke important stories from stoplight removal to KC Museum infighting. Ms. Collins expertly guided Northeast News winning in her role as Managing Editor and continues to give Kansas City news context for her community.
Board Member and Treasurer at Equality Missouri, Chief of Staff at UMKC Student Government Association and Political and Community Outreach Co-Chair at Human Rights Campaign . . . Mr. Files is also a rising star among the elite of Kansas City's Democratic Party, a tireless advocate and one of best young campaigners in the metro.
Publisher of the Kansas City Kansan, Nick Sloan is breaking new ground in the digital era and working to not only preserve community news but also make the essential leap beyond neighborhood reporting.
Without a doubt . . .
Political consultant Marcus Leach is the most influential, young, political power broker in Kansas City.
Behind the scenes he was the point man in helping to fight against the Jackson County Translational Sales Tax. Look for Mr. Leach to continue his meteoric rise to the top of local politics during the upcoming City Council elections.
Kansas City burlesque modeling babe Sophie Sassafras is making a name for herself online, in local clubs and among the local art scene crowd. She's not just a triple threat . . . She's so good that she can even do burlesque backwards.
This year Mase served as chairman of the Kansas City Diversity Coalition during a tumultuous time of transition. Under his leadership the local Pride Fest was a smaller scale success with a BIG CROWD that surprised more than a few people. Mase has scaled back on a bit of his activism but seems still committed to improving life and equality in Kansas City.
Some call him "The Phantom" or "The Dapper Rapper" but Mr. Coleman is really an artist, businessman and entrepreneur. He's donating all of the profits from his new drop to charity. Look for Mr. Coleman to step up his production of eclectic content that crosses the line between soul, techno, hip-hop and dance music.
Toni Bones gained national attention amid a Sugar Creek property rights fight that ended in community service AND widespread acclaim among fellow liberty activists. Now she's on the road and scaling back her activism just a bit . . . However, next year we're looking forward to a higher profile from this lady with one of the most unique worldviews we've heard so far.
Councilman Jermaine Reed
This year Councilman Reed championed an effort to "ban the box" and make City Hall more welcoming to former felons. As campaign season approaches, Councilman Reed looks to take a stronger tone in advocacy for his 3rd District base who demand equal resources and attention from City Hall.
Our homie Katie is currently helping to shape this town @ The Arts KC Regional Arts Council . . . She remains a mover and shaker even outside of the political spectrum. If this town is undergoing a "cultural renaissance" that might benefit the arts community . . . Katie Daily is right in the middle of this crucial Kansas City trend.
Mr. Clarke is a planner at urban film + design and a youth advisory appointee of Mayor Sly James. He's also merging local activism with media and politics in order to engage in holistic social change.
Again, look for these young Kansas City power brokers to continue their winning and bring this town into the future.
Developing . . .