Thursday, January 17, 2019
TKC MUST READ!!! KANSAS CITY COUNCIL CONTENDER ROBERT WESTFALL SHARES TELL-ALL ALCOHOL ADDICTION RECOVERY STORY AMID CAMPAIGN KICK-OFF!!!
Robert Westfall is doing something exceptionally brave to start his political career, he's sharing his story of addiction and recovery with voters. It may not be the politically correct move but it's a level of honesty that no other candidate has offered in KCMO in recent memory.
While this blog doesn't endorse candidates and we try not to play favorites, this story of hard times and hope is exceptionally captivating and deserves a look as this contender makes his pitch to voters across the city.
Upstart City Council Candidate Seeks to Spark a Debate KC Has Been Avoiding
Kansas City, MO, January 10, 2019 - While much attention has been put upon the Mayoral race in April, there is a candidate for City Council that is seeking a grand debate on the future and vision for Kansas City.
“We need to have a unifying vision for what we want KC to be,” says Robert Westfall, a native of Kansas City, who is running for the 4th District At-Large seat. “We need to really ask ourselves if the definition of success for a city is the changes to a skyline, or is it ensuring opportunity for all to have a quality education, safe streets, economic equality, and the confidence that local government is truly working in everyone’s best interest? I, for one, believe it is the latter.”
Mr. Westfall readily admits that fighting for social justice and economic equality was not something he focused on when he was younger. “I was raised in a middle-class home, not rich, but never had to go wanting for things as a child.” he notes. “So, while I knew others had less and I would support charities and volunteer, I didn’t really understand what it was like to face obstacles.”
That changed in his early twenties, when after several years of battling alcohol addiction, he faced a stiff punishment for multiple DWI offenses. He spent time in work-release, and alcohol treatment, and had his drivers license taken away for ten years.
“At that point I was totally lost and depressed, Westfall recalls. “I had to convince employers to hire someone with a record. I had to figure out how to get around this vast city on foot or by bus. And I had to rebuild relationships that had been destroyed due to my behavior.”
He would eventually make the changes needed to turn his life in a positive direction. He gave up drinking and has continued to do so for over 16 years. He put his degree from the University of Missouri to use, working in the learning and development field where he has spent much of the past few years teaching job skills to workers to improve their chances for success.
During his life rebuild, he realized that his self-inflicted obstacles were still less of a hurdle than many faced through no fault of their own. He took that newfound appreciation for what it means to have opportunity and immersed himself into public policy and studied the issues that Kansas City needs to address.
“I did what I did back then, and I got what I deserved. But there are kids today who walk on crumbling sidewalks, with fear for their safety, to schools where they read from raggedy textbooks. There are couples who face economic ruin because of medical bills. There are young people with huge student loan debt who can’t earn enough to pay it off. And there are people all throughout our city that wake up everyday and do the right thing, but are just not seeing the same economic boom that the most well-off and well-connected among us are seeing.”
He adds, “I am not asking people to support me or vote for me because I made bad choices when I was younger. I share my story because I want everyone to know that there is a better day ahead, but it takes hard work, and that nobody can do it alone. I want us as a city to be more accountable to each other and to not stop working until everyone who is willing to put in the effort gets the same opportunities I’ve been given twice in my life.”
Robert Westfall hopes to get the chance to build that future as the new Councilman for the 4th District At-Large. The primary election is April 2, 2019.