Election season is taking hold in Kansas City and overall we've noticed widespread voter dissatisfaction with incumbents.
After two years of online Zoom meetings and social distancing we can't blame locals for feeling disconnected from their elected officials.
Accordingly . . .
NEIGHBORHOOD LEADERS IN THE 4TH DISTRICT HOPE TO DRAFT NORTHEAST LEADER HENRY RIZZO AGAINST COUNCILMAN ERIC BUNCH!!!
Of course we'll have more on this topic but for now here's a quick preview of how the local election battle might play out . . .
For those who don't know, Henry Rizzo is a longtime local political leader having served 18 years in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1985 to 2003. He then earned a position in the Jackson County Legislature where he worked until 2010.
Meanwhile, Councilman Bunch is relatively new on the local political scene having started his career with Bike/Walk KC and a surprise council victory in 2019. Recently he confronted a recall effort that failed by only 184 signatures.
Now, here's where things get interesting . . .
New district lines bolster Northland & Northeast representation in the 4th District. This favors Mr. Rizzo if he decides to run.
Meanwhile, whilst the 4th District is the progressive heart & soul of KCMO . . . Democratic Party leaders have urged their constituents to abandon the "Defund Police" mantra adopted by councilman Bunch.
It's worth remembering that councilman Bunch was one of the leading voices demanding the resignation and removal of former KCPD Chief Smith.
What's worse is that council dude Bunch has very little connection with some of the major neighborhoods in his district according to critics on his own social media outlets.
Whilst the councilman is often engaged in the progressive politics of Midtown and the Crossroads . . . The Westside, homeowners in Westport & Northeast don't really have much contact with their elected representative.
More interestingly . . . As of late there has been a surprising move to push back against KCMO bike lanes -- The councilman's signature issue -- and notable opposition against their impact which often complicates navigating urban core streets.
Meanwhile . . . Neighborhood frustration with 12th & Oak policy on issues like homelessness have thrust Mr. Rizzo back into the political fray.
Recently, residents of Columbus Park pleaded with Henry Rizzo to help resolve a Northeast-area homeless crisis that not only endangered residents of a make-shift camp on a toxic site but also served to blight and spike crime throughout the area.
Mr. Rizzo's decades of community connections eventually pressured 12th & Oak to rethink their defense of a homeless camp that endangered an entire community.
Again there's more to consider but here's our basic view . . .
Kansas City neighborhoods are desperate for leadership and connection to elected officials in order to solve the problems which confront them on a street level. Meanwhile, Mr. Bunch and so many at city hall seem to believe that their constituents crave social justice activism mostly through bold tweets.
This election might help decide what Kansas City voters really want . . . Progressive activists or leaders with strong community connections.
Developing . . .