KCMO Mayoral and City Council races: what’s next?

The upcoming races for KCMO Mayor and City Council have made a lot of headlines this week! We are excited to see so many great candidates get involved, and many who are already champions for our vision to reclaim our streets as places for people to build a culture of active living. With the official filing deadline not coming until January 2019, there is still a long time before the final field of candidates is set. (Primary Election: April 2019, General Election: June 2019.)

Why this election will be important

KC is on a roll. This city has momentum in any areas, and walking and biking is one of them. We’re excited for things like $150 million for sidewalks over the next 20 years, new bike lanes on Armour, Grand Boulevards, and Benton Boulevards, 18,000 kids receiving bike safety education, more bike share stations, and growing interest in active transportation across the city. We must keep this momentum going!

We also have some big challenges that need to be addressed. Investment in bike/ped infrastructure is not equitable in all parts of the city. Many communities still have high disparities in mobility options and health outcomes. City Hall needs to be held accountable to promises for more sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails.

The decisions made by the next mayor and city council will shape our city for years to come.

BikeWalkKC is a 503c3 charitable nonprofit. While we cannot endorse or oppose specific candidates, we can and will advocate and lobby to make sure active transportation is front and center in the conversations candidates have about their visions for the future of Kansas City.

Here is what we will be doing over the next year

Policy Agenda for Active Transportation:
BikeWalkKC will once again develop a platform of the policies, priorities, and actions that we be believe City Hall should pursue. Our agenda will include things like:

  • Quickly implementing the new KCMO Bicycle Master Plan
  • Updating the 2003 Walkability Plan
  • Prioritizing protected bike lanes
  • Ensuring infrastructure investments are equitable for all parts of the community

We will publish this agenda in the fall of 2018 and make sure all candidates see it. Check out our 2015 agenda for an example.

Meeting with Candidates:
Our policy team and executive leadership try to meet face-to-face with as many candidates as we can. We do this to share our vision and priorities, and learn about how these fit in with the candidates’ vision for KC. Fortunately we already have good working relationships with many of the candidates. Our policy and program staff work with many people inside and outside City Hall to further the mission and show everyday why walking and biking are important for a thriving Kansas City.

Candidate Questionnaires:
We will quiz all candidates on the issues and publish their answers for everyone to see, ensuring you have as much information as possible when making your decisions in the voting booth. Candidate questionnaires will be available to you by March of 2019.

Candidate Forum:
In 2015 we partnered with the KC Regional Transit Alliance to host a transportation-focused forum with City Council finalists. We will hold another in forum in the spring of 2019.

Here is what you can do to get involved

1. Sign up for our Advocacy Mailing List to learn about opportunities to get involved.

2. Let the candidates know that walking and biking are important to you. Sign up for their mailing lists to find out when and where you can meet them.

3. Invest in BikeWalkKC with a charitable donation and/or become a member to support our advocacy work.

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