This is the September 4th edition of Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser’s e-newsletter Funk’s Front Porch. He discusses the health care reform forum that was held at Children’s Mercy, the mayor’s Green Impact Zone, and the Office of Urban Affairs created inside the White House (this is discussed below).
Adolfo Carrion, Jr one of the 37 czar’s asked Funk to host a meeting of mayors in our area. The newly created Office of Urban Affairs is headed by yet another non-confirmed czar Adolfo Carrion, Jr. I find it very interesting, and concerning, that Mr. Carrion reports directly to Valerie Jarrett. Ms. Jarrett is on record as saying quite positive things about the now departed Green Jobs Czar Van Jones. I am still what positive things can you say about a self-avowed communist who claims that whites are poisoning inner city minorities. Now I am not attacking the mayor here, but he does say he is excited about the new office. These czars concern me. We don’t know what Mr. Carrion’s salary is or the budget of the Office of Urban Affairs. For all I know Mr. Carrion isn’t another nut like Van Jones, John Holdren, Cass Sunstein, or Valerie Jarrett. It sure makes you wonder.
This Week’s City Business
It was a good week for Kansas City and the Mayor’s office. The Mayor took part in several events over the last week to welcome White House administration officials to Kansas City.
The Mayor was called to participate in a health care forum hosted by U.S. Senator Kit Bond on Monday morning. Also in attendance were Bond’s fellow Senators Mitch McConnell and John McCain. After the Mayor welcomed the group and thanked Children’s Mercy Hospital for providing the venue, the Mayor stated that the country needed to focus on the economic impacts of health care, and the need for a bi-partisan solution that would be long lasting. He said that there was no question that health care reform was needed, and he was pleased when the Senators agreed with that. He especially appreciated Senator McConnell’s call for a bi-partisan panel that could propose a solution and remove partisan tactics from interfering with the process.
The Mayor was also asked by the Urban Affairs office of the White House to host a reception and a roundtable discussion for regional mayors in our area on Monday evening. Seventeen mayors attended from cities as small as Wood Heights in Ray County to as large as Independence.
He said that it was good to see the White House focusing on cities and metropolitan areas and stated that the meeting produced an excellent discussion centered on how the White House can better help cities.
The Mayor is excited that President Barack Obama has created the Urban Affairs office. He has been in close contact with administration officials over the past few months, including a White House visit in August. He is looking forward to building that relationship.
On Tuesday morning, the Mayor attended the ribbon cutting for the Green Impact Zone Assistance Center. Flanked by White House officials, including HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and DOT Deputy Secretary John Pocari, the Mayor was pleased to hear his urban initiatives specifically mentioned by several speakers.
The Mayor stated that the Green Impact Zone project, headed up by Anita Maltbia, is the perfect example of partnership and that repair to our urban core is needed in order for Kansas City to succeed.
On Tuesday afternoon the Mayor participated in a forum hosted by the HUD and DOT Secretaries. In his welcoming remarks the Mayor told the White House guests and local attendees about his New Tools initiative and about his push to recreate the successful Harlem Children’s Zone in Kansas City. He stated that both of his initiatives work hand and hand with the Green Impact Zone because New Tools is designed to bring investment back into the area and the Harlem Children’s Zone is a model of educating youth in distressed areas.
On A More Personal Note
Finally, the Mayor was asked to support the city’s Start! Walking Wellness Program. That was an easy request to support given that Funk and I make it a priority to walk at least three miles every day. We have found that walking produces many wonderful results: it helps us stay in wonderful shape, it gives us a built-in time to converse each day, and it gives us a chance to meet and talk with other residents who have also made walking a priority in their daily routine.
The Next Town Hall Meeting When: September 9, 6:30 p.m. Where: Wexford Place, 6500 N Cosby Ave. Who: Wexford Place
Gloria & Mark
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