Eight candidates are vying for 3rd District Council seats in the April 2nd general election. Six candidates are competing to replace current 3rd District Councilman Jermaine Reed, and two candidates are running to replace Quinton Lucas, current 3rd District Councilman At-Large.
JOSEPH “JOEYCUTS” THOMAS
Joey is a licensed barber, mentor, father, and entrepreneur who grew up and currently resides in Kansas City’s 3rd District. In 2007, he started his first business, Joey Cuts Barber Salon on 39th Street. He started the Know Joey? Foundation in 2007 to raise money to provide food for the homeless during Thanksgiving. He also started the Fresh Cut, Fresh Start community challenge, providing free haircuts and school supplies for Kansas City’s youth. He is also a proponent for Turn The Page KC, and offers books in his barbershops to increase reading among Kansas City’s youth.
On the issues:
• Crime: Reduce crime by dealing with systemic issues that are at the root of crime; poverty, mental illness, addiction, and homelessness.
• Economic Development: Increase economic development with additional investments in the urban core– beyond property development activity.
• Affordable Housing: Does not believe $1,600/month is affordable housing. Does not believe residential developers should be given tax incentives without guaranteeing that taxpayers are treated equitably and humanely.
• Education: Improve education by supporting every child gaining access to quality education and ensuring that they have the same ability to thrive as peers in more affluent areas.
• Gentrification: Believes there needs to be thoughtful consideration given to the impact on current 3rd District residents as houses and land are being purchased by individuals who do not live in the 3rd District.
Joseph was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. A graduate of Central High School, he has been a lifelong resident of the 3rd District. A retired member of the U.S. Air Force, he served in Operation Desert Storm and with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Coalition Forces during the Bosnian War. Joseph currently lives in the Santa Fe Place Neighborhood. He was elected to the Kansas City Missouri School Board from 2010 to 2014 and Treasurer with KCPS from 2012 to 2014. Jackson earned his associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees from Wayland Baptist University. Since 2016, Joseph has worked with Jerusalem Farms and the Center for Conflict Resolution to help residents who have received property code violation notices from the City of Kansas City, Missouri.
On the issues:
• Crime: Reduce crime by encouraging residents and neighborhoods to work with police to decrease crime and increase safety in Kansas City.
• Economic Development: Increase economic development and job training opportunities so that residents can make a livable wage.
• Affordable Housing: Revitalize neighborhoods by turning vacant homes into affordable housing.
• City Services: Improve city services so that residents don’t have to live with potholes and trash-lined streets.
Shaheer Ahktab was born in Columbus, Georgia. He attended Ferris High School and Jersey City State College in Jersey City. He moved to Kansas City, Mo after meeting and marrying his wife Safiyyah Muhammad in 1996. He is a Veteran of the US Army National Guard, Human rights Commissioner, and was the Coordinator for President Barack Obama’s Canvass team in 2012. Shaheer has since retired from the Goodwill Industrial as an Associate after 13 years and now works as a Independent Contractor for the Aim 4 Peace Violence Prevention Program.
On the issues:
• Crime: Believes a strong and organized community will reduce and eliminate crime that threatens physical and material well being. Will work to “stop crime in the children before crime happens in the community.”
• Economic Development: To control economic resources for jobs and businesses and to control the politics of our community and neighborhood life. To “circulate money in the community more than one time before the money leaves the community.”
• Affordable Housing: Power and control over neighborhood life and increase in household income.
Pat Clarke is a Kansas City Native and a 54-year resident of the 3rd District. He is the Executive Director and President of Oak Park Neighborhood Association. He has spent 30 years of community outreach and development, including coaching and mentoring youth and young adults from the inner city. He is the founder of “Hoops at Night” in Oak Park.
On the issues:
• Crime: Believes crime is rooted in hopelessness, drug addiction and mental health. Will support safety net providers, neighborhood policing and conflict resolution programs in schools as early as Pre-K. Will work to maintain safe comfortable neighborhoods for all Northeast residents.
• Economic Development: Will support an economic revitalization plan that addresses the inequality in distribution of taxpayer and city development funds and work to restore basic city services. Will address absentee landlords and encourage family and small business development.
• Affordable Housing: Will support a targeted organized plan to demolish dangerous and vacant dwellings, protect, repair, and rebuild existing housing stock, establish public and private partnerships to foster quality affordable housing and development, and defend against rising utility cost.
• Education: Address education by establishing and supporting technical skills training programs, reading programs as early as Pre-K, and breakfast and life skills programs that help stabilize Northeast families and make strong students.
Rachel Riley has volunteered in her community for the last 15 years. She is the President of the East 23rd St. Pac Neighborhood, a non-profit organization serving needs of families in poverty-stricken neighborhoods in the 3rd District. She also sits on the Kansas City, MO Board of Commission of Violent Crimes
On the issues:
• Crime: Believes crime stems from the lack of tools. Says the crime rate will continue to climb until we address prevention & poor conditions of our communities.
• Economic Development: Believes residents must address the very necessary tools of survival in the 3rd District. “It’s the only way we can have growth.”
• Affordable housing: Says this is implementation of homeownership. A tax-generating property, crime reduction, livable, and safe community.
• Education: Says schools are closing due to low enrollment. Children are committing suicide, and we need parent-strengthening programs.
Robinson is Board President for Kansas City Public Schools. She began her social service career at the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime serving as Director of Crisis Intervention. She is currently employed with the Black Health Care Coalition as the President and she is the host of “Voices From Midtown and Beyond”, a weekly radio program. Robinson obtained a Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri. She was also named a “Top Forty Under Forty” by Ingrams Magazine.
On the issues:
• Crime: Combat crime by securing financing and resources for preventive behavioral supports for families and children, strengthening economic security for families, establishing common sense gun control policies, expanding conflict resolution services, building awareness of alternative solutions to disputes and anger, building a citizen-led agenda to address issues related to policing and the criminal justice system
• Affordable Housing: Believes Neighborhood Associations are the lifeblood of the city, especially in the 3rd District. Is committed to ensuring neighborhoods in the the 3rd District have citizen-led housing plans with accompanying financing models.
• Education: She is committed to ensure all children have access to a globally competitive education. Her focus is high student expectations, classroom focused finance, parent leadership and community engagement.
• Economic Development: Create good paying jobs and training programs for for the local workforce.We can stimulate economic growth and development in the third district and surrounding areas.
Representative Brandon Ellington, a Democrat, represents part of Jackson County and Independence in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was first elected in a November 2011 special election. He is a graduate of Paseo High School and attended Penn Valley University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
He has served as the Chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus (2015-2017), the Vice Chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus (2013-2015), and he is currently serving as the House Minority Whip.
He is the cofounder of Voices of the People, a member of We the People, and serves as president of I Am My Brother’s Keeper. He is also a member of Giving Yourself Real Love (G.Y.R.L.).
On the issues:
• Crime: Says we have not done anything to change the paradigm. Addresses minorities released from prison, who are unable to get jobs, housing, go to college, get loans, so come back to the inner city and the same cycle of crime continues.
• Economic Development: Supports organic economic development, not giving away money to large corporations. Figuring out ways to lessen the burden on small businesses to grow them organically.
• Education: Supports after-school sports in inner city schools. Says lack of amenities, community centers, educational mentorship, and viable alternatives for the youth in inner city schools is a direct correlation to crime influx.
WALLACE HARTSFIELD, II
Rev. Dr. Wallace Hartsfield, II was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He and his wife, Dr. Amy Hartsfield, have been married for 29 years. He is the senior pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church and an Associate Professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Conservatory of Music and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Master of Divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) and an earned Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Emory University.
On the issues:
• Economic Development: Invest in workforce development and job creation.
• Affordable Housing: Build and renovate housing choices suited to all types of households and household incomes.
• Crime: Create livable neighborhood spaces that are supported by local businesses and entrepreneurs.