By JOSHUA PHILLIPS
January 8, 2014
Every New Year the tradition for many is to come up with a resolution they hope to continue throughout the year. As the television ads come on showing gym memberships and workout routines, some people decide they want to have a better body for the New Year. Some people hope to do better with their work-related skills or to devote more time to family. While others, such as these community and business leaders in the Historic Northeast, have resolutions they hope to carry out for the Northeast to improve the lives of others. The Northeast News interviewed these individuals to get their personal and Northeast resolutions.
John Joseph “JJ” Rizzo
Personal resolution: “I should probably eat less barbecue, because I think I eat too much of it.”
Northeast resolution: “I would love to see more economic development in the Northeast. I think we can continue this by repurposing more abandoned buildings like what is being done in the Hardesty Renaissance neighborhood.”
Northeast High School Teacher and former NEHS Athletic Director
Personal resolution: “I would like to improve the personal relationships with community members or people that I come into contact with to make sure the Northeast is a great place to live for all.”
Northeast resolution: “I think the Northeast can be better if people start to become more tolerant and patient with one another and by just doing the right thing.”
Kansas City City Council member
Personal resolution: “To run a 5K every season of 2014. Since winter can be so cold, I will be doing the Groundhog Run at the end of this month.”
Northeast resolution: “To keep development at Hardesty Renaissance moving along. We’ve had a great start and need to continue that momentum and get the first building occupied later this year. I also want to successfully launch the Invest Northeast project with the renewals in the Lykins and Indian Mound neighborhoods. We should get the entire project moving forward within the next few months.”
Dr. Elaine Joslyn
Neighborhood Family Care
Personal resolution: “I would like to cut back on my workload.”
Northeast resolution: “I can see the Community Improvement District (CID) has exciting things moving forward. It will improve the appearance of businesses and be more attractive to people in the Northeast.”
Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association (PHNA) President
Personal resolution: “Personally, I want to spend less time project-focused and more time people-focused this year! With a lot going on, it’s easy to move from one task to another, but time spent on a neighbor’s front porch or watching someone’s kids so they can have date night is far more important than 50 meetings! Oh, and I’m going to go to the gym.”
Northeast Resolution: “The PHNA board sat down in December to discuss focus areas/projects for 2014. There are so many exciting things going on right now, but it all comes back to our three basic goals: increased sense of security, decrease in vacant houses and a stronger sense of community. We saw a lot of success in each of these areas during 2013, largely thanks to the number of involved, committed neighbors we have. We’ll work hard in 2014 to keep that number growing!”
Executive Director of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Personal resolution: “To clear my desk and organize it.”
Northeast resolution: “This is a big year ahead with a lot of good things for the Northeast. The CID has started and is off and running. I hope the Northeast resolves to work more together with our neighborhoods as one Northeast. I would like to see more unity, because we aren’t isolated neighborhoods; we are one whole Northeast.”
Sheffield Neighborhood Association President
Personal resolution: “As a neighborhood association president, my resolution is to be more effective with time management and organizational skills.”
Northeast resolution: “As a neighborhood leader, I find that I need to delegate duties to people in our association and reach out to residents in the neighborhood to get to know them better. In 2013, our goal was to install a community garden. We had lots of energy and had a good start at it, but we need to follow through with it. I’ve always thought that Mary Therese Carroll was a mentor of mine. She was the founding member of Sheffield and she is an inspiration for me to move forward in her efforts.”
Dr. Ed Kendrick
Personal resolution: “To take better care of my aging body (by) exercise. Continue to avoid television programming leaving open possibilities for real life experiences.”
Northeast resolution: “Get to know Northeast leaders and clergy to develop strategies for surviving the apocalypse.”
Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood
Personal resolution: “My only resolution for myself is to do my best as I live each day.”
Northeast resolution: “Working together with the other neighborhood presidents and Northeast residents to focus on assets and address problems that affect us all no matter where our neighborhood boundaries begin and end.
To continue to improve the housing, parks and social gatherings in Scarritt Renaissance to attract more residents to our neighborhood and to involve those who already live here in creating a broader sense of community.
“To help raise money to create a destination playground/sports park at The Concourse.
“To hope that business owners along Independence Avenue have an epiphany and realize that customers want a sense of cleanliness and security when they shop. Therefore, they will clean their windows and remove the signage so we can see inside and replace the bars with security film or decorative metal art, and hire security guards that actually look up from texting and reading emails on their phones to ensure the customers are secure.
“To have residents, police, prosecutors and other city officials work together so intensely that it is more desirable for the prostitutes, copper thieves, criminals and transients to leave Northeast than stick around and affect the quality of life of the good people who live here.”
Member of Northeast High School’s Board of Directors for the N Club Association
Personal Resolution: “To reconnect with people I have been out of touch with. I would like to reconnect with friends, family and people who I’ve known throughout the years.”
Northeast Resolution: “What I would hope is that Northeast High Sschool and Kansas City, Mo. Public Schools (KCPS) receives the accreditation for our schools. It would be absolutely wonderful if we were to have accreditation again. We are celebrating 100 years and we would like to see Dr. Green and the KCPS Board of Education (BOE) be successful after having such hard work put into this.”