Henry Rizzo, former Missouri State Representative and former chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, has announced his candidacy in the Fourth District Kansas City Council race.
Rizzo, who has been a resident of the Northeast neighborhood his entire life, expressed his discontentment with the status quo of the district and seeks to intervene.
According to Rizzo, the goal of his campaigning is to “be more responsive, and more available. I want to be more active in the neighborhoods.”
The incident that drove Rizzo to run for office involved the theft of personal items and many calls that failed to be returned from the current councilman.
“They put a homeless camp about three blocks from me, down here in Columbus Park and the neighbors all approached me and said, ‘You really have to do something,’” Rizzo said. “They were literally stealing our barbecue grills, lounge chairs, and even took our shirts. I called Eric Bunch every day for five days, every day, and never got a callback. Then I called the city manager’s office. No returned calls. We finally did get Eric Bunch down here to a community meeting. Absolutely told us nothing and no commitment on anything. So finally, the neighbors started saying, ‘Henry you need to run.’”
Rizzo expressed that he felt the current councilman was not engaged in Northeast issues and “is only concerned about bike trails where there are much larger issues.”
For the campaign, Rizzo is seeking to accomplish three main goals.
“My priority will be to be more available to the neighborhood, make the neighborhoods have a bigger voice in the Fourth District, and try to make police protection better right now as we’re at an all-time low in our police protection,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo is currently seeking community support in advocating for his campaign, as well as seeking to increase voter turnout at a City Council legislative level.
“I will be reaching out to the community to help me in getting in touch with their neighbors and friends…We basically have no voice,” Rizzo said. “We’re kind of out there on an island and we’re being ignored. One of the biggest things that I’m going to try to do in Northeast, I’m going to try to get the vote out… We’re going to have to improve that if we want to make a difference as an area, and that’s one of my goals, to go up and knock doors to try to get people really interested.”
The primary election will be held in April 2023, followed by the general municipal election in June 2023.