Steve Miller / September 18, 2018
The mayoral election is still nine months away, but it will be the most significant Kansas City election in a generation. Our potential has never been greater, and continuing the momentum will be tough—and requires someone with the experience to see it through.
First, we must take care of our own house and confront our chronic issues. We must work to create opportunities for all people in each of our communities. We must take advantage of our resources and build the necessary connections to lead our city forward.
While it can be difficult to reduce every topic and a lifetime of experience to one line, it seemed natural to choose “Connecting: Our City, Our Future” to define my platform. Making connections is how we build trust and how we can make a lasting impact, sculpting the kind of city our children will want to return to.
As mayor, it’s my hope to connect Kansas City to ensure our prosperity and our future.
Crime, education, health, transportation—there are so many important issues impacting our community. Whether you live in the Northland or in South Kansas City, we can all agree on the importance of improving safety, providing access to health care and basic education, and the need for improved infrastructure. Each of these problems is multi-faceted, and so are the solutions.
For us to combat issues like the shortage of trained workers, we must think outside of the box to continue developing our work force for long-term success. For us to curb gun violence, we must leverage a multi-dimensional approach from our municipalities, nonprofit organizations, local businesses and good Samaritans to ensure our safety and a prosperous future for Kansas City.
To that end, the mayor has a unique role as a nonpartisan elected official, stepping out of the gridlock of political parties to get things done. As with any strong mediator, a mayor creates safe spaces that prompt conversation and ignite enthusiasm to find common ground. A mayor should hold us accountable by creating opportunities for people to collaborate on innovative solutions to our most urgent problems.
Kansas City continues to be a city rich in diversity and culture. While morally imperative, diversity and inclusion are also integral to the health of our city. Kansas City should be a community that’s compassionate toward people of all walks of life, and it’s the role of the mayor to set that tone and create bridges of communication.
As chair of the Missouri Department of Transportation, I was challenged with renovating 200 miles of I-70 that were in severe decay. Rather than see this project as a liability, I saw it as an opportunity to reinvigorate one of the country’s major transportation arteries. By enlisting the help of young, creative, energetic minds, we were able to combine technology and innovation to create the “Road to Tomorrow.”
As mayor, I plan to apply the same methods, connecting ideas, people and resources to combat the issues that bind our city. By harnessing the energy and creativity of all people in our community, we can bridge the boundaries north across the Missouri River, east past Troost, south below 435, and west even beyond the state line to overcome the political and geographic boundaries that divide our region.
Our city needs a tested and proven leader, someone focused on the future of our city and not the future of his or her résumé. I have one life to live, and I want to focus my energy in the place where I can make the biggest difference. The role of mayor is not a stepping stone for me, but a capstone where I believe I can do the most good.
We can bridge these divides together by connecting Kansas City in every way possible. Not just certain parts, but every part. Not just some people, but all people. Together we can move the needle toward a brighter future for our city, uniting each corner of our community.
Steve Miller is a lifelong resident of Kansas City, a civic leader and a business owner running for mayor of Kansas City. He’s the co-founder of Miller Schirger law firm, and he served seven years at the Missouri Department of Transportation with two terms as chair of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. He is a graduate of University of Notre Dame and Rockhurst High School. Reach out to him on Twitter and Facebook.