Fall is upon us and it’s time to enjoy the cooler nights and kaleidoscopic foliage that highlight our city. We’ve exchanged our Royals blue outfits for the t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps that signal Red Friday and our undying devotion to the Kansas City Chiefs. Let’s cheer them on to the AFC championship and, ultimately, Super LII.
Our professional teams are fantastic but we have many examples of fabulous teamwork to recognize. We recently held a Digital Inclusion Summit at the Kansas City Public Library, bringing together nearly 20 mayors from across the State of Missouri to talk about why it’s necessary for citizens to be digitally connected in the 21st century. I was honored to host this collaboration and I believe the insight provided by the expert panelists we invited will help open doors of opportunity that will change lives.
Digital connectivity is the new infrastructure and it’s essential to a community’s strength, growth and success. I believe cities that want to grow their economies must aggressively provide opportunities for every family, especially children, so that they can have a clearer pathway to the best education possible. Staying on the topic of education, I was delighted to announce Turn the Page KC earned national recognition as recipient of the All-American city Award for accomplishments in improving education outcomes for children under the age of 8. Kansas City is one of just 15 communities nationwide to receive the award from the National Civic League. We were cited for reporting measurable progress in school attendance, summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families.
Studies show that reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and career success. Students who have not mastered reading by then are more likely to drop out of high school and struggle throughout their lives. I’m very proud to say we are giving our kids a much better chance to create a more successful life.
We are also closing in on another milestone, with the pending November 7 vote on whether to bring a modern and convenient single terminal redevelopment at KCI. The selection committee had a challenging job to drill down into the detailed proposals before selecting a partner to deliver the world-class facility our residents deserve. The rest is up to you.
Finally, I want to thank you for passing the $800 million General Obligation Bond package we need to strengthen our city. We’re breaking ground on projects that will improve our roads, sidewalks, bridges and enhance our infrastructure for many years to come. Tackling these priorities gives us a reason to celebrate and I hope every resident is satisfied with this progress and looking forward to continuing to make Kansas City an amazing place to live, work and grow!