Spring is here! That means a new season across our city, a new season for the Royals, and a new season for all of us.
I’m happy to report that since its launch last May, the KC Streetcar has been an overwhelming success. In a recent Small Business Survey, 80% of businesses along the KC Streetcar route reported that they saw a positive change in revenue in 2016, and 40% said they hired new employees because of it.
Additionally, sales tax receipts in the Downtown TDD have grown 58% since 2014. This outpaces the growth of citywide sales tax receipts during this same period, which came in at 16%. I’m certainly excited about the positive effects the KC Streetcar is having on our downtown corridor and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for its future.
This year I’m excited to announce the Hire KC Youth initiative is expanding from a City Hall program to a citywide initiative with the help of the Kansas City Social Innovation Center and the Full Employment Council. Expanding this program will allow more young people in our city to earn an internship, a job, and a step into the workforce. This also means an increase in the quality of professional development available to kids throughout the city. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit www.hirekcyouth.org.
It’s important to note that all the great news in recent years should remind us to reaffirm our commitment to the future of our city. This spring, we have a chance to do just that. I have attended town hall meetings across the city this winter and spring, to discuss our City’s deferred maintenance and some important ideas for finally making needed repairs.
We asked voters to approve the 20 year, $800 million General Obligation Bond package because it’s a critical investment in our city’s infrastructure and the foundation of our community. Three separate questions tackle infrastructure needs we can no longer afford to postpone: Roads, bridges, sidewalks, ADA compliance, flood control and a sorely needed new animal shelter.
For too long these basic responsibilities were kicked down the road and now it’s our job to take care of them -- together. Kansas City has a lot to celebrate right now and I hope every resident is proud of the progress we’ve made in recent years. I want to thank you for all you do to make Kansas City an amazing place to live, work, and raise a family.