For Immediate Release: 19 February 2011
Mayor Funkhouser Releases Fourth "In His Own Words" Video
On Rebuilding Our Neighborhoods
“We have basically recreated a city where now we have a donut hole. We now have to fill in that hole. If we could do that, all of us, we would have left a vibrant city for our children” - Mayor Mark Funkhouser
“We have 12,000 vacant lots in this town. We have a whole city that we need to repopulate,” Mayor Funkhouser says. “We have built the infrastructure, we have the police response, the ambulance response, the fire response, the sewers under the street, the street there. But the families are gone. We can bring those families back.”
In the video, the Mayor talks about an area around East 44th Street and Cypress Avenue in Kansas City where he helped community members cleanup trash from the neighborhood.
“I looked around, and it looked as if we were in a rural area. It was in the summertime, and there was grass and trees and it was beautiful. And you looked, though, and down the street you could see the remnant of a sidewalk and you could see steps going up to nothing, to nothing.”
The Mayor said Kansas City is well positioned to make a change in that neighborhood, and dozens of others in Kansas City.
“There isn't any reason why anybody wouldn't want to buy one of those beautiful lots at 44th and Cypress and build a modern, nice house,” Mayor Funkhouser says. “It all comes down to, it has to be safe.”
The short video is the third in a series by Kansas City photographer/filmmaker Stephen Locke. In His Own Words offers Kansas City residents an unprecedented opportunity to hear the Mayor's thoughts on everything from making mistakes to his vision for the future of Kansas City.
The Mayor has put into place several programs designed to restore neighborhoods around schools to offer middle-class families good housing at affordable prices in some of Kansas City's longest-established communities. The Mayor believes that redevelopment around schools will spill over to surrounding neighborhoods, leading to new families, new businesses and new jobs.
“If we do our job in the most basic way, manage the money well, provide public safety, provide infrastructure, do the basic work, we have a wonderful city,” Mayor Funkhouser says. “We could bring people back.”
For More Information, Gloria Squitiro, Campaign Manager, 816-820-9751