Task Force Explores Economic Development In Distressed Neighborhoods

Feb 16, 2009

Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser says he wants to come up with new ideas for redeveloping economically distressed parts of the city. Funkhouser contends that in recent years, developers have been in the driver's seat steering projects to wealthy areas while overlooking the third and fifth districts on the East Side. In the meantime, people have flocked to the suburbs; the Kansas City tax base is in jeopardy.

Enter the 30-member New Tools Task Force. Long time activist and civil engineer Ajamu Webster was chosen by the mayor to head the task force. He recently came by the studio to talk about how this approach is different from what's been tried before. Joining the conversation is Spark Bookhart, chair of the community engagement subcommittee and Dr. Linwood Tauheed, who's heading the Community Capital Subcommittee. The New Tools Task Force holds monthly meetings at the Gregg Klice Community Center in Kansas City.

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