Space is limited for the 17th Annual Regional Assembly
Register now for MARC's 17th Annual Regional Assembly on Friday, June 7, as space is limited. Our luncheon features a keynote address by Peter Block, presentation of awards to the 2013 Regional Leadership Award honorees and a great opportunity to network with colleagues from around the region.
Peter Block is an internationally known author whose work focuses on stewardship, empowerment, leadership and community. His recent works include “The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods,” with John McKnight, and “Community: The Structure of Belonging.”
An area native and KU graduate, Peter returns to Kansas City to share his ideas about developing a new narrative of who we are as a region, focusing on our possibilities instead of our problems. Peter believes that restoration of community requires us to answer the question “Who will care for the commons?” He looks beyond common spaces and shared resources to social capital — the economics of generosity, well-being and happiness — and a worldwide movement toward cooperation and capacity building in all areas of community life.
“More services are not the answer,” he says. Instead, leaders should focus on engaging and convening citizens to see what they can do for themselves, reclaiming the commons by defining the roles each individual and each organization plays in the restoration of community.
Congratulations to the EES graduates
Thirty residents successfully completed the Green Impact Zoneís latest Essential Employability Skills (EES) workshop. Graduates were honored with a reception at the zone offices on the last day of the course, Friday, May 17. Friends and family members also gathered to congratulate the participants.
EES is a free weeklong training for unemployed and underemployed residents. The session focuses on basic skills for job seekers including interviewing, resume writing, work ethic and proper attire for the workplace.
The zone provides each graduate with a certificate of completion. In order to graduate, participants must arrive on time, dress in business attire and demonstrate professionalism each day.
The Green Impact Zone connects EES graduates with local employers looking for job-ready candidates who have the necessary skills to be productive employees. Particular emphasis is placed on contractors doing work within the zone. The zone maintains a list of the graduates and their skillsets for referral when employers call seeking job applicants.
Guest speakers at the EES training included: Steve McClellan of the Local Investment Commission; Pam Cobbins of Connections to Success; Michael Tyler, a motivational speaker and coach; and zone staff. For the first time, Connecting for Good offered computer skills training as part of EES. Other partners in the training include the Metropolitan Energy Center; OAI, Inc.; and Connections to Success.
The May session was the sixth EES training held by the Green Impact Zone. To date, 102 residents have graduated from the program and nine have found jobs, with more interviews scheduled to take place. The next EES training will be held in October.
Kansas City to receive Brownfields grant
Kansas City, Mo., has received a $600,000 Brownfields grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund a bistate project to evaluate properties for hazardous substances. The grant will fund several environmental assessments in a 25.5-square-mile portion of eastern Wyandotte County, Kan., and western Jackson County, Mo. The area includes industrial districts, both downtowns and adjacent neighborhoods.
A portion of the grant will be set aside for community involvement activities — providing direct assistance to projects that feature urban agriculture, high-speed fiber connectivity, and hard infrastructure improvements to help communities re-connect, help businesses grow and create jobs.
The partners in the grant are the city of Kansas City, Mo., the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan. and the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). MARC will work with the two cities to convene a stakeholder committee and help planning and outreach efforts. MARC will also connect the partners to other regional initiatives, including transportation, homelessness and workforce development.
The EPA Brownfields Program allows states and communities to work together to prevent, safely clean up and reuse brownfields. Brownfields are properties that may be difficult to develop or reuse because of the presence of hazardous substances or pollutants.
Collective Impact: Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination
John Kania, managing director of FSG and co-author of Collective Impact, came to Kansas City, Mo., to meet with area leaders to discuss ways of solving issues by working together. FSG is a non-profit consulting firm helping organizations create more effective ways to solve social problems.
Two sessions with Kania were co-hosted by MARC and KCPT-TV. The first, held at KCPT, included representatives from foundations; the second, held at MARC, brought together stakeholders focused on issues such as aging, early learning, health care access, healthy communities, neighborhood and community development and homelessness.
According to the Collective Impact model, “no single organization alone has the ability to solve the world’s most challenging problems.” Kania outlined five necessary conditions for Collective Impact. The first is a common agenda where all participants have a shared vision for change and a joint approach for solving it through agreed upon actions. The second is shared measurement, whereby data collection and measurement of results are consistent among everyone involved. The third is mutually reinforcing activities, which means activities among participants must be differentiated, but coordinated through a mutually reinforced plan of action. The fourth is continuous communication which helps build trust across many players. Lastly, backbone support requires staffing with a specific set of skills to manage coordination among participating organizations and agencies.
Kania was careful to note that social issues are not an easy or quick fix. “The middle word in collaboration is labor,” he said. View the presentation»
New Greater Kansas City Regional Trails & Bikeways map is now available
Just in time for National Bike Month in May, a new KC Regional Trails and Bikeways map is available for area bicyclists and walkers. The Mid-America Regional Council worked with local governments to produce the map using aerial photography, global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) data to provide the most up-to-date information available. The previous version of the map had a total of 702 miles of trails and bikeways. The new map shows 1,273 miles of trails and bikeways. You can request a free printed map online, or download the Regional KC Bike Map web app to your smartphone by scanning the QR code from the website.
MARC will host a launch party for the Bike Map and the Regional KC Bike Map web app on Friday, May 10, from 4–5:30 p.m., at Garment District Place Park on 8th Street between Broadway and Washington, in Kansas City, Mo. A limited supply of free maps will be available at the event, and staff will be on hand to help install and demonstrate the web app.
Summit participants develop regional older adult transportation and mobility plan
More than 80 area transportation leaders gathered last Thursday at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for Moving Forward: Older Adult Transportation and Mobility Summit.
Participants in the summit worked on a regional, coordinated action plan for older adult transportation and mobility for the Kansas City area, focusing on three primary areas: transportation services and mobility management; transportation infrastructure; and older driver safety.
Keynote speaker Amy St. Peter of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Maricopa Co., Ariz., presented information about how MAG formulated its Regional Action Plan on Aging and Mobility in 2001. Implementation of the MAG plan resulted in a better quality of life for Maricopa County residents by addressing fundamental issues regarding transportation access for older adults.
MARC will continue to convene transportation stakeholders over the next several months to complete the regional plan.
The summit was made possible through the Community AGEnda initiative, funded by the Pfizer Foundation and Grantmakers In Aging.
Region honors 9-1-1 personnel
The Kansas City Regional 9-1-1 system celebrated its 30th anniversary and honored emergency communications personnel at the 16th annual Telecommunicator Appreciation Celebration on Friday, April 12, at the Uptown Theater.
Nine individuals received Outstanding Performance Awards at the event for their demonstrated valor and commitment to the field of public safety communications. Read about the honorees»
The celebration was held the Friday before National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week — a time to honor the unsung heroes who staff the nation’s 9-1-1 centers and other emergency dispatch locations.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program 2013 event schedule available
Do you have drain cleaner under the sink, lawn chemicals stored in the garage or perhaps leftover paint in the basement? The chemicals in these products can poison, corrode, explode, or ignite easily when handled improperly. They are considered household hazardous waste and should be disposed of properly.
Common hazardous household products include paint, paint strippers, varnishes, adhesives and glues, batteries, motor oil, compact florescent light bulbs, antifreeze, lawn and garden chemicals, pesticides (including flea collars and flea sprays), fingernail polish and hair spray. Household hazardous waste cannot be thrown out with regular trash. By disposing of these products properly, you can help keep your home safe, protect the environment and preserve public health.
Coordinated by the MARC Solid Waste Management District, the Regional Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program will host nine mobile collection events in 2013, providing residents of 31 communities in Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties with the opportunity to safely dispose of household hazardous waste. Visit the 2013 schedule»
Ozone season is here
On March 31, the MARC Air Quality Program issued the first SkyCast air quality forecast for 2013, marking the beginning of “ozone season” — the time period between Apr. 1 and Oct. 31, when ozone pollution in the Kansas City area may reach levels that cause health concerns.
Ground-level ozone increases when emissions react with heat and sunlight. Ozone pollution can cause wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing even in healthy adults, and it can be especially harmful to children, seniors or people with breathing or heart problems. When ozone pollution levels are expected to be high, an Ozone Alert is issued to warn residents to take actions that protect their health and reduce pollution. News release»
Board recognizes six outgoing members
At its March meeting, the MARC Board recognized six outgoing members:
The Board also welcomes the following new members in 2013:
The leadership these individuals demonstrate is essential to the goal of bistate regional governance. MARC is grateful for their service and participation.
Pillars of Preparedness award
Pillars of Preparedness award: On Thursday, March 14, 2013, the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee’s Citizen Education Subcommittee presented its first “Pillars of Preparedness” award to Les Boatright, senior manager for emergency preparedness for KCP&L.
“Les has demonstrated above-and-beyond efforts toward all-hazards preparedness in the Kansas City metropolitan area,” said Eric Ramsey, division chief of the Lenexa Fire Department. “Les’ devotion to sharing his knowledge and expertise of electrical safety, coupled with his sacrifice of time and energy, truly makes him a proven ‘Pillar of Preparedness.’”
The Citizen Education Subcommittee developed the Pillars of Preparedness program to give public recognition to individuals and organizations that contribute in significant ways to the whole of community preparedness of the Kansas City Region. Nominations for others who meet the award criteria may be submitted online.
Energy conservation bonds available for Missouri jurisdictions
Elizabeth Bellis (left) discusses QECB eligibility with local government employees.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, MARCís Academy for Sustainable Communities hosted Elizabeth Bellis, counsel and director of the Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) and WHEEL programs at Energy Programs Consortium, who gave a presentation on QECB issuance. Bellis presented recent data, potential obstacles and strategies issuers have used to obtain a QECB.
Luke Hagedorn, an attorney in the Energy Law Practice Group at Polsinelli Shugart, also gave a presentation on available funding in Kansas and Missouri. According to Polsinelli Shugart, the state of Kansas has fully utilized its QECB allocation, but more than 80 percent of QECBs are still available for qualifying communities in Missouri.
For those unable to attend this session, both presentations are available online:
For questions regarding qualifying projects and QECB eligibility for your community, please contact Elizabeth Bellis.
MARC Board members visit Washington, D.C.
Several members of MARC’s Board of Directors visited Washington, D.C., this week to meet with area congressional representatives and discuss issues of importance to the Greater Kansas City region. Pictured, from left: Johnson County Commissioner Ed Peterson, MARC Board 1st vice chair; Olathe Councilwoman Marge Vogt, MARC Board chair; Unified Government Commissioner Tom Cooley, past chair of the MARC Board; Kansas Senator Jerry Moran; and David Warm, MARC’s executive director. Other board members who made the trip but are not pictured include Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer; Kansas City, Mo., Councilmember Jan Marcason; and Independence, Mo., Councilmember Jim Schultz.
Each year, the MARC Board adopts a legislative agenda to share with the congressional delegation. The 2013 agenda is now available online.
Area mayors honored by Smart Growth America
Pictured, from left: Marlene Nagel, MARC's director of Community Development; David Warm, MARC's executive director; Mayor Laura McConwell of Mission, Kan.; Dean Katerndahl, MARC's Government Innovations Forum director and Mayor Randy Rhoads of Leeís Summit, Mo.
Smart Growth America, a national organization that advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods, presented its 2013 Leadership Awards to two local mayors. Mayor Laura McConwell of Mission, Kan., and Mayor Randy Rhoads of Lee’s Summit, Mo. were recognized for strategies their two cities are using to enhance the quality of life for residents, invest in infrastructure and boost economic competitiveness. The awards were presented on Friday, Feb. 8, at a ceremony during the New Partners for Smart Growth conference held in Kansas City. News release»
Kansas City SkyCast for 05/23/2013
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