Economy - Discussion Forums

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To the right, you can find a summary document of your input so far on issues related to the economy in Kansas City.

Below are discussion forums on the economic issues you have provided input on so far. This page will be updated as needed throughout the comprehensive plan update process.

To the right, you can find a summary document of your input so far on issues related to the economy in Kansas City.

Below are discussion forums on the economic issues you have provided input on so far. This page will be updated as needed throughout the comprehensive plan update process.

Discussions: All (5) Open (5)
  • Economic Development Backdrop

    5 months ago
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    • Thriving Economy
      • Support a thriving economy where businesses flourish and amenities can be funded.
      • Create a well-educated, well-trained workforce to attract employers and investment to the city
      • Create well-paying jobs of the future to attract young and talented residents
      • Embrace new technologies
      • Moderate the cost of locating here
    • Branding
      • Inspire development and relocation here by advertising and enhancing our city amenities (arts, entertainment, cuisine, sports)
      • Advertise and capitalize upon our central location in the country
      • Advertise the greater tendency for small/locally owned businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed here
      • Capitalize on our nickname as “The City of Fountains”
      • Publicize Kansas City’s history, particularly the leading role of the Kansas City/St. Joseph region in the settlement of the West
      • Attract and inspire equitable development by branding KC with a theme of inclusion
    • Infrastructure, Communication, & Transportation
      • Supply the infrastructure which will meet the needs of current employers, supply capacity for them to expand, and attract new employers
      • Invest in more multimodal/people-centric transportation and transit systems, possibly including extended free transit
      • Prepare for autonomous vehicles
      • Expand airline capacity and number of flights
      • Supply free, universally available internet
    • Livability
      • Preserve and add to our parks, boulevards, fountains, monuments, and scenic features, including provision of relevant jobs, laws, training and resources
      • Preserve our historic and architecturally special buildings and neighborhoods
      • Enhance business advantages of locating in the Urban Core by making its neighborhoods more attractive, livable, walkable, bikeable, and accessible by transit
    • Blight
      • Prevent blight by keeping neighborhoods clean, well-maintained, and free of litter, illegal dumping, vandalism and graffiti
      • Restore, rehabilitate, reuse, or replace with well-cared-for green space vacant, abandoned or dilapidated buildings or lots, including those along the Blue River
      • Redevelop blighted areas where smaller rehabilitation efforts would be insufficient or infeasible
    • Crime & Justice
      • Reduce crime, particularly homicides, and gun violence
      • Reduce distrust and hostility between police and citizens
      • Obtain City control of the Police Force
      • Deal with violence on mass transit
    • Social Conditions
      • Support non-profits
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  • Business Sectors

    5 months ago
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    • Retail & Services
      • Maintain the high proportion of small, locally owned stores, and assist them to survive economic hardships from the pandemic
      • Retain, and encourage creation of, corner shops, and shops on the first floor of high-rise buildings
      • Create more department stores, vibrant markets, sophisticated shopping, legal dispensaries, and shops open on Sunday
      • Preserve shopping malls, particularly as attractions for teenagers
      • Stop creating shopping malls
      • Suit potentially altered consumer preferences due to the pandemic desiring less crowded stores and services, with more outdoor space, easy pickup, and contact-free services
      • Provide good quality, affordable grocery stores throughout the city, particularly in current “food deserts”, possibly through public/private partnerships
      • Prepare for fewer brick and mortar retail stores in the future, and plan for alternative uses for vacant storefronts
      • Provide more retail stores in the East Side
      • Bring shopping back Downtown
    • Entertainment
      • Maintain the variety of entertainment districts from River Market to Waldo, each of which have their own character, but which are easily accessible to each other
      • Reduce the amount of entertainment districts
      • Maintain the convenience of having restaurants close to entertainment, and the variety of restaurants/bars in walking distance of each other
      • Increase the diversity of restaurants that are open, especially on Sundays
      • Make the Downtown waterfront a major venue for entertainment and recreation, possibly involving shopping
      • Increase safety in the Westport entertainment district
    • Tourism & Conventions
      • Respond to changes in levels of tourism and convention attendance due to COVID-19
      • Expand the attractions we offer, including urban gardens, nearby natural settings (lakes, rivers, forests, caves), adventure entertainment, riverfront entertainment, big events, conventions, and attractions in Downtown, Crossroads and the Plaza
      • Maintain our hospitality facilities and attractions
      • Support restoration of the many attractions that led Kansas City to be placed in top ten lists, but which have been closing due to COVID-19
      • Learn from Bentonville, AK regarding investing in ecotourism
    • Manufacturing
      • Take advantage of our central location and affordable real estate to attract manufacturers
      • Create the environment for more environmentally friendly and renewable-energy-related manufacturing, such as battery storage
      • Invest in manufacturing
      • Increase access to learning how to do small-scale manufacturing
    • Technology
      • Encourage technology start-ups
      • Work toward becoming a hub of technology
      • Attract emerging industries, such as electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and 3D printing
      • Create more employment opportunities involving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills
    • Environment Support
      • Provide green collar jobs that help to clean the environment, and that are located in accessible places
      • Better maintain sidewalk cutouts and other areas with green/environmentally beneficial landscaping (native plants, grasses and trees)
      • Clean water features, and clean and green illegal dumping sites and vacant lots
      • Learn from the Nature Conservancy on green investing, from Houston on investors’ funding stormwater care, and from New Orleans on incubating business innovation around green solutions.
    • Agriculture 
      • Invest in urban agriculture
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  • Economic Development

    5 months ago
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    • In General
      • Perform more people-based economic development (I.e., education, job-training, living wage, wealth-building for low-income and minority residents, etc.) instead of focusing on incentives for real estate
      • Develop based upon our needs, desires, characteristics and strengths throughout the city
      • Avoid building too much of the same thing or excessive copying of what other cities do
      • Adhere to sustainable development
      • Respect equity in development and in the resulting jobs
      • Diversify our employers and their industries to reduce economic vulnerability
      • Increase economic development opportunities in the I-29 corridor
      • Join with KC in planning, management, and funding regarding all things (economic development, employment, housing, education, transportation, etc.)
      • Take advantage of Opportunity Zones
      • Establish a 20-year 'Strategic Foresight Initiative' (see Harvard Business Review), in which metro mayors and civic leaders identify private/public sector economists, financial services firms' officers, architectural/construction firms creatives, Kauffman Foundation, UMKC Bloch School, international relations specialists, leaders of minority employment knowledge entities, arts leaders, etc., who would imagine multiple potential scenarios of the future which would be analyzed, and for which proactive, repeatedly referenced tactics would be identified
      • Be prepared for climate change to necessitate living very basic lifestyles, serviced locally/regionally, and a much smaller economy
    • Business Attributes
      • Encourage creative businesses/emerging industries for a growing economy, and attraction of businesses, human capital, investment and resources from other parts of the nation and the world
      • Transition to industries with less fossil fuel consumption, and greater use of renewable energy
      • Ease the transition to digital applications and new technology, such as robotics and artificial intelligence, throughout our jobs
      • Encourage industries that cannot be automated yet
      • Do not neglect the continuation of some jobs which involve physical/manual labor
      • Attract bigger companies
      • Retain growing businesses
      • Retain large employers
      • Retain high-skilled jobs
    • Start-Ups
      • Invest in, and provide tax incentives to start-up companies
      • Provide grants to encourage entrepreneurship
      • Encourage lenders to set aside funds for new grads and young entrepreneurs
      • Establish or support small business incubators
      • Help lock in rent contracts to a reasonable rate to prevent start-ups from being priced out of some areas (e.g. Power and Light, Crossroads and West Bottoms)
    • Small Businesses
      • Help small and medium-sized businesses to survive and expand
      • Convey better understanding of the differences and needs of micro businesses vs small businesses
      • Leverage or build upon SBA programs
    • Land Use & Open Space
      • Adapt to a possibly great decline in demand for commercial real estate resulting from the pandemic, business failure, and more people working from home 
      • With more people working or studying at home, make it more convenient to also perform other activities within one’s own neighborhood by making non-residential uses easily reachable by walking or bike
      • Reduce or remove certain zoning to allow neighborhoods to reshape themselves into self-sustaining, mixed-use communities, allowing such things as granny flats and grocery stores.
      • Create higher density in both new and existing neighborhoods
      • Prepare for a shift toward more community gathering and recreation spaces (parks, indoor rec facilities, Bar-K, volleyball, soccer, etc.), as well as food/beverage availability at those places
      • Scatter job centers throughout the city, or, conversely, near the workforce, or near mixed income housing
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  • Government Role

    5 months ago
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    • Incentive Targets
      • Examine incentives to ensure that they benefit those who need it most
      • Consider variables such as the ratio of CEO to worker salary when evaluating the use of incentives
      • Reduce incentives to private developers
      • Better target Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and other incentives to achieve broad goals
      • Only grant incentives to blighted or disadvantaged areas, particularly for projects which are neighborhood-led or, at least, community-approved
      • Use incentives to assist growth of local entrepreneurs, instead of to lure companies to move here
      • Grant incentives to development that improves job access
      • Grant incentives to rehabbing or adaptive reuse of older and historic properties
      • Prioritize affordable housing for low and middle income residents in development incentives
      • Provide incentives to technology start-ups, creative businesses, sustainable businesses, and industries that cannot be automated yet
      • Improve air quality in disadvantaged neighborhoods by granting incentives to truck and train facilities which would use low emission vehicles
      • Work with surrounding communities to stop using incentives to compete for jobs
      • Ensure employers receiving incentives provide living wages to employees
      • Avoid granting incentives for offices or hotels which exceed demand, could be developed without
    • Incentives Structuring
      • Offer incentives on shorter terms, so that we do not have to wait so long to receive substantial revenues
      • Do not provide incentives at a level which diverts too much funding away from taxing jurisdictions, or from alternative expenditures for worthwhile facilities and services
      • Eliminate Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
      • Eliminate the PIEA (Planned Industrial Expansion Authority) which diverts vast revenues from schools, etc. to developers
      • Reduce competition between economic development agencies versus other taxing jurisdictions
    • Regulation
      • Better enforce regulation of big businesses, or conversely, reduce regulation of businesses, particularly that which increases the cost of doing business here
      • Reduce ordinances which restrict job opportunities within residential neighborhoods
      • Reduce exclusionary zoning
      • Use development fees, subdivision regulations or zoning to create financial mechanisms without sunset to compensate for the costs of sprawled/low density development
      • Reduce the magnitude of fines for minor offenses among impoverished residents which, if not paid, can have a devastating effect on net worth or ability to afford necessities of life, or, if unpaid, could result in suspension of driver's licenses and ability to travel to and retain jobs, or other dire consequences
      • Create more regulations to prevent unwanted land uses in poorer neighborhoods
    • Taxation
      • Reform property taxes to a more effective land value tax
      • Replace property taxes used to fund schools with another funding source
      • Lower taxes
      • Eliminate the 1% earnings tax
      • Expand the tax base, particularly by attracting more businesses
      • Tax online sales
    • Expenditures
      • Improve City services, including its public health system
      • Spend less on low-priority expenditures
      • See whether the private sector can do things for less money
      • Deal with reduced fiscal resources, as tax revenues decrease, resulting from the pandemic and its recession
      • Give all parts of the city equal access to development projects and infrastructure upgrades (sidewalks, sewers, etc.)
      • Avoid sprawl of infrastructure and development, which is excessively costly to construct and maintain
      • Eliminate duplication of effort, partly by bringing many divisions into one centralized government
      • Hire Kansas City based companies for City projects
      • Teach citizens how City revenues are collected, where each major class of revenue is collected from geographically, and the cost of providing services geographically, so that we can plan for a sustainable, equitable future
      • Fund the Health Department to better deal with both health crises and ongoing public health matters, such as mental health delivery and gun violence
    • Management
      • Allow citizens to have a better understanding of how decisions are prioritized
      • Clean and care for blighted City properties or sell them
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  • Welfare & Opportunity

    5 months ago
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    • Income & Wealth
      • Reduce disparities in income and wealth
      • Lower the cost of living here
      • Ensure living wages as a minimum standard, possibly through legislation
      • Mitigate homelessness
      • Recognize the value of crafts by giving livable wages to people who build or create things
      • Raise the minimum wage
      • Explore and test Universal Basic Income, or ongoing payments to lower- or middle-income families per child
      • Lobby for better wages and benefits for service workers
      • Recruit high-paying blue-collar employers
      • Expand financial capabilities through credit, financial services, and grants
      • Invest in and encourage homeownership in historically red-lined neighborhoods to provide generational wealth
    • Employment
      • Assess and address unfair hiring practices
      • Reduce disparities in job benefits
      • Contribute to structural changes for contractors to provide them with benefits, worker protections, and healthcare
      • Help people connect with good, blue collar union jobs that offer training for a skill - plumbing, painting, electrical, heavy equipment, etc.
      • Lower the minimum age for a commercial driver’s license from 21 to 18 in recognition of youth unemployment and the huge growth in shipping and delivery companies 
      • Encourage employers to locate in low-income, minority, and underserved areas, partly by emphasizing the wide range of housing types and prices there
    • Opportunity
      • Plan equitably in recognition of differing opportunities, resources and baselines among different neighborhoods, ethnic groups, income groups and genders; or, conversely, spread efforts and resources evenly
      • Remove barriers to the success of minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses or other businesses suffering from discrimination, and assist them with grants, tax breaks, compilation of directories, or other incentives/opportunities
      • Give all sectors of the city equal access to small business loans
      • Provide reparations to groups who have been discriminated against or exploited in the past
      • Confront and dismantle redlining and seek to reverse its longstanding impacts
      • Reduce ethnic and income segregation and discrimination in employment, business, hosing, education, justice, and civil rights
      • Extend current development across segregation lines
      • Address inequities in our economic system
    • East KC
      • Strengthen the foundation for East Side development by improving economic opportunities and the quality of life there
      • Produce and implement a comprehensive plan to improve education, healthcare, and safety in the East Side
      • Make the East Side an economic hub for the City
      • Proactively perform East Side development, including technology companies, other businesses/industries, affordable housing, and development resulting from revising TIF policies
      • Provide the resources/investment needed for preserving, maintaining, rehabilitating, improving, or redeveloping East Side neighborhoods
      • Provide better physical access to jobs, education and services, including expanding the streetcar system into the East Side
      • Improve discussions on allocating City resources north/south and east/west
    • Schools
      • Improve and invest in schools at the pre-school, K-12, and college levels, and work toward positive educational outcomes at each level
      • Provide more funding for education, including diverting less funding to developers, collaborating with the school system to bring in philanthropic help, and supplementing Missouri state funding for higher education
      • Put more money into public schools’ arts and science curriculum
      • Provide free education or assist students in paying education costs
      • Implement school choice citywide, or conversely, do not let charter schools divert resources from our public neighborhood schools and contribute to inequities in our communities
      • Improve public school systems’ ability to prepare graduates for college, trade schools, etc.
      • Improve direction and supervision in public schools and get them all accredited
      • Create a top-rate university, and possibly locate it Downtown
      • Charge lower tuition rates for KCMO residents at UMKC
      • Give one free course a year and more short courses to students at Metropolitan Community College
      • Celebrate educators and education
      • Recognize, support, and invest in everything students need in order to successfully and safely attend school, learn, remain in school, and graduate
      • Have private employers and local government play a bigger role in working with schools or students directly
    • Learning Outside School
      • Provide GED classes at more locations
      • Make information available at libraries and through broadband internet access
      • Ensure that all residents, students, families and small businesses have access to high-speed Internet and the related computers, devices, training, education and support, partly by expanding digital hotspots or giving incentives to internet providers to invest in digital deserts
      • Educate residents about saving, investing, and living within a budget, possibly in partnership with churches
    • Job Skills
      • Help youth keep pace with the technological advances and entrepreneurial development
      • Provide job skills training/workforce development in schools (including Metropolitan Community College, other colleges, technical schools, charter schools, and private schools, but not neglecting regular neighborhood K-12 schools)
      • Provide job skills training/workforce development in certification programs, at  work (including internships in cooperation with higher education), in classes at other locations, and online
      • Help residents prepare for frequent job transitions
      • Identify workers at risk of unemployability and upskill them for the jobs of the future
      • Prepare for an increase in jobs requiring specialized post-secondary skills
      • Increase access to training for computer programming, and technology/robotics development and maintenance
      • Work with large employers, high schools and colleges on a continuing basis to provide youth with ongoing training tracks and other options to access good paying, in-demand jobs (including tech related, medical related)
      • Provide basic classes in how to get jobs and work habits for keeping jobs
      • Provide free trade school for citizens and inmates
    • Housing
      • Prioritize, provide and retain affordable, good quality housing by defining it clearly, preserving that which already exists, developing new affordable housing or mixed-price developments, making homes more energy efficient, limiting property tax and rental increases, limiting utility costs, subsidizing more housing, providing housing vouchers, assisting low-income home buyers, incentivizing or seeking Federal support for affordable housing, combatting redlining, making mortgages available for very-low-cost homes, and improving quality where needed without excessive costs
      • Locate affordable housing near jobs, food, public education, and services
      • Provide or retain safe, stable housing by rewarding landlords that take care of their properties and prosecuting those who don't, supplying good management, and reducing evictions, particularly evictions due to job losses during the pandemic
      • When redeveloping or making major improvements to a neighborhood, avoid gentrification/displacement by including plans and resources to allow existing residents and occupants to remain in the neighborhood
      • Supply housing for all income levels and enough new housing to meet the demand for it
    • Health
      • Provide accessible, good quality healthcare facilities
      • Invest more fully in public health
      • Identify and address mental health problems appropriately
      • Be better prepared for health crises
      • Provide paid family/ medical leave
      • Address the vulnerability of healthcare due to its being tied to employment
      • Provide better options for those without health insurance, including less expensive premiums for it, and healthcare access without insurance
      • Identify infrastructure needed to support Universal Health Care
      • Create a partnership between the school districts and the Health Department to support students (and their families) with medical, food insecurity, and housing needs
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