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Task Force Explores Economic Development In Distressed Neighborhoods


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.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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