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Mayors from around the metro are taking steps to fight climate change

A woman folds her arms while leaning against a tree in a park. Behind her is a path leading to a small footbridge.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
A large plank in Mission Mayor Sollie Flora's election platform included creating more climate sustainability measures for the city.

Local leaders from the Northland to Johnson County are working to make their communities more environmentally sustainable.

In a article featured on KCUR, mayors from around the Kansas City metro were highlighted for the work they're doing to fight climate change. KCUR's Up To Date caught up with two of them: Sollie Flora of Mission, Kansas, and Damien Boley of Smithville, Missouri.

Mayor Flora is a founding member of Climate Action KC, and Mayor Boley is a member of the organization's executive board and its treasurer.

When it comes to whether local leaders have the capacity to make a real impact in the fight against climate change, Mayor Flora says it's something that has to be addressed at all levels of government.

"I think we're at a crisis moment, and we're going to need action across the board," says Flora. "It's not going to work to throw our hands up and say, 'we're waiting on the federal government to act.' I think local leaders need to act now."

Recently, Mission has converted its street lights to LED lighting, began construction on a new apartment complex that will be LEED certified, and put together a climate action task force.

Mayor Boley has also made an effort in Smithville to work on reducing his city's carbon footprint, taking steps to make the city more walkable and adding green space. He says his community needs to continue to 'chip away' at these kinds of issues.

"It's just like going to the gym," Boley analogizes. "If you keep going to the gym, and you keep working out, you might not hit that goal of running a five-minute mile, but you might make progress. And that's what we're doing, we're chipping away at this as much as we can."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
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