Saturday, March 17, 2007

dee williams

I put a Dee Williams sign in my yard the other day. She's running for 3rd District, at large.

I voted for her opponent, Melba Curls, in the primary, mainly on name recognition. And I like Melba. She went to Central High, and I've interviewed her about her experience being one of the first black students there after Brown v. Board. And she's always been supportive and accessible when I've raised issues about various bureaucrats trying to hold the Central debate squad back. I'd be very happy to have Ms. Curls serve on City Council.

But now that I've been to a few forums, I've decided to vote for Dee Williams.

Judging from her responses to questions at forums, she seems to have studied City Hall more closely than just about any other candidate. I'm impressed that her home page offers links to very good studies/plans on light rail, housing, infrastructure and TIF. I'm pleased to see that she's backing these.

And I like her experience:
• 30 years of promoting community and economic development

• Developed the City’s Minor Home Repair and Barrier Removal grant programs, designed to construct modifications that make the home more accessible.

• Developed the City’s New Construction program, which is responsible for new housing and new sub-divisions in underdeveloped neighborhoods

• Advisor and consultant to neighborhood groups in redevelopment planning

• Appointed by the Mayor as director of the “troubled” Kansas City Housing Authority

• Appointed by the city manager to manage the City’s failed housing agency

• Assisted in the development of downtown Quality Hill, Westside Housing, Northeast, Renaissance and Citadel developments.

• Former YMCA and Credit Union Board member

• Member of the Women’s Political Caucus

• Member of the Citizens Association

• Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, N.A.A.C.P., and National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

Plus, I like, quite frankly, that she's not endorsed by Freedom, Inc. (Even though they're backing Sharon Sanders Brooks, who I would've ordinarily thought of as a Freedom outsider; and who probably only got the nod from the group because her opponent has a fraud indictment). I have a sense that Dee Williams has the courage to stand up to the insiders, and represent regular folks like me.

(And she also went to Central!)


Anonymous said...

Her list of accomplishments is impressive, but I don't know who I dislike more: Freedom, Inc. or the Citizens Association. Both groups are bloated, overindulgent, self-serving and far removed from their original missions.

arewethereyet said...

I also decided that Williams is the better candidate. She has a working knowledge of City Hall and I am hoping that she is accessible. 3rd District has been without adequate representation for far too long. Melba Curls is resting on her family's laurels. The NAACP event was an eye opener regarding M Curls. By the way, how did John Sharp make it so far?

Anonymous said...

The Citizens Association endorsed Melba Curls too. Check out her issues statement on their website:

I agree about the NAACP event . . . and the primary forums. Has Curls ever said or done anything of substance (besides her support of Central High, of course)?

Anonymous said...

Do the rest of your homework on these candidates. Look into Dee's tenure with the city and the mess created by the Housing Department.

trAcy said...

Yeah, I hear Dee has "enemies" at City Hall . . .not new information for someone working for the Funk, however. : )

Seems like if you do a job and do it well or make a few mistakes, you're hated forever. I don't know the details of how Williams' involvement in the housing department contributed (or didn't) to the melt-down it had a few years ago.

But, Melba is bland in her statements, relying primarily on "I know how to work with people." she doesn't show well at forums as far as knowledge of the city. I'd like to see forums be a faux-city council committee session, see that "working together" and debate thing in action.

PS - if you like dee over melba for city knowledge, do you still like michael brooks with his lack of it?

Anonymous said...

I'm late coming to this blog, so I doubt anyone will see this comment, but here goes. I have tried to talk with Melba after 2 different forums. Both times she seemed to not have time for me. Dee was curteous and took time to carry on a conversation on different matters. If Melba doesn't have time for me when she needs my vote, how much time would she have once elected?
Also, for the person who asked about John Sharp, he has gotten as far as he has been being a good speaker and by throwing out negative inuendoes against his opponent when talking with hoped for constituents. John is a sleazy player. It's just too bad more people don't realize it.