Dear Friend,

This platform is the culmination of many conversations with residents across the city and I look forward to hearing from you, too. I have faith in the grassroots progressive movement building right here in Kansas City. I know that it will transform our city government and usher us into an era where each of us can live up to our fullest potential.

We know that in order for that to happen, Kansas City must be a place where we can all thrive, a city that tackles the issues that impact our communities, and holds our elected leaders accountable for their actions. This platform was created with those key components in mind.

If you would like to provide input into any of the sections listed, please e-mail me at austin@austinstrassle.com

Together, we will win.


//Austin

There are 8 core areas that are key to the city's success:

education & youth development

Every student should have access to high quality learning opportunities that prepare them for future success in college, trade school, or family-sustaining jobs. To achieve this, we must strengthen the relationship between City Hall and city schools to bring increased investments and greater success for students and learners of all ages.

That is why I support expanding early childhood education for all 3-4 year olds who do not currently have access. I support career & technical training programs, sponsored by city agencies and community partners, that support a student’s ability to learn & work in dynamic environments. This leads to family-sustaining jobs upon graduating from college or trade school. We must also build the capacity of local programs to prepare adult learners for the HiSET (formerly GED) and develop alternative models and programs that lead to a Missouri High School Diploma and  permanent and sustainable employment.

Investing in opportunities for all people, regardless of their age or background will strengthen our city and make us stronger.

community prosperity &
job development

We must eliminate barriers that prevent residents from finding and maintaining family sustaining jobs. The strength of our city depends on leveraging the opportunities that already exist and establishing new pathways to economic independence.

That is why I will work with community partners to expand entrepreneurial opportunities, making it easier to start a business and create new jobs by streamlining regulations, licensing, and permitting processes that limit growth potential.

But we also must create opportunities where there currently do not exist any, which is why I support creating transitional work opportunities for youth and adults living in poverty, who were formerly incarcerated or homeless, to build 21st century skills and establish work history that ultimately leads to permanent job placement. Our economy is stronger when more people are able to participate in it and that is why I am committed to creating communities of prosperity and expanding job development opportunities in Kansas City.

safety

To tackle the issues of crime and violence we must be innovative in our approach and intentional about how we address addiction, violence, the role of law enforcement, and how we integrate the formerly incarcerated back into our communities.

I am committed to reducing inequity and focusing on solutions to make Kansas City a safer place to live. That is why I support expanding the use of Crisis Intervention Trained (CIT) officers who can better mediate and deescalate situations that could result in violence, particularly with individuals experiencing mental health crises. We must build the capacity of community responders to divert those addicted to alcohol or drugs to treatment and rehabilitation services instead of jail. And we must use restorative justice as a primary means of addressing offenses committed by youth and create pathways to end all forms of juvenile detention in Kansas City.

Even more critical is to end the use of cash bail and to regain local control and oversight of the Kansas City Police Department. We must all feel safe in our homes and neighborhoods for our city to thrive and I will work with city staff, community partners, and neighborhood residents to invest in social programs that reduce the crime and violence we are currently facing in our city today.

housing & neighborhoods

Kansas City is a city of neighborhoods. With strategic investments and a comprehensive housing strategy, we can address the urgent and structural housing challenges many neighborhoods in our city face.

That is why I will advocate to reform the Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) and other incentive programs, making them accountable to City Schools, Libraries, and other impacted taxing jurisdictions, while mandating strong investments in permanent, affordable housing near transit centers and jobs. In addition to necessary incentive reform, a housing trust fund would allow the City to work with developers, community partners, and neighborhoods to build and maintain quality affordable housing across the metro.

Our neighborhoods are spaces where people come together to build community and that is why I want to hold speculative real estate owners accountable and ensure they are being good neighbors and property owners. For too many across Kansas City, affordable housing is too difficult to attain. That is why we must act now and push for policies that would make housing accessible to all residents in our city.

infrastructure & sustainability

The long-term wellbeing of Kansas City relies on leveraging public and private resources to find innovative solutions to solve the environmental and infrastructural challenges that impact our neighborhoods.

I advocate for greater investments in our public transportation systems: one that is multi-model and effectively links existing bus, streetcar, bike, and pedestrian pathways; is increasingly green; and is driven by equity in both funding and access. I commit to the belief that any infrastructure investments must reaffirm our role in combating climate change and creating healthy, sustainable neighborhoods for all residents to live and enjoy.

That is why we must:
- Ensure compliance with the City’s “Complete Streets” ordinance, making pedestrian and bicycle safety a priority in road upgrades
- Further reduce our reliance on greenhouse gas emitting energy sources and
- Incentivize the adoption of other environmentally conscious solutions.

leadership and ethics

City Hall must work for the people of Kansas City and elected officials must be held accountable to resident concerns.

That is why I support changes that would make government processes more transparent and strengthen trust and integrity in City Hall. We must institutionalize racial & social equity into all policy by mandating impact analyses be conducted for all new city ordinances to determine their affect on vulnerable communities. This policy must be paired with departmental management improvements and efficiencies that respond in a timely fashion to public audit findings and address resident concerns.

And while we must hold City staff accountable to residents, it is even more important that we hold elected officials accountable. That is why I advocate to ban lobbyist gifts and limit the influence of corporate donations in our elected government. Residents must know their local government is working daily in their best interest and that is what I intend to work on when elected to the City Council.

health

We must begin to think about health beyond our hospitals, understanding that the health and safety of our neighborhoods is equally as important. Our day-to-day activities, our access to healthy foods, and our environment all influence how we feel. For Kansas City to thrive, we must be a healthy city.

That is why it is important to me that we eliminate food deserts and create greater opportunities for urban farming that expand access to healthy foods. It is necessary that we ensure every resident has access to quality green space that promotes active and healthy lifestyles outside.

And increasingly important in many of our communities: we must address the opioid crisis by expanding addiction rehabilitation services and mental health counseling. Our city is healthy when we are all healthy, and I am going to work with community health partners, advocates, and policymakers to ensure that happens.

arts & culture

Kansas City is the City of Fountains, a city with a rich culture and long history of supporting artists. I support the arts because it challenges our thinking, widens our perspective, and reflects our understanding of the world around us.

Art makes our lives better and that is why I support deeper investments in our creative communities, such as boosting investment from 1% to 2% of capital construction costs for public art and arts enrichment programming across Kansas City. Also, expanding micro-financing options for artists with a particular focus in investing in community-based artists, and artists representing marginalized communities.