KC's big 'New American City' summit: Morning report
The Kansas City Star
The policy wonks (and I say that with real respect) are out in force Monday on the first day of a two-day summit called “The New American City.”
(Follow at #cityagekc; I also plan to tweet some of the afternoon sessions.)
Basically, it’s meant to give several hundred public and private leaders from around the nation some ideas on how to learn from others and walk away with ways to improve your company or business, all to build better futures for urban areas.
Mayor Sly James is the hometown host. The summit is being held in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which unfortunately for the show-off building in KC has had some clunky and noticeable sound problems Monday morning.
One highlight: A young woman stood up to say it was her first day in Kansas City because she wanted her startup company to take advantage of GoogleFiber. She got a nice round of applause.
After the morning session Monday, here are some of the highlighted recommendations from panelists (although others prefer to call them “walkaway points” that bear remembering):
Look for young people to lead, including in the world of politics. (My tweeted response on this matter: “Hope fuddy duddy KC leaders hear this truism: Must make your urban area attractive to young people.”)
Public schools are very important to educate the workforce of tomorrow, but large cities often don’t have great public school systems to do that. My tweet at the time: “Houston mayor Parker: Schools are very important. Really? They aren’t on the entire @CityAge 2-day session.”
Communicate with the public about importance of infrastructure projects and - yes - ask for more money to do them correctly (water, roads especially).
Think of every project as a public-private partnership, and be transparent with the public in deciding how far each project gets involved with the private sector (funding, giving businesses the key to actually run something like a water department).
Hope to report more later this afternoon, or follow me @YaelTAbouhalkah