Jolie is the first politician I ever met in person. Years later, she’s one of the very few I trust without hesitation. She sees the big picture of how cities are the places America solves problems like housing, transportation, crime, education, equity, and shared prosperity. Kansas City should be a leader showing America the way forward, and we can can do that with Jolie Justus as our Mayor.
I have known, worked with, or met most of the people running for mayor. Almost any one of them could have done a good job and been a good mayor. All of them were sincere in wanting to make Kansas City an ever better place to live, work, and visit. It’s a testament to how great KC is that so many talented and committed people want to take on such a giant task.
For the issues I care about, and for the type of city I want to continue calling home, Jolie is the best choice.
15+ years ago I was a fledgling advocate trying to make my city a better place. Instead of following my peers up and out to somewhere else, Jolie set an example that helped me realize Kansas City was a place where I could make an impact and contribute to making my city into the place it could be. That it was is a place to fight for.
I discovered my new State Senator was blogging about her experiences learning the ropes in Jefferson City, and that she was hosting monthly coffee meetups where anyone could show up and ask a question, make a suggestion, or ask for help.
Before social media where everyone seems accessible to everyone, it blew my mind that I could walk into a coffee shop in the middle of a big city and meet someone like this. Flash forward a decade and as a City Councilmember she was holding a casual Office Hours every week where anyone could turn up at the local tavern and talk to the most accessible politician I’ve ever met….
Every week people show up and bring Jolie their questions, problems, and ideas. She listens, listens some more, and then acts like a case worker to solve problems people have with city government. It’s tough, frustrating, and slow. But she always comes back to Office Hours with an update, and usually with a solution. If you are willing to put in some time caring about your city, Jolie is willing to help you figure out how to make a difference.
Come to Office Hours for a few weeks and you will quickly become impressed with how deeply she understands that potholes, crime, or jobs are not separate issues but important parts of a puzzle to make Kansas City a place where everyone can prosper and thrive.
Now more than ever, the big problems facing our country are being solved at the local level. Cities are the engines of the American economy, the tools for advancing social justice, the laboratories of innovation, and the places where individuals can have an immediate and lasting impact on the issues we care about. Kansas City should be a leader showing America the way forward, and we can can do that with Jolie Justus as our Mayor.
These are my personal opinions, and not those of my employer, which does not make political endorsements.