Last week, I went to Boston in an effort to bring the Republican National Convention to KC. Now some of you are scratching your heads; wondering why on Earth I would make such a trip? The answer is simple.
Kansas City deserves to be in that kind of spotlight.
As Mayor, it is my job to be the City’s Drum Major. Bringing the RNC to KC is just another chance to showcase our community. We did it with the All-Star Games – for both Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer and we do it every time a visitor steps off of a plane and every time we step onto a national stage.
I believe that we get stuff done when everyone has a seat at the table. What that means to me and what that means to my administration is that I don’t care who you are, what you believe, who you love or what party you identify with. If we are going to make our City best, and present that to the world, we have to work together. We have to see beyond political lines and think about what is best for Kansas City as a whole. We have to always, in everything we do, put our very best foot forward. We have to understand that people are always looking and always listening. They are always ready for us to show them who we are and what we represent. And when an opportunity comes along for us to shine, we want everyone to know with certainty that KC is where it’s at.
To do that, we have to have our best day, everyday.
Our Kansas City contingent was at its best last week in Boston. The city was admirably represented by private citizens, members of the CVA and Hispanic Chamber, the Sprint Center and the Council. We planned and pulled off a reception at which Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland and I were able to speak to a large group of Republicans about why they should come to Kansas City in 2016.
We talked about how Kansas City tailors its approach to visitors and conventions with unique events like concerts in the P&L Living Room and the Social Media Command Center. We extolled the diverse cuisines and vibrant shopping. We have something for everybody from galleries and performing arts to sports and our zoo. In short, we impressed upon them how sophisticated, beautiful and real our city is. Mostly, we talked about how our people are our biggest asset.
Of course we had to address their questions about hotel rooms and transportation. Many that can be answered with the new streetcar that will be running by 2016. It will allow us to easily move people from areas around town to downtown.
What they decide to do remains to be seen. But I do have to follow up their questions with one of my own.
And to that end I want to ask that when a spotlight – any spotlight – is put on our City, we take it as an opportunity to shine.
If each of us does our part, I can promise that I will do my part to see that those opportunities continue to be available to us.
It is, of course, up to all of us to determine what we will do when those opportunities present themselves.
If given the chance, Kansas City will always show the world who we are and I am confident we will always override anyone’s attempt to do otherwise. Because that is who we are. That is what we represent. That is what I want everyone to see and hear about Kansas City. And that is why I will work hard to bring any and every convention to this community.