The Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet

How would you help Mayor Sly James accomplish his agenda? Since taking office May 1, 2011, Mayor James has worked making Kansas City the best we can be by focusing on four key areas: Enforcement; Employment; Efficiency; and Education.

This year Mayor James will be appointing a second Challenge Cabinet, organized around specific innovative initiatives to improve city policy and governance. Young men and women from across Kansas City are invited to apply for designated Project Teams and Task Forces. We are looking to build diverse groups of approximately five qualified individuals each to better Kansas City. If you believe you can help drive great ideas at City Hall, you are encouraged to apply.

The Challenge Cabinet will also be an opportunity for thought leadership – if you have a brilliant idea that you would like to bring to the Mayor and the leadership skills for implementation, consider building a team and submitting your proposal under the Open Project Team category. These will be reviewed on an ongoing basis according to their feasibility, alignment to the Mayor’s Agenda, and measurable outcomes with Task Force term durations appropriate to the project scope.

The first round of applications will close for review on Friday, July 11, 2014.

Questions? Please contact us.

Defined Task Forces

Based on the lessons learned from Year One of the Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet, we are proposing the following project teams and task forces to work that will help the Mayor as he works toward fulfillment of his agenda while making Kansas City best. Project teams will focus on more discrete actions while task forces will have more of a policy advisory role. Both will need your participation in regular meetings as well as support in research and project delivery during your term. You are invited to apply for up to two project teams or task forces that you believe you can help make a success through your involvement. We have not listed specific skills or background as requirements as you may find a topic of interest and lending your perspective may create significant value.

Innovation Policy Task Force
The Innovation Policy Task Force will research and identify best practice policies for the City of Kansas City, Missouri that will help the Mayor advance his agenda. Task Force members will provide a thorough analysis of the opportunities and risk associated with the adoption of innovative policies and make recommendations for consideration in coordination with the Mayor’s Director of Policy and the City’s Chief Innovation Officer. The policy recommendations can include various topic areas and are only limited by the interests and research of this team.

Task Force members will serve a one-year term with an expectation of attending monthly meetings.

Open Data Project Team
The Open Data Project Team will develop data visualizations for the KCMO open data catalog ( to improve accessibility of the online data resource and build upon the recent success of various efforts across the city. The Project Team may identify and recommend a means for collecting ideas for new visualizations. The Project Team will be involved with the development of these visualizations and may work with the City Manager’s Office of Performance Management, Mayor’s Director of Policy, Chief Innovation Officer and Open Data Coordinator.

Project Team members will serve a one-year term with an expectation of attending monthly meetings.

Technology Roadmap Task Force
The Technology Roadmap Task Force will provide an advisory review of the draft of the City of Kansas City, Missouri roadmap which is addressing issues ranging from investment in technology, integration into the workplace, standardization and data sharing, open government and community engagement. The Technology Roadmap Task Force will provide an advisory review for the Chief Innovation Officer and the City’s Innovation Team as they finalize the draft roadmap for presentation to the City Manager.

Task Force members will serve a six-month term and will meet on an as-needed basis.

Community Engagement Project Team
The Community Engagement Project Team will develop a proposal for public education and outreach on the recently developed city-wide business plan. In Fall 2013, the City Manager and Department of Finance submitted a multi-year strategy, adopted by the City Council, to guide the implementation of the City Council’s adopted priorities. This plan articulates how the organization will work over the next five years, aligning operations and budget to the broader council goals. It is important to share this plan with the broader community as it will shape the future of our city’s governance and finances. The Community Engagement Project Team will develop a strategy for reaching the citizens with this information and work with City Communications to identify the audience and tools that might be most effective in this outreach.

Project Team members will serve a six-month term to help coordinate a community conversation in Fall 2014. Meetings will occur monthly for the duration of the term.

Ideas Fair Project Team
The Ideas Fair Task Force will develop a plan and assist in producing the second annual KCMO Ideas Fair. In October 2013, the Chief Innovation Officer and the Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet hosted the first Ideas Fair which offered opportunities for community and neighborhood leaders to network and connect to resources available across Kansas City. This Task Force will work with the Chief Innovation Officer and various City departments to improve upon this initial concept, grow the event, and provide measures for tracking the success of this event.

Task Force members will serve up to a nine-month term (depending on when the event is scheduled) with monthly meetings

Open Project Teams

There are a lot ways we can shape Kansas City for the future and many ideas that are not captured in the task forces or project teams as defined above. We are inviting you to propose a project team to bring your vision for Kansas City to life. The application will prompt you to provide a scope and proposed team to implement your idea.

Apply today!