I was reviewing my About Me page today, and was reminded by how much in my life, in Prairie Village, and in the WORLD has changed since I launched my campaign in early 2019.
For one, I no longer have a pre-teen; I have a driver! A young woman now who ended her middle school career in remote learning, began her high school career in remote learning, and who’ll be going off to college in two short years – maybe partially in remote learning still. She even had her first job last summer at the Prairie Village Pool Complex!
As for work, it slowed down for me quite a bit, since I’m just a part-time contractor. There weren’t too many clients willing to take the risk of building or renovating their offices during the uncertainty of a pandemic. Many architects and designers were furloughed or laid off completely. I was lucky that I was able to take a break, be home with my family, and slide right back into the org chart when my firm needed me again. Zoom has made it easy to save time and travel (and protect our health) by making collaborating remotely not only possible but productive, and many, many workers are working remotely from home now as I have been for years.
In our remote/hybrid world, Prairie Village has put some of our most exciting opportunities on hold during this pandemic: namely the proposed rec/community center. Not only did this want/need for our community become tertiary to all of our more pressing needs, but the pandemic has caused a major shift in the rec/community center and gym market. Memberships have gone down and we don’t know what these types of facilities will look like in the future yet.
The work done on the Bike/Ped Plan by fellow council members and the Public Works team previous to my term was super important to our community during this pandemic. I’ve never seen so many people out and about, on foot and on bikes, and just getting out for a walk on their lunch break. The connectivity that we’re still working on between parks and destinations in our community will continue to be a necessary Prairie Village amenity as we navigate through and beyond this pandemic.
The Prairie Village Arts Council recognized this need to be outside instead of cooped up in our homes, and we started a brand new annual event, the Prairie Village Art Walk, in 2021, that we hope to continue and grow for years to come. I’ve been the chairperson on this committee, as a City Council representative, for the past 2 years and will be for at least one more. During this time, we’ve been able to better get our arms around all the things the Arts Council does for arts in our city and all the things we can expand into and streamline. We pivoted to virtual shows and back again, and there are some aspects of that we can retain when we get back to the “new normal”. It’s a very exciting time. If you’re interested in joining us, please email me!
In addition to the Arts Council, I also sit on the Foundation committee, the Statuary committee, the Finance committee and the Housing Task Force for the city council. All of these committees have afforded me the opportunity to have a seat at the table to make impact on all of the issues I listed below as my focus for my term. As for communication, I’ve maintained my weekly or bi-weekly newsletter and posts to keep you informed of all the top-level decisions we’re making on the council. I fell off writing most of the extra posts and “Did You Know“s for quite a while when we went into shelter-in-place, but hopefully I can get back to writing about fun things around the city, county, and metro again soon.
This job has been pretty different than what I expected it to be in early 2019. While I’ve still been able to do basic city councilperson duties, we’ve been stymied and sidetracked from some of our main goals by the pandemic. I’ve seen the ugly side of the city through the murder of George Floyd, a contentious national election, the proliferation of anti-science/anti-mask/anti-vaccination rhetoric and misinformation, and more. But I’ve also seen the heartwarming side; the activism side, the caring for our neighbors side, and the “let’s get through this together” side. We’ve seen the best and the worst of each other over the past 22 months, and I hope when we get through the other side of the pandemic, we’ll be better for it, but that remains to be seen. It will take work.
I look forward to the last two years of my term, and hopefully making some progress on the sidelined opportunities as well as continuing the good work we’re doing every day making sure PV is a great place to live for every body. If you have thoughts, ideas, or want to get involved, please send me a message. I look forward to hearing from you. 😁
Prairie Village City Council, Ward 3
Thank you for taking the time to learn about your Prairie Village City Councilwoman.
My husband and I and our then-2 year old daughter moved to Prairie Village in 2008 to build our life in a city that offered excellent schools, public safety, an abundance of parks, and opportunity to build a community of neighbors and friends. Now, I’m running for City Council to promote the welfare of everyone who comes to live, work, and play here, so they can realize their dreams as well.
Born and raised in the greater Kansas City metro, I graduated from Central Missouri State (now UCM) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, and I now work at SFS Architecture in the Crossroads of Kansas City as a contract Interior Designer with a specialty in furniture specification and space planning. I work with clients in various sectors to select, bid, procure, and install the furniture pieces that they need, and that complement, their new office, community center, worship, educational, and library spaces.
Working as a contractor has allowed me the flexibility to volunteer in my community in various ways. I’ve volunteered at Belinder Elementary and Indian Hills Middle schools, the local Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA clothing closet, the Johnson County Library, and as a Girl Scout troop leader. We are annual supporters of the Prairie Village Foundation, and I am a JoCo Election Worker. Becoming an active member of our neighborhood, local school, and Prairie Village community has been an amazing experience. We wouldn’t choose another city or group of fellow parents for all the world!
As a parent of a pre-teen now, it is very important to me that our neighborhoods be walk- and bike-friendly so students (as well as seniors, toddlers, and strollers) can walk and bike freely and safely to our schools, parks, and local shops, as well as their friends’ homes. My focus as a councilperson will include helping shape the Bike and Pedestrian plan, advocating for a transparent community center study process, maintaining and improving our city infrastructure as well as diverse housing stock, being a responsible fiscal steward to our taxpayers, and greatly enhancing the lines of communication between this Ward seat and the citizens I will represent.
I am energized at this opportunity to serve Prairie Village, a city that I am proud to call home. I want to continue to make it a place that others love to visit and call home, and look forward to hearing from you on how to do that. Please reach out to me at the Contact link above, so we can chat! I look forward to talking with you in person about the qualities and skill sets that I bring to our city!
Prairie Village City Council, Ward 3