Longtime resident, grandmother of two, and real estate agent Ronda Smith is running for Kansas City Council to, she says, forge a better future for all Kansas citizens.
Smith and her husband, a retired KCMO police officer of over 26 years, raised their children in Kansas City. As real estate agents and police officers, the two have dedicated their professional lives to helping others.
He is now running for Kansas City’s 1st district seat against incumbent Kevin O’Neill in a fight to ensure his grandchildren and all KC residents have a future as bright as the one he always envisioned for his own family.
“I want to serve our city and make it a place where everyone is safe, happy and thriving,” she told The Heartlander. “I am very concerned about what is happening in our city and to our city. After realizing the incumbent in my run didn’t have an opponent for the second time around, my initial thought was that someone needed to step up and run. I didn’t know I was going to be that person.
“I feel like our city has let us down for many years, but I only recently realized that what they did to City Hall affects not just my husband and me, but will extend for many years to come, affecting my children and nephews. And this is not acceptable.
Smith believes change is needed to rebuild trust between city leaders and its residents. If elected, Smith’s priorities will be honesty, accountability, transparency and public safety.
“First, I want to start by letting people know that I work for them and that listening to them is a priority for me, so I’ll know how they want their tax money to be spent,” she promised. “Also, I want to join the communities and work to build trust between them, City Hall and our first responders. I believe that for our city to be transparent, we will need top-down external audits to weed out the nonsense.
“I will always be honest and willing to listen to what people have to say, because after all this is our city, and without all of us working together it’s just a dictatorship.”
Smith knows that people just want to live their lives as they see fit and don’t need government interference. It’s a lesson he’s learned from watching local leaders make harmful decisions during the COVID-19 lockdowns — decisions that harm small business owners, residents and students alike.
“We have to let people go about their lives with the least amount of government interference possible, holding everyone accountable, even myself if elected,” he said. “My goal is to spend our tax dollars responsibly, improve infrastructure and ease excessive restrictions on businesses so they can operate. I don’t think it’s the local government that should pick winners and losers. The town hall should remain within what it was elected to do. I will work as a full-time employee because our city deserves it from our city council.”
When asked what separates her from her opponent, Smith first stressed the fact that she’s not a career politician. She also says being honest, she will hold others and herself accountable and she is not afraid to work hard to address the concerns of the people of Kansas City.
“I’m not a politician, but after taking the community engagement course the city offers, I’m definitely learning how politics works. I’m not afraid to ask the tough questions and hold others accountable for doing the right things.
“I love God, my country and my city, and I’ll do what I say I’ll do. I’ve heard from citizens what they want to see from their local government and in their communities. I will take their concerns and work to find solutions that fit their particular problems. I will present my ideas to the citizens for their contribution in order to keep our city safe (and) produce income and cleanliness.”
One of the major concerns he hears from Kansas Citians is public safety, an issue he doesn’t believe his opponent takes seriously.
“[Another] the difference is that I will support public safety. I will not dictate or smuggle public safety or our citizens. Public safety impacts our families, communities, businesses, tourism, infrastructure and economy. It’s a foundation we’ve built on over the years and is one of the top five most requested city services in city surveys. I will actively cooperate with [law enforcement]the community and the city to achieve these priorities”.
Smith hopes those who want to get involved and help her make a change will reach out to share their concerns or volunteer. She also says your prayers and contributions are greatly appreciated as she embarks on this journey for the future of Kansas City.