KC Councilwoman starts initiative to encourage more pro-Constitution candidates to run for office

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Councilwoman Heather Hall has started an initiative to encourage “freedom-loving” individuals to get more involved with local politics and run for open seats.

“I’m tired of our country trying to dictate and mandate the future for our children and our children’s children,” Hall told The Heartlander. “So I said, ‘No, I’m going to go find people who believe in freedom.’”

Hall started the initiative entitled “Build Our Bench” in the fall of last year with the hopes of finding a qualified and trusted candidate to replace her on the city council once her term ends next year. Although it began as a smaller initiative with only her seat in mind, Build Our Bench quickly gained momentum as she saw an immediate interest from the community. 

After getting initial support and showing signs of growth, Hall then realized Build Our Bench didn’t have to stay exclusive to Kansas City, and started recruiting qualified candidates to run for other local and state positions. 

“I’ve turned kind of into a candidate scout,” she said. “I go out and find people that believe in freedom, I interview them, I describe what positions are available and then I find seats that match their skills.”

The first Build Our Bench meeting started with fewer than 25 people in attendance, and has grown to over 75 attendees in the most recent meeting, according to Hall. The monthly meetings also include a special speaker who is often a community leader or elected official. The group is run completely by friends and volunteers, and does not have a centralized funding source.

According to Hall, skills and applicable experience do matter when choosing candidates, but the most important thing is to have a commitment to public service.

“At the end of the day, if you’re not passionate about it and this isn’t something you really want to do or you just want a paycheck, then don’t do it.”

One of the top priorities for Build Our Bench is supporting law enforcement and advocating for policies that help police do their job more effectively. 

“If we don’t have a safe community and we don’t have support for our law enforcement, we are going to have our cities crumble,” she said. “That’s number one for us.”

The next top priority for Hall’s initiative has been one of growing national interest over the last year: school boards and parents’ rights to see what their children are being taught in school. Build Our Bench has actually formed an “arm” of its initiative to focus solely on getting “freedom-loving” candidates on the ballot who oppose mandates and support transparency.

“Show us a good curriculum, show us an opportunity for our parents to be involved and show us no mandates,” she said. “Let the parents have a say in how their children’s education is unfolding.” 

The Clay County Republican Central Committee also has gotten involved, helping the group encourage and rally potential candidates to run for state offices. 

While the initiative has grown more than Hall expected it to, she wasn’t surprised by the growth and interest from the community. She believes that through building relationships with similar groups and encouraging others to get involved, the initiative could easily end up being a statewide effort to elect more like-minded candidates. 

“I really believe we can turn Kansas City red if we are able to recruit, train, support and retain qualified candidates that believe what we believe,” she said. “I don’t know if I would call it a movement, but it is a movement of people saying ‘enough is enough, freedom is what we’re fighting for.’”

Those interested in getting involved with Build Our Bench are encouraged to reach out to Councilwoman Hall at heather@bobmo.org

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