Longtime resident, grandmother of two and real estate agent Ronda Smith is stepping up and running for Kansas City Council to, as she says, forge a better future for all Kansas Citians.
Smith and her husband, a retired KCMO police officer of over 26 years, raised their children in Kansas City. As a real estate agent and police officer, the two have dedicated their professional lives to helping others.
Now she’s running for Kansas City’s 1st District-At-Large seat against incumbent Kevin O’Neill in a fight to ensure her grandchildren, and all KC residents, have a future as bright as the one she’s always envisioned for her own family.
“I want to serve our city and make it a place where all are safe, happy and prosperous,” she told The Heartlander. “I am very concerned about what is happening in our city and to our city. After I realized that the incumbent in my race didn’t have an opponent for a second time, my initial thought was that someone needs to step up and run. Little did I know I would be that person.
“I feel like our city has been failing us for many years, but only recently did I realize that what they did at City Hall really affects not just my husband and I, but it will extend on for many years to come, affecting my children and grandchildren. And that’s just not acceptable.”
Smith believes change is needed to rebuild trust between the city’s leaders and its residents. If elected, Smith’s priorities will be honesty, accountability, transparency and public safety.
“First and foremost, I want to start by letting the people know that I work for them, and listening to them is a priority for me, so I will know how they want their tax dollars spent,” she pledged. “Also, I want to come together with the communities and work on building trust between them, City Hall and our first responders. I believe that for our city to be transparent, we will need to have outside audits done from the top down to weed out the nonsense.
“I will always be truthful and available to listen to what the people have to say, because ultimately this is our city, and without all of us working together it’s just a dictatorship.”
Smith knows people just want to live their lives as they see fit and don’t need the government interfering. It’s a lesson she learned as she watched local leaders make harmful decisions during the COVID-19 lockdowns – decisions that hurt small business owners, residents and students alike.
“We have to let the people live their lives with the least amount of government interference as possible, while holding everyone accountable, even myself if elected,” she declared. “My goal is to spend our tax dollars in a responsible manner, improve infrastructure and keep excessive restrictions off businesses so they can operate. I don’t believe it’s the local government that should be picking winners and losers. City Hall should stay within the scope of what they are elected to do. I will work as a full-time employee because our city deserves that from our city council.”
When asked what separates her from her opponent, Smith first pointed to the fact she’s not a career politician. She also says she’s honest, will hold others and herself accountable and isn’t afraid to work hard to address the concerns of the people of Kansas City.
“I am not a politician, but after attending the community engagement class that the city offers, I am certainly learning how politics work. I am not afraid to ask the hard questions and hold others accountable to do the right things.
“I love God, my country and my city, and I will do what I say I will do. I have heard from citizens about 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 issues. I will present my ideas to citizens for their input in order to keep our city safe (and) produce revenue and cleanliness.”
One of the top concerns she hears from Kansas Citians is public safety, an issue she doesn’t feel her opponent takes seriously.
“[Another] difference is I will support public safety. I will not dictate or back-door public safety or our citizens. Public safety impacts our families, communities, businesses, tourism, infrastructure and the economy. It is a foundation that we have built on throughout the years, and is one of the five most-requested city services from city surveys. I will actively work together with [law enforcement], the community and the city to accomplish these priorities.”
Smith hopes those who want to get involved and help her make a change will contact her to share their concerns or to volunteer. She also says prayers and contributions are greatly appreciated as she embarks on this journey for the future of Kansas City.