"Strong neighborhoods mean a strong Wichita. Rather than continuing to divest in neighborhood resources, we should expand our investments in Wichita's neighborhoods."
— Brandon Whipple
Before we can convince others to invest in Wichita, we must invest in ourselves. The key to a strong city is strong neighborhoods. For too long, there has been divestment in Wichita's neighborhood resources and civic infrastructure. Wichita must invest in our neighborhood resources like swimming pools, splash pads, libraries, and City assets like museums, world-class performing arts, and convention facilities.
FUND NEIGHBORHOOD RESOURCES SUCH AS POOLS, PARKS, LIBRARIES, AND MUSEUMS
We must invest in our neighborhood resources like swimming pools, splash pads, and neighborhood libraries. These neighborhood resources provide important opportunities for parents, caregivers and children to interact together, play together, and learn together. These resources make Wichita's neighborhoods strong. Wichita's strength is dependent upon the strength of Wichita's neighborhoods.
COLLABORATE WITH THE ARTS COMMUNITY AND STAKEHOLDERS ON THE NEXT STEP FORWARD FOR OUR PREMIERE PERFORMING ARTS SPACES
In the Legislature, I have consistently supported increased funding for the arts because it is a direct economic driver for our cities and it is a crucial source of quality of life and educational enrichment for our working Wichita families. To retain young and diverse talent, we need to invest more in quality of life in Wichita. I call it our civic infrastructure.
If we want Wichita to grow into the future as the City we dream for our kids to inherit, we must invest in our arts and culture. When leaders of the arts community warn they cannot host leading performances due to facility restrictions, we are faced with a decision: do we limit the experiences available to our community and our children? Or do we choose something more?
PARTNER WITH OUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND LOCAL, REGIONAL, AND NATIONAL STAKEHOLDERS IN BRINGING A FOCUS ON OUR CONVENTION OPPORTUNITIES, INCLUDING INVESTING IN A NEW FACILITY
I am running for Mayor because I want to bring this City together for a greater purpose: acting on our collective civic pride for Wichita. I want our kids to grow up in a City worthy of their dreams, just like folks did back in the 1960s when they realized The Forum was outdated. We must demand a world-class home for our performing and greater arts communities. The task won’t be easy. I want to work with the performing arts community, the community at-large and business leaders to gain the trust and buy-in of the entire region for our next performing arts center. Maybe it’s renovating Century II. Perhaps it’s envisioning an entirely new center, as part of a larger civic plan, that will serve the next century of Wichitans. I don’t have the answer to those questions, but I do commit to engaging as many Wichitans as possible in a plan for our future.
I believe creating a world-class regional convention center to be a significant economic opportunity. Such a center could be a substantial driver of downtown revitalization with runoff effects across the state. We are the largest City in Kansas, and we must work with our business community to provide the type of facilities they need to host large events and that drive more money into our economy. This is not a project the City should take on alone.
As Mayor, I will emphasize collaboration with the community, opening relationships with more national business partners like hotel chains, restaurateurs, and developers, to create the types of spaces we need to compete with other cities in our region.