by Mary Rupert
Cordell Meeks III today announced his candidacy for Kansas City, Kan., mayor.
Meeks, standing on the Cordell Meeks Sr. Plaza in front of the Wyandotte County Courthouse across from City Hall and surrounded by family and friends, said he believes passionately in the future of Kansas City, Kan., and he is confident in his ability to attract continued economic development that will benefit all parts of Wyandotte County.
His announcement brings to four the number of announced candidates for mayor of Kansas City, Kan. Other candidates include UG Commissioners Nathan Barnes, Mark Holland and Ann Murguia. Mayor Joe Reardon last week announced his intention not to run for re-election.
Meeks, in a statement, pledged to promote economic development that benefits all of Wyandotte County; support balanced budgets that would keep property taxes low while serving the needs of the citizens; prioritize education by supporting the school district as it pushes for excellence; and celebrate the diversity of the city as a strength. He said he would leverage the development from Google and Cerner into more jobs for the community.
He said he would continue to work to lower property taxes. He did not have a specific plan with details about development and taxes at this time, but he said he would be announcing more details in the future.
Chairman of the Unified Government Human Relations Commission, Meeks, 38, is a small business owner, the CEO of Meeks Multicultural Consulting, a corporate training business. Meeks was appointed in 2005 to the Human Relations Commission by Mayor Reardon.
He has served on the Law Enforcement Advisory Board, and also on several community boards. He has been an active volunteer with the United Way of Wyandotte County, Boys and Girls Clubs of Kansas City, Kan., El Centro, Kansas Children’s Service League and other community groups.
A graduate of the University of Kansas, he has a 12-year-old son.
He said he has thought about taking a leadership role in the community for some time.
“The time is now for me, and I’m ready to step in and take a leadership role,” Meeks said.
He said he has a base of support in all four corners of Wyandotte County.
He would be expected to have high voter name recognition because his father and grandfather were elected to office here for two generations. Meeks’ grandfather, Cordell Meeks Sr., was the first African-American district judge in Kansas. His father, Cordell Meeks Jr., was also elected district court judge in Wyandotte County.