February 7, 2022

Meet the Candidates: Marcie Gragg


For those who don't know me, I was privileged to serve previously on the City Council as the First District Council member between 2006 and 2016. I stepped down at the end of that term, which was about a year after my husband passed from cancer. I really enjoyed serving before we accomplished a lot of wonderful things, but at that time three of our four sons were still living at home and needed my full-time attention, so I chose not to run again for Council.

When I served before, we got a LOT of great things done together in the First District (which I represented) and throughout the city. When I served before, we:
• addressed neighborhood blight and created revitalization plans throughout the district.
• addressed serious infrastructure needs and revitalized our historic Truman district.
• championed the development of the city's first inclusive playground and special needs ballfield at McCoy Park (it was named the “Gragg Outpost” in honor of my family’s work on this project.
• corrected obsolete zoning that helped restore single family housing in Englewood, Fairmount, Mt. Washington, and near the Historic Square.
• prioritized undergrounding of electric utilities to improve IPL service and reduce storm outages in our older neighborhoods, especially in the First District.
•  built the arena and expanded economic development around 39th St. 
• partnered with “12 Blocks West,” a redevelopment non-profit corporation, to demo a dangerous apartment building, build new homes, create food distribution networks, provide free job training, and build partnerships with residents, churches, and businesses in western Independence.

Some of these successes can still be seen, and others have been neglected and need our attention again.

Our city is facing a lot of challenges right now, and we have a lot of work to do together to address some problem areas that are detracting from our quality of life. We need solid and well-resourced police, fire, and health services. We need clean, safe neighborhoods with quality housing opportunities for residents of all income levels. We also need to attract job opportunities that raise our median income.  These are my priorities today.

Foremost, public safety must be our first priority.  When I served the council previously, I had a strong record of supporting all aspects of our public safety. Whether it was our police services, our fire services, or our health services, I have always promoted adopting a budget that prioritized these areas. I co-chaired one of the police sales tax campaigns in 2015. If a city is not safe, its citizens can't enjoy quality of life. Ensuring that these public safety departments are well resourced is critical. 

In addition to public safety, we need to give much more serious attention to the increase in the homeless population in our community and to the decline in the quality of housing in many of our aging neighborhoods.  I think we need to take a good hard look and what is driving these two issues, find ways that they are connected, and set priorities for tackling them head on. Regarding quality of housing, I would like to see us focus on ways we can support and resource neighborhoods that are trying to revitalize themselves.

Third, we need to tackle some big issues that are affecting our ability to attract large companies to our city that bring with them high paying jobs.  Wrapped up in this conversation is the issue of our electric utility and the cost of power and how that may be affecting economic development. It’s time that we have some hard conversations in our community about what's been holding us back and what we need to do to break free and move forward.

I hope voters will select candidates who have demonstrated they can hit the ground running and lead effectively with their experience, passion, and integrity.  I believe our Council can do much better than it has in the past several years and I hope to be a part of restoring our citizens’ faith in local government.

For more information visit https://www.graggforindependence.com/



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