In late January, the KC Pride Democratic Club announced their endorsements for the February 22 Mayoral/City Council primary. Four Freedoms Democratic Club announced their endorsements this week.
KC Pride Democratic Club endorsements are:
Mayor: Sylvester "Sly" James
1st In-District: Dick Davis
3rd In-District: Sharon Sanders-Brooks
4th In-District: Jan Marcason
5th In District: Kenneth Bacchus
6th In-District: John Sharp
1st At Large: Scott Wagner
2nd At Large: Ed Ford
3rd At Large: Melba Curls
4th At Large: John Crawford
5th At Large: Cindy Circo
6th At Large: Scott Taylor


Four Freedoms Democratic Club's endorsements are:
Mayor: Sly James
1st In-District: Dick Davis
1st At Large: Scott Wagner
2nd At Large: Ed Ford
3rd In-District: Sharon Sanders Brooks
3rd At Large: Melba Curls
4th In-District: Jan Marcason
4th At Large: John Crawford
5th At Large: Cindy Circo
6th In-District: John Sharp
6th At Large: Chuck Eddy
Four Freedoms has issued a press release explaining their views on four leading mayoral candidates. The following text is directly from their February 10, 2011 press release.
"In the mayor�s race, members of the Four Freedoms board found the choice to be the most difficult in the 12-year history of the organization, spanning four city election cycles. Leaders of Four Freedoms expressed their confidence in four of the candidates for this office: Mike Burke, Deb Hermann, Sly James, and Jim Rowland. 'All four candidates have the experience and skills to lead the city during a period of economic crisis and low citizen morale,' said Jim MacDonald, President of Four Freedoms. 'They all possess the talent and temperament to be effective mayors and leaders of the thirteen-member council. In addition, all four candidates demonstrate a commitment to equality for LGBT citizens of Kansas City, a key qualification for the organization�s endorsement.'
Mike Burke is a former councilperson and longtime civic leader, including experience with many of the key institutions that serve city government. His credentials and his vision for a city that builds upon its considerable assets, particularly the city�s thriving arts community, make him an attractive candidate for the mayor�s office. And he has spoken of his support for the LGBT community and his understanding of the key role this constituency plays in city life.
Deb Hermann is one of the city�s most effective council members in recent history, leading the city through a difficult budget process several years in a row during the worst recession of modern times. Her work in this area has filled a leadership void from the mayor�s office and made her one of the most recognized and trusted of any current city leader. And her role in the passage of a domestic partner registry and benefits for city employees with same-sex and opposite sex unmarried partners has shown her to be a friend of Kansas City�s gay community. Her political ascendency�from neighborhood leader to council person to leading mayoral candidate�makes her one of the most interesting and compelling of mayoral candidates the city has seen.
Jim Rowland has shown both political savvy in his past service on the city council and executive leadership in his current role as Executive Director of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority. In addition to supporting the passage of the city�s domestic partnership program, Jim Rowland was a popular council member who served his district well and developed a keen understanding of how city government can serve citizens effectively. His work in launching the city�s popular curbside recycling program, his advocacy for historic preservation, and his creative approaches to meeting the city�s
infrastructure needs have shown him to be among the most promising of candidates for the Mayor�s office.
Sly James is the choice of Four Freedoms for its mayoral endorsement because of his exceptional leadership skills and his passion for using the mayor�s office to make Kansas City a better place to live. Despite lacking past experience in an elected position, Sly James has shown himself to be both qualified and prepared for office.
'Some have expressed concern that, like the current mayor, Sly has not held office before,' said MacDonald. 'I would argue that this is the only thing he has in common with the current mayor. Our enthusiasm for Sly James is precisely for other compelling traits that we believe will make him an effective leader for Kansas City.' MacDonald cited James�s talent for communicating; his ability to inspire, motivate and build consensus among a group of people; his depth of knowledge of issues facing Kansas City; and his successful track record as an attorney and businessman.
Four Freedoms leaders say that what Kansas City needs most in a mayor now is someone who can understand the most pressing governance, financial and economic development challenges facing the city, who can motivate new investment from outside the city, and who can build consensus among city council members on the best ways to meet these challenges. 'We believe that Sly James will be this type of mayor,' said MacDonald. In addition, Sly James has spoken movingly about his belief in the value and worth of citizens from all walks of life. In expressing his commitment to equality for all people, he told of discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation experienced by his own
family and showed the kind of empathy and compassion that voters look for in their elected leaders.
Despite the presence of four highly qualified candidates for office, the leadership of Four Freedoms urges its members and others in the LGBT community to choose Sly James in the race for mayor."

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