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Lenexa Council Ward 3

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  • Candidate picture

    Melanie Arroyo
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Corey Hunt
    (N)

Biographical Information

What do you believe are the three critical projects or initiatives that will move your city/district forward?

What skills, expertise, experience, or competencies qualify you for this position?

How will you address diversity issues in your city?

What specific actions should your city take or continue to insure affordable housing is available?

What do you believe is the ideal relationship between your city and the state government?

Do you support tax incentives in order to bring business to your city?

Personal Biography Melanie Arroyo was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, moved to Kansas City at the age of 11, and became an American citizen in 2018. Arroyo graduated from the University of Saint Mary in 2014 with a Bachelors in Studio Art and Psychology, and two Master's in Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling from Emporia State University. She has experience working with individuals from marginalized backgrounds, and uses cultural humility and trauma-informed care in her practice.
Campaign Phone (913) 279-0407
Campaign Email melanie4lenexa@gmail.com
Campaign Web Site http://melanie4lenexa.com
Education University of Saint Mary (Graduated 2014) Bachelors in Studio Art and Psychology Emporia State University (Graduated 2017) Master's of Science in Art Therapy and Clinical Counseling
Community/Public Service -Democratic Precinct Committeewoman for the 5th precinct in Lenexa, Ward 3. -Volunteer State Rep Susan Ruiz.
1.) Public Safety: The Lenexa Police needs additional expansion of their crisis intervention team in order to meet the growing need for trauma-informed and mental health centered interventions (this does NOT mean defunding the police). 2.) Property Tax Relief: By restricting the use of development incentives to only the most civically-beneficial & worthy projects, we can maintain a broad tax base that will allow us to maintain high levels of services alongside low residential property taxes. 3.) Community and Inclusion: One of the things I like most about living in Lenexa is living in a neighborhood with people from all walks of life, our distinct sense of community, and our friendly, family atmosphere. The best way to support thriving multicultural communities is through supporting small businesses, promoting language accessibility, and celebrating our community’s diversity through festivals and the arts.
My professional experiences have provided me with important lessons about what it means to work with people, and I learned to embrace a dynamic that promotes trauma-informed care, empathy, and cultural humility. My opponent claims that he has voted in favor of the things I advocate for, and that is simply not true. He went on record willing to vote to remove the Ad Astra Pool in front of his constituents. When residents of Ward 3 share with me their concerns of the 435 divide, I actually validate those perceptions. I truly believe in the value of empathic and active listening skills, and I commit to listen to the residents of Lenexa in this manner. In addition, as a bilingual and bicultural woman, I bring in a perspective that is lacking in the city council and is much needed.
We need leaders who are fearless and prepared to have conversations about discrimination and systemic oppression in our community. The Lenexa Vision 2040 missed an important opportunity to expand on diversity issues, and the Equity Statement for Lenexa was a disappointing experience that literally shut down the voices of diverse Lenexans. I would like to find effective solutions to include the voices and opinions of diverse residents. At the moment, I want to reach out directly to minority groups in Lenexa to ask them about their experiences in our city, provide bilingual and accessible forums to our residents, and challenge my colleagues to engage in self-reflection and practice cultural humility. Acknowledgement of discrimination is not enough when it doesn't come with action.
My opponent likes to talk about housing that is "attainable," but that mentality is exactly why we don't have affordable housing. Lenexa already offers attainable housing as evidenced by the range of available apartments, townhomes, luxury apartments, and houses. However, without affordability, there is no attainability for low-income families, which helps us answer one of the many reasons why we have homelessness in our society to begin with. We need a city built by many hands, that provides mixed-income housing for all socio-economic brackets and can offer a place to live, work, and play to the families of Lenexa. I would like to see my city partner up with other local cities to request our state government to remove the ban on affordable housing requirements that have been successful elsewhere.
The ideal relationship would be collaborative, but tends to be contentious. State policy should be hands off but too often dictates state-wide solutions when local innovation is preferable. Lenexa, like many other cities in Johnson County, are looking for effective solutions to address the issue of affordable housing but the state legislature prohibits mixed-income housing requirements in city development. The State Legislature cannot have overreach of individual cities in this matter because Lenexa has different needs than Garden City, or Gardner for that matter but state policy forces uniformity across the state. I've been endorsed by State representative Susan Ruiz, because she knows I'm collaborative and work with people from both parties to see our cities grow and prosper.
Lenexa is a fantastic place to live and work, we don't need to bribe companies to move their business to Lenexa because we have accessible highways, skilled and intelligent residents, and reliable city commodities that businesses are sure to take advantage of. I would support tax incentives for civically beneficial businesses, as well as having subsidies go to small businesses in our community.
Personal Biography Elected to serve Ward 3 in 2017. Hunt and his wife, Amy, grew up in the area, graduating from SMNW. They have an adult son. Following high school, Corey enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was trained as a Combat Search & Rescue (SAR) swimmer/helicopter crew chief, deploying all over the world for 23 years. I love spending time with family, music, playing guitar, running, biking and swimming.
Campaign Phone (913) 972-1384
Campaign Email coreyhunt624@gmail.com
Education BS Management (Park University) MS Ops Management (University of Arkansas) MS Instructional Design & Technology
Community/Public Service Active Life member of VFW Post 7397, Lenexa, KS. Adjunct Professor - Emporia State University. Certified Adult Running Coach - RRCA
#1: Public safety - maintaining superior public safety services for all Lenexans. #2: Vibrant Neighborhoods - offering a variety of housing options & prices with opportunities for shopping, and support services nearby, as well as great parks & schools. #3: Thriving economy - Lenexa will continue to be a place thriving with economic activity, a variety of business types and innovative people that create jobs and sustainable resources.
Uniquely qualified as I have served as your councilperson for four years. I know and understand the issues affecting Ward 3 and Lenexa as a whole. For the last four years I have actually voted for the very things my opponent advocates for! I have a life-partner of 30 years who I draw inspiration and guidance from and we have raised a child in the Shawnee Mission school district. I am combat tested, principled and value the people connection that allows me to advance issues important to Lenexa residents.
By understanding discrimination is real and there are injustices committed every day. I believe Lenexa is leading the way in addressing diversity issues by creating spaces where groups can celebrate and seek out their cultural peers such as City Center and Central Green. By ensuring our leaders are engaged with our residents discussing diversity issues and by focusing on our neighborhoods. Planning neighborhoods may be the most important in terms of promoting social diversity which increases social capital.
Affordable housing in Johnson County KS is a misnomer. I prefer to use the term, "attainable". Lenexa has some of the most attainable housing in all of Johnson County. From smaller single family homes in the area I live, Old Town, to sprawling estate living in west Lenexa. We have communities where you see single family, multi-family and senior residential living all in the same neighborhood where it makes sense. This is what Lenexans tell us they want every year in our resident survey.
One where Local Control is not being eroded away each year with new administrative and financial burdens placed on cities.
In Lenexa we have designated areas where tax incentives are authorized by state statute. I do believe the smart use of tax incentives provides us the best way to influence developers to build in Lenexa and at a quality point Lenexans expect.