Joshua M. Atkinson – Candidate for Wichita Mayor

Candidates

Biographical Information: 

  • Master HVAC Mechanic/Sheet Metal Worker, CPI  

Personal Information:  I am from Wichita, my wife is from Emporia and together we have three children. We have family throughout Kansas, Texas and California.

Campaign Social Media: Elect Joshua Atkinson Facebook

What specific Wichita issues do you think deserves your immediate attention and how do you plan to address it? 

There are many issues that need addressed in the next four years here in Wichita, the first that I plan to tackle with authorities granted to Mayor, is an assessment of failing water facility components and repairs that can be made now to avoid critical loss of our resource. Waiting is not an option – if failure causes a loss of resources, flooding and damage to community – a likely option is to shut down areas needed for repair while supplying a means for water access. This would allow us to start to rectify the more dire areas and allow construction of the secondary plant to proceed with less of a required load.

As I mentioned, during the next four years there are even more issues that need to be tackled. I do not believe that any candidate can tackle these issues for Wichitans, that makes my job simple, I will create and give the community tools that it can use to govern itself more intimately and in a manner that gives a voice to those traditionally voiceless. Collaborating with emerging tech, science, and governmental advances, I plan to integrate a public access Wi-Fi network into Wichita that will facilitate voting, city planning, crime and public safety, adult education and much more. This will give our city a way to deal with it’s issues together and have valuable input from our city’s own experts for decades to come.

How do you propose to grow the Wichita economy? 

By sparking a wave of personal development! Education is critical to society, if the light bulb was sent to the year 200, such a brilliant invention would literally be less useful than a rock. Society has to have an understanding of the advances we’re presented in order for the community to benefit. I have proposed an Online Education Center which would be tasked with coordinating with local businesses to offer courses our community needs to be successful. This in turn leads to income growth for residents and buying power, it leads to local small and big business success – they have a more qualified workforce than competitors or extensions – for businesses in Wichita, which is even more incentive for more business to locate here because we have an educated, qualified community of people.

What is your vision for downtown, the baseball stadium & Delano? 

I would like to see what the city views as it’s vision of Wichita, I feel an online forum would host that issue the best. As a child I was always upset that Kansas did not have it’s own NBA or NFL team and even more confused that Wichita didn’t house these teams or entertainers I enjoyed. I still hope Wichita can pursue these things, however I do not believe that downtown/Delano area is ideal for these projects. There are a few concerns I must air out when addressing these improvements, the first being the eastern Kellogg construction. Only ten years ago that area was busy and bustling and renovation efforts forced businesses and homes away, we are not seeing our projects to fruition.My second concern is based off the assumption that construction in these areas, that have traditionally been peaceful, could drag on and make life chaotic for our citizens if not finished within 10 years, resulting in a decreased economy like the drab stretches of Webb and Greenwich.

The last concern I’ll list for brevity, is the rush to build, when homelessness and safety has not been addressed in these areas. As Wichita moves forward in growing as a larger city we should try to address these things before building progress on top of inhumanity. Our resources are too centralized to downtown, those in need have no choice but to maintain a distance close to these resources, especially in cases of poor transportation options due to finances. We should start to focus our resources throughout Wichita districts to empower our citizens with their family and friends in their communities. This could also help to improve the mentality of citizens who are homeless, allowing them to start their day in an area they are accustomed to succeeding in.

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