Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Sixth District Indentity Crisis

The sixth district has an identity crisis in my view.

It really is in three parts--three regions of the district that are populated by very different populations.

First, is the part east of Highway 71. This is the poorest and Blackest part. This part includes the 64134, which has the second highest rate of foreclosure of the zip codes in Kansas City. It has a higher crime rate too. It probably has more in common with the fifth district then it does with much of the rest of the sixth district.

Next is the part from 71 west to about Holmes Road--maybe Blue River Road would be a better dividing point. It has some of the characteristics of the eastern part of the district, but to a much lesser degree. It is Whiter, and less poor. Portions of the Martin City area share character with this middle part of the sixth.
Finally there is the part of the sixth district from about Holmes/Blue River Road to State Line and down south excluding Martin City. This is the Whitest and richest part of the sixth district without a doubt. The folks here may not be as hip as Brookside and Waldo, and are probably older, but economically are more kin then not to the folks in the forth district.

The "problem"--and I put that in quotes because I am not completely convinced it is a problem--is that the sixth district does not vote as a block, nor do members of the sixth district turn out to vote in a uniform proportion. I would bet good money that the voter turnout percentage gets progressively higher as you move west in the district.

Candidates for at-large and city wide offices can either embrace the district's diversity and visit each part, talking with all the citizens or they can chose to give the sixth short shrift due to not being assured of one reliable block of favorable voters. It's their choice.

Candidates, I think you neglect us at your own risk, especially the parts west of 71 Highway who tend to turn out to the polls in greater numbers.

Oh, and when you are elected, you do need to represent all of us...


Anonymous said...

While there are those that agree with these 'divisions', Hickman Mills actually goes to Blue River Road; however, when the Hickman Mills Area Plan was developed it only went as far west as 71 highway. Some tried to correct that to no avail. Prior to being elected, Mr. Sharp seemed to agree, but has obviously done nothing. Because old area plans are now obsolete, the area from 71 highway to Blue River is without any kind of plan. Many believe this is so Red Bridge Road can be widened with little or no difficulty. Obviously, by very pointedly being without a plan lends some credence to the rumors of a future warehousing district around 71 highway.

the observer said...

The divisions are not formal, just observations.

Incidentally, there are parts of the 5th that are more like the area from 71 to Blue River. Not really too bad. Other parts? Not so much.

Google 71 Hwy--you'll find stories about how it is going to change its name to an interstate. Not a small thing, and something that bears watching considering what you have mentioned. Thanks for coming by!

Anonymous said...

John Sharp's bias favoring not just east of 71, but east of Blue Ridge Blvd is so strong that many people on the west side are not aware that his council district includes them as well.

Anonymous said...

There is a new wordpress blog all about John Sharp and his personal history. Voters should have a look before next Tuesday's election. I didn't know about any of this!