One on One with Swope Health: Melissa Robinson
Swope Health announces a new edition of its podcast, One on One with Swope Health, featuring Kansas City Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, who talks with Eric Wesson, managing editor and publisher of The Call.
Robinson talks about her background, including her education and 15 years’ experience with the
Black Healthcare Coalition, a Kansas City non-profit with a mission to eliminate healthcare disparities through advocacy and access to care. She describes her activism in policies, which had roots in her service on the city’s Public Improvements Advisory Committee.
One of her earliest projects related to Brush Creek, which originates in Johnson County, Kansas, in a cemented channel to flow into eastern Kansas City to an unimproved earthen dam in the segregated Third District. The area was a natural collector for all the trash and debris picked up from Johnson County and through the Kansas City Plaza. She worked with former Councilman Jermaine Reed to get the Army Corps of Engineers to invest in the Brush Creek clean up – an act of environment justice supported by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II.
The resulting $20 million investment gave Robinson the impetus to run for city council representing the Third District, further advocating for equity and parity for all members of the city.
Robinson’s ongoing work includes trash and blight removal, as well as stepping up fines and enforcement for offenders, and addressing issues of water shutoffs in her district. She has worked on more than 200 ordinances in her tenure at City Council, and speaks with passion and conviction about the work still underway:
- Addressing racism as a public health crisis
- Social and economic mobility for residents
- Affordable and middle-class housing, in appropriate density to attract goods and services
- Economic development throughout the city
- Reparations for African-American Kansas Citians.
Her interests on city council intersect with her efforts at the Black Healthcare Coalition, which works to address the social determinants of health; ensuring the organization is making a significant impact on reducing health disparities in the areas of hypertension, obesity, infant mortality, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer and childhood asthma.
Robinson also is the former Board president for the Kansas City Public Schools. She is a passionate advocate for ensuring all children have access to a globally competitive education.
Watch and listen in:
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!