Swope Health announces a new edition of its podcast, One on One with Swope Health, featuring Darrell Curls, Kansas City City Council member.
Eric Wesson, founder and publisher of The Next Page KC, a newspaper focused on the Black community, hosts the show’s conversations with Kansas Citians about issues of importance to the community’s health and wellbeing.
Curls was elected in June 2023 to represent Kansas City’s 5th Council District-at-large. He previously served on the Hickman Mills School Board for nine years and on several city commissions and boards. He is a native of south Kansas City, the Hickman Mills area, and a graduate of Longview Community College, Park College, and Central Michigan University.
In this discussion, the councilman reflects on his first nine weeks in the new role. “They throw a lot at you all at once,” he said. “It’s everything I thought it would be and more.”
He identified his top priorities as economic growth for the urban core, specifically the third and fifth districts, and addressing crime. He said he believes spurring economic growth and development can help deter crime.
Curls notes the number of homicides is alarming, as is the fact that it is young black men age 18-30 who are the most susceptible to homicide.
Tied to economic development is health, including access to fresh fruits and vegetables in local groceries. Noting that fresh groceries are lacking in the third and fifth districts, he advocates for healthy foods and educating youth about healthy foods and nutrition.
He said he believes the KC economy is on an upward trajectory. From his vantage point on the finance, governance, and public safety committees, he sees an opportunity to help drive positive investment in the city to target trash clean-up, infrastructure in the urban core, and affordable housing. He said he and his counterparts in the third district have shared goals.
He also sees positive collaboration among the new city council members and the mayor, all operating with a holistic view of the city. “We realize we can get more done by working together,” he said.