Swope Health announces a new edition of its podcast, One on One with Swope Health, featuring Kansas City Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw, representing the city’s Fifth District.
Eric Wesson, managing editor and publisher of The Call, hosts the show’s conversations with Kansas Citians about issues of importance to the community’s health and wellbeing. In this conversation, Wesson and the councilwoman discuss the city’s new $30 million allocation to address crime prevention over the next five years.
Councilwoman Parks-Shaw began serving her first term in August 2019. She has lived in the 5th district with her family for over 22 years.
In this conversation, she reviews her history and education, and her experience as an “Avon lady” and small-business owner. She describes the Avon business as preparation for her city council work – getting her ready for knocking on doors and talking and listening to people.
She describes her reasons for running for office: to make a difference across the community, especially in violence prevention. She is an advocate for the KC 360 program to bring the community together – all walks – to address violence. She also serves on the finance committee for Kansas City, and spearheaded the drive to allocate funding to invest in neighborhoods, youth, and crime prevention.
Parks-Shaw wants to see special attention to youth programs. The program will open May 1 with requests for proposals, a review process, and then distribution via the City’s Public Health Department.
She describes her Municipal Academy proposal, a kind of boot camp to provide internships for youth to introduce them to careers within the city. She envisions it growing into a year-round program.
Parks-Shaw has also been deeply involved in the city’s housing issues. She describes a program – Zero KC – to prevent homelessness and improve housing and job opportunities. The goal is zero functional homelessness, defined when no more people enter homelessness than leave it, a steady state. The discussion encompasses homeless camps, re-entry of formerly incarcerated persons, and the reluctance of some homeless people to seek shelter.
Parks-Shaw draws upon prior experience in hospice care and Point-in-Time counts to inform her work. She intends to continue her work listening to the community and implementing community-based solutions to preventing violence and homelessness.
In City Council, she serves on the Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee, and the Special Committee on Housing Policy. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission, Co- Chair of the Health Commission and Chair of the Mayor’s Houseless Task Force. She also serves as a member of the Kansas City Zoo Board of Directors and the Starlight Board of Directors.
She is a long-time healthcare executive. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri State University and a Master of Science degree from Southwest Baptist University.
Parks-Shaw is an alumni of Ruskin High School in the Hickman Mills School District. Motivated by her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Links, Inc., she has a deep passion for community service and improving access to healthcare and healthy lifestyles. She has attended St. James United Methodist Church, also in the 5th district, for over 35 years.
Listen to the full conversation: