Lindsay French, Mickey Younghanz and Jenay Manley seek the 2nd District At-Large council seat.

Three Northland Candidates Address South KC Issues

Meet the 2nd District At-Large Candidates

By Sara Wiercinski

The Second District At-Large is held by Teresa Loar, who is finishing her two terms which began in 2015. Contesting her seat are Lindsay French, Mickey Younghanz and Jenay Manley. The top two finishers will advance to the general election on June 20. The Second District encompasses portions of the city that are north of the Missouri River and south of Barry Road. “At-large” means voters throughout the city vote for the position.

Lindsay French

Lindsay French, 41, grew up in Clay County and now lives in Southern Platte County. For the past 15 years, she has been involved in civic engagement through her work at a downtown landscape architecture firm. She attended the University of Kansas and Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods. French is Chair of the Planning and Development Committee for the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce and is involved with Climate Action KC. French wants to work across the table with other council members for the betterment of Kansas City.


“Violent crime is the issue that comes up when I go door to door and am on the campaign trail,” said French. “It’s a major concern that involves balancing policing and providing wrap-around services that deter crime.” She looks to the Kansas City No Violence Alliance as an effective past model for crime deterrance. French supports the KC 360 program: “Something I’m passionate about is involving youth. This gets to the core of reducing crime by providing jobs, mentorships and internships to young people.”


French wants the city to address blight more holistically, working directly with neighborhoods, community leaders and the Neighborhood Services Department to create Community Area Master Plans to drive revitalization and beautification projects. These areas could be supported by Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. French wants to strengthen the city’s code enforcement division and give consequences for property owners whose buildings do not meet codes.

Business and infrastructure development

French: “It’s about creating coalition, long-term relationships that bridge the gaps between north, south and the core. We have to talk and work together to create what is best for the entire city.” French wants the city to support small business owners and entrepreneurship, which opens the door for more equitable development, including minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantaged business enterprises. 


Mickey Younghanz

Mickey Younghanz, 72, is a lifelong Kansas City resident. He has worked in construction for fifty years, and owns his own contracting business in the Northland. He is an alumni of North Kansas City High School. Younghanz is also a musician. In 2020, he ran for Missouri State Senate District 17 but was defeated by Lauren Arthur. He is running for council because he will listen to Kansas Citians’ concerns and will help to build back trust between the city and small business owners.


Younghanz says he wants to correct funding issues so that police officers have enough resources to do their jobs. The department currently has around 1,100 officers, which needs to be increased to 1,500 to adequately cover the city. He wants to see police officers engage in community events to build trust, such as attending neighborhood meetings and doing city bus ride-alongs, where commuters meet and talk with local officers. 


Younghanz says people are tired of paying city taxes for upkeep without a return, and are taking up cleanup matters themselves. Neighborhoods see crime reduction when citizens band together to clear out the overgrown spaces, and Younghanz wants to see the city scale up these efforts. “Once developers see that the city is doing its job, they will come. It’s contagious when that happens,” said Younghanz. “People see that and become more proud of their city.”

Business and infrastructure development

Younghanz praises the talented small business people in the city, and wants city government to step up its transparency and fulfillment of city services. Younghanz participated in a ride-along in part of south Kansas City, and says “I gasped at the road conditions and volumes of trash from illegal dumping. The tires, thousands of tires. The city is not responsive and has strange priorities.”


Jenay Manley

Jenay Manley, 30, was born and raised in the Northland. She became a single mom at age 21 and experienced eviction from her home. She served tables at Applebee’s. In 2020 she joined KC Tenants as a community organizer, where she works to advocate for affordable housing and tenants’ rights. She wants the council to “co-govern with working class people to build out solutions to problems that impact working people.”


Manley says Kansas City needs to address crime with proactive solutions instead of punishment. “Crime is a symptom of poverty, where there is no hope,” said Manley. “Let’s recognize we need to talk about root causes, invest  in mental health, physical health, affordable housing and public transportation.” Manley connects the city’s high crime rate in the past three years to the deep crisis caused by COVID, and she wants the council to stop short-term fixes and “instead, take a breath. See who is in the room and who is not. Bring them to the table to have conversations. Create structures that lead to solutions.”


Manley wants the council to invest in neighborhoods and people. She sees problems in out-of-state speculators buying up buildings to hold them for value. “The city needs to take an active role in getting houses up to code so people can live there safely,” said Manley. She wants the city to take steps to acquire abandoned properties to be developed for affordable social housing.

Business and infrastructure development 

Manley warns of the huge consequences of issuing tax incentives for big corporations, only to have them move away and keep the benefits. She wants a rehaul of incentives with more priority for Kansas City residents, including small business owners. “Prioritize the people who live here,” said Manley. Manley sees commonality in working-class people across the city, and she wants to identify common interests such as potholes. Manley emphasizes “In all districts across the city, the key question to ask is ‘Who is missing from the decision-making conversations?’”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: