By Mary Katherine Andrews
Until recently, I had not been seriously considering moving back to Kansas City after college. However, my amazing last month working downtown and seeing all the new restaurants, shops, and vibrant communities I’m starting to change my mind. I’m finally discovering that Kansas City is one of the best cities in America. Because of positive national attention, the great developing downtown, and of course the Royals, my friends who moved away for college and I are so incredibly proud not only of Kansas City’s rich traditions and great barbecue but also of where this city is going. The mandatory benchmarking ordinance plays an important role in ensuring Kansas City is moving in the right direction and showing that Kansas City is serious about becoming a leader in improving energy efficiency.
As environmental issues become increasingly important to college students across the country, we look to live in a city that makes it easy for us to continue to live sustainably. The City Energy Project and this ordinance increases Kansas City’s appeal to students like me. Energy efficiency improvements would make Kansas City a cleaner, greener city that I would want to live in. Mandatory benchmarking improves the lives of Kansas City citizens by empowering us to take control of our carbon footprint while creating jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All these benefits will attract me and other college students from Kansas City back after graduation.
Action on the environmental issues I care so much about make me feel like I don’t have to choose between returning home and living in a progressive and sustainable city because Kansas City has the potential to represent the best of both. Kansas City is my home and I want it to be the most efficient, sustainable, and healthy city it can be so I can continue to be proud of where I come from and hopefully return one day. I believe this benchmarking ordinance is a step in making this desire a reality.
Mary Katherine is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. She is a sophomore at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.