Faces deeply familiar to LINC appeared in the pantheon of influential leaders when 435 Magazine recently profiled its choices of the 50 most powerful people in the Kansas City area today.
The magazine’s unranked list of people “shaping our city right now” included LINC commissioner and longtime conservationist Anita B. Gorman; community activist Tara Rhaguveer who launched her work for tenants’ rights with LINC’s assistance; and Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell, LINC’s largest school district partner.
Anita B. Gorman
“Gorman,” the magazine noted, “has been shaping city and state parks for 40 years.”
She was the first woman appointed to the Kansas City Board of Parks and Recreation Commission, worked to expand the Kansas City Zoo and served on the Missouri Conservation Commission.
At LINC, she is one of the founding commissioners.
Gorman is well known for her campaign to establish the influential and educational conservation center in the heart of Kansas City that now bears her name: The Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center.
The Shawnee Mission East alum and Harvard graduate returned to the Kansas City area to take up the cause of tenants’ rights, protecting vulnerable families from eviction and housing abuses, creating the non-profit advocacy organization KC Tenants.
Rhaguveer began as a researcher and analyst, and collaborated with LINC in the creating the KC Eviction Project. Among its work, the project has partnered with the Kansas City Public Schools and Legal Aid of Western Missouri to use housing court eviction data to help vulnerable families avoid eviction and strengthen school attendance.
KC Tenants has raised the awareness of housing concerns, including in the latest citywide election, and is campaigning for a Tenants’ Bill of Rights.
Bedell is deep into his fourth year as superintendent of the Kansas City Public Schools, guiding the district as it nears a return to full accreditation.
KCPS, with a PK-12 enrollment of 15,568 and some 2,100 employees, has enjoyed a time of stability and achievement since Bedell came to the district from Baltimore County Public Schools in 2016.
Bedell told the magazine his team is hard at work on Blueprint 2030, the district’s strategic plan. The plan, he said, will include a newcomer center for KCPS’s growing population of immigrant students.
LINC partners with KCPS by providing before- and after-school programs for nearly 3,900 children in 25 school sites.