For the Chiefs January 12, 2019, playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the Chiefs selected Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James as the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion. Prior to kickoff, Mayor James received on-field recognition and conducted the ceremonial first pass to Chiefs Ambassador Dante Hall before touring the Chiefs broadcast booth and enjoying the game.
"We are thrilled to honor Mayor Sly James as the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion," said Christina Lively, Blue KC's Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "His dedication to important issues and causes has made our city a better place for citizens of all ages, and we are pleased to recognize him for his dedication to public service."
Born and raised in Kansas City, Mayor Sly James took over as Kansas City mayor in 2011 after enjoying a successful legal career that spanned almost three decades. Throughout his time in office, James has made significant improvements to the community in a variety of areas, but has focused largely on a handful of key issues, one of which has been education.
Upon taking office, James' first major accomplishment was the creation of Turn the Page KC (TTPKC), now an independently operating 501c3 organization, dedicated to mobilizing the community to achieve reading proficiency at grade level or above for all 3rd graders in Kansas City, Missouri. He also hired the city's first education advisor in 2013, and, since that time, has convened a number of community stakeholder meetings focused on elevating and discussing issues such as the 30 million word gap, school attendance and student mobility.
Also committed to making Kansas City a thriving economic center, James has championed the city's role as a hub of innovation and technology. During the Mayor's tenure, Kansas City was selected as one of the first cities in the nation to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies' 'What Works Cities,' a $42-million initiative to help communities nationwide enhance the use of data and evidence to improve the lives of residents. And Launch KC, a critical component of Mayor James' economic development plan, continues to make progress and receive attention in both the local and national tech space.
"It's my privilege to serve the community I love and have called home for my entire life," said James, who will finish his second and final term as KC mayor in 2019. "Throughout my time in office, we've focused on moving Kansas City forward to create sustainable solutions to chronic problems that have plagued us for far too long, and we have achieved identifiable progress in each of our areas of focus."
In addition to his numerous city improvements, James also has raised Kansas City's national profile by highlighting the many positive aspects of the community, and has brought a new reputation to the city as one of the most desirable places to live, work and play in the country.
"I'm honored to be named a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion," said James. "Blue KC and the Chiefs both do so much for our city, and it's an honor to be recognized by these two outstanding organizations."
To nominate a local hero like Mayor Sly James to be recognized as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion, visit chiefs.com/bluekc.