Candice Minear, development and community relations specialist at the Whole Person, talks disability rights, the streetcar, dogs and more in The Pitch‘s Questionnaire

Hometown: Kirksville

Current neighborhood: Westport

What I do: I advocate for and promote the rights of people with disabilities to help create a more inclusive community. Also, I participate in and help promote adaptive sports in KC.

What’s your addiction? The two W’s … wine and whiskey. Always going to a tasting for one of the two. Also, I’m a baseball genius.

What’s your game? A little Murderball (quad rugby), anyone? I used to be an athlete before my accident, so I love sports. Outside of that, I’m very sarcastic and like getting a rise out of people, especially with jokes about my disability.

What’s your drink? A large glass of pinot noir or a Compass Box Asyla, neat.

Where’s dinner? As I live in Westport, weekend brunch is usually at Char Bar, dinner and drinks at Port Fonda or Julep. Aside from my Westport neighbors, happy hour at La Bodega is fantastic, with their tapas and sangria, but I have to admit, I have a love affair with Affarë.

What’s on your KC postcard? Either the view of downtown with Union Station from Liberty Memorial or a shot of the Boulevardia main stage with Ferris wheel lit up from the 12th Street Bridge

Finish these sentences: “Kansas City got it right when …” We expanded our culinary, arts and music scene. Eat local, not chain. We are more than just barbecue.

“Kansas City screwed up when …” They decided that the streetcar would only travel from River Market to Crown Center. It should stretch at least to the Plaza.
“Kansas City needs …”
To build a light-rail system for all of the metro area, like other major cities have, in order to be more inclusive for those without means of transportation. KC also needs more coordinated efforts to expand, support and promote the adapted-sport activities that exist for people with disabilities to participate in.

“As a kid, I wanted to be …” A sports anchor for ESPN.

“I always laugh at …”
Political satire and irony. I miss you, Jon Stewart.

“I’ve been known to binge watch …” Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Veep, Shameless, Grace & Frankie, Chef’s Table, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee and Last Week Tonight.

“I can’t stop listening to …” Church of Lazlo and Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz every day on 96.5 the Buzz.

“My dream concert lineup is …” All bands Jack White has been a part of, Foo Fighters, Adele, Mumford & Sons, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the Black Keys, Courtney Barnett, Outkast, Cage the Elephant, the Rolling Stones and Billy Joel.

“I just read …” The newest issue of Vice magazine.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Golden Girls

The best advice I ever got:
Edit yourself. Read your audience before you speak. I have a tendency to be very direct and blunt. Remember: polite persistence.

Worst advice? Go ahead … jump.

My sidekick? My sister is the Frankie to my Grace. Basically my best friend.

What is your spirit animal? Great Danes. I have two.

Who is your hero?
Gloria Steinem

Who (or what) is your nemesis? Stairs. Hard to get into a restaurant or business with stairs in a wheelchair. Come on, people, it’s the 21st century. ADA has been in place for 25 years. Let’s make all businesses accessible. We like being social, too!

What’s your greatest struggle right now? Waking up in the morning.

My favorite toy as a child: Teddy bear and Mario Kart on Nintendo 64

My dating triumph/tragedy? I finally found somebody to accept me with my disability and everything that comes with it. That was the triumph. The tragedy was, he moved for a job he couldn’t refuse, and I knew it was better for him.

My soapbox: Don’t take people for granted. While they may not have the same abilities as you, they have strengths that make them viable assets to society. Having a disability did not change who I am, and I’m not your inspiration. I’m a strong, independent, hard-working woman, and I am the same as everyone else.

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Running into my dogs’ legs.

Who’s sorry now? Anyone who doubted me. Don’t let the disability fool you.

My recent triumph: I coordinated an Adaptive Sports Day that featured quad rugby (KC Revolution), wheelchair basketball (KC Treadz), wheelchair softball, adaptive tennis (Wheel It Forward), hand cycling (Midwest Adaptive Sports), adaptive skateboarding and adaptive yoga. If we got at least one person more involved in adaptive sports, then we achieved our initial goal. 

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