Kate Garman, innovation analyst for the city of Kansas City, Missouri, talks the streetcar, voting and more in The Pitch Questionnaire
Twitter handle: @katiegps
Current neighborhood: Volker — my favorite neighborhood so far.
What I do: I’m the innovation analyst for Mayor Sly James, tasked to make our city’s laws foster a culture of innovation. In my spare time, I’m a law student and student editor-in-chief of The Urban Lawyer.
What’s your addiction? Coffee, running, and a nice red wine
What’s your game? Clue. Full of underrated suspense.
What’s your drink? A lot of my family lives in California, so wine is in my blood. But recently, I’ve been going for a good Manhattan. I blame it on Kansas City’s great whiskey scene.
Where’s dinner? Blue Koi on 39th Street. The Awesome Sauce is aptly named.
What’s on your KC postcard? A picture of first Fridays because it captures so many great KC things: local shops, art, hipsters, live music. But most of all, it gets the energy and the spirit of the city.
Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when …” We got the green light for the streetcar (see what I did there?). Thanks to the streetcar, we’ll have new infrastructure and pipes where it’s being built. And it’s how we got to push forward on the smart-city development, making Kansas City the biggest smart city in North America.
“Kansas City screwed up when …” We got a low count for voter turnout for the municipal elections. Local lawmakers affect people’s daily lives, and I know it may seem boring, but those are the people deciding things like developing neighborhoods, airports and roads. Voting is everything. It’s your voice.
“Kansas City needs …” To keep doing awesome things in the West Bottoms.
“As a kid, I wanted to be …” A meteorologist. I actually shadowed Channel 4’s Mike Thompson for a day and regularly checked out books on clouds from the library for years. The only reason I didn’t become one was because KU changed its program (and my drive to go to KU trumped — so I switched to journalism). Rock Chalk.
“In five years, I’ll be …” 35. Which is my avoiding this interesting question because it’s a good one. Hopefully, seeing all of the ordinances we’ve changed keeps the momentum going for this city.
“I always laugh at …” Puns.
“I’ve been known to binge-watch …” House of Cards and Breaking Bad. Repeatedly.
“I can’t stop listening to …” I’ve recently discovered how good the Weeknd is.
“My dream concert lineup is …” Florence + the Machine, the Weeknd, Bonobo and Ratatat.
“I just read …” The federal tax code. Being in law school is no joke. Farewell, reading for pleasure.
What’s your hidden talent? I’m classically trained at the piano and even did some light competing for a bit.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Eating carrots and peanut butter while watching The Wire late at night. Tell no one.
The best advice I ever got: When I got my first real job after college, at Black & Veatch, my boss told me that when I get a project, I own it. I own the whole thing until it gets to the finish line. Best advice I ever got because — I’d like to think — it made me into one hell of a leader.
Worst advice: Don’t go to law school.
My sidekick: Lipstick.
What is your spirit animal? My friends would probably say Leslie Knope.
Who is your hero? There are lot of people I could list: politicians, family members, great lawyers. But there is a homeless man on the Plaza, most of the time outside of Barnes & Noble. Every time I go on a run and I pass him, he gives me a thumbs-up. Even in the freezing winter he does it. That kind of positive attitude is incredible. Best part of my run.
What is your nemesis? My alarm clock.
What’s your greatest struggle right now? Waking up early to work out. I am trying, OK? (See previous answer.)
My favorite toy as a child: My Cabbage Patch doll and the matching pajama shirt that went with it.
My dating triumph/tragedy: I went on a first date this summer in Overland Park. When I walked out to leave, I noticed not just my car but the entire row of cars where I had parked was gone. Rather than swallowing my pride and running back to my date for a saving grace, realizing I had been towed 15 miles away from where I live, I hid in a dark corner so he wouldn’t realize what an idiot I was for having parked in the bad spot. Big shout-out to Uber in Kansas.
My brush with fame: I did stand-up comedy for a few years and opened up for some great comics. One time, Stanford’s introduced me as the next Ellen DeGeneres, which is a ridiculous comparison — she is an epic comedienne.
My soapbox: Go vote!! Be engaged with your city! And shop local.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Probably to my cat for being gone all of the time. Prada is an extremely emotionally demanding feline.
Who’s sorry now? Still me. But I have since started a Twitter series with the hashtag of #whypeoplelikedogs. Two can play this game, Prada.
My recent triumph: A lot of great things have happened lately, but being able to work for the city that I love, with one of the finest mayors in the country, that tops it all.