Marcus Kidd, assistant director of enrollment management and institutional partnerships for the College of Education, is running for a seat at the Manhattan City Commission.
Kidd said part of the reason he is running is to make sure leaders in the Manhattan community truly represent the people who make up all of the community.
“I definitely think it’s important to be knowledgeable of certain things related to that political realm,” Kidd said. “But it’s never been at my forefront. What’s been happening around the country as it relates to the treatment of people from diverse backgrounds has been an important part of it.”
The other reason Kidd is running stems from his love of Manhattan.
“I was born and raised here,” Kidd said. “I’ve been able to see the community evolve and grow, and not just in the sense of the people being here, but the actual physical infrastructure. I’ve seen that evolve and grow in front of my eyes.”
Kidd said the combination of his background, demographic and experience with Manhattan will help him in the role of city commissioner.
“When I see all the other people that are running, I believe I’m one of the youngest people running for this year’s city commission seat,” Kidd said. “I’m single, I don’t have a family, so there are certain elements of city leadership that I think I would have a different perspective from the norm.”
Kidd has been a part of the Kansas State community since 2009. After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2014, he completed his master’s in counseling and student development in 2016. He is now working toward a doctorate in the same field.
Kidd’s history with K-State does not stop with schooling. He worked as a graduate assistant for several departments. Now, Kidd works for the College of Education and also teaches Foundations of College Student Success.
“K-State is very important to the well-being of the community, along with the future of where Manhattan goes,” Kidd said. “Being an employee there, that’s already one experience that I have that I can bring to the table with city commission as it relates to different things, regarding either understanding the governing structure or understanding how different rules and policies work on campus that people who don’t work for K-State may not be aware of.”
Kidd serves as a graduate student senator and has been involved with the Student Governing Association for over seven years. He served on the Allocations Committee, the Tuition and Fees Strategy Committee and the Student Services Fee Committee throughout his SGA career.
“I think all of that translates highly into part of the role of a city commissioner,” Kidd said. “Really taking a look at the city budget, looking at all these tax dollars and where everything’s going. Looking at different entities that receive money from the city of Manhattan revenue and just examining ‘Hey, what are ways that we can do cost-sharing?’ or ‘What are ways that we can save costs that don’t sacrifice the quality of services?'”
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Kidd said true leadership is not based on platforms but on what a candidate decides to do in unprecedented situations. However, he cares about health and safety, the infrastructure of the city dam and economic vitality.
“I care about the health and safety of all of Manhattan,” Kidd said. “We are still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, so that is something I think is important to keep in mind at the forefront. On the topic of the safety piece is the infrastructure of the city dam or our levy, that’s something I think deserves some attention, that I would hope to give more attention to if I were elected.”
Kidd said he has been blown away by the response and positive feedback from people he knows.
“He’s our [Delta Sigma Phi] chapter adviser,” Banks Wilson, sophomore in business administration, said. “Throughout the process, he’s been really good at helping us stay involved on campus and reducing liabilities for us. He keeps our heads on straight, and he keeps pushing us to success.”
Despite his high community involvement, Kidd said his busy schedule would not hinder his ability to fulfill his duties if elected.
“If you never make time, then how can you ever have time?” Kidd said. “With other things in my life, I’ve been able to make things work by prioritizing things accordingly. If this is something I was voted into, then I would make it work. I would make the time to be able to exercise my responsibilities appropriately.”
The election takes place Nov. 2, but eligible voters can vote early from now until election day. More information about Kidd is on his campaign website.