by Unite News Staff
City Council interviewed four applicants for the Zone 1 seat appointing Horton with seven votes in one round of voting.
Steven Sexton received one vote. The other applicants were Karen Banta and Kathy Hubbard.
Horton has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, from Tuskegee University – graduating summa cum laude.” A Master of music therapy, from Florida State University and a Master of public administration, from Missouri State University.
Monica is self-employed for the past 11 years for Lenica Consulting. Lenica Consulting has subcontracted with the Center for Music Therapy and Wellness as a geriatric music specialist for four years; She began contracting with Drury University in 2016 as an adjunct instructor for Drury students earning degrees in Music Therapy. She also has a certification in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Since 2018, she has served on the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Services Fund Board serving as treasurer of the $2.9 million tax levy for two of those years. “In 2019, she was appointed to the Mayor’s Commission for Children by Mayor McClure and City Council; and began serving as Ujima Language and Literacy’s founding board president while serving a three-year appointment on Leadership Springfield’s board of directors.
When Unite News reporter asked Horton, what made you apply for the City Council seat? Horton responded, “My desire to join the city’s effort to recover from the twin pandemics (COVID-19 & systemic racism) motivated me to apply once the seat on Council was vacated by the previous council member. While we are the 3rd largest city branding ourselves as a premier place for the great outdoors with a strong philanthropic community, a thriving library system and the largest school district in our state, we have some issues to address according to the results from the Community Focus Report, the Springfield Inclusiveness Surveys, and the ARPA funds priority surveys. With my passion for civic engagement and my professional experience, I believe we can address our issues with anyone willing to participate in the process of change.”
Horton added, “I hope to earn the respect and trust of the neighborhood and business associations as well as the community organizations in Zone 1 who are addressing key issues of poverty, crime, and nuisance properties. I want to see portions of the comprehensive plan implemented, but I also want to see significantly more action taken to implement the recommendations from the Springfield Inclusiveness Surveys as 45% of survey respondents viewed Springfield as “not very inclusive” and “not inclusive at all.” I want to see ARPA funds allocated as closely as possible based on the priorities that rose to the surface from the county and city surveys: affordable housing and homeless services were in the top 3. And finally, the city council can use its influence to support the Network for Progress Initiative tasked with addressing the red flags of the Community Focus Report.”
Horton remarked, “I owe a debt of gratitude to the all African-American families who’ve been in Springfield for generations.” Horton took the oath to serve as City Council’s newest member on Monday, April 18, 2022.