Director, Green Impact Zone
Kansas City, Mo.
Anita Maltbia is spearheading the transformation of 150 square blocks of Kansas City, Mo., from blight to bright. The Green Impact Zone project, which she directs, is resuscitating this economically depressed African-American neighborhood by putting local residents to work weatherizing the zone’s 2,500 homes and by developing a bus rapid-transit system that will connect the zone to other parts of the region. With $50 million in funding from the federal economic-stimulus package, the initiative will also offer community policing, job training, and health and wellness programs. Maltbia, who has 30 years of experience in city government and community activism, earned a coveted spot in the First Lady’s box at this year’s State of the Union address.