In an extremely crowded race for a slew of open Kansas City, Missouri, City Council seats earlier this year, Mark Porter lost to incumbent Terry Riley in a landslide, with Riley claiming 79 percent of the vote. In a city that struggles with violent crime, we figured that Porter, a civilian known for settling arguments when guns are involved, could bring some street smarts to City Hall. Though he lost the election, he's still doing what he can to make his neighborhood better. A retired AT&T community service technician, he's president of both the 100 Men of Blue Hills and the Blue Hills CAN Center. "We're developing a training program now for the 100 Men of Blue Hills," Porter says. "We've got to train them to be community leaders. Before it was all about marching on drug houses. Now we've got to expand. We're looking at predatory lending, drive-bys. Our young ladies are getting pregnant at earlier ages, and we've got to deal with that. We've got to help youth understand drugs aren't the solution to their problems." When he's not updating the group's philosophy, he's mobilizing political efforts. "Most of our community members don't understand the power they possess as a citizen. They need to understand how strong that power is, but they've got to be demanding. The community needs to let them [politicians] know that the community is the one in control. We're going to make those politicians more accountable." We hear that.