A leading figure in the community’s efforts to promote equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population has filed to run for a seat on the Lawrence City Commission.
Scott Criqui, a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission, got the City Commission campaign season off to an extremely early start by filing Wednesday morning for one of three seats on the commission. The filing deadline is not until Jan. 22, and the general election is nearly 10 months away.
“I believe in being super-prepared,” Criqui said. “I’ve talked to 137 people since November about possibly running for the commission. I really want to find out what the community expects. I want to be that commissioner who represents our whole community, and that takes time to build those relationships.”
Criqui, 31, is human resources manager for Lawrence-based Trinity In-Home Care where he oversees a staff of about 200. Criqui also gained notoriety in several political circles by serving last year as a leading spokesman for the successful effort to add legal protections for people who are transgender to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
But Criqui — who since 2009 has been on the city’s Human Relations Commission, which investigates complaints of discrimination — said he does not currently have any specific issues related to the LGBT community that will be at the forefront of his campaign.
Instead, he expects economic development to be a major issue as the city considers a new partnership with the county, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and Kansas University.
“I support the idea of changing how we do economic development because our efforts haven’t been that successful recently,” Criqui said.
He said he likes the idea of promoting the arts as a greater economic development opportunity, and also wants to increase the amount of attention paid to helping grow local businesses that already are in the community.
Criqui said he also will talk about the need for more strategic visioning and more input from the community as part of the city government process.
Three seats on the five-member City Commission will be up for election during the April 2 general election. Incumbents Mike Amyx, Hugh Carter and Aron Cromwell all have terms that are expiring. None of the incumbents has yet announced whether he intends to run for re-election. If needed, a primary election for the City Commission will be held Feb. 26.