To the editor:
Recent information has come to light pointing out Lawrence is a failing community in several respects. Lawrence ranked as the second-worst-performing small metro area according to new national economic index. USD 497 says 47 percent of Lawrence children need food assistance to eat. Large numbers of individuals still require meals at LINK. This is unconscionable! We publicly express concern about reduced funding for food stamps, but where is the job creation to eliminate the need for food stamps? One can blame the larger economy, but in reality Lawrence has always been in control of its own destiny.
Lawrence has serious economic growth and job creation problems that our community leadership has failed to address over the years. Lawrence has failed to add a major employer for at least 10 years.
Lawrence myopically believes we can survive on “business incubators,” “boutique” retail jobs and the general belief that businesses want to relocate here just because we are “Lawrence.” Our current situation belies arguments supporting those concepts. Lawrence competes for employment on a national scale, and we must act accordingly.
One example of Lawrence’s problem attracting major employers is criticisms expressed in Wednesday’s Journal-World article, regarding the Delaware Indians’ project in North Lawrence. The project is estimated to bring $50 million a year to Lawrence’s economy, and all we read are reasons why we shouldn’t proceed, yet we have children needing food in Lawrence!
Lawrence needs a major outreach program and cooperatively work with businesses to solve concerns that lead to a “yes” for all concerned.