Your Turn

To submit a lengthier opinion piece about a topic of public interest, please email your submission to letters@ljworld.com and indicate that you would like it to be considered for a “Your Turn” column. Submissions must bear the name, address and telephone number of the writer.

Your Turn: Justice Matters group supports mental health sales tax

“I (expletive) hate my life. I am going to end it. My friend just took all my guns away. This is serious.” That is what my friend told me Wednesday morning as I stood next to the apple stand at the Merc waiting for my fancy coffee. His hands were shaking as he fidgeted — wiping his ...

Your Turn: Mistaking cause and effect on taxes

The Kansas Jayhawk football team recently broke a nine-year road game losing streak, just one year after state legislators approved the largest income tax in state history, so the Jayhawks’ road win is a result of the tax increase. That conclusion is obviously absurd, but it’s the same ...

Your Turn: Kavanaugh shouldn’t be on Supreme Court

An Open Letter to Senators Moran and Roberts: As a professor of constitutional law, I normally strive to be nonpartisan and avoid taking positions on Supreme Court nominations. I will make an exception in this case. Each of you recently announced that you will vote to confirm Judge Brett ...

Your Turn: Survivors need to be supported, not judged

“You’re stuck in my head and I can’t get you out of it/If I could do it all again/I know I’d go back to you.” These are the lyrics to the recent Selena Gomez hit “Back to You.” I heard this song on the radio while driving my children to school the other day. As I reflected on ...

Your Turn: Lawrence has a housing affordability problem

A national trend is being felt right here in Lawrence. The convergence of increasing costs of land, labor, materials, permitting and regulatory requirements has made it nearly impossible for developers and home builders to invest in moderately priced housing. As a result, our community has a ...

Boys & Girls Club executive director: Club leaders, community came together on project

My role as CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) here at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence has been a very rewarding and humbling experience for me the past six years. I have learned a lot and have been fortunate to be part of an organization that recently accomplished a goal that we had been ...

Your Turn: Bert Nash committed to core values

In its nearly 70-year history, the Bert Nash Center has witnessed many changes and challenges. But one thing remains constant: our commitment to our core values of compassion, integrity and equity, on a foundation of hope. Those values are at the very heart of what we do, and they always will ...

Your Turn: Supreme Court justices should have term limits

Life tenure for Supreme Court Justices, combined with increasing partisan polarization, is a toxic combination that is poisoning our democracy. It is time to find a better way that preserves judicial independence while reducing the level of conflict over nominations. A move to a nonrenewable ...

Your Turn: Lawmakers working together on climate

In 1970 after establishing the EPA, President Nixon said, “Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond political party and beyond factions.” In that spirit, it will take courage, commitment and vision to address the growing threat of climate change. During Citizen’s Climate ...

Your Turn: Becoming a better problem solver in the courts

Recently, Douglas County voters narrowly rejected a proposition to remodel and increase the size of the Douglas County Jail and to fund the construction of a crisis intervention center. Faced with jail overcrowding and the continued need for crisis intervention programs in the community, the ...

Your Turn: We should address racism, sexism with no fear

Lawrence prides itself on being a progressive and inclusive community, but rarely engages in the tough conversations necessary to live up to our values of equity. On May 15, the City Commission considered whether to send a plan for a mural depicting Women of Color in Lawrence to the Arts ...

Your Turn: We must end incessant school litigation

The words of a recent guest column in the Lawrence Journal-World about the Kansas Coalition for Fair Funding were not surprising. It was a continuation of the intellectually shallow, fact-short screed about taxes, school finance and the Kansas budget. Certainly, reasonable people can disagree ...

Opinion: Have we learned? A test is coming

In 2012, Kansas lawmakers cut income taxes in a bigger, faster, more dramatic way than any other state had done. And revenue from tax collections dropped like a rock, causing Kansas to enter a multiyear period of serious financial trouble.In 2016, Kansans voted for a new Legislature. One-third ...

Your Turn: Jail expansion would worsen a painful reality

The Journal-World headline read “Jail’s daily population fell in 2017, reversing a 5-year trend.” The article continued: “The decrease stems from the introduction last year of behavioral health court, pretrial release and home arrest programs.” As a member of the Criminal Justice ...

Your Turn: Reasons to vote yes on Proposition 1

False narratives are attempting to confuse Douglas County voters about the upcoming Proposition 1 vote. This is not a vote for or against expansion of the Douglas County Jail. The county is statutorily responsible for providing a humane jail that promotes prisoner reform: after several years of ...

Opinion: Windfalls, gambling and marijuana

Raising revenue is tough, especially in red states.Kansas tax receipts nose-dived between 2013 and 2016, placing great pressures on public services. The 2017 income tax revisions have staunched the bleeding, and revenues have consistently exceeded estimates since July, to the tune of $275 ...

Opinion: Independent Orman has an opening

Kansas entrepreneur Greg Orman formally launched his independent bid for governor recently and in doing so is challenging the two-party structure that has dominated U.S. politics for well over a century.Orman believes that voters are ready to break from the political status quo. They see ...

Your Turn: Climate closely related to state of our union

Opening his State of the Union Address, President Trump acknowledged the heroic first responders who came to the aid of victims in the floods that devastated south Texas and in the wildfires of California. Too bad he didn’t mention what made these natural disasters so deadly and costly: ...

Your Turn: Adequate funding of state’s public schools is a crucial investment

It has often been noted that Kansas doesn’t have mountains or an ocean coastline, but what Kansas does have are strong public schools. And our quality schools didn’t happen by accident.Since the founding of our state, generations of Kansans have committed their work and taxes to funding ...

Opinion: Some rays of hope shine after a tough year

It’s the beginning of a new year and time to take annual stock of the past, present and future.By almost any standard, 2017 was a tough 12 months for most Americans.We’re stressed. The American Psychological Association’s 2017 annual Stress in America survey reports that “compared to ...