Letter to the editor: Changing city
To the editor:
Change can seem scary to people. But change isn’t always bad nor is it always based upon a need to fix some error. Change in governance such as the one that the Lawrence City Commission has picked up recently is a chance for our local governing board to grow. Our city has grown to almost 100,000 residents, a substantial increase since the last expansion of the City Commission.
The change to a hybrid model is a chance for all locally elected officials to have four-year terms, which gives our elected officials more time to represent our city and build firm relationships throughout the community. Separate districts across Lawrence allows more individuals to run for local office as the resources needed for a district-level campaign could be less than what is needed for a citywide campaign. The diversity of voices represented on the City Commission would broaden, allowing community members to feel better represented. Voter turnout could be increased as engagement at the district level would enable candidates more time to engage with their prospective constituency.
It’s a good thing to have our City Commission grow as our city grows. More voices in the decision-making process is central to a thriving democracy. Change accounts for growth and allows for learning. Our city has changed and grown our local governing board multiple times since its founding in 1854. Let us embrace this change in memory of our ancestors, who also embraced radical change.