The Issues

Transforming Infrastructure
  • Develop strength-based approaches in all community development work. For example, use an equity index or other tools like asset mapping to document the strength and capacity of existing community resources.
  • Create policies and programs that address a collective definition of infrastructure – transportation, sustainability, and human service. For example, child care, on the surface, is rarely categorized as infrastructure but is essential to economic stability because it is a factor in attracting new businesses or building an engaged workforce. We must take a holistic approach to addressing these multifaceted aspects of infrastructure, which can lead to meaningful change.
  • We must connect resources with the needs of the people and ensure that social services efficiently support our community. I believe it is important to hear from the community what we can do better, what people need to thrive in the community, and who is being left behind and why.

Quality, Affordable Housing Stock

  • Gaps in housing stock at certain price points, especially for those earning lower household incomes, exist for multiple reasons. Our City Government has a leadership opportunity to develop a citywide collaborative plan and shared vision.
  • I bring community engagement and connection skills and an understanding of regional opportunities that will help us develop a successful and efficient plan. My public health service experiences give me insight into the impacts of Legislative actions that must be considered in developing such a plan.

Innovative Economic Development

  • Invest in innovation and economic development that leverages the assets of the city and the universities to attract high-paying, high-skilled innovative companies. This will position Lawrence for future jobs and industries that anchor us competitively in the region. Working with such partners as the Bioscience and Technology Business Center and local business leadership incubates new industry growth that generates desirable high-paying jobs.
  • Implement strategies that addresses economic development through a workforce lens, focusing on training, retraining, and repositioning individuals to meet immediate area employment needs. Working with established community partners such as the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center and Workforce Centers is critical to the success of this model.
  • Understand what roadblocks small business owners experience (i.e., restrictive building codes pertaining to renovations), and what more can be done to support the need for small business incubators (for example, shared services networks for small businesses, such as child care).
  • Implement a vacancy tax and other incentives to expand opportunities for equitable small business growth in downtown Lawrence and citywide.

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