To the editor:
I am writing to encourage Lawrence residents to get out and vote for Dan Rivera for mayor next Tuesday. This may be an unusual letter because I am a resident of Pebble Beach, Calif., not a resident of Lawrence. However, I grew up in the Lawrence Stadium Projects and lived there until I went to college.
My grandparents immigrated to Lawrence from Italy in the early 1900s. Although we were not a family of strong financial means, we were similar to many residents of Lawrence who were always working toward a better future. As a kid, I spent countless hours at the Lawrence Boys Club which helped greatly in molding who I am today. My father was a laborer for the city of Lawrence, one of my uncles was a judge in Lawrence, and another of my uncles was a former physical education teacher and football coach at Lawrence High. I still have relatives who reside in Lawrence.
I have always had a great love for the city and until recently, I have always been proud of the city I grew up in. However, things have changed considerably in the last few years. In California, or when spending time back here, I run into people all the time who grew up in Lawrence. When the topic of Lawrence comes up, it is always the same reaction: one of hopelessness, dismay and anger.
What was once a great city has become a place known for dysfunction and divisiveness. When you read or hear about Lawrence in the news, it is usually negative. Businesses don’t want to move into Lawrence because of all the turmoil in the city government. People are hesitant to buy homes in Lawrence because of its poor reputation. Even visitors don’t want to drive through or visit Lawrence because they don’t feel safe.