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.
Things don’t have to be this way. Lawrence was once a great city where many of our parents and grandparents immigrated to from many countries around the world. When you have the problems Lawrence has, the only solution is to start at the top. If this was a business rather than a governmental entity, you would fire the CEO. Lawrence residents need to replace their leader and vote in a new mayor.
Electing Dan Rivera is the only way to begin the long process of effecting positive change in the city. Both Lowell and Haverhill have been able to turn things around. Lawrence can do the same. I have met Dan Rivera and listened to his vision for the city. Dan is honest, has strong ethics, and is committed to making Lawrence a better place to live, work, and visit.
Even though I live more than 3,000 miles away, Lawrence will always be home to me. I encourage Lawrence residents to take control of their city and to please get out and vote on Nov. 5. You can make a difference.
Help elect Dan Rivera mayor of the great city of Lawrence.
Pebble Beach, Calif.