November 6, 2016

Pete HaackJustice Matters0 Comments

An interfaith network of 23 faith groups working for justice in Lawrence and Douglas County

Nine priorities surfaced repeatedly during our house meetings/small group discussions throughout the Lawrence region.

  • CRIME & VIOLENCE (hotspots of criminal/drug activity, rape on college campuses, unsafe neighborhoods at night, prevalence of guns)
  • EDUCATION (inequality among public schools, college debt, services for children with special needs)
  • HEALTH CARE (rising cost of healthcare premiums and medications, postponing care due to costs, bankruptcy due to medical bills, lag-times to see a doctor)
  • WASTEFUL TAX SPENDING (burdensome sales or property tax, unnecessarily large public expenditures, or misplaced prioritization of funds)
  • RACISM (fear of police, racism in high school, prejudicial activities among police/retail stores/hospital, disconnect between Haskell/Native American population and Lawrence)
  • ELDERLY (poor management at nursing homes, abuse by providers, difficulty of the elderly to live on fixed retirement incomes, exclusion of elderly from wider community)
  • DRUGS & ADDICTION (overuse of prescription opioids/painkillers, culture of alcoholism on college campuses, shortage of addiction treatment options)
  • ENVIRONMENT (need for sustainable development plans, reliance on fossil fuel)
  • ECONOMIC JUSTICE (unemployment, need for jobs that match cost of living in Lawrence region, predatory lenders)

Shortly following the house meetings all registered network members were given an opportunity to narrow the choices by an online poll. By now, the final selection for a new issue to work on will have been decided at the Community Problems Assembly held on November 2. More than likely, you will have learned what that decision was from public media. If you haven’t and want to see more go to the Justice Matters website:

As an organization, we are committed to continue to address: childhood trauma, lack of mental health services, shortage of affordable housing, and the rising numbers of people jailed in our county. For more information about Justice Matters or on how to become involved, please contact Joe Synder (785-550-6421 or or Pat Lechtenberg (785-842-1992 or

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