Last week, a group of friends from across Lawrence, Kansas gathered in the Warehouse Arts District to talk about forming a new community organization dedicated to promote more “Yes!” across Lawrence. Yes! Lawrence!
Yes! can come in many forms. . .
- Yes! We are unapologetic urbanists who believe in the virtues of cities. More people living in close proximity to each other can improve their lives and the lives of those far beyond city limits.
- Yes! We believe that affordable housing is sorely lacking in Lawrence and want to encourage the City to focus more on bringing the population of the urban core back to where it was 50-100 years ago.
- Yes! We believe that the future of movement from place to place is pedestrian, cycling, and autonomous and believe that we should focus more on homes for humans than on homes for cars.
- Yes! We believe that promoting mixed-use ideas in existing neighborhoods builds community and opportunity.
- Yes! We believe that positive and sustainable growth and change is organic, incremental, and citizen-driven. We favor many of smaller changes over large scale planning.
- Yes! We believe that economic and environmental sustainability are intrinsically linked. Making smart environmental choices is a good investment.
- Yes! We want to educate….There are many preconceived ideas about development based on minimal data. We seek to share available research with City officials and other stakeholders (KU, Haskell, school district, homeowners, neighborhood associations, etc.).
- Yes! We believe that allowing homeowners to build accessory dwelling units or “Mother-in-Law” units on their property can enable people to stay in their homes longer and continue to afford to live in a neighborhood they love amid rising property taxes that may otherwise price them out of the neighborhood.
- Yes! We believe in giving back to the Lawrence community making a difference in as many ways as possible.
We are forming Yes! Lawrence to create a community of people who want to make a positive impact but may not have the time, energy, or knowledge to make a difference on their own. As a group, we hope to be able to call on individuals with useful connections and expertise when there is a cause within the community that could use our help. We gather in the spirit of organizations across the country who believe in Strong Towns and proclaim “YIMBY” (Yes, in my back yard) recognizing the things that make Lawrence a unique and desirable place to live and realizing that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the answer. We think multi-generationally, envisioning what our community could look like in 50 or 100 years and acknowledge that placing too many restrictions on neighborhoods, while seeming beneficial in the short-term, only further entrenches problems like gentrification and increasing our carbon footprint.
We are looking for interested individuals to join us on our quest to hear more Yes! in Lawrence. Right now, we’re in the VERY early stages of planning. We decided on the Yes! Lawrence organization name at our last meeting and are planning to craft a mission and vision at our next meeting, in January. We’ve prepared a short questionnaire for those who are interested in getting involved or being updated about our progress. It asks questions about who you are, what you do, what organizations and people you’re connected with here in town, and what you’d like to see the organization strive toward. Please take a couple of minutes to complete this form and share your thoughts! We want to make this organization as inclusive as possible and bring a lot of Yes! to Lawrence, but we need your help to make that happen.
Don’t worry, you won’t be signing your life away by completing the form. We don’t want this to be “just another meeting” and understand that the people who could have the biggest impact in our organization are also the people who have the busiest schedules and many other commitments. We’re hoping to plan monthly meetings and meet with sub-groups, as necessary. We don’t know all the answers yet, but, with your help, we’re hoping to begin developing some answers over the next several months.
If you or someone you know may be interested in Yes! Lawrence please sign up for our email list HERE.
We’re looking forward to hearing lots of Yes! all across Lawrence!