Community coalition for safety
Twenty-nine times this year, bells have chimed in Wichita for neighbors who have been murdered. How many more times will they chime before the community acts together to prevent violent crimes?
In 1994, a member of my congregation was murdered in Topeka, one of 28 that year in that city. After I did Roger’s funeral and sat in on the murder trial of the man who murdered him, I began to look for ways to deal with violence. I discovered a simple truth. You either ratchet up public control of citizen actions, as in Indonesia, or you engage in science-based prevention. I learned that substance abuse prevention decreases crime and subsequent acts of violence.
There is a rather sophisticated prevention science that guides public action, called the “Communities that Care” model developed by Hawkins and Catalono at the University of Washington. Safe Streets Wichita uses this model with other statewide partners to build up prevention efforts in our city and county and state.
So elected officials, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, neighborhood leaders and business leaders, which will it be? I invite you to join our Safe Streets Coalition as we build partnerships, work with youth and mobilize neighborhoods.
Rev. Dave Fulton, Wichita
Colyer not right for Wichita
I was quite disappointed to learn that the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Jeff Longwell and Commissioner David Dennis have decided to endorse Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican gubernatorial primary. The reckless Brownback/Colyer tax plan, huge budget deficits, heartless privatization efforts and cruel neglect of the poor and marginalized are not the progress I have come to expect from the Chamber, the mayor and the commissioner.
I recommend these folks re-read the recent James Chung presentation. It says we have too many leaders who say no. For the last seven years, Brownback/Colyer consistently said no to public schools, teachers, Dreamers, poor people in need of available health insurance assistance, rural hospitals, the mentally ill, women, state workers, the parole board, the state judicial branch, the LBGTQ community, the arts council, civil service, and more. Dr. Colyer has become Dr. No, and now he is Gov. No. He is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
There are many candidates for governor whose platforms support the kind of progress our city and county claim to want and need. Colyer is not one of them.
Paul Babich, Wichita
Cruse for Sedgwick County Commission
Most of the people in Sedgwick County are not wealthy, not politically connected, and feel they have little control over the rules that govern their lives. No wonder they have struggled in the past to find a reason to vote.
The good news: young people around the country with a passion for change are running in increasing numbers for office. One of them, right here in Sedgwick County, is Lacey Cruse, a candidate for County Commission District 4.
I’ve been impressed with her ability to listen to people from all walks of life, to understand the issues they face every day, and to offer solutions that will enhance their lives. I’ve seen people who have never voted walk away inspired by her vision for the county.
Wichita has fallen behind the rest of the region in terms of quality of life and economic strength, and we all suffer from it. Lacey is exactly the type of commissioner we can help Sedgwick County become the kind of place everyone is proud to call home.
Sheri Lynne Copridge, Wichita
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