At forum, public demands separate ballot question for behavioral health campus, services

May 30, 2018. Lawrence Journal-World.

At a public forum Wednesday, voters asked county leaders to end any plans to expand the county jail, as well as to pose a new ballot question that would only fund mental health and substance abuse needs.

The forum drew about 500 people Wednesday evening to Building 21 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. County commissioners scheduled it earlier this month after voters defeated Proposition 1, which, if it had passed, would have authorized a countywide half-cent sales tax to fund a $44 million jail expansion, an $11 million behavioral health campus and $5.1 million in additional behavioral health services.

Proposition 1 foes will urge county to move forward with behavioral health campus, hire consultant to review criminal justice system

May 23, 2018. Lawrence Journal-World.

A week after county voters rejected Proposition 1, two key groups in the fight against the referendum said they’ll push the county to move ahead with the ballot question’s behavioral health components while bringing in outside expertise to review the county’s criminal justice system.

The demands from the faith-based activist group Justice Matters and the social justice advocacy organization Kansas Appleseed are not new. The Jail No coalition, which consisted of those two groups, the Douglas County chapter of the NAACP and the taxpayer watchdog group Lawrence Sunset Alliance, made similar demands while it campaigned against Proposition 1.

Douglas County voters reject controversial countywide sales tax; leaders say jail project will proceed after public input

May 15, 2018. Lawrence Journal-World.

With nearly 26,000 ballots counted, Douglas County voters rejected Proposition 1 by a 1,542-vote margin on Tuesday night.

According to the Douglas County Clerk’s Office, 25,880 ballots were counted. Fifty-three percent were “no” votes, and 47 percent were “yes” votes.

If voters had approved Proposition 1, the measure would have authorized a countywide half-cent sales tax increase, which would have funded a $44 million expansion of the county jail, an $11 million behavioral health campus and $5.1 million in additional behavioral health services.

Lexington B.U.I.L.D. Group Gets City Backing on Violence Reduction Initiative

May 14, 2018. WEKU.

An effort to develop a strategy to reduce group related violence is expected to start this summer in Lexington.

Many members of a large-multi faith organization in the city heard what they wanted to hear during an annual assembly last week.

Representatives of B.U.I.L.D., or Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action, have had success in convincing government leaders to move forward with their researched initiatives.