Comments by Claire Willenberg

Commission District: 4

If we are really limited now to plans 2, 3, 4 & 6, only 2 and 6 leave our central core neighborhoods that have a community of interest, intact. I feel it is very important to leave the defined areas of Riverside, North Riverside together in the same district. Along with Midtown and areas to the north, these residents share common interests and concerns. They share a high school, and similar diversity of housing, cultures and income levels. Our neighborhoods have many unique mental health concerns, from homeless individuals perferring to congregate along the Broadway and Arkansas River corridors, in the parks and Comcare facilities, to our elderly who are attempting to age in place as many can not afford to move to more supportive facilities. Our young people also have shared concerns and stresses. There are many homes where all adults are working, often at more than one job, and one result is that school truancy is high. For a variety of reasons, many of our youth are in need of mental health support somewhat unique to our neighborhoods. These areas have a long history of working together with residents active in initiatives with goals of maintaining and improving the quality of life here. We have developed communication skills, projects and programs which emphasize the importance of community. Because we have similar legislative concerns we benefit from representation through a single individual on the Sedgwick County Commission. If our cohesive neighborhoods are split, we would be like little fish in a huge pond filled with large fish- and our voices would be diluted. We have few concerns and needs in common with the "large fish" in newer and outlying subdivisions and towns. We deserve representation as a cohesive unit. Please vote for a plan that keeps our core central and north neighborhoods together. Thank you for your consideration.

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