Lakewood & the strong cities movement

The deal on this fall’s ballot as Issue 64 is a bad deal by itself: a closed hospital, downgraded local services and a financial soaking. But it’s also an important choice about our broader future as a city. Is Issue 64’s junior-partner role the best that Lakewood can do now? Or will we remain a vibrant Lakewood, that can stand on its own in a competitive environment?

We believe that Lakewood can and should keep fighting to make the best we can of our city. It’s for this reason that our current campaign encourages voters to vote against 64, and to keep Lakewood strong.

The campaign for a strong Lakewood draws on important work taking place locally, and in other cities making progress with similar challenges. The Strong Towns project, an independent national nonprofit, is a powerful advocate for this work. Their web site, events, podcasts and videos offer rich context for the need to keep our cities—including Lakewood—strong.

Strong Towns emphasizes values and ideas which inform our campaign against 64, and which outline a better path to follow instead. Some characteristics of a strong city:

  • “Obsessive about accounting for its revenues, expenses, assets and long term liabilities (do the math)”
  • “Building at a scale, and with a level of detail and nuance, that creates a sense-of-place for a person on foot.”
  • “Inspired by bottom-up action and not top-down systems.”

Above all, “Strong cities, towns and neighborhoods cannot happen without strong citizens (people who care).” Please help keep Lakewood strong, too.