Open letter from your neighbor on why she's voting no on 200. [Warning: it might make you cry.]

I would like to take a quick moment to speak from the heart on why I don’t support 200. These are my OPINIONS based on what I hear people say in the community. I know some of you will disagree, but at the end of the day this is my perception of the matter at hand. Since the inception of the strategic growth initiative I was given the impression that this was all about socioeconomic discrimination. At the very first meeting held by Cathy Kentner, I heard complaints about how the percentage of free and reduced lunch went from 25 to 50 percent. Cathy herself told me she didn’t want Lakewood to become the “ghetto” of Jefferson County. I think this initiative is all about keeping “those” people out. The other original co-petitioner was quoted saying, “people feel they are losing their little town in a city that has always drawn a certain type of resident here.” What does that mean? What type of resident is she talking about? I have lived here for 10 years. I think Lakewood is wonderful, but part of me wonders if the supporters of this initiative are trying to keep people like me out. Apparently, when they moved here 25 years ago, everything was okay, but now that people like me have moved in, the city is becoming a cesspool. Give me a break. Yes the demographics of the city have changed. Why is that bad? Why are you scared? I'm a Latina, I live in a townhouse, (not a single family home) I grew up in the projects when I was very young, but I am a tremendous asset to this community. What I believe to be the true intent of this initiative breaks my heart. The heart that has given so much to Lakewood. Regardless of all the pros, cons, endorsements, and everything else in between...non-inclusivity is the #1 reason I am voting NO ON 200.

Paid for by Our Lakewood - Trish Merkel, Treasurer

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