Making a Difference



I am Sven Alstrom. I am running in the April 5th election for a City Commission seat in Lawrence, Kansas as the independent, alternative choice to the long-term Status Quo. I am asking for your support and your vote. Please help me to protect and secure the future of the city we all love: Lawrence, Kansas.




My first priority would be to focus on existing businesses in Lawrence and Douglas County, help support their growth and interconnect local companies in order to strengthen our existing assets as a community.

I voted YES for the Lawrence Public Library expansion last year and I am a strong advocate for Downtown Lawrence.

I would like us to take better advantage of our location between the state government in Topeka and the metropolitan economy of Kansas City.

I believe we are widely known as the City of the Arts, even though we are the neighbor of a much larger arts community found in nearby Kansas City. Let’s make our appeal for artists and art lovers alike known from coast to coast! [See more under Arts, below.]

I am opposed to new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts in Lawrence.

I would require notices of additional sales taxes to be posted at all existing TIF districts, Community Improvement Districts (CID’s) or Transportation Development Districts (TDD’s). However, I would discourage these districts where they would place an additional sales tax burden on grocery shoppers.

I oppose the privatization of our municipal trash pickup service.

I support collective bargaining for all municipal employees including police and firefighters.



The most difficult challenge we face with land use is in restricting sprawl. To counteract this, I would encourage Smart Growth within the Urban Growth Boundary, along with incentives for affordable and senior housing with such programs as Habitat for Humanity and Tenants to Homeowners. I would also focus more on centralized development with appropriate infill development where possible as we witness the upward acceleration of food, energy and transportation costs.

I would lobby for a new Community Shelter that would serve two types of clients, and perhaps in separate locations: one for families and homeless children – which is disturbingly in great need – and the other for adults with a training facility.

Although I am a City Commission candidate, I support the Save Our Neighborhood Schools campaign. In the future, I would like to see the City of Lawrence help to develop more neighborhood or pocket parks near all schools in Lawrence.



I support adoption of the Environmental Chapter of the Horizon 2020 Comprehensive Plan.

I support the preservation of high-quality agricultural soils in all of Douglas County and propose that a location south of the Wakarusa river would be better for the South Lawrence Trafficway, long-range growth and the environment.

I believe we must be more concerned as a City and County with our recreational and drinking water resources, and encourage the clean-up of pollutants in the Kansas River and maintain the longevity of Clinton Lake.

I would like to see the City of Lawrence, which includes many forward-thinking projects on the campus of the University of Kansas, to be more widely known as a city with an emphasis on green design and sustainable energy. We should have similar energy programs in place to make Lawrence every bit as energy efficient as Greensburg, Kansas.



Lawrence, Kansas is often referred to as the ‘Oasis of Kansas,’ which often refers to the large population of artists who live here. Music, literature and the visual arts all intersect here in our college town, which has a tradition in the arts going back to the beginnings of the University of Kansas when concerts were held before there was a Hoch Auditorium or Murphy Hall.

The Lawrence Arts Center and our local gallery community now show the work of hundreds of artists on an annual basis. Many of these artists live in Lawrence or the surrounding counties. Visual media such as ceramics, film, painting, photography and sculpture; and performing arts such as dance and theater all abound here in Lawrence.

As a City Commissioner I would encourage the City’s arts advisory body, the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, to continue its oversight of the annual Phoenix Awards, which recognizes the contribution of artist and others to our local community, and the Percent for Art program, which solicits works of public art for new construction projects. I would also encourage the Commission, along with installation help from the Parks and Recreation Department, to continue the annual Downtown Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit program, which has become a nationally recognized feature of our Downtown area. In the long term, I would like to initiate a program of civic water fountains powered by renewable energy as an ecological arts signature for the community.


Updated on March 22, 2011 by admin