Lawrence City Commission preview for April 20, 2021

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The Lawrence City Commission will meet virtually beginning at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. Here are some highlights from the agenda:

• The commission will revisit a proposed ordinance that would ban “conversion therapy,” which attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, for minors.


Commissioners discussed this during a meeting earlier in April but deferred it to discuss its wording with city attorneys. Commissioner Jennifer Ananda had qualms with the ordinance’s language that exempted clergy, which the city attorney said was included mainly to avoid First Amendment challenges. According to the updated ordinance, it was determined that the definition explaining to whom the ban would apply — “providers” — was clear enough that the clergy exemption was not needed.

• The commissioners will hear recommendations for grants and hold a public hearing to get community feedback on housing and development needs. Draft recommendations are here.

Click here to check out the full agenda on the city’s website. You can email written public comment to or drop written comments in the utility billing dropbox at Sixth and New Hampshire streets until noon the day of the meeting or sign up to comment during the meeting here.

A livestream of the meeting will be available here.

Meeting lingo:

• Consent agenda: A list of a bunch of items that are considered “routine,” so the governing board usually makes one motion to approve the whole list. A member of the public or a member of the governing board can request that an item or items be pulled from the consent agenda for discussion before a vote. This vote usually occurs toward the beginning of meetings.

• Executive session: Closed to the public, generally to discuss pending legal actions or personnel matters. The governing board may or may not take action once the public meeting resumes.

• Regular agenda: Items the governing board will generally discuss or hear during the meeting, rather than approving them with no discussion.

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