Human Relations Commission Chairperson and Family Health Policy Specialist Amber Sellers Appears to Lawrence City Commission | News, Sports, Jobs
photo by: photo contributed
The chair of the Human Relations Commission and specialist in family health policy, Amber Sellers, has applied for the Lawrence City Commission.
Sellers, who previously lived in Lawrence for about 10 years before moving to work, returned to Lawrence in 2019. She said that when she visited Lawrence for the first time, she knew she wanted to someday making her permanent home, and she believes her skills and passion could be a catalyst for change.
“I feel like I’m in a position to help the community rethink what leadership looks like, what infrastructure looks like, what public health and safety looks like,” Sellers said.
Sellers, originally from Wichita, first moved to Lawrence in 1999 to attend the University of Kansas, where she received her BSc in Sports Science. She went on to earn a master’s degree in health education from KU and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is currently a regulatory specialist in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Office of Family Health, where she works on public policy affecting women and children.
Sellers said the issues important to her are affordable housing, economic development and human services. On housing, she said the city needed to develop a city-wide plan that included the entire community to address the lack of availability of affordable and quality housing.
“I’m a government employee who has a reasonably well paying job, but I can’t afford a house here in Lawrence,” Sellers said.
On economic development, Sellers said the city needs to focus on retraining and repositioning people in the community who can help meet employment needs. She said this would include working with community partners such as the Dwayne Peaslee Technical Training Center and the Lawrence Workforce Center, so the city is well positioned for jobs with decent wages.
“I want to look at different strategies in which we might approach economic development from a workforce perspective,” Sellers said.
Also when it comes to economic development, Sellers said, the city needs to focus on what it has called “human infrastructure,” such as affordable child care. She said the city needs to be able to understand what kinds of support the city can offer small business owners, economic development and the community as a whole.
In addition to chairing the city’s Human Relations Commission, Sellers is a member of the local League of Women Voters. The Human Relations Commission works to eliminate discrimination in employment, public housing and housing by accepting, investigating, adjudicating and resolving discrimination complaints in Lawrence, according to the city’s website.
The terms of Commissioners Lisa Larsen, Stuart Boley and Jennifer Ananda expire this year. Larsen and Boley filed for re-election, and Ananda said she would not seek another term. Besides Sellers, newcomers Ma’Ko’Quah Jones, Bart Littlejohn, Shawn Pearson and Gillian Rogers Shaw have run for office.
The deadline for submitting the race to the municipal commission is June 1 at noon. With the number of candidates applying now more than twice the number of open seats, a primary election will take place on August 3. November 2.