Students in Dr. Shera Jackson’s HDFS 3322 course, “The Family in the Community,” got to hear about community development from a major player, none other than Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson, who visited on Wednesday, October 1. Robertson discussed his idea to extend Interstate 27 southward (and possibly also northward) to increase commerce and highway safety between Lubbock and other cities such as Midland and Odessa.
Though the discussion focused mostly on long-range infrastructure planning and political coalition-building, the mayor also addressed the impact his plans could have on families. One positive impact would be through the (estimated) increase in jobs associated with the project. Highway projects can sometimes have negative impacts on families if they displace established communities (click here for an example). However, Robertson was confident that, with limited exceptions, the towns through which the extended highway would run would be immune from construction-related disruptions.
Mayor Robertson also encouraged the students to vote in local elections, noting the role that city government plays in wide-ranging issues from water and electricity bills, to whether alcohol could be sold in city supermarkets and convenience stores.
In the photo below, Mayor Robertson, Dr. Jackson (center), and visitor Dr. Gail Bentley chat at the end of the class. Dr. Jackson and Dr. Bentley each received her Ph.D. in our department and the two have remained at Texas Tech as instructors.