KRCC News sent detailed surveys about some of the most critical issues facing city leaders to the candidates running for a Pueblo city council seat. Read their responses below.
The responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
Role and vision
Why do you want to be on the council and what qualifications would you bring to the position?
I want to be on the council because I believe with the experiences and the background I have in this particular season, I could be a real asset. Having been an educator, having lived in other cities where programs to enhance safety and security have been successful, I can bring that knowledge to council. I have had a wealth of experience with young people. I have the background to bring hope and safety back to our district. Currently I'm involved in various city committees that have enhanced my knowledge of what our needs truly are! I've been part of multiple efforts to bring community together and help encourage community growth through my personal connections.
What makes you proud to be a Puebloan?
I was raised here in a time when we had a closely knit community and you would feel safe walking down the street after dark. I am not so sure that exists anymore. I am proud of our history, our culture, and our profound diversity. It would be a better feeling in 2024 if we knew we could be safe in our neighborhoods.
What endorsements do you hold?
Do you support the statewide initiative Prop HH?
Do you support the statewide Prop II?
Should Pueblo go back to a city manager-run government instead of maintaining a strong mayor?
No. Keep the strong mayor because the council still has the ability to overrule the mayor with a supermajority. But we need someone to stand front and center and advocate for the city to bring new investment, business, and jobs.
Should the city move the bust of Christopher Columbus?
Do you support the expansion of bike routes?
What is the biggest challenge facing Pueblo you plan to address as an elected official? How would you address it?
Crime is the biggest challenge that we need to address in District 2. We need to address the murder of innocent people by young people in this city. I have background that others don't in dealing with adjudicated teens. As a lifelong educator and working as a consultant for the Lookout Mountain School for Boys(Max Security Facility for Juvenile Males 13-18), I've been in situations in education that require action and solutions. With the help of the community, we can seriously create change. I think it is time to consider police substations in four quadrants of the city to reduce response times. I support our first responders and we need to find solutions to assist with quicker response times.
How might you seek to combat the rising cost of living?
The city council needs to be very careful on who and what we fund. Our choices can either enhance the quality of life for our residents and small businesses but it could also inadvertently hurt them if it's not approached with wisdom and experience. I have experience other candidates don't in this area. We need to really take a look at the potential monopolies in our community with retail and grocers. As a member of city council we can foster and empower locally owned small business to be competitive in the city.
What kind of new employment opportunities should local government work to attract? What should they pay and how would you work to attract and/or create them?
We need to collaborate with local business organizations to attract nonprofits & businesses who care about building community. We need to make sure that any business we attract commits to staying and seeing it through. They need to commit to the production of quality products that have long tenure that will help the community grow with healthy sustainable jobs.
How do you plan on improving public safety?
My plan is to initiate a neighborhood patrol program in District 2 that is very similar to the one I was a part of developing in Phoenix, AZ. If it works in the fourth largest city in the country then it will work here in Pueblo.
What do you see as the primary contributor to the issue of homelessness in Pueblo and how would you address it?
Poverty, mental health, and a lack of eduction are the key contributors. We need to address it with collaborative public works programs that lead to employment.
How do you feel about the current relationship between city council and the mayor's office? How would you work to foster that relationship?
That is hard for me to answer without actually sitting on city council. If elected I will bring the "team concept" to the table. On all the committees I've served on I've worked with all party affiliations to come unified solutions for local issues.
What is the image of Pueblo? What should it be? What are three steps to get it there?
It depends on your neighborhood and how you see Pueblo. We may all see different aspects of the city. One thing we can all agree on is that it needs to be a safe and healthy environment with opportunity for all. Three steps to get it there - Collaborate with the elected mayor & the Police Department to recruit more officers and staff substations to reduce response times. Collaborate with the community to create neighborhood patrols Collaborate with Developers for Economic Opportunities For Families in District 2 We have folks on our committee dedicated to tackling all of these issues.
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