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 a City Councilor because we need someone who actually has a vision for this community. We need someone who already has gotten his hands dirty, and been boots-on-the-ground available for everyone. I am a past President of E.A.S.T.,, and I'm the current Chair at El Centro del Quinto Sol. I know how to work with large groups and organize.
What makes you proud to be a Puebloan?
I'm proud to be a Puebloan because of our history of family and culture. Because we're proudly a union town. Because of the diversity and equity we display on a daily basis. Because of our green chili! Mostly I'm proud to be a Puebloan because of the people who live here, work here, and raise their families here.
What endorsements do you hold?
Southern Colorado Labor Council
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?
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 and safety. We need to get more officers hired. Because of the new Quartermaster system in place for new hires, this may make it easier. We need to make sure these officers are thoroughly trained in de-escalation tactics, and mental health awareness. This mental health awareness also needs to include the police officers themselves. We should try to establish more Neighborhood Watch Programs in our communities. And start getting to know our neighbors! At least know who lives on your bloke.
How might you seek to combat the rising cost of living?
Make housing, groceries, gas, school, even doctors office visits affordable, again. Corporate greed is taking it's toll on middle and low income citizens, on veterans and senior citizens. Sharing more of our own resources with our families.
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?
New job opportunities must be jobs that are sustainable. Create jobs where someone can get on-the-job training. Jobs that hire local, and don't bring in outside resources for vacancies. Jobs that use students from our high schools and colleges. Jobs that retrain you in a new field. Jobs should always pay fair wages to keep the employees here.
How do you plan on improving public safety?
Though our PPD. Through Neighborhood Watch Programs. Making sure our PFP, PPD, the hospital and clinics aren't always short staffed.
What do you see as the primary contributor to the issue of homelessness in Pueblo and how would you address it?
If we look at statistics, following family, and following jobs are the two biggest reason's people who are experiencing homelessness give. The relative dies, they have nothing here, including a job. This was very evident during the COVID-9 Pandemic. People also followed a job, maybe a boss or and ad. The job ends. Again, maybe they didn't make the correct plans in case of this. Where to live? How to live. Then there is mental health issues. That's tougher to plan for, simply because of the shortage of care providers, and places to stay in Pueblo for treatment. First, hire people for these care positions with fair, competitive wages, Find housing, and jobs to sustain themselves and their families. It may mean an overhaul in the city's system of allowances, perks, housing authority.
How do you feel about the current relationship between city council and the mayor's office? How would you work to foster that relationship?
Contentious! Too many egos at work right now. My issues, my way. What kind of conversations are they actually having on a continuing basis. City Council and the Mayors office needs to work together for Pueblo, not self-interest.
What is the image of Pueblo? What should it be? What are three steps to get it there?
The image of Pueblo is sadly confusing. There's good and bad, and everyone keys in on the bad, and blames someone else. This should be a welcoming community. We can do certain things, it seems, during the State Fair, and even the Chili and Frijoles Festival, but we don't seem to be able to sustain it throughout the rest of the year. I would like to see our art community continue to come together for events. Do even more events at the Convention Center, Showcase Memorial Hall.
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