Issues

Affordable Housing – The cost of living is rising in Colorado Springs. It is important that all the members of our community are able to continue to afford a home in our beautiful city. To that end, I believe the City Council and Utilities Board can work with home builders to ensure that the costs to build smaller and multi-unit homes is not exorbitant. We can relax fees on these homes, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, to make sure that there is an ample supply of affordable housing for those who need it.

Homelessness – Homelessness is a complex issue, and there is no silver bullet to solve this problem completely. However, for those who want and commit to treatment for mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, and job training, we have a moral and fiscal responsibility to ensure that they have a stable home while going through the programs. Paying for rent on an apartment will guarantee that those who working toward self-sustainability have a safe place to rest their heads at night and can quickly get away from the need for public assistance. It will also save the public money because of the need to pay for fewer nights of hospital stay after emergency room visits and fewer nights in jail when brought in by police.

Transit – Like many cities across the nation, Colorado Springs has an aging population. As more and more Baby Boomers enter retirement and their health care needs grow, the city must increase its public transportation infrastructure to meet the rising need. While only a small portion of our population currently utilizes this system, those who do are dependent upon it. The projections of the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan for Transit do not include routes to the $1 billion+ medical facilities that continue to grow in the northeast sector of the city. Only after I brought pressure to bear on Mountain Metro to provide access to these facilities did they resume talks for a public-private partnership to institute a bus route. As a result, in April there will be a new express route to Memorial North and PPCC-Rampart Campus. More solutions like this must be sought to improve access to all of the city and its jobs for those who need it.

Community Strengthening - Colorado Springs has an incredible reputation of being a close-knit community with strong families and a quality work ethic. There are challenges that we should all see as real opportunities for our immediate future. Colorado Springs struggles with meeting growing mental health needs, providing proper care and service to our local Veterans, and tackling a rising concern surrounding youth suicide. These are issues we need to take initiative and bold leadership on. By creating a real, open, and honest dialogue on issues like these citywide, we will be able to advance creative partnerships and solutions for those in need.

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Endorsements:

El Paso County Commissioners:

Holly Williams, District 1

Mark Waller, District 2

Stan VanderWerf, District 3

Longinos Gonzalez, Jr., District 4

Cami Bremer, District 5

Former County Commissioner Peggy Littleton

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder

Colorado Springs City Council:

Merv Bennett, At-Large

Don Knight, District 1

Andres Pico, District 6

State Senator Bob Gardner

State Representatives:

Larry Liston

Shane Sandridge

Former Representative Kit Roupe

District 11 School Board Members:

Shawn Gullixson

Theresa Null

CU Regent Chance Hill

Community Leaders:

Steve Schuck, Schuck Communities

Jan Doran, Former CONO President

Jon Severson, Colorado Springs Young Professionals

Stewart McWilliams, Pastor, Fellowship of the Rockies

Tom LaValley, Pilot

Organizations:

The Gazette

Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS

Apartment Association of Southern Colorado

Downtown Partnership