VISION FOR PUEBLO
Pueblo is a community of builders, a group of people bound not only by their love for their city, but by their shared passion for family, honor, sport, and unique Southern Colorado culture. Hardened like the steel that we have built for decades, Puebloans are known for their resilience and determination.
I’m proud of our city, our community and the friends, families and neighbors that it’s made of. I believe we can be better together, if only we take the time to listen to one another and resolve to solve issues with the same spirit that’s built Pueblo in decades past. Yet, while Pueblo’s politics are its own, far from the issues that plague DC, we seem to have stumbled upon a similar type polarization that’s plaguing our national discourse. Our community has veered off the path of unity and equity, changing course and trying in vain to take aim at a more “prosperous” future, while shutting off our ears to our neighbors. So too, has this affected Pueblo’s current City Council. I seek a seat on council to represent those who feel they no longer have a champion in their local government.
As a descendant of Sicilian immigrants, and a third generation Puebloan I have a view of this city that is rooted in hope. Hope that we can come together and care for one another. Hope that is embedded in our diverse multicultural views, and hope that together we can push Pueblo to its greatest potential. I believe that with a renewed vision of this city, we can create a community that exceeds all expectations and shatters all assumptions of what Pueblo is and what it can be. I hope you are as excited as I am about this community’s future and will partner with me to build it, together.
A city's public safety apparatus, including the fire department, police department, and community partners, plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of its residents. Investing in this apparatus is of utmost importance, particularly in a growing city.
When we invest properly in our public safety apparatus, it means we provide adequate resources, training, and support to these essential services. This allows them to effectively respond to emergencies, prevent and combat crime, and maintain a safe environment for everyone.
Imagine a city without a well-equipped fire department. In the event of a fire, the response time could be delayed, leading to greater damage and potential harm to individuals. Similarly, a police department lacking necessary resources may struggle to address crimes promptly and ensure public safety.
By investing in the public safety apparatus, we enable these services to operate efficiently and collaboratively. This involves not only funding for equipment and personnel but also establishing strong partnerships with community organizations and residents. Together, we can create a network that actively works towards preventing and addressing safety concerns.
In a growing city, proper investment in the public safety apparatus becomes even more critical. As the population increases, so do the demands and challenges on these services. By providing the necessary support, we can ensure that public safety keeps pace with the city's growth, maintaining a secure environment for all residents.
In summary, investing in the public safety apparatus means giving our fire department, police department, and community partners the tools and resources they need to protect and serve the community effectively. This investment is vital, especially in a growing city, as it helps maintain public safety, enables quick emergency responses, and fosters collaboration between services and the community.
PEDCO and Economic Development
To foster a thriving community, it is crucial to prioritize economic development and job creation, with a particular focus on supporting local businesses and industries. By changing our perspective from 100% PEDCO investment to nurturing our existing businesses, we can lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth and prosperity in Pueblo.
One of the key benefits of prioritizing local businesses is the potential for job creation. When we provide support to our local enterprises, they are better equipped to expand their operations, increase production, and subsequently hire more employees from within the community. By focusing on the growth and success of these businesses, we create employment opportunities for our residents, enhancing the overall economic well-being of Pueblo.
Additionally, investing in local businesses has a multiplier effect on the local economy. When these businesses prosper, they tend to reinvest their profits back into the community. They may hire local suppliers, utilize local services, and contribute to the tax base, which in turn supports public services and infrastructure development. This cycle of reinvestment and economic activity not only creates jobs but also generates a ripple effect of economic growth that benefits various sectors within our community.
By concentrating on supporting our existing businesses and industries, we can also leverage their expertise and experience to attract new businesses to Pueblo. These established businesses serve as ambassadors, showcasing the advantages and opportunities available in our community. This organic approach to economic development helps to build a stronger foundation for growth, attracting like-minded businesses that align with our local values and needs.
It is important to strike a balance between nurturing local businesses and exploring opportunities for external recruitment. While attracting new businesses can bring fresh perspectives and ideas, our initial focus should be on maximizing the potential of our local entrepreneurs. By doing so, we foster a sense of pride and ownership within our community, and the resulting job creation and economic growth benefit all residents of Pueblo.
In summary, by prioritizing the support and development of local businesses and industries, we can create a robust and diverse economy in Pueblo. This approach generates employment opportunities, encourages reinvestment in the community, and serves as a foundation for attracting new businesses in the future. By investing in our local businesses first, we lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity that benefits the entire community.
Advocacy and Community Outreach
There are many areas in this town that yearn to have their voices heard, and yet they fall on deaf ears. We have leaders in this community that want to address these issues, however there are few open forums where they can engage in meaningful dialogue on how to solve the issues our community faces.
As a member of City Council, I believe we should be expanding access to the collective ‘brain trust’ that is our people, working together to solve issues that no single person has the answers for. Talking to community members and leaders alike, I’ll work to bridge the gap between local leadership and our citizens.
It is no secret that the Colorado housing market has been the subject of an unprecedented explosion for at least the last 6 years. It is also not a secret that with this influx of new Coloradans, it has brought gentrification into areas around our state. This is something that we cannot let happen in Pueblo. In May of 2015, the average house cost $130,000 in the City of Pueblo, today that number has increased to $237,000 (Zillow). It is unacceptable that through the same exact time the medium household income has risen barely $2,852 from $41,286 to $44,138 (dadausa.io), yet there has not been a push for more affordable housing. Bringing in developers that are willing to build affordable family housing will allow for Puebloans to continue to invest in their community. It is critical that we consider the economics behind affordable housing as well. With the supply of building materials at a low, and the demand at a high, we must cut out cost burdens that inhibit growth. We are at a turning point in our town, one that cannot be ignored, and now is the time to capitalize on the opportunity at hand and help incentivize multiple affordable housing projects. We cannot allow a gentrification push to come through and eliminate Pueblo natives for the sake of profit. This last year has taught us how hard it is to be an essential worker, a first responder, or anyone that is working an hourly or tipped based job. It has also taught us that these employees are the ones that drive our economy and should be supported, rather than neglected. By creating affordable housing for the people of Pueblo, it keeps our culture thriving.
Investing in local outdoor recreation and recreation centers is of utmost importance, especially for a growing community. These investments offer a multitude of benefits that enhance the overall well-being and quality of life for residents.
First and foremost, local outdoor recreation provides opportunities for physical activity and promotes a healthy lifestyle. As the community expands, it becomes increasingly vital to provide accessible spaces for exercise, sports, and leisure activities. Outdoor recreation areas such as parks, trails, and sports fields encourage active living, improve fitness levels, and contribute to the overall health of individuals within the community. Regular physical activity not only benefits individual well-being but also helps reduce healthcare costs and promote a sense of community engagement.
In addition to the health benefits, investing in local outdoor recreation fosters a strong sense of community pride and social cohesion. These spaces serve as gathering points where individuals can come together, connect with neighbors, and build meaningful relationships. Community events, sports leagues, and recreational programs organized in these areas promote social interaction and create a sense of belonging, which is crucial for the well-being of a growing community.
Furthermore, local outdoor recreation attracts visitors and boosts tourism, positively impacting the local economy. As the community grows, investing in these recreational spaces can enhance the community's appeal as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. This, in turn, leads to increased visitor spending, job creation, and business opportunities in areas such as hospitality, dining, and retail.
Similarly, investing in local recreation centers provides indoor spaces that cater to a wide range of recreational activities as well as a potential for child care centers. These centers offer facilities for fitness classes, indoor sports, cultural events, and educational programs. They become community hubs where residents can engage in various activities year-round, regardless of weather conditions. Recreation centers also serve as inclusive spaces, providing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in recreational pursuits.
As the community grows, investing in local outdoor recreation and recreation centers becomes even more critical. These investments address the increasing demand for recreational opportunities, ensure equitable access to facilities, and support the physical and mental well-being of a larger population. Moreover, they contribute to the overall attractiveness and livability of the community, making it an appealing place for individuals and families to settle, work, and enjoy a high quality of life.
In summary, investing in local outdoor recreation and recreation centers is essential for a growing community. It promotes physical health, fosters social connections, enhances community pride, boosts the local economy, and contributes to the overall livability of the area. By recognizing the significance of these investments, we create a vibrant and inclusive community that supports the well-being of its residents and attracts new individuals and families to call it home.
Over the last year a light has been shown on different pieces of our society. From public transportation and road conditions to the food desert on the East side, the equity of Puebloans has been highlighted. A simple web search exemplifies these immediately. For example, if you live on the Eastside at the corner of 8th and Troy, the closest chain grocery store (Kingsoopers) is over four miles away. It is nearly impossible to assume that citizens without a car can make this trip routinely to gather prescriptions and groceries, especially in the extreme temperatures that our weather brings. All members of our society should have access to the same services that are present around town, especially when there are two Walmart’s on the Southside that are less than two miles from each other, and the bussing routes are missing entire areas of the West and Eastside.
This same principle can be applied to funding when it comes to areas around town, and this has already been proven through the lack of effort put into them. Driving down Lake Ave. is the perfect example of how funds have been used to no end. There is a beautiful fire station that buts up next to Lake Minnequa, as well as brand new light fixtures and sidewalks down the entire street, however that was the extent of the projects. It is areas like this, as well as the Bessemer area, that deserve to be invested in strategically and utilized to help further the expansion of Pueblo. It is overdue for our representatives to invest in other areas of Pueblo that do not fall next to downtown.
Communities are composed of many different factors and pieces. Some of these constructs can be fluid and require more mundane thought such as restaurants or sporting events, while others can require specific and complicated thinking such as governmental entities and community outreach. With all the diverse parts of society working together a community can progress into the future without a lack of insight. This principle was followed in 1995 when Pueblo decided to invest in their future and create the 2010 Commission. This commission consisted of community leaders in all areas that would come together and discuss the future of Pueblo, concluding what goals need to be reached by 2010. With every part of society sitting around the table, it allowed for all reaches of our population to have a voice. Now, compared with the 2030 Commission we have today, it is relevant that there is no united future. Having leaders that are working on the front lines of all comprehensive issues, sit around a table, cements the idea that everyone knows the future that is being created. No politician knows the answer to everything, or even has access to information on every situation. That is why I believe that community inclusion is a vital missing piece from the current structure. All different pieces of our community need, and deserve, to be including in discussions when it comes to the direction of our city. Strategic planning for a future works a lot easier when the governmental body can gather information from sources, rather than politicians assuming they know the right solution.