This election offers an opportunity for a true creative course change for Fort Collins.
My team and I have been knocking on every door in District 1. Neighborhood after neighborhood, around 10 miles of walking each day, and around 236 MILES SO FAR to talk about the issues important to YOU.
Beyond reaffirming the value of good orthotics and quality footwear, I’ve had some truly wonderful conversations with neighbors.
The same issues come up time and time again. Throughout District 1, neighbors feel generally proud about our City, but see problems looming on the horizon:
- daily anxiety over traffic and pedestrian safety – just to get the kids to school requires a car to feel safe,
- the outdated/inequitable/unenforceable U+2 policy that desperately needs updating,
- irresponsible growth without the support of responsible infrastructure,
- small business recovery efforts falling short because of a lack of business expertise on council,
- the future health of the Poudre River and our open spaces and over-burdened trail networks,
- the false dichotomy of “affordable housing” vs “environmental stewardship” as a direct result of the lack of creativity in negotiations from council and the weight of knowing that better options were left on the table
These are solvable problems. We need new perspectives, creative thinking, and a collaborative spirit on the City Council. We need the ability to create and craft durable, cohesive policies that generate the best outcomes for all of our City’s service areas.
We can’t ignore that over half of District 1 has been largely ignored for years – that this “demographic shift” is nothing new as has been claimed, but rather has been both modeled and followed-through in City plans and ongoing development.
We’ve seen what the effects of unsupported development in our City:
- sprawl and disconnected island neighborhoods,
- blighted business districts where commercial real estate sits fallow because it’s too expensive to buy and rennovate, even as it presents an eyesore and open fire hazard – leading to gentrification because only wealthy conglomerate corporations can afford to buy up and renovate those areas,
- book, park, food, and service deserts throughout our city,
- areas that are “walkable” with 2′ sidewalks within 5′ of 40 MPH traffic,
- schools unreachable with no other method but a car,
- business and city greenbelts where xeric areas and canopy improvements would make so much more sense,
- our creatives and best and brightest minds unable to afford to live in our city as property values and the cost of living spirals ever upward while wages remain stagnant
The status quo is WAY too expensive for Fort Collins. We must flip the script on policies and processes that no longer serve us as a community to build a better future. We must insist on creativity and collaborative thinking to arrive at outside-of-the-box solutions. We should recognize the value of electing a small business owner who can help inform smart business policy.
A creative course change is coming. Let’s make the best of it, together!