In the 2015 Fort Collins municipal elections, District 6 (North and Northwest Fort Collins) was decided by a margin of 29 votes.
And District 4 was decided by 140 votes.
This council has weighed in on a wide array of issues that affect transportation, growth, and affordability in Fort Collins. In particular, Council approved a $400 million city budget that can be read as a statement of values and priorities for our community. Bike Fort Collins had a vocal agenda for that process, and ultimately felt that results were mixed but promising. Over the next council session, the decisions and challenges will be no less complex and the stakes will be higher than ever, thanks in part to the upcoming city plan update. Then, in late 2018 we’ll approve another two-year budget, another statement of values, another opportunity to operationalize our lofty visions of social, environmental, and economic health and sustainability.
Notwithstanding our steady stream of national awards for our economic vitality and healthy bodies and green tech, there are existentially urgent challenges on the road ahead. Decisions being made now will profoundly affect what Northern Colorado looks like in 10, 20, and 50 years.
At the heart of those decisions is a simple question of “Who is welcome here?”
Whose voices are heard? Whose interests do our leaders, our chamber, our nonprofits, our police, and our schools serve? When we close our eyes and imagine a future for the region, what does it look like? Is there economic and social diversity? Does our workforce live and play here? Are our streets and developments safe for kids to walk and ride bikes, and for seniors to stay active and independent and socially integrated? Does our transportation system provide everyone access to opportunity, healthy food, safe streets, healthcare, and jobs that support attainable housing? Does our leadership understand the relationships among transportation and health and public safety and housing? Does it stand up for walkable, bikeable, people-scale neighborhoods and safe and affordable transportation and infrastructure for all?
Fort Collins has four city races this spring: three districts (1, 3, and 5) and the mayor.
When Bike Fort Collins reached out to our constituents with a survey last December to better understand your needs and where you live and ride, we found that one area of town was dramatically underrepresented: District 3 (Southeast Fort Collins). At the same time, D3 is also the part of town from which we get the most letters of concern. We hear all the time about speeding on fast arterials with limited pedestrian crossings and inconsistent sidewalks, token bike lanes inches from 40 mph traffic, commercial developments with vast, inhospitable wastelands of overbuilt parking, culs-de-sac and train tracks that force circuitous routing of what should be bikeable, walkable trips, parents who moved to Fort Collins to to enjoy the outdoors who find they can’t access nature without a car.
As it happens, District 3 is a particularly interesting race this year. Incumbent Gino Campana has declined to run again, making this the only council race on the ballot that doesn’t feature an incumbent (or a CSU employee, interestingly). Because it’s an open seat, it’s become a hotly contested, expensive race. Every candidate in the race took a moment to give us an idea of their transportation and growth priorities. We’ll be sharing them with you this week, starting today with the mayoral race.
I’ve been excited to see so much community engagement and activism in the months since the national election. The number of people standing up, stepping forward, wanting to get involved in stewardship of our city and our planet has been powerful to watch. With so much at stake, we can’t afford not to let our voices be heard in city council elections. With margins this close and stakes this high, our voices in local government have never mattered more.
For your convenience, these questionnaires are available either to read on BFC or to download as PDFs and open in their own windows.
2017 Mayor of Fort Collins