• Stephanie Vigil

Won't Forget, Won't Quit

I’d mostly like to talk this week about some things we can all do in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region to make our communities stronger, healthier, and more just. You may have noticed I skipped a week, which is honestly just me trying to figure out what I really want the blog to be, and occasionally needing to take a time-out from new posts. If there's a particular kind of content that you want more of, do please let me know!

But before anything else, a word about the Capitol attacks less than a month ago and the ongoing threat to our democracy.

America's abusers seem absolutely determined that we should all just let it go. Forget what they've done. Without even expecting any atonement or restitution from them! They lied about the results of the election and fabricated a scandal, and it led their followers to attack our nation's Capitol with clear intent to harm members of Congress and the Vice President, and they want us to pretend like it was all just part of politics. Or at least, as if it was no more of an assault on the people's government than, say, Democrats passing a badly needed relief bill via budget reconciliation. And not only should we forget that they tried to steal an election, but our Democratic leaders should actually treat Republicans like they're the real winners, and make massive concessions to them in defiance of the public will. The party that couldn't get the votes for their "agenda" (I'll mention here again that they didn't even craft one last year) still thinks they should be in the driver's seat.

I'm not surprised that they're digging in their heels - none of us should be - but it's nonetheless appalling and infuriating. My patience has really dried up for those who would see all of this and still say that both sides are the same.

Still, I know too well that if I'm seething over injustices that are out of my reach, I'll run out of energy for the work that needs doing here in my own space, my own community. And there is so much to do, so let's keep at it.

El Paso County Democratic Party re-org is this Saturday! It's not too late to run for a party position, and you do not need to be a Central Committee member (a precinct organizer) in order to run.

The event is also open to the public and will be live streamed, if you'd simply like to attend. Check the website again later this week for that.

Colorado Springs’ LETAC (Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission) is holding virtual town halls to gather public input. I saw some familiar names at the January 21st town hall, and I’m so glad some of you were able to make it and contribute to the dialogue! If you missed it, or you have more to say, there’s another opportunity Saturday, February 13th, 10am-noon. Email that you’d like to attend.

The El Paso County Master Plan is nearing completion, but there’s still opportunity to give input if you haven’t yet. I have to say, the urban planning consultant that was contracted for this plan is top notch, very thorough, and I’ve been impressed with what they’ve done so far.

But it’s still a process contingent on public input, and if progressives and working families sit it out, they’ll hear mostly from the investor and developer class, and we risk under-representing the interests of ordinary folks, especially renters, essential workers, and under-served populations. Jump in any time, better late than never!

The Colorado Springs City Council race is now underway! I’m proud to support Nancy Henjum for District 5 and have started making calls for her. Nancy is a long time Democrat, runs her own business doing leadership coaching, and I’ve been impressed with her enthusiasm and curiosity in building relationships throughout our district to become an effective council member.

What really hooked me when I spoke with her, is that she has a clear vision of our need for full-service, walkable neighborhoods, something that hasn’t been prioritized nearly enough in our city government.

If you’re in Dist. 5 and would like to meet Nancy, she has weekly town halls at 6pm on Thursdays and you can request a link to attend here. Like I said, I’m already making calls for her, and her campaign is knocking on doors, but I’ve chosen to take extra precaution until my spouse and I are vaccinated and avoid that risk.

For everyone else, you can check which City Council district you’re in here, and these are your candidates, with websites linked for everyone who has one. I'd be happy to make endorsements for the other districts if that's something you'd all like.

Dist. 1:

Jim Mason

Michael Seeger

Glenn Carlson

Dave Donelson

Dist. 2:

Jay Inman

David Noblitt

Dave Geislinger

Randy Helms

Dist. 3:

Henry McCall

Richard Skorman

Arthur Glynn

Olivia Lupia

Dist. 4:

Regina English

Yolanda L. Avila

Dist. 5:

Nancy Henjum

Matt Zelenok

Karlie Van Arnam

Justin James-Fletcher Hermes

Mary Elizabeth Fabian

Dist. 6:

Garfield Johnson

Mike O’Malley

That's it for this week. Mask up, get the vaccine when you can, and stay safe, my friends.

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