Vision for a more just and equitable Durango…

Equity in Public Safety

Black lives matter in Durango. Indigenous lives are valued and essential in Durango. Immigrant lives must be protected in Durango. Muslim lives will be respected and represented in Durango. All people deserve to live in a free and safe city.

How do we hold police accountable and work towards equity within our police department?

  • Repeal ordinances used to unfairly target the poor and BIPOC

  • Find funding within the police budget to stregthen and further expand our partnership with Axis Health when dealing with people in mental health and addiction crises

  • Change all protocals that support unjust actions and fatal outcomes

  • Hold police accountable for any and all actions that violate the city goal of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Environmental Justice

Our climate crisis IS REAL. But you know what else is real? Unfair treatment of marganilzed communities when the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies take place. We must fight for “Environmental Justice” when working on climate change and our environment.

  • Ban the use of single-use plastic bags; work with community members and local organizations to expand the use of reusable bags

  • Join the likes of other Colorado Cities and move to 100% clean energy by 2030, rather than 2050 (the current plan)

  • Create city-funded educational programs for our citizens about zero waste, composting, and recycling to reduce waste and fight climate change

  • Invest in a more sustainable recycling and composting program

Durango’s Fight for $15

In Durango our Minimum wage remains below $13.25 an hour which a single adult must earn in Durango to be self-sufficient. As a city council member, I will fight for a living wage for everyone. Durango has no choice but to require businesses to raise their minimum wages to $15/hour for all employees. Prices are on the rise in Durango, while wages remain stalled. The fight for $15 will be a top priority on my agenda and I won’t stop fighting until everyone in Durango makes a living wage. We cannot wait until 2025, the time is now.

Public Transportation

Our public transportation is massively underfunded. We run the risk of it literally driving off a cliff by 2023 if we do not deal with this NOW. Public transportation is crucial toward our goal of more affordable and attainable housing.

  • Expand public transportation in Durango to give equal opportunities to all working people

  • Work with Durango Transit to provide access to jobs and recreational amenities to our neighbors experiencing homelessness

Accessibility

If you speak with anyone living in Durango who lives with a disability. You will most likely hear the same thing. Its tha tour town IS NOT accessible and is not friendly for those who live with disabilities. We must change this. But how?

  • Ensure that all investments and developments are accessible and welcoming regardless of age, ability, or language.

  • Work to establish an Accessibility Advisory Committee.

  • Ensure that Durango streets are compliant with the American’s with Disabilities Act and improve accessibility beyond the minimum guidelines set out by law

Establish Durango as a Sanctuary City

The community and government within Durango lack the resources and care for our undocumented community members. As apart of the City goal of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We must close this gap and allow our undocumented citizens to live without fear of deportation and lack of basic human rights.

  • End/continue to limit all cooperation with ICE, especially within the police department

  • Ensure access to legal assistance

  • Improve living conditions, most importantly the right to affordable housing

Our Housing Crisis

We have housing crisis and the only people it's immune to are the wealthy. We MUST start referring to it as such. I refuse to be eloquent with this response, because that is not what we need. What we need is bold executive action, which won’t make a lot of people happy, but will benefit the people who need it most. .

  • Lets start by creating a BOLD strategic plan on housing. This housing plan must include EVERY form of our housing needs. Affordable, attainable, low income, workforce and housing for the unhoused. This must be mentioned because I fear our focus on “workforce” and “attainable” housing will do more harm in the long run. We can create a city coalition, staffed with professionals from every angle, to attack this crisis head on.

  • INCLUSIONARY ZONING is a “powerful tool.” And I agree. Lets abolish that choice for developers to pay the fee or build affordable units. I beleive affordable housing/units must be built with every new development.

  • In addition, let us revise any exclusionary zoning policies that prohibit multifamily housing or that hinder the development of smaller, single family homes (anywhere in Durango) no neighborhood or wealth of a community should be immune.

  • LIVING WAGES. Thats it. You know. Expecting the employee that is paid $12/hr making at most $2,000 a month to spend $1,200-1,500 on rent. That is inhumane. We must deal with the systemic wealth inequities. When we focus on attainable housing, we must also focus on *truly* affordable rental units for our minimum wage workers/low income people/families.

  • Form a Durangos Renters’ Committee to advise the City Council on issues and policies of importance to renters citywide.


Providing Dignity/Shelter for unhoused

How can we even expect to be able to engage, as a council, with our neighbors experiencing homelessness when our council took the anti-poor and anti-homeless actions of a no sit/no lie law. That IS STILL IN PLACE. This is apart of our systematic problem!

We must start rooting out the systematic causes of homelessness laid out by Durango’s Strategic Plan, which are:

“1) the cost of living rising at a faster rate than income, generally; 2) a substantial rise in housing costs; 3) insufficient public support mechanisms for people struggling with mental illness and/or substance abuse; 4) a substantial rise in the cost of health care; and 5) isolation/disconnection from personal support. “

  • The first step is to locate land/vacant buildings to house folks, we won’t make all the neighbors happy, but a solution must be made

  • Provide further resources for addiction and mental health (expanding partnership with Axis)

  • Assist in providing knowledge to our community who views our unhoused neighbors as “less than”, dirty, “druggies”, “lazy”. These are untrue. We must combat that rhetoric as a council

Addiction and Mental Health ***TRIGGER WARNING***

In August of 2019, I attempted suicide. Two weeks prior I attempted to get an appointment in town and was told the next available was two months from then. I had been buried deep and consumed fully by my addiction with drugs and alcohol. I am now 19 months sober.

Our city lacks the proper resources needed for social and emotional wellness. While most of this is not within the powers of the Council. I believe personal advocacy and strength can bring awareness to this deeply-rooted issue.

A quote from Minneaplis City Council Candidate:

“Addiction is blind to culture, religious background, or socio- economic background. However, the BIPOC community is hardest hit. We need to invest in a smart and robust city response to save lives, connect residents with culturally appropriate resources and mental health resources.” AK Hassan

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