Former Colorado State University student and Associated Students of Colorado State University senator, Kwon Atlas, is running for Fort Collins mayor.
Atlas’s platform will be focused on affordable housing, homelessness, sustainability and transportation.
Atlas hopes modifying U+2 will reduce homelessness in the Fort Collins community by providing more affordable housing.
“(U+2) says that people can’t combine their earning potential to live in a good home,” Atlas said. “(They) have to be worried about being pushed out by the landlord … and then have to live somewhere where there could be higher costs. (That) really affects younger people, low-income people and the elderly population, who would rather stay in a home than other types of living situations.”
Atlas also said he is open to getting rid of the U+2 legislation.
“I think … if there’s a house with a certain amount of rooms, there should be able to have that many occupants,” Atlas said, “ … or we could just get rid of that notion all together that we need to limit or control what people do between the homeowner, the landlord and the person who wants to live there.”
Atlas said he believes residents should be able to decide what they want to do with their residence, not the city.
Atlas, as a previous ASCSU senator, wrote the legislation for the Diversity Bill, which he says was his primary focus while attending CSU since it took the longest to pass. Atlas began proposing the legislation in fall 2013 until it passed in March 2016.
“I was invested in it because I really believe it was the right way to go,” Atlas said. “When I was a senator, I was one of the only African American senators, one of the only ethnically diverse senators in the group at all.”
In addition to working on the Diversity Bill, which allocated senator seats for under represented groups on campus, Atlas was president of the Undeclared Leadership Council and focused on environmental sustainability; He worked to bring blue recycling bins on campus and wrote a recommendation for the Around the Horn bus system.
Atlas was impeached from his position as an ASCSU senator in November 2014 due to accusations of harassment and intimidation. He ran for student body president in March 2015 with Clayton King as his running mate, but lost to Jason Sydoriak.
Atlas said his experience at CSU prepared him to run for and handle the position as mayor. Atlas said his education in economics and business will help him understand the Fort Collins budget. He added that his extracurricular activities, such as ASCSU senator, taught him how to communicate with and disagree with others, and how to handle controversy and differing opinions.
“Usually, if there is a true argument against whatever I would be able to do, it’s usually just a small modification, a small compromise you can make to still go forward with the idea that will be better,” Atlas said.
Atlas believes debate will create better platforms and solutions to city issues.
“If I can (change what I’m trying to do), I always choose to do that,” Atlas said. “If not, then I’m going to try to educate and still make sure that person feels valued. (I’m trying) to encourage compromise and be as adaptable as possible.”
Atlas will run against incumbent mayor Wade Troxell and Elizabeth Hudetz for the municipal election on April 4.
Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.