Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the following column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the views of the Collegian or its editorial board.
By Hank Stowers, Sophomore, English major
In the past few months, our national political dialog has taken on a tone of urgent, progressive activism, and Fort Collins is one of many cities leading the charge. We’ve held rallies, protests, community workshops, fundraisers, petitions, and forums on dozens of issues that impact the daily lives of our own citizens, with turnouts in the hundreds and thousands. Despite all this, Mayor Wade Troxell remains silently absent from the narrative of action that has taken hold of our city.
Troxell has been serving district 4 on the Fort Collins City council for more than 8 years, and is a lifelong resident of the city. Experience can be an asset in politics, but Troxell seems to have slipped into a state of passive, self-congratulatory, and by and large elitist governance. In his State of the City Address in January, Troxell vaguely lamented the issue of homelessness, claiming that “services will be provided and punishments will incur when the law is broken.” Meanwhile, dozens of protesters gathered outside on a cold night to oppose Troxell and the City Council’s repeated efforts to inhibit the rights of the homeless. Troxell wasn’t to be seen at the rally for Planned Parenthood in Old Town Square last month, nor the rally for immigrants and Muslim Americans, which drew crowds in the thousands.
His council has refused to deem Fort Collins a sanctuary city, going so far as to request its removal from a list that falsely identified it as such. Characteristically, he hasn’t appeared in any news media, events, or statements to advocate for the accountability of Senator Cory Gardner in a town hall. A newcomer to this city might not know that we have a mayor.
In a new chapter of American governance, our local level politicians need to be progressive, bold, and active in their communities. Mayor Troxell may not feel obligated to attend the numerous efforts by our city to create a voice of acceptance, progression, and solidarity, but his constituency has, and we deserve a mayor that shows up for our community.
In the coming election on April 4th, I urge every CSU student and Fort Collins resident to take a stand on who governs their community, and vote for a progressive candidate that is on the front line of advocacy for the issues that we face today. Fort Collins is a progressive city, but we are not a perfect city. As one of the top 20 fastest growing municipalities in the nation, we need a mayor that will be present and accountable. We need a mayor that is ready to make an impact on the issues that matter, and engage the community voice for constant feedback on their decisions. Troxell’s legacy in the city council will be remembered fondly, but the days of passive congratulation for Fort Collins as the shining city on a hill is over; it’s time to elect a mayor that will use their platform to empower us all.