Fort Collins Citizens discuss racial issues, advocate for Sunday bus service at Fort Collins City Council meeting

Rachel Saurer

The Fort Collins City Council met Tuesday night where they addressed Fort Collins citizens’ concerns such as racial issues and Sunday bus services.

The council meeting began by discussing concerns of the Fort Collins citizens.

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One major concern that the council members addressed was on racial issues in Fort Collins.

A man from New York living in Fort Collins spoke on how people would yell vulgar obscenities at him because he was black when walking down the street.

He said this was disheartening.

“We can do better,” he said.

Ray Martinez, a city council member, expressed deep concern for the issue and said discrimination will not be tolerated.

The main topic of the evening was the 2017-2018 budget. Many Fort Collins citizens expressed their desire for Sunday transit.

Common concerns included transit for people with disabilities to be able to get to places such as religious services and shopping centers.

Cari Brown, systems advocacy specialist of the Arc of Larimer County, spoke on behalf of the disabled members of the community.

“Individuals with disabilities frequently rely on public transportation to get to church, to get to social events, around our beautiful city, maybe to Old Town, around our shopping centers, but most importantly to get to work,” Brown said.

Michael Pupiales, a Colorado State University program aide for Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement spoke on the economic side of the Sunday bus service. He said it serves economic purposes, and also supports people with disabilities.

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“People can access the ability to go to Old Town and participate in retail,” Pupiales said. “On the other hand, it’s a justice issue, in regards to accessibility for people who don’t have that same transportation that is sometimes relegated to or delegated to more privileged identities.”

A community member suggested there should be more funding for single occupant vehicles if the Sunday bus service cannot be fully funded.

As the meeting continued, Fort Collins citizens expressed Sunday bus services would help college students get to events on Sundays when a vehicle is not available.

The council members discuss at a later date how the bus system would fit into their budget.

Next Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Fort Collins City Council will hold a work session and a general discussion where they will decide the council direction.