(COLORADO SPRINGS) — On Friday afternoon, April 21, Yemi Mobolade and Wayne Williams, the two run-off candidates for Colorado Springs Mayor, answered questions relating to the city and what they hope to achieve if elected mayor.
The Rotary Club hosted the event and helped narrow down the 30 submitted questions to ones that would focus on the varying beliefs each candidate holds.
Several topics discussed include how each candidate would maintain relationships with city and state government. As well as, how they would work with nonprofit organizations to benefit the city.
Each candidate had time to explain their stance, in response to working with nonprofits, and each candidate explained the relationship they would help foster between the city and local nonprofit organizations.
“All of us working together are able to accomplish things. In fact, there are a number of examples where having a nonprofit, having a service club involved resulted in a better opportunity,” Williams said. “And frankly, there’s a lot of things that the private and civic community does a lot better than government ever would.”
In response to this topic, Mobolade spoke on the nonprofit organization he co-founded, COSILoveYou.
“As we work together to tackle some of our city’s toughest problems, we need you,” Mobolade said. “So I will engage these four legacy entities because there’s a lot the mayor’s office can benefit from [being] in close partnership with you. We need you. We can’t solve some of our problems without you.”
Another question candidates were asked is what the city of Colorado Springs would look like at the end of their term in office.
“I spent four years working in Denver, and I’ve seen the deterioration of that city over the last few years,” Williams said. “And so, we as a community charted a different path, and we need to continue to do that. So, Colorado Springs is going to continue to address its critical transportation needs.”
Mobolade addressed this topic by comparing Colorado Springs to Denver and sharing his concerns.
“Friends, I hate to break it to you, we are already becoming like Denver,” Mobolade said. “Definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over and keep expecting the results to be different. My administration would lean into the issues, we lean into your issues and we welcome neighbors and families to the table. Your interests, not special interests, to look at the issues with fresh eyes.”
In the wake of the Club Q tragedy, both candidates shared how they would support the local LGBTQ+ community.
“And my faith teaches me that all people, they’re all God’s children,” Mobolade said. “And as mayor, it is the most essential, essential functions of your mayor and city government to protect our families and to protect our residents, regardless of the values of choices, regardless of their sexual orientation, their gender.”
Williams spoke on the responsibility of the mayor to provide comfort to those in grief and shared what he personally did after the tragedy.
“One of those is that Holly and I attended the very first vigil at All Souls Unitarian,” Williams said. “It is important, and part of my faith teaches me that I’m supposed to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. And so part of our responsibility, and I will note the mayor was there as well, is to recognize that whoever the group may be, that when there are issues that we come together as a community…”
To close the debate, both candidates were asked to share kind words about each other.
Mobolade said to Williams, “I have an appreciation for Wayne. This is not his first time doing it. He’s done it and it’s a noble calling. It’s not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of grit, takes a lot of tenacity and courage and stepping into this world and doing it and realizing that, gosh, this is what you and others have done. I appreciate you stepping up for our community, stepping up for our county and stepping up for our state. And I just want to thank you for your service.”
Similarly, Williams said to Mobolade, “One of the things that I do believe is absolutely true… I believe that Yemi is focused on trying to make sure this is a good city, that he cares about us, that you’ve demonstrated that through the things you’ve done in the past and through what you’ve said and done in the campaign.”
Ballots will be sent out starting on Monday, April 24, and a full list of ballot drop-off boxes can be found here.
Don’t forget you must return your ballot by May 16.