PUEBLO, Colo. – Pueblo City-County Library District’s Board of Trustees voted down a proposal from City of Pueblo and the Pueblo City Council president to take responsibility for the current median location of the Christopher Columbus statue and to develop a statue plaza to be located on library property at Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave. The Christopher Columbus statue is located on Abriendo Avenue directly across from Rawlings Library.
Voting on the proposal occurred during the trustees’ Thursday night public board meeting at Rawlings Library.
Regarding the matter, PCCLD Executive Director Jon Walker issued the following statement:
“The Library District was presented with a proposal from the City of Pueblo and the Pueblo City Council President regarding the Christopher Columbus statue located on Abriendo Ave. across from the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library. The proposal asked the Library District to take responsibility for the current median location of the Columbus statue as well as develop plans to create a plaza with additional statues on library property adjacent to the Columbus statue.
It is the position of the Pueblo City-County Library District Board of Trustees that this particular proposal is not acceptable. However, it must be clearly stated that the library district supports social justice, racial equality, and community harmony. While the library district does not view the City’s proposal as a proper role for the library, the library district supports a peaceful resolution to the controversy and stands ready to help both within its means and within the mission of the institution.
The Library will continue to serve as a foundation to the Pueblo community, offering welcoming and open facilities, encouraging the joy of reading, supporting lifelong learning and presenting access to information from around the world. The Library serves as a place for the free and open exchange of ideas. It is our hope that the City and citizens of Pueblo develop an equitable and well-considered resolution to this complex issue.”
Mayor Nick Gradisar issued the following statement:
“While I’m disappointed that the Pueblo City-County Library District decided it was not in their mission to take on the Reconciliation Heritage Plaza, I appreciate their consideration of this difficult issue. Both the Italian and Indigenous groups agreed in principle for a peaceful resolution with a Reconciliation Plaza so we must find the right management structure for the ‘Plaza solution.’ I still remain committed to a peaceful solution that recognizes the contributions of both peoples and my hope is that both groups continue to do the hard work of finding a Pueblo solution.”