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Pueblo City Council votes to not put future of Columbus statue in the hands of voters

083120 CC STATUE

PUEBLO, Colo (KRDO) -- In unanimous vote, Pueblo City Council members voted to not allow the fate of a controversial monument be up to voters.

In a special meeting Monday that lasted nearly four hours, all seven council members, including the ones who wrote the ordinance, decided to not put the measure on the November ballot and instead continue mediation between both those who want the statue removed and those who want it to stay.

Dennis Flores, the President of the council believes this was the best decision. Saying putting it to a vote would only further divide the community, "We have the potential of bringing people together."

The statue, which is in front of the Rawlings Library, has attracted numerous protests, and some of them have turned violent. Protesters say the statue should be removed because of Columbus' treatment of indigenous peoples, but the Pueblo Sons of Italy say removing the statue would be an affront to their heritage.

More than a dozen people spoke in front of the council asking that the measure not be placed on the ballot and instead the city council vote remove the statue. Only two people spoke in favor of placing it on the ballot.

As for what happens next, Flores says mediations between the two groups will continue. He also hopes that instead of removing the monument it can stay and place other historical statues alongside it if approved by the library. "That area where he sits, [make it] part of a museum in front of the library," Flores says. However, Flores expects it could take months before something is done. Protestors made it clear, they will continue to rally in front of the monument until it is removed.

Local News / Pueblo

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. This is not a protest to have a statue removed, they bring hate music out, hate speech and are now doing arts and crafts…all on the city’s dime.. Wake up Pueblo the 40 + people who are doing this are not in it for community unity but destruction of all you have… If you cower to them you will cower to others… The preacher who comes there every Sunday will lead you to believe he wants peace for both sides, but Bob Lewis is a wolf in sheeps clothing, he spews the hate they spew. He talks peacefully but when he speaks on their side his racist undertone comes out. He sides with those who hate the Bible and have nothing but hate filled speech. This has become a disgrace to our city, those who started this work in our schools and for DSS, is this what you want? Wake up Pueblo don’t let those 40 speak for you.

  2. Gotta give Mikey credit for this because it is very accurate and on point.

    “Not sure I understand this statute or the protests. Christopher Columbus did not discover the United States, nor did he ever set foot in North America. Likewise, he was also never oppressive to the indigenous people of North America. He was NEVER HERE!!!

    Tear the dumb statue down already. Not because of anything he did, but because he is irrelevant!!!”

    How much did the Harvard Law School Mediator cost the taxpayers to not resolve this debate?

    As of July 29th Pueblo states it costed $65,000 to provide adequate LEO’s and equipment. It is now Sept 1, What is the new total?

    Pueblo Government voted to not allow the citizens decide, so that would imply the only recourse is the Pueblo city officials finally making a decision quite soon.

    Imagining how much money Pueblo Government could have saved if they just decided to remove the statue due to historical accuracy when this first started, think of the possibilities.

  3. So I think people are missing a point.
    They don’t want to have the voters decide because the majority would vote to leave it alone as they don’t care. But this wouldn’t appease the opposition. so……
    They are taking this route so that the small minority that has an issue can have a bigger voice.
    In the end it is a huge waste of money to try to appease a small group of people.

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