Voter turnout for the April 4 city election as of March 17 shows that the League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region and other organizations might be right about claims made in a federal lawsuit that April city elections disenfranchise voters of color.
Of the six City Council districts, the southeast District 4, which contains the city’s most diverse population, has the lowest turnout so far, at 865. Every other district has more than twice that many voters, as follows:
District 1 (northwest): 2,567
District 2 (north): 2,017
District 3 (Westside and Southwest): 2,222 (surprisingly low, considering those voters are selecting a Council member for an unexpired term.)
District 4 (southeast): 865
District 5 (mid-city): 2,316
District 6 (east): 1,817
As we previously reported, the city’s last three elections — in April 2017, 2019 and 2021 — saw turnout of Hispanic registered voters at 17 percent, 19 percent and 12 percent, respectively, compared to white turnout of 34 percent, 36 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In contrast Hispanic turnout was 72 percent, 50 percent and 69 percent in November elections held in 2016, 2018 and 2020, respectively. Numbers for Black voter turnout are similar, the lawsuit says.
The plaintiffs, represented by the Election Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, seek a declaration that the city’s election timing violates the Voting Rights Act, for an order mandating November elections and for attorney fees and lawsuit costs.
In its answer filed July 29, the city states, “Holding April municipal elections does not result in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
In any event, the turnout so far of 11,804 voters represents 3.8 percent turnout among the city’s 310,550 voters.
The city advises in a release:
Elected positions on the April ballot include Mayor, three at-large City Council seats for a four- year team, and the unexpired term for City Council District 3 to serve the remaining two years of the term. City Council referred a question to the ballot to extend the Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) sales and use tax for 20 years with no increase to the tax. Each voters’ ballot will contain the Mayor and City Council at-large races along with the ballot question. Only those voters who reside in City Council District 3 will see this race on their ballots.
One candidate in the mayoral race must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to win the election on April 4. If that does not happen, City Charter dictates a run-off election on May 16 between the two candidates who received the most votes on April 4.
If voters did not receive a ballot or have questions about the election, they are asked to contact the City Clerk’s office at 719-385-5901 or visit ColoradoSprings.gov/Election.
"As a business leader in this city, I am honored to have the support of such a diverse group of businesses and leaders...."
Yemi Mobolade, who’s running for mayor, issued a release last week announcing that more than 100 businesses have endorsed his candidacy.
“From the beginning, this campaign has been about charting a bold new vision that invites diverse leadership and neighborhoods to the table to unleash the full potential of Colorado Springs,” Mobolade said in the release. “As a business leader in this city, I am honored to have the support of such a diverse group of businesses and leaders, and I am proud to represent their interests. These endorsements come from different political affiliations, zip codes, and sectors of our economy, and represent the culturally-rich, talented community I know Colorado Springs to be.”
“I enthusiastically endorse Yemi Mobolade for mayor of Colorado Springs,” Mike Juran, CEO of Altia and past chair of the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, said in the release. “As the CEO of a global software company, founded and headquartered in Colorado Springs, I understand the importance of having an inspirational city leader with an entrepreneurial business focus.”
Dr. Kenya Lee, physician, owner of PureLee Redefined, and Vice President of the Colorado Springs Black Chamber of Commerce, said, “Colorado Springs needs a fighter in the mayor’s office who understands what it is like to be in the arena as a business owner. We need someone who will reach across the aisle, listen to the concerns of the business community, and who will never leave anyone behind. Yemi is that fighter for our business community….”
“As a tech entrepreneur and life-long problem solver, I know Yemi has the right experience and leadership to help solve Colorado Springs’ most pressing challenges,” said Vance Brown, co-founder of Cherwell Software and Exponential Impact and past president of the National Cybersecurity Center.
The release listed these 107 businesses who’ve endorsed him, in alphabetical order:
2Win Global LLC
31 North Co-Op Salon
3E’s Comedy Club
A Quality Paint Job
Aaron Anderson Visuals
All Seasons Sprinkler and Sewer
Altitude Floral and Design
Apache Electric and Maintenance Inc.
Ask Craig Tee/Stage Six
Autoshop Vocational PBC
Axe & The Oak
Bird Tree Cafe
Bonny & Read
Broadmoor Aesthetics, PLLC
Catering and Events Garden of the Gods
Cheyenne Mountain Neuropsychology PLLC
Cicak Concierge Coaching
Colorado Springs Ear Associates
Core Massage/Core Therapy Center
Cork & Cask
COS Business Podcast/Vehement Visuals
David Commercial Real Estate
Day Lily Salon and Spa
Dream Again Business Consulting
Dynamo Coffee Roasting and Community
EverOak Walth Co.
Explore With Media
Five Star Restaurant Repair
Harris Consulting LLC
Hello Good Consulting
High Grade Foods Jamaican Restaurant & Bar
Inspired Learning LLC
Intergy Private Wealth
Jives Coffee Lounge
Luxe Daiquiri Lounge
Mandy Penn Photography
Maple and Moss
Marketing and Cafe Garden of the Gods
Mood Tapas Cafe
Neat Whiskey House
Niche Coaching and Consulting
Packaging Express Inc.
Peak Analytics Consulting
Quar Notary LLC
Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard of East Colorado Springs
Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Shame & Regret
Shrunken Head Tiki
Startup Support Center
Stellar Propeller Studio
Stellina Pizza Cafe
Stir Coffee & Cocktails
Story Ranch Products
T-Byrd’s Tacos & Tequila
Taste of Brasil
The Men’s Xchange
The Modern Admin
The Pinery At The Hill
The Pinery North
The Rabbit Hole
The Wobbly Olive
Till Neighborhood Bistro and Bar
Triple J Rodeo
Viva La Marketing
Wolf & Key Marketing
District 3 candidate Scott Hiller has issued an ad in which he vows to take on the cause of the Mill Street neighborhood, which we wrote about here.
“On March 8th,” Hiller wrote, “I had the pleasure to speak with the Mill Street community and hear their concerns. One item of note is that they are advocating for a Community Benefit Agreement. A Community Benefit Agreement is a legally-binding agreement between developers and neighborhood-led coalitions. However, Mill Street was recently successful at creating a neighborhood master plan that was eventually adopted by the city. It is not right that after adopting this neighborhood plan, the residents of Mill Street feel they must create yet another layer of protection from developers. Maybe the city should consider reclassifying the Mill Street neighborhood as an Historic Neighborhood so they receive the protections associated with that designation. This neighborhood was platted by General Palmer himself, after all.”
He adds that if elected, he will support a “legally-binding Community Benefit Agreement for the Mill St neighborhood.”
Hiller is vying with caterer Michelle Talarico for the seat.
"I have had conversations with Roland Rainey over the past few weeks and believe he is the person we need on city council."
—District Attorney Michael Allen.
Roland Rainey Jr., who’s running for an at-large seat on City Council, issued a release March 20 announcing that District Attorney Michael Allen has endorsed his candidacy.
“I have had conversations with Roland Rainey over the past few weeks and believe he is the person we need on city council,” Allen said in the release. “His passion for our community and support for law enforcement and first responders is important to the health of our city. He brings business experience, leadership, entrepreneurial spirit and sense of duty to the table.”
Rainey states in the release that Allen’s endorsement “reinforces his belief that he made the right decision to run for city council.”
He gained the endorsement of El Paso County Sheriff Joe Roybal last week.
Rainey is in an 11-way race for three at-large seats.