April 21, 2023 | OPINION | By Zoraiz Zafar

On May 16, 2023, the city of Colorado Springs will vote to elect its next mayor in a runoff election featuring two candidates: Yemi Mobolade and Wayne Williams. From supervising the city’s various governmental departments to enacting policies in support of sustainable economic growth, the Colorado Springs mayor’s office wields a great deal of authority that directly impacts our lives. In my opinion, the candidate who will produce the best results for our city and community is Wayne Williams.

Williams brings with him a comprehensive and meaningful resumé. Amongst his many accolades and accomplishments, Williams has served as the Colorado Secretary of State, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, Chair of Colorado Springs Utilities, and as an elected member of the Colorado Springs City Council. This gives him a great deal of expertise and experience in the operational aspects of our local and state governments.

As Colorado Secretary of State, Williams had direct oversight over our elections. He showed incredible resilience and courage when he trashed claims made by former President Donald Trump regarding election fraud in the 2016 election. He would go on to thoroughly implement the recommendations made by election and national security experts in the wake of Russian interference in the 2016 election, making Colorado one of the safest states to cast a vote.

At a time when a majority of Republican voters have lost faith in the legitimacy of the electoral process, having a mayor who refutes such increasingly popular conspiracy theories would help move political discourse in the right direction. Given the conservative lean of Colorado Springs, the state and even national implications of a Williams mayorship would go a long way to alienate the concept of election denialism.

Additionally, having worked extensively within both state and local governments, Williams is an ideal candidate to address the issues related to departmental and bureaucratic inefficiencies in government. At a time when small businesses and the middle class are being held down by high inflation, Williams promises to cut back on excessive growth-dampening red tape that hinders entrepreneurship. Given his wealth of experience in public service, I have no doubt that he will be able to iron out the kinks in the Colorado Springs’ start-up and small business sectors.

Williams’ proposed policies on infrastructure revolve around making our roadways and public transit more efficient, with a specific focus on expanding and improving I-25 and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. With fears of a looming recession, this fiscal stimulus would go a long way towards ensuring that the fallout on the Colorado Springs economy is limited. Furthermore, Williams’ commitment to fiscal responsibility would ensure that the tax burden does not fall primarily on working class taxpayers.

Throughout his career and campaign, Williams has shown a deep commitment to environmental and water conservation efforts. In prior positions, Williams has been involved in increasing and protecting parks and recreational spaces, all of which are open to the public. As water scarcity in the Southwest worsens, Williams’ experience as Chair of Colorado Springs Utilities will come in handy to boost water conservation efforts within our community.

In conclusion, the upcoming mayoral election in presents a pivotal moment for the city and its residents. After a careful comparative policy analysis of both candidates, it is my opinion that Wayne Williams is the better choice. His impressive resume and vast experience in public service make him uniquely qualified to lead the city. His commitment to promoting sustainable economic growth, improving government efficiency, and protecting the environment make him the ideal candidate to guide Colorado Springs into the future.

On May 16, I urge all Colorado Springs voters to cast their vote for Wayne Williams, a leader with the vision, experience, and dedication to move our city forward.

Disclaimer: Saigopal and I are both international students and cannot express our opinions on the ballot without committing voter fraud. Instead of guaranteeing ourselves one-way tickets home, we wrote these opinion pieces to do our part and encourage CC students to get out and vote. Use your vote to shape COS for the better. Regardless of whose article you find more persuasive, do your own research and make sure to return your ballots by May 16 at 7 p.m.

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