Welcome to this episode of Dear Fort Collins, where we delve into topics significant to our community. In today’s discussion, we feature Patricia Babbitt, a candidate running for the mayoral position in Fort Collins. Patricia is running on a strong environmental stance and a focus on amplifying lesser-heard voices. This interview explores her motivations for pursuing office, her vision for the city, and the various projects and issues she aims to address.
A Perspective of Inclusion
“I decided to run for mayor as a write-in candidate because I felt that we needed some opposition and more voices in the conversation,” Patricia explains. Her drive comes from a deep connection to Fort Collins, particularly its natural beauty, and a desire to address community concerns related to housing, transportation, and environmental matters.
Commitment to Natural Spaces
A key issue for Patricia is the protection of Hughes Open Space. “I was actively involved in getting the Hughes open space issue on the ballot,” she states. “Almost 70% of the people voted to keep it as an open space.” She expresses reservations about proposals to use part of this area for a mountain biking park, citing concerns over community preferences and the impact on wildlife migration routes.
Environmental Priorities and Water Conservation
Patricia is keen on addressing water management, focusing on the Poudre River. “The Poudre River is a valuable place for our wildlife and ecosystems,” she underscores. For her, decisions around water usage should prioritize the river’s preservation and the health of its ecosystems.
Sustainable Transit Initiatives
Having never driven a car, Patricia values sustainable transportation. “I depend on public transit, my bike, and my feet to get around,” she says. She advocates for improved public transit systems in Fort Collins to reduce car dependence and address transportation-related challenges, which she believes can also aid in solving housing and environmental issues.
Unique Qualifications and Experience
When discussing her qualifications for the mayoral role, Patricia points to her experience with diverse populations and her perspective as a non-driver. “I have always worked with diverse groups of people, finding ways to peacefully reach our goals,” she remarks. Her reliance on alternative transportation provides her with insights into the needs of those who do not use personal vehicles. She also highlights her open-door policy at home as evidence of her commitment to the community.
Inspirations in Public Service
In her role as a teacher, Patricia draws inspiration from Sylvia Ashton-Warner and Maria Montessori. Both of these figures worked with marginalized communities, emphasizing listening and hands-on approaches. Patricia admires their dedication to uplifting lives through education.
Environmental Awareness as a Superpower
Given a choice of superpower, Patricia would choose the ability to communicate the importance of environmental stewardship. “We need to focus on caring for our precious ecosystems,” she asserts. She believes a deeper understanding of our dependency on nature can lead to more beneficial decisions for all.
Reflecting on advice, Patricia talks about the importance of trusting one’s instincts. “I have learned to listen to my gut feeling,” she shares. This approach has guided her through many decisions and kept her aligned with her values.
Conclusion and Looking Ahead
Patricia Babbitt’s mayoral candidacy focuses on diverse perspectives on environmental issues, marginalized groups, and sustainable living. Her focus on environmental protection, water management, and transportation reform resonates with community concerns.
To learn more about Patricia, visit PatriciaBabbitt4Mayor.com.