Letter to the Editor – Jessica Brings Leadership Experience, Will put the Community’s Needs First

This Letter to the Editor is solely the opinion of its author.

It does not reflect the opinion of this newspaper.

We intend to present messages from both sides of the aisle.

Jessica Dyrdahl

This campaign isn’t about me; it’s about our community. That’s why I’ve spent the past few months socially distanced canvassing, listening, and engaging with our community at every possible juncture. From those conversations, it’s clear to me that our community is looking for a leader that will put their needs first and someone passionate about the issues facing our community. That’s the leadership I will bring to City Council.

In my job at Colorado State University, I enjoy working directly with students of all different identities, backgrounds, and experiences, helping them find common purpose, to share the voice of students they represent, and to work towards a vision for the future. Whether students are starting a compost pilot program on campus, looking for ways to support members of the CSU community who are food insecure, or to make a stand against racist incidents on campus and in our society, I enjoy connecting students with people resources and opportunities. Having served with many different administrations, I’ve been able to work with students of all backgrounds and political beliefs.

I would bring to Council an understanding of how the government works. Beginning with my degree in Political Science, an internship at the State Capitol, and my current job as advisor of the student government at CSU, I have experience gathering perspectives from people of all identities, how to keep the vision of a community in mind and how to make pragmatic decisions in the moment. I bring with me the knowledge of not only living in Fort Collins for over a decade but also the 50 states and 50 countries that I have visited. The plastic bag ban is a highly discussed topic on the April ballot, and I have seen firsthand how a plastic bag tax in Dublin changed societal norms, where reusable bags are the norm and plastic is a concept from the past.

As mentioned, I have spoken with thousands of community members over the past few months, and three issues stood out in particular. Affordable housing, expanding open space, and the health of the Poudre have inspired so many in our community to use their voice, and that’s why I’m proud to support affordable housing development and oppose special districts, expanding open space, and a free-flowing Poudre.

My experience at CSU, traveling the world, and over the past few months have led me to this moment. Fort Collins is my home, and I’m running because I want to represent my neighbors in District 4 and ensure that we build a sustainable, inclusive, affordable, livable, and strong community for generations to come.

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