(La Junta, CO) -- It seems to be that calling for action from a group called Action 22 is what you'd expect. However, President Sara Blackhurst told the La Junta City Council recently, they need more.
On the Action 22 website, the organization explains who they are and what they do as posted:
Action22 is a non-partisan membership driven organization which serves as a voice and leader for action on public policy for 22 Southern Colorado counties. Our membership includes business leaders, elected officials, business organizations, counties, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations from around the state. We enjoy strong, effective working relationships with Legislators, Colorado’s Executive Branch, regulatory agencies, and other elected officials.
Blackhurst visited the city council meeting to make a plea for Southeast Colorado to become more involved. She stated it's more important now than ever before.
"We've really been pushed aside and marginalized!"
She warned that rural Colorado will lose its voice if citizens and local leaders do not be step up with a strong voice.
"WE have seen an upward turn in legislation by decision making"
Blackhurst explained this is when a committee is assembled to decide issues that will eventually be sent to lawmakers. The decision making will be vital in deciding important issues for rural Colorado such as what to do about the uptick in crime, preemptive land use and housing and homelessness concerns.
"You're going to really fight hard, and we're going to have to fight hard to protect what you do here especially with regard to land use issues."
She furthered the warning to say that rural Colorado had a strong voice at the capitol before with the former leadership. She doesn't feel that will be the case this time around.
"We don't have that quite frankly, anymore."
Blackhurst urged local leaders at the council meeting to consider attending an upcoming academy that will better prepare them to fight for small communities in rural areas.
La Junta City Manager is involved with Action 22 and spoke out at the meeting about the merits of taking part in the Academy. An excerpt from the Action 22 website details a little of what could be expected.
The Leadership, Policy & Governance Academy will be a professional fellowship with the purpose of elevating regional leadership, thoughtful public policy, and the integrity of governance for Colorado’s rural communities. The objective is to strengthen not only our collective voice, but overall effectiveness in public service. “Action 22 is taking the necessary next steps with the restart of the Foundation and the leadership of Garrison Ortiz. The Academy will take good leaders and make them better. Graduating Fellows will then be prepared to help others develop into great leaders as well”, said Rick Klein, La Junta City manager and Action 22 Board Chair.
The Academy begins January 20 and will offer two credits of study in undergraduate and graduate level credit.
Contact Action 22 at 719-369-7901