Councilwoman Yolanda Avila attends SGA senate meeting

Ellie Myers  
emyers2@uccs.edu  

     At an SGA senate meeting on Oct. 7, Councilwoman Yolanda Avila, who represents city District 4, attended via video conference. Senators asked Avila questions, several of which led to a discussion of personal freedoms and student involvement with the local community.  

Yolanda Avila, photo courtesy of ColoradoSprings.gov


     Senator at Large Joel Sorensen asked Avila for her opinion on the refusal of a medical board to grant a kidney transplant to a woman not vaccinated against COVD-19. Sorensen expressed concerns over governmental protection of citizens’ and students’ individual rights.  
     Avila, who stated that her primary focus in office is supporting the city’s infrastructure, declared support for the vaccine, explaining how it protects frontline workers and minorities, who are at the most risk of contracting the virus.   
     Dylan Matchette, senator of public affairs, asked Avila about the recent installation of an Amazon facility and the enforcement of taxes on the company. 
     Avila responded that raising taxes is complicated in Colorado Springs due to an unhealthy tax base. “Anytime you want to raise taxes, you have to ask the voters,” she said. 
     Other questions presented to Avila addressed her criminal justice background, to which she asserted the importance of working for the people that are underserved. Regarding the current status of infrastructure, she said infrastructure has improved with plenty of room for growth.  
     When asked whether the district is where it needs to be to serve the community, Avila said that there is still work to be done. “We have a long, long way to go,” she said. 
     Avila recommended council meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month as a good way for students to get involved with local government. Avila’s contact information can be found here
     During the rest of the meeting, the senate discussed two upcoming bills. The first was a proposal for the upcoming SGA team building trip to an escape room, which was unanimously approved. 
     The second bill, approved at 92%, supported the distribution of hot chocolate at the Homecoming bonfire. 
     Senate also briefly discussed United Campus Workers’ aim to get 1,000 signatures on a petition to raise the minimum wage for on-campus jobs to $15.  
     Governor Jared Polis will virtually attend a senate meeting on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m., which students can attend at Berger Hall or watch on YouTube. SGA is collecting questions from students via a Mountain Lion Connect form to ask Polis during his visit.