Colorado Springs council district has a high minority population


After the Independent went to press Tuesday, we received a more concrete figure for the minority population in Council District 4 in the southeast area of Colorado Springs. It's 66 percent, according to the city's community development department.
The story in which this figure appeared covered who's running for City Council seats and noted that a District 4 candidate, Deborah Hendrix, had referred to her district as a "ghetto."

The 66 percent figure is based on 2010 Census data.

Here's the pertinent part of the story. Hendrix has since submitted additional signatures and has been certified to the ballot:
Deborah Hendrix is challenging the incumbent in District 4. - COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATE
  • Courtesy of the candidate
  • Deborah Hendrix is challenging the incumbent in District 4.
In southeast District 4, Deborah Hendrix, who didn't have enough signatures by Jan. 23, wants to unseat Helen Collins. Hendrix was defeated by Collins in the 2013 election and in 2015 led a recall effort against her.

Collins survived the recall but later was censured by Council for her role in a land transaction with tax activist Douglas Bruce, convicted of tax evasion in an unrelated case.

At a Jan. 16 El Paso County Republican Women's Club meeting at GOP headquarters, Hendrix, who's black, referred to the district as a "ghetto," multiple sources say. The southeastern district lies within House District 17, where minorities comprise roughly 56 percent of the population. Hendrix, former president of the Harrison School District 2 board, has received $11,000 in campaign donations from developers, records show.
Helen Collins has competition for her seat. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Helen Collins has competition for her seat.
Collins seized on the "ghetto" remark, telling the Indy via email, "I was stunned and dismayed by Deborah's arrogant and contemptuous comment about District 4, which I am proud to represent.... Is that how our council representative should describe our community? ... Do you want your vote to endorse such hateful, reckless, and negative views?"

Hendrix didn't return the Indy's phone calls and emails seeking a comment on that and the question of whether she's paid off a $21,982 IRS lien against her and her husband, Charles, filed in November 2015, as reported by the Indy two years ago ("Glass meets stone," News, Jan. 7, 2015).

Another District 4 candidate is Yolanda Avila, who ran for Council in 2015. Legally blind, Avila belongs to the National Federation of the Blind and hopes to be a voice for people with disabilities. In the past, she's expressed support for ending the city's prohibition on recreational marijuana and a desire to sideline Martin Drake Power Plant in favor of renewable energy.
Here's the lineup of candidates as of Wednesday morning. A few more candidates have been given until Friday to submit the required 50 signatures on their nominating petitions.

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