How to Share your Voice
A very effective way to share your voice on issues as a community member is to contact city council members. It is actually very easy to do in Fort Collins. There are at-least four ways to directly contact a city council member:
- In-person public comment at every other city council meeting
- In-person conversation at city council member listening sessions
|Jeni Arndt (At Large – Mayor)||firstname.lastname@example.org||Cell: 970-413-3146|
|Susan Gutowsky (Dist 1)||email@example.com||Cell: 970-294-2575|
|Julie Pignataro (Dist 2)||firstname.lastname@example.org||Cell: 970-556-2869|
|Tricia Canonico (Dist 3)||email@example.com||Cell: 970-305-6296|
|Shirley Peel (Dist 4)||firstname.lastname@example.org||Cell: 970-217-5817|
|Kelly Ohlson (Dist 5)||email@example.com||Landline: 970-493-7225|
|Emily Francis (Dist 6 – Mayor Pro Tem)||firstname.lastname@example.org||Cell: 970-556-4748|
Find your council person
Starting communications with the council member from your district is a good idea. Most council members admit a tendency toward listening to their district constituents first and with a bit more interest than voters outside their district. You can look up your district and council member at: https://www.fcgov.com/cityclerk/district-boundaries
Contact the Mayor
The Mayor is elected at large so as a Fort Collins resident you are the Mayor’s constituent. The Mayor also has more influence on the council agenda. For those reasons the Mayor should be the second person you contact.
If you live outside of the city in the Fort Collins growth management area (GMA) start your contact with the Mayor or any council member you have experience with.
- We recommend you send emails to individual council members rather than using the email@example.com link which sends the email to all of them at the same time. Council member comments suggest that some council members view emails “blasted” to all council members at once take a lower priority than the more individualized approach. There is a tendency to read the individualized messages first.
- Get right to the point. Council members get a lot of email and are less likely to read a long message. What action do you want them to take and why.
- Remember that all emails to council members are on the public record and easily viewed by others.
Speaking at Fort Collins City Council Meetings
Speaking at City Council meetings has never been easier. You can now speak to any issue during the Public Comment portion of the meeting which is typically near the beginning of each Regular Meeting.
City Council has two primary types of meetings: Regular Meeting and Work Session
- Public comment is only allowed at Regular meetings. Regular Meetings are typically the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Work Sessions are the second and fourth Tuesday. Fifth Tuesdays are supposed to be a night off.
- Meetings start each Tuesday at 6pm
- Regular Meetings are held at Council Chambers – 300 LaPorte Ave
- The meetings are hybrid. Public comment can also be given via Zoom at Webinar link: https://zoom.us/j/98241416497
- In-person comments
- The public comment portion of the meeting is generally near the beginning of the meeting so plan on being at City Hall by 6:00pm.
- There is a signup sheet at the door going into Council Chambers. You will be asked for name and a way to contact you. It is so staff can follow up if need be.
- Plan your comments for both a 2-minute and 3-minute limit. The time allotted to each speaker will depend on how many people plan to speak at any given meeting. It varies from 1 to 3 minutes (1 minute is rare but on really large turnouts it can happen). All speakers are allotted the same amount of time.
In-person conversation at city council member listening sessions
Sometimes an individual council member will schedule a “Listening Session.” Typically, Listening Sessions are held at coffee shops or parks. It is an opportunity to converse face-to-face with whichever city council member schedules the session. These sessions are typically one hour long and attended by 5 to 10 citizens. Listening sessions are a high-quality communications opportunity.
Source: Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce
September 14, 2022