As residents of Colorado Springs, we are all privileged to be able to take advantage of the natural beauty that surrounds us and the myriad outdoor activities that come along with the geography of the region.

We are all also faced with the many challenges that come along with living in any city this size, some more prevalent here than others.

In a community discussion workshop following the Harwood luncheon, there were six major themes that emerged as areas of concern, including: Jobs and Workforce Education/Training, Youth Development, Housing/Homelessness, Mental Health, Transportation, and Crime/Safety.

These issues are not to be taken lightly, and it is the responsibility of everyone that lives here to do their part and to help make this city a place that our residents can truly be proud of.

There are certain obligations that all Colorado Springs residents should exercise and respect and these are imperative for all U.S. citizens to follow in ensuring the safety and prosperity of our city and country.

They are:

- Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.

- Participate in the democratic process.

- Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.

- Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.

- Participate in your local community.

These are not groundbreaking concepts, but it's amazing to me how many people just don't seem to care, or perhaps they are fed up with the process and have just given up.

So where do we go from here?

There is so much potential for this city, but there needs to be more cohesiveness and more of a sense of community.

The leaders of this city need to act as a team - working together toward common goals that will improve the quality of life for everyone, not just a select few.

The first steps need to be clearly defined as to exactly what those goals are and what the plan of action to achieve those results.


Chris Phillips is the assistant general manager and director of sales for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.