Pueblo Library Board votes against multicultural plaza proposal

Christopher Columbus statue near the Rawlings library in Pueblo.
Christopher Columbus statue near the Rawlings library in Pueblo.(KKTV)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 1:40 PM MDT
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - The future of the Christopher Columbus statue next to the Rawlings Library in Pueblo is still up in the air.

Thursday night the Pueblo City-County Library District’s Board of Trustees voted 6 to 1 against a proposal that would develop a statue plaza to be located on library property.

This middle ground would have been home to the Columbus statue and a few others. A statement released by the PCCLD Executive Director Jon Walker says:

"The Library District was presented with a proposal from the City of Pueblo and the Pueblo City Council President regarding the Christopher Columbus statue located on Abriendo Ave. across from the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library. The proposal asked the Library District to take responsibility for the current median location of the Columbus statue as well as develop plans to create a plaza with additional statues on library property adjacent to the Columbus statue.

It is the position of the Pueblo City-County Library District Board of Trustees that this particular proposal is not acceptable. However, it must be clearly stated that the library district supports social justice, racial equality, and community harmony. While the library district does not view the City’s proposal as a proper role for the library, the library district supports a peaceful resolution to the controversy and stands ready to help both within its means and within the mission of the institution.

The Library will continue to serve as a foundation to the Pueblo community, offering welcoming and open facilities, encouraging the joy of reading, supporting lifelong learning and presenting access to information from around the world. The Library serves as a place for the free and open exchange of ideas. It is our hope that the City and citizens of Pueblo develop an equitable and well-considered resolution to this complex issue".

City council president Dennis Flores tells 11 news he is “just disappointed. I will be looking for other options and next steps. I will continue to talk to both sides with the help of the mediator.” According to the City of Pueblo, the mediator has not been used since this proposal for the area near the library began.

11 news reached out to the Sons of Italy but they have no comment on the matter.

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