Events, Videos and Questionnaires
The Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce sent a questionnaire to all the candidates and then interviewed them. To read my questionnaire go to :https://fortcollinschamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Sidna-Rachid-2021-Dist-4.pdf
and watch my video got to: https://vzaar.com/videos/22664752
The League of Women Voters of Larimer County held a Candidate Forum on March 10th for all candidates. Here is the link https://reflect-vod-fcgov.cablecast.tv/CablecastPublicSite/show/918?channel=1. District 4 candidates were questioned during the second hour of the forum.
The League also has a website with information about all the candidates and issues on the April ballot. It's a two-step process. First you go to the website https://www.vote411.org/. You then will have to enter your address to be taken to the page with information about what is on the ballot.
The Coloradoan has an article this week on the District 4 Race. Here is the link:https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2021/03/19/fort-collins-city-council-election-district-4-candidates/4707278001/
Here is the Letter to the Editor that I wrote to the Coloradoan which will be published on Sunday, March 21st.. I will add the entire letter here since access to the Coloradoan website seems to be limited to subscribers.
My name is Sidna Rachid and I’m running for City Council District 4.
I’m a retired accountant whose last job was as Chief Accountant of Maersk Oil Qatar. My practical skills helped me succeed as an accountant, and I believe that they will help me succeed as a City Council member. The term, practical skills, sounds vague, but for me it includes a knowledge of budgeting, prioritizing expenses, avoiding wasteful spending by looking at long term benefits not short-term gains and a healthy desire to understand issues in depth. Basically, I’ll spend a lot of time asking questions and collecting facts and details until I understand an issue thoroughly.
As an example, let’s look at my approach to affordable housing – a complex topic which the city has focused on. Affordable housing is a wonderful sounding concept, but it is unrealistic to believe that Fort Collins will ever have affordable housing for all incomes. Why? Because it’s a desirable place to live. You will find affordable housing in a small town in Nebraska because there isn’t a huge demand.
In Colorado, the minimum wage is $12/hour which means that you would earn approximately $2,000/month working a 40/hour work week. HUD defines affordable housing as 30% of the gross monthly income. A rent of $600/month would be considered affordable for a minimum wage-earner in Fort Collins. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fort Collins is approximately $1,200/month. This is twice the amount that would be considered affordable for someone earning a minimum wage.
How would I approach providing affordable housing? I wouldn’t give any incentives to developers who build two, three or four ‘affordable’ units in order to obtain a tax break for their whole development. When those ‘affordable’ houses go back on the market, they will be sold at the market rate, and the housing units will no longer be affordable. This is an example of a short-term gain without a long-term benefit to the city.
How would I approach the issue? We need to remove the U+2 limitation. We need to re-examine the land use code to allow denser growth near the city center, and we need to make it easier for people to add apartment units into their houses by decreasing fees and providing help. These actions will mitigate the issue.
The city seems to be on the path of allowing the building of more and more apartment complexes as the solution. That is not sustainable in terms of our resources and won’t guarantee affordable rents for everyone.
There are many non-profits in Fort Collins devoted to helping people find affordable housing. Let’s talk to them about what they see as solutions before we go any further.
If you’d like to know more about my positions, please visit my website: www.sidna4district4.com.
I’d be honored if you voted for me.
Here is a link to an article in the Collegian. https://collegian.com/2021/03/category-news-city-council-election-sidna-rachid-district-4/
Here is a link to a forum put on by The Student Sustainability Center at CSU:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWNTYsW0SbQ