On July 15, Moveon.org organized a “Run for Sha’Carri” rally and petition delivery at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) office in Colorado Springs. Sha’Carri Richardson, a track and field sprinter, was suspended for one month after testing positive for marijuana. She was subsequently not chosen to participate on the Olympic 100-meter relay team. Speakers at the Colorado Springs rally included Rep. Naquetta Ricks (HD40), and former HD11 representative Jonathan Singer, both of whom emphasized the need for drug policy reform as it relates to cannabis. The event culminated with the delivery of over 590,000 signatures to USADA Director of Communications Adam Woullard. 

The late Rep. Dennis Apuan has been chosen by El Pomar Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Development program, which recognizes ethnic minority leaders, as its 2021 Milton E. Proby Cultural Heritage Room inductee. The ceremony will take place Aug. 20.

Safe Passage, a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center that helps abused and neglected children, broke ground on July 13 on a children’s advocacy center at 2335 Robinson St. Among partner agencies are the Colorado Springs Police Department Child Crimes Unit, UCHealth and El Paso County Department of Human Services.

Sara Vaas has been hired as executive director of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO). Vaas worked at CONO from 2015 to 2018 before taking a job as director of community neighborhood development in Pueblo West.

Studio 809 Podcasts is launching a new podcast next week, Making Democracy Work. The first three episodes are a series about election security (with a focus on election audits and other election security issues in El Paso County and Colorado). The new podcast will be produced and hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak region. Find out more at studio809radio.com. 

​The voter-approved South Academy Boulevard Project will have an open house on July 22 from 5-6:45 p.m. at Sand Creek Library, at 1821 S. Academy Blvd. The city is addressing crumbling infrastructure along South Academy Boulevard, beginning with the intersection at Bijou Street in late 2021. The $9.5 million project will also address the intersection of East Fountain Boulevard and Jet Wing Drive next summer. Visit coloradosprings.gov/southacademyreconstruction for more information. 

The city wants transportation input via an online study at coloradosprings.gov/connectcos through Aug. 8. The transportation study will present the city’s findings regarding improvement priorities and strategies. The city will incorporate public comments from the study into a finalized citywide plan this fall.