PUEBLO, Colo. - Some unwelcome news for the city of Pueblo: a new article by USA Today claims the Steel City is the worst city to live in throughout the entire state of Colorado.
Many people we spoke to were frustrated by the way Pueblo was portrayed in the article. Some agreed, but many more disagreed. However, no one was surprised by it.
“Compared to all the other Front Range communities in Colorado, it does kind of rank low compared to all the other amenities and the wealth,” said Pueblo resident Stephen Hodanish.
USA Today ranks Pueblo as the worst city in Colorado for two key reasons. First, the article claims nearly one in every four people living in Pueblo are living in poverty, more than double the poverty rate as the rest of the state. Second, the report's numbers show that violent crime rates are nearly triple the rest of the state’s.
“I certainly don’t think there is any validity or accuracy to that,” said Chief Troy Davenport when asked about the USA Today report and how Pueblo is portrayed.
Davenport says the crime rate number in the report doesn’t fairly represent Pueblo.
“The crime rate in Pueblo has been on the downtrend now," said Davenport. "Our head is not in the sand, we are aware we have crime. We’ve also added a number of officers, we’ve made a lot of efforts in the community and we are heading in the right direction.”
“They’ve never been to Pueblo, they’ve never lived in Pueblo, they don’t know Pueblo,” said Mayor Nick Gradisar when asked about the USA Today report.
Gradisar says articles like this one come out once every year, and always miss the point.
“The cost of living in Pueblo is lower here than anywhere else in the Front Range," said Gradisar. "We have utilities you won’t find in other cities within Colorado -- the river trail system, our park system, we don’t have the traffic jams like in Springs and Denver.”
But for many Puebloans, the article missed a key factor —- a strong sense of community.
“They don’t see all the positives of the town," said Jayden Trujillo. "Every day you come down to the Riverwalk and you see more and more people.”
“The people I have met here are so kind-hearted and open," said Melissa Busse. "All willing to help you along the way.”