Candidate Statement – Vanessa P. Torres

Run Off Candidate, Vanessa Torres
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

Maiku Pino Nuuchi 

My name is Vanessa P. Torres I am a candidate for this year’s run-off election. I would like to first thank all tribal members for exercising their voice to be heard by voting. It is very imperative for our members to be involved in this process. I want to thank all my supporters for having the faith in me, I am most grateful, thankful, and very humbled.  

I have represented the Tribe on the Ten Tribes Partnership, as well as the Tribal Leader’s Forum, and the Boys & Girls Club. While in this ever-changing world we are continuously learning how to adapt to the new norms with this pandemic we’re in. It is a challenge for our Tribe to keep our members safe and to provide the services for our membership. As we may not know what the future will bring us in the next year and thereafter.   

We continue to have challenges regarding the issue of our sovereignty, water rights, land, housing, employment, broadband, language revitalization, climate change, drought, and inflation.   

  We do have financial benefits from revenues; however, we need to look ahead to the next twenty years, we also need to consider thinking beyond that. It will be part of my responsibility to work with the elected members to prepare for the next 20 years in which we will face the challenges that will be more critical to the Tribe and the membership. 

As a candidate I realize there is much work to be completed as we move forward on behalf of our tribal membership. We all need to work together to make positive changes for this moment and for our future generations.   

The Tribal Council will need to think of innovative ways to benefit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the tribal membership to do what’s in the best interest for the young people to the elders as we face the challenges by working together with the people who are the policy makers. 

As a council person I would like to continue to work for the Tribe in a manner where we spend the money/funds wisely to keep the departments running effectively and efficiently. I will continue to do so if given the opportunity to serve a full term in making sure we manage our money and resources in a proper way which benefits the Tribe and the membership. 

As most of you know I truly support in seeking assistance with Substance Abuse/Drug Abuse and Mental Abuse in our tribal and local community that have been hit hard with these addictions that effects our members, the housing issues, and families. We need an inpatient treatment center for our members, as well as a sober living program to assist the individual and families with support and guidance. Mental health is another issue we need to address on the reservation. We send our adults and juveniles out of the area to assist in their treatment, where these places do not practice cultural sensitivity.  

We are in need of housing for our membership here on the reservation to assist them and be able to provide ample, affordable housing. We also need to assist our membership who live on fee lands, allotted lands, and off the reservation.  

There is also an issue for housing for staff members, at times we have lost valuable employees due to no housing in the area because the cost of living as risen. We also need to think of ways to assist tribal members who have criminal history. We all make mistakes and we should be able to assist our tribal members who need the help or who are homeless, we need to find innovative ways to assist. 

This past year has given me an opportunity to be able to learn and grow within my position and learning about our Tribe. This year I’ve gotten my feet wet so to speak and I am willing to learn and continue to be the voice for the people. Everyone starts somewhere in a position learning and evolving in their careers. I am asking to give me the chance to continue to remain on Tribal Council to be your voice. I am compassionate, I listen and I learn along the way. Together we can make positive changes.  

I humbly ask for your vote on Friday, Dec. 17, to continue to do the work to help benefit the good of the Southern Ute Tribe and the membership.  

 

Toghoyaqh, 

Vanessa P. Torres 

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