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Lori Winner, Pueblo City Council Member (Illustration by Riki Takaoka for PULP)

Lori Winner: ‘I don’t plan on staying quiet’

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Prior to her bid for city council, Lori Winner, a registered nurse and fitness instructor, was largely known for the House of Shame, a Facebook page meant to bring attention to Pueblo properties that are abandoned, attractive to squatters and often bring down property values. Winner grew up in Pueblo, but moved after high school. She returned wit…

Lori Winner, Pueblo City Council Member (Illustration by Riki Takaoka for PULP)
Lori Winner, Pueblo City Council Member (Illustration by Riki Takaoka for PULP)

Prior to her bid for city council, Lori Winner, a registered nurse and fitness instructor, was largely known for the House of Shame, a Facebook page meant to bring attention to Pueblo properties that are abandoned, attractive to squatters and often bring down property values. Winner grew up in Pueblo, but moved after high school. She returned with her husband in 2004, and has been a major local advocate since 2010, she said in a PULP interview last year. Now, she has made her way into local government as she hopes to help foster more positive change. Following is a conversation between Winner, who is the only new blood elected this election cycle and only woman who will sit on council, and PULP’s Kara Mason.  

I’ve already been told by a fellow councilman that I should probably just be quiet and observe for a year. Then he also went on to tell me that I need to just put on my leather underwear because he knows I have them, and you know, toughen up.

You’re the only incoming council member that hasn’t been on council before. Are you worried about the lack of new blood?

I wouldn’t say I’m worried about it. If I was worried, I wouldn’t have run. However, it is interesting. I’ve already been told by a fellow councilman that I should probably just be quiet and observe for a year. Then he also went on to tell me that I need to just put on my leather underwear because he knows I have them, and you know, toughen up.

What was your reaction to that?

I said, ‘Excuse me?’ And then, I can’t really remember his reaction, but I think he’d gotten a little nervous. But I don’t plan on staying quiet. That’s exactly why people voted for me.

You wrote that there is this perceived “system” in Pueblo that has defeated the community in a Chieftain guest column this summer. What do you mean by that?

I think it’s not only from the council and the city manager but I also feel that it’s a culture with city employees.

Are you talking about the way they do things?

Yeah. A lot of people in the city – employees – feel the same way. The bar is set pretty low, and just to get to that bar to raise up a little bit is going to take a lot of political will.

Which I’m guessing doesn’t involve a year of being quiet.

Exactly. Or wearing leather underwear.

Do you think being on council will change how you operate House of Shame?

No, people are still contacting me on House of Shame. A lot of people think I’m the one out there taking these pictures, and I do occasionally, but it’s mostly neighbors. They send that information to me. It’s a good way of communication. I’m not going to stop communicating with my constituents that way.

You caught some flack for i…

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