Daily Camera (Boulder)

Vol­un­teers re­quested to help man move

Meyers leav­ing fol­low­ing ten­sions over for­mer fire chief’s com­ment

- By Kelsey Ham­mon Society · Volunteering · Boulder · Pueblo · Colorado · Facebook · United States of America · Fun (band) · Montana · Wyoming · Boulder County · Lyons, Colorado · Jimmie Walker · Mayor of Longmont, Colorado · John Jackson · National Association for the Advancement of Colored People · Jonathan Singer

The Boul­der County Col­lec­tive is seek­ing vol­un­teers to help a for­mer Lyons res­i­dent move his be­long­ings to his new home.

Greg Meyers, 49, moved to Lyons in 2013 but re­lo­cated to Pue­blo last month.

He said he was in­flu­enced to leave by the lack of com­mu­nity re­sponse af­ter J.J. Hoff­man, a for­mer fire chief, posted a racially in­flam­ma­tory com­ment on so­cial me­dia.

This week­end, the Boul­der County Col­lec­tive, a group that formed this sum­mer to cre­ate a more in­clu­sive Boul­der County, will help Meyers move his items from two Long­mont stor­age units and drive his be­long­ings to Pue­blo.

Vol­un­teers can chose a time slot to help Meyers move start­ing at 10 a.m. Satur­day and Sun­day. The trucks will be loaded on Satur­day and driven to Pue­blo on Sun­day. Dona­tions are also be­ing

ac­cepted to help fund the mov­ing costs. Since Meyers has be­long­ings stored at two stor­age units, vol­un­teers can find out de­tails on the lo­ca­tion through reg­is­tra­tion.

Meyers, who is Black, said via phone in­ter­view Fri­day that he had heart surgery in Au­gust. He said he ap­pre­ci­ates the com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether to help him.

“It does mean a lot for peo­ple to be reach­ing out,” Meyers said. “And peo­ple pro­vid­ing moral sup­port and what­ever they can, that’s huge.”

Alyssa Jenkins is the head of the col­lec­tive’s hous­ing di­vi­sion. Jenkins said Her­mine Ng­nomire, who has spear­headed racial jus­tice protests in Long­mont and is part of the col­lec­tive, came up with the idea to help Meyers af­ter see­ing a Colorado Pub­lic Ra­dio ar­ti­cle ti­tled “A pop­u­lar fire chief, a racially of­fen­sive Face­book post and a small town di­vided,” which pub­lished in the Times-call on Sept. 27. Meyers was in­ter­viewed in the ar­ti­cle and talked about his de­ci­sion to leave his home fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent.

“With Meyers feel­ing the need to move out of Lyons be­cause of this, I wanted to make him feel like he had peo­ple on his side and to show him that not ev­ery­one here is racist,” Jenkins said. “These times have di­vided peo­ple quite a bit, so it’s just to show sup­port.”

Meyers said he has re­ceived back­lash from the news ar­ti­cle and for speak­ing out on the is­sue.

“In a nut­shell, lost friends and nasty mes­sages from peo­ple I did and didn’t know,” Meyers wrote in a text. “Some folks be­ing pretty open about their dis­dain for me speak­ing out.”

For­mer fire chief JJ Hoff­man, who is white, re­signed in June fol­low­ing the so­cial me­dia post, which sparked back­lash and divide across the com­mu­nity. Ac­cord­ing to the Colorado Pub­lic Ra­dio ar­ti­cle, fol­low­ing Hoff­man’s res­ig­na­tion some ex­pressed sup­port for the for­mer chief and said they felt he was judged too quickly for the in­ci­dent. Oth­ers ex­pressed con­cerns about how the is­sue was ad­dressed. The town and its lead­ers didn’t re­lease a state­ment fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent. Mayor Nick An­gelo said that in the in future, he hopes to host ed­u­ca­tional fo­rums on what it’s like to be Black in Amer­ica in 2020, ac­cord­ing to the ar­ti­cle.

Hoff­man had been tagged in a com­ment about racial jus­tice protests. He re­sponded by say­ing: “ha ha if I was down there I def­i­nitely would open up our high pres­sure bumper tur­ret and have some fun.” Hoff­man later apol­o­gized on Face­book and the post was re­moved.

State Rep. Jonathan Singer filed a com­plaint with the NAACP Colorado Mon­tana Wy­oming State Con­fer­ence, prompt­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the com­ment.

Meyers said he still has ties to Boul­der County and will con­tinue to visit. He said he looks for­ward to set­tling into his new home.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to fi­nally rest,” Meyers said. “I’ve been re­cov­er­ing from surgery while look­ing for a house.”

The Boul­der County Col­lec­tive is com­posed of mul­ti­ple di­vi­sions, in­clud­ing art, men­tal health and well­ness and pub­lic safety.

Those who would like to vol­un­teer or do­nate, can fill out the vol­un­teer form on­line at: tinyurl.com/ greg-meyers-move.

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