Daily Camera (Boulder)
Volunteers requested to help man move
Meyers leaving following tensions over former fire chief’s comment
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.