Boulder city council candidate election roundup

8 candidates share the issue they will focus on if elected

By Tatyana Sharpton Oct 18 2019

As Boulder residents received their mail-in ballots this week and will be making their candidate selections soon, we’re presenting a brief overview of all 15 who are vying for the city’s six open council seats.

In each overview, we include the groups we are aware of endorsing the candidate and their response to a question we posed to them: “In one sentence, describe one specific policy you will advocate for should you be elected to council.” (Eight responded).

Voters will decide the next council on Nov 5.

Summaries of the 15 candidates as they are listed on the ballot:

Brian Dolan

Brian Dolan, who owns a local business importing classic cars, has lived almost all his life in Boulder as a fourth generation Boulder native. He’s particularly passionate about open space and the effort to preserve the 25-acre Long’s Gardens farm in North Boulder. He was an organizer of Think Boulder, a neighborhood group that launched in opposition to the Alpine-Balsam hospital redevelopment project.

Endorsements: PLAN-Boulder and Together4Boulder

Rachel Friend

A local attorney and activist, Rachel Friend has a passion for on social justice. In her work, she has helped asylum seekers in immigration proceedings, individuals with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, and abused children and elderly persons. Rachel’s approach to finding equilibrium is through diligently following facts and data.

Issue she will advocate for if elected: “I will ensure that 3,500 people are out of harm’s way by getting flood mitigation for South Boulder Creek across the finish line!”

Endorsements: Boulder Progressives, Open Boulder, Better Boulder, The Coalition, Daily Camera Editorial Board

Boulder election issue preview: open space

Junie Joseph

A law student at the University of Colorado, Junie Joseph was born in Haiti and has lived in many places, including Florida, England, and Central African Republic as a UN human rights officer. Her primary focus remains social justice and equality.

Issue she will advocate for if elected: “Effective and efficient open space management.”

Endorsements: Boulder Progressives, Open Boulder, Better Boulder, The Coalition, Daily Camera Editorial Board

Mark Wallach

Mark Wallach, a former attorney and real estate developer. An avid rock climber, Mark moved to Boulder for its natural beauty and open space. With a background in land use and housing issues and degrees from Yale and Columbia Universities, Mark maintains a focus on healthy development and growth of Boulder through minimizing fast growth, particularly in Boulder’s Opportunity Zone.

Issue he will advocate for if elected: “I would like to systematically explore the possibility of decommissioning our municipal airport and converting it to 179 acres of land that could be used to provide substantial amounts of affordable and middle-income housing … It is an effort to create an out-of the-box solution to the need to create large amounts of new affordable housing.”

Endorsements: PLAN-Boulder and Together4Boulder

Benita Duran

A former Boulder assistant city manager and current consultant, Benita Duran focus remains on addressing Boulder’s “housing-economic-environmental-transportation linked crisis.”

Issue she will advocate for if elected: “As a steward of the public’s investments, having served in major decision-making boards and worked in Boulder and other local governments managing public tax dollar investments, I would establish a policy that braces Boulder’s city budget and our needed personnel for the anticipated economic downturn with special attention to comprehensively addressing how we are going to continue to fund basic services like police, fire, transportation, and infrastructure during a recession with a limited funding pie highly dependent on sales tax funding”

Endorsements: Boulder Progressives, Open Boulder, Better Boulder and The Coalition

Corina Julca

A teacher in her native Peru and full-time mom, Corina Julca focuses her energy on equal opportunities and particularly affordable housing.

Endorsements: PLAN-Boulder and Together4Boulder

Bob Yates

Bob Yates, an incumbent council member and retired executive, has had experience serving on a variety of boards including the Parks and Rec Advisory Board, the Dairy Arts Center and the Colorado Chautauqua Association, among others. Bob advocates for Open Space access, increasing housing opportunities, and supporting the arts and nonprofits in Boulder.

Issue he will advocate for if elected: “I want to bring the Boulder community together in support of our shared values of inclusion, opportunity, safety and health.”

Endorsements: Open Boulder, Better Boulder and Daily Camera Editorial Board

Adam Swetlik

Adam Swetlik, an employee at a Boulder honey business, moved to Boulder to attend CU in 2006. With experience on the Housing Advisory Board as well as a former PLAN-Boulder County board member, Adam focuses on preserving open space and affordable housing with carefully planned development.

Issue he will advocate for if elected: “I’d like to impose head taxes on corporations who have 100 or more employees in Boulder and use that money to fund our transportation and permanently affordable housing programs.”

Endorsements: PLAN-Boulder and Together4Boulder

Aaron Brockett

Aaron Brockett, a small business operator and incumbent council member, focuses on social justice, inclusivity for families and younger people, developing more affordable housing, improving transit connections to help address climate change, and supporting culture, arts, entrepreneurship and local businesses.

Issue he will advocate for if elected: “One of my top priorities is implementing flood mitigation on South Boulder Creek. There are over 3,500 residents in harms way from the next major flood, and we need to move forward expeditiously on getting them protected.”

Endorsements: Boulder Progressives, Open Boulder, Better Boulder and The Coalition, Daily Camera Editorial Board

Andy Celani

Andy Celani, retired owner of a local used car business, focuses on advocating for open space, preserving undeveloped areas, and remains ardently anti-density, against the densification of Boulder’s housing through multi-family housing.

Nikki McCord

Nikki McCord, a diversity and talent recruiting consultant, cares about improving the sustainability of the city’s infrastructure: most importantly affordable housing, but with roads, bike and pedestrian paths and sewers following close. Nikki has served on the Boulder Housing Partners board since 2014.”

Issue she will advocate for if elected: “I want to meet the city’s affordable housing goal of 15 percent by 2035 by helping to build and/or preserve 256 units of affordable housing per year.”

Gala Wilhelmina Orba

Gala Wilhelmina Orba, originally from Chicago, holds a bachelor of science in risk management as well as mathematics instruction. A dancer and a member of a local circus troupe who also owns a life coaching firm, Gala focuses her attention on protecting the arts, banning single-use plastics with a focus on using sustainable materials, and supporting women and people of color in business as well as supporting equality and affordable housing.

Paul Cure

Paul Cure, who moved to Boulder in 1996, co-founded the Cure Organic Farm in Boulder which became the first organic farm to lease Boulder-owned open space land dedicated to agriculture. Paul believes in the need for equitable housing, multi-scaled job creation and practical transportation without sacrificing Boulder’s identity. The Alpine-Balsam redevelopment project holds a large focus of his campaign.

Endorsement: Daily Camera Editorial Board

Susan Peterson

Susan Peterson, a retired engineer and marketing executive as well as an avid cyclist, focuses her priorities on better management of growth, development, and traffic with support for Open Space, a community ECO pass, and improved safety for riders and pedestrians. A former board member of PLAN-Boulder County, Susan maintains top priority of protecting Boulder’s environmental legacy.

Endorsements: PLAN-Boulder and Together4Boulder

Mark McIntyre 

Mark McIntyre, a Boulder Transportation Advisory Board member, focuses also on data-driven facts and compassionate leadership to create a healthier environment, social justice and equality. His goals encompass environmental stewardship, inclusivity and resilience.

Issue he will advocate for if elected: “If elected, I will advocate for transportation equity that will result in greater safety and mobility for all of Boulder’s citizens through our Vision Zero safety program and through more equitable expenditures of our transportation dollars toward pedestrians of all abilities, transit riders, and cyclists.”

Endorsements: Boulder Progressives, Open Boulder, Better Boulder, The Coalition and Daily Camera Editorial Board.