Twenty-five years ago, my grandmother Nadine told me I should run for county commissioner. She was a woman ahead of her time with a degree in music and a talent for sewing. She ran the Singer Sewing Machine, gave lessons and had a weekly sewing show on the Cedar Rapids TV station. Her faith in me has always stayed with me.
Saguache County is where this Midwest girl put down her roots 34 years ago. I have raised my children, served as a foster mother, raised those children, been an adoptive mother and raised that child in this fine rural place. We first came to Center to work the High Meadows Buffalo Ranch under Dale Dilley. We then worked with John Dabney and John Werner ranches and then Green Earth Organic Farm for many years.
My indoor career began at Saguache County Department of Human Services and later Center School District to run the Pilots for Prevention Youth Mentoring Program. I helped found the Saguache County Sustainable Environment and Economic Development (ScSEED). Along the way, I gained a degree in the Spanish language from ASU and went to work in Alamosa for Valley Wide Health Systems running a program focused on Healthy Eating and Active Living. We learned that community cared about food security and built the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition. The SLVLFC with Nick Chambers built the Valley Roots Food Hub aggregating food from family farms and delivering to restaurants, grocers, institutions and families in the region. We then saved a parcel on the Rio Grande and turned it into a 38-acre farm incubator. I am currently the founding director of the SLVLFC with 24 well-paid staff and a $2.4 million budget that has contributed greatly to the local economy.
I’ve always volunteered in the community and currently serve on ScSEED, Saguache Works, the Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council, First SouthWest Bank’s Community Fund Board and the SLV Chapter of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. My kids call me “the meeting lady”. I do enjoy meetings which makes me uniquely qualified for what I am about to say.
This letter announces my intention to run for county commissioner. I would like to contribute my passion, energy, and wisdom to my home community of Saguache County. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your questions, ideas, and concerns with me at 719-539-5606 or [email protected].
I will continue reaching out to people throughout the county to learn what matters to them and will send out a follow-up letter describing my vision and key priorities.