Diverse candidates align with our vision for good governance, access to Open Space
Boulder, Colo. (August 28, 2019)—With goals of having leaders who bring greater transparency and inclusiveness to our local government, make fact-based decisions, and understand that environmentalism and enjoyment of our public lands go hand in hand, Open Boulder today announced their endorsements for the 2019 Boulder City Council race.
Open Boulder is proud to endorse a diverse set of candidates after a process that included candidate questionnaires, in-person candidate screening meetings, candidate surveys and participation in the Raucous Caucus candidate event.
“Open Boulder connects citizens of all ages to our government and nature. Our progressive vision includes access to open space, responsible stewardship, and an open and inclusive Boulder,” states Michelle Estrella, Chair of Open Boulder. “These candidates really represent the best hope of Boulder becoming a more welcoming, inclusive and healthy community.”
As an incumbent, Aaron Brockett has established himself as a voice of reason and compassion based on his voting record on Boulder issues. Elected to a four-year term on Boulder City Council in 2015, he has consistently advocated for families and younger people, renters and the housing insecure, and improving transportation connections for bicycles and pedestrians.
During his time on council Aaron has served on the Denver Regional Council of Governments, the Dairy Arts Center for the Arts Board, the Boulder Valley comprehensive plan process committee, Open Space master plan process committee, the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, and served one year as Mayor Pro Tem. Aaron and his family have lived in Boulder for 16 years. He received a B.A from Swarthmore College and co-founded and owns with his wife a small business for 19 years.
A former Boulder Assistant City Manager, Benita Duran has over 30 years of experience as a civic leader having served on the boards of the YWCA, Family Learning Center, Intercambio, Attention Homes and Watershed School, as well as the Community Foundation of Boulder, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Boulder Community Health, and the State Economic Development Commission. She has practical ideas for addressing Boulder’s housing-economic-environmental-transportation linked crisis.
Benita owns and operates Duran Consulting serving as Project Director of the Latino Cultural Arts Center. She has a B.A. Degree in Economic and Public Affairs from the University of Denver and is a proud CU alumna with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Benita has lived in Boulder for over 25 years and is a fifth generation Coloradan.
Addressing the flood mitigation crisis in South Boulder is the major focus of Rachel Friend, a seasoned attorney and social activist. She sees everything through the lens of imminent climate crisis and advocates decisive action in all areas to address key challenges and that those actions be based on accurate and relevant data. Impact to our Open Space is certain and Rachel believes that, as good stewards of the land, Boulder needs to continue to care for Open Space while ensuring adequate acreage is accessible for recreation.
Rachel practices law, teaches in the Criminal Justice field at Front Range Community College and provides pro bono legal representation to asylum seekers detained in Aurora, CO. As a local activist, Rachel has served as the local lead for Boulder Moms Demand Action to prevent gun violence, as Deputy Director of Digital Outreach for Colorado Resistance, and as Events Development Coordinator for Blue Rising. Rachel is currently co-director of South Boulder Creek Action Group.
Having done her homework on Boulder issues, Junie Joseph will bring a fresh perspective to Council. She believes that housing plays a major role in the forms of inequality seen and experienced in Boulder and advocates for greater housing opportunities. Junie’s goals also include improved transit options, championing social justice, better programming for the homeless, government efficiency, open space management and protecting the environment.
With an established record advocating for human rights in Colorado and internationally, Joseph has served with the United Nations, and locally on Boulder County’s Health and Human Services Citizen Panel Review and Community Corrections Board. She has degrees in political science, anthropology, and applied human rights, and is currently studying law at CU Boulder.
A leader in the community, Mark McIntyre currently serves on the Transportation Advisory Board where he advocated for safety and traffic calming on the North Broadway redevelopment project. After a strong, but unsuccessful bid in the 2017 City Council election, Mark was appointed to the Boulder Campaign Finance Working Group, creating what is now Boulder’s election finance code. While McIntyre’s top issues are housing, transportation, and open space, he has taken strong stands to promote social justice, increase economic vitality, and support CU South flood mitigation.
Mark has lived in Boulder for 42 years, attended CU, graduated with a B.F.A. and subsequently owned a business for 32 years.
For Bob Yates, transparency is the essence of good governance and, as a current member of Council, his regular updates on “how I voted and what I was thinking” sets the bar high. The top vote-getter in 2015, and as an incumbent Yates will be a popular candidate. He loves his community service work on Council and has been a strong advocate for sensible Open Space access, increasing housing opportunities, and supporting the arts and nonprofits in Boulder.
Bob, who retired from a successful career at age 50, has dedicated all his time to community service—as chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, co-chair of a capital investment strategy group, member of the boards of the Dairy Arts Center and the Colorado Chautauqua Association, committee chair for the Conference on World Affairs, and as a kindergarten reader for the YWCA’s Reading to End Racism program.
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