When I was but a wee lad, a family friend asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” My response was that I wanted to be a duck. So far I have not achieved that goal. However, in 1994, I did become a Ram at Colorado State University, where I studied ecotourism and fell in love with Fort Collins.
After a few years away from town, I had the privilege of moving back in 2006 and creating a career in service to my community. Some of the highlights of my service include the following:
Community for Sustainable Energy
In 2006 I founded Community for Sustainable Energy (CforSE) to raise public awareness of local energy issues and organize support for sustainable energy solutions on the local level throughout Colorado. As the director of the local grassroots campaign, I work in coalition with other groups, manage the organization’s budget, lead campaigns, and direct canvassing. I particularly enjoy empowering people through canvassing. A conversation on a front porch can not only be inspirational for canvassers but also can provide life-changing information for citizens and organize support for social change. Justice Thurgood Marshall said, “…canvassing is a method of communication essential to the preservation of our free society.” The CforSE canvassers work hard to meet that responsibility.
Fort Collins Climate Action Plan Citizen Advisory Committee
I have been an active member of the CAPCAC, a group of citizens selected by City staff to advise them on climate policy. This group of about 20 citizens from diverse backgrounds has been convening since 2016. This committee has begun to make progress, particularly on recommendations for the City budget and in City engagement with the general public. There is still a lot of work to do and I plan to stay engaged as Councilperson.
CityWorks 101 is a ten-week course in which participants meet with various City departments and learn how the City works. Through this course, I have gained valuable insights into how those departments function and have begun to build relationships with key staff leadership. The head of the waste-water treatment plant and I even bounced a few ideas around for improvements to the plant.
I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and spent a great deal of my youth traveling the East Coast by boat with my family. Undoubtedly, the most influential experience of my childhood occurred when I was 13, and the family took a year to travel from the Great Lakes to Grenada. I was home schooled on the boat and learned more through our travels than I imagined at that time. Maybe most importantly that life is not governed by a strict set of rules but rather by creative thinking and bold actions.
After I graduated from Colorado State University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in ecotourism, I discovered the power of reaching fellow citizens and creating meaningful change through grassroots organizing. Concentrating on consumer and environmental campaigns, I worked from coast to coast. My most rewarding experience during this time (my 20s) was helping to rebuild and grow the Texas Campaign for the Environment from a small struggling office in Austin to the state’s strongest grassroots group with additional offices in Dallas and Houston. The organization has received national attention for consistently producing real grassroots victories and developing a new generation of environmental leaders.
To the Future
I look forward to representing the people of City Council District 6 and helping to steer Fort Collins into a more sustainable future: one with a healthy local economy, sound environmental policies, and fair social practices that enable everyone to pursue happiness and productivity within our community. You can learn more about my stance on the issues in this blog, throughout this website, and on Facebook.