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Commentary: Marta Loachamin: County Commissioner candidate Elaina Shively gets results


By Marta Loachamin

I hope you will join me in supporting Elaina Shively for Boulder County Commissioner. As an elected official who knows this job and has been working at the courthouse, virtually, in a pandemic, during the Marshall Fire and prepping for another budget season and distribution of American Rescue Plan Act funding — I have a direct insight into what our 2,300 employees need and what projects will need support from our leadership team.

I’ve known Elaina from her work in the community. She shows up, fiercely advocates and lends a helpful hand. Her work in the District Attorney’s Office uniquely qualifies her to join us in the County Commissioners’ Office. She has led some of the most cutting-edge, effective programming in the state, addressing the underlying causes of crimes and keeping our community safe. She is an ally to historically excluded communities and leverages her position to ensure everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in the discussion.

Marta Loachamin (Marta Loachamin / Courtesy photo)
Marta Loachamin (Marta Loachamin / Courtesy photo)

As Boulder County looks toward some of our largest upcoming projects, I know Elaina’s expertise will complement our current leadership team, making us a highly effective board on behalf of Boulder County:

Mental health: Boulder County residents told us in a survey this spring that addressing mental and behavioral health challenges is one of their top priorities and needs. The implementation of Boulder County’s Behavioral Health Hub will provide an increase of significant services. Elaina has been at the table from the inception of the hub and will continue to be a strong advocate for mental health services in Boulder County. Her leadership in developing the state’s first mental health diversion program will be well-utilized in overseeing this new program.

Alternative sentencing facility: In 2018, Boulder County voters approved an extension of taxes to help modernize the Boulder County Jail and build an alternative sentencing facility. This new building and the programming in it are part of our continued commitment to mental health treatment, substance use treatment, and overall rehabilitation services, in a more effective manner. Commissioner oversight of this project is crucial for voter transparency, which Elaina’s background will allow to happen the most effectively.

Housing affordability: In the same spring survey, residents listed housing as their top concern. In order to address housing access and affordability in meaningful ways, we need county commissioners who will look at all options, finding unique, innovative solutions, which is what Elaina excels at. Paired with my background in housing and our office’s policy work, we will spearhead progress with the Regional Housing Partnership.

Climate action: Boulder County continues to be a leader in addressing climate change. Our office of Sustainability, Climate Action and Resilience has some of the best and brightest in the field, working to keep Boulder County on the forefront of action. What is needed in the next Boulder County Commissioner is somebody who believes in this work, empowers the staff team to do what they’re great at, and collaborates outside of our immediate community to encourage others to do the same. We cannot fix climate change as a county. We can make a real difference if we are able to be leaders at the Capitol and collaborate with our neighboring leaders, as Elaina has shown.

In addition to Elaina’s experience and successes, I’ve seen her come to the table with openness and willingness to listen. Her list of endorsers speaks to this; she has many people supporting her on opposite sides of issues. That’s because she is adept at listening to concerns and collaborating to find solutions or compromises that are able to help the most people.

A collaborative, community-oriented public servant will support the work of community engagement and building trust with local government at the County Commissioners’ Office. Please join me in voting for Elaina Shively for County Commissioner by this Tuesday, June 28.

Marta Loachamin is a Boulder County Commissioner, District 2, who is writing in her personal capacity. She previously worked in real estate, education and as a consultant.

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