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 worked in the courthouse, virtually, in a pandemic, during the Marshall fire and preparing for another budget season and distribution of American Rescue Plan Act funding – I have direct insight into what our 2,300 employees need and what projects will need support from our leadership team.

I knew Elaina for her work in the community. She shows up, fiercely defends 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 state’s most forward-thinking and effective programs, tackling the underlying causes of crime 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)

As Boulder County considers some of our biggest upcoming projects, I know that Elaina’s expertise will complement our current leadership team, making us a very 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 issues is one of their top priorities and needs. The implementation of the Boulder County Behavioral Health Center will provide a significant increase in services. Elaina has been at the table since the hub’s inception and will continue to be a strong advocate for mental health services in Boulder County. His leadership in developing the state’s first mental health diversion program will be well used to oversee this new program.

Establishment of alternative sentences: In 2018, Boulder County voters approved a tax extension to help upgrade the Boulder County Jail and build an alternative sentencing facility. This new building and the programming within it is part of our ongoing commitment to providing mental health treatment, addiction treatment, and general rehabilitation services more effectively. The Commissioner’s oversight of this project is crucial to voter transparency, which Elaina’s track record will most effectively achieve.

Housing affordability: In the same spring survey, residents listed housing as their top concern. In order to address housing access and affordability in a meaningful way, we need County Commissioners who will look at all options, finding unique and innovative solutions, which is what Elaina excels at. In addition to my experience in housing and the policy work of our office, we will spearhead progress with the Regional Housing Partnership.

Climate action: Boulder County continues to be a leader in the fight against climate change. Our Office of Sustainability, Climate Action and Resilience is home to some of the best and brightest in the business, working to keep Boulder County at the forefront of action. What the next Boulder County Commissioner needs is someone who believes in this work, empowers the staff team to do what they are 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 on Capitol Hill and collaborate with our neighboring leaders, as Elaina has shown.

In addition to Elaina’s experience and successes, I have seen her come to the table with an open mind and a willingness to listen. His list of endorsers speaks of it; she has a lot of people supporting her on opposite sides of the issues. This is because she is adept at listening to concerns and collaborating to find solutions or compromises that can help the most people.

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

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

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