Susan was raised to believe that,
“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
We all have circumstances that make life challenging at times, and Susan believes that it is our calling, as a community, to help out others in time of need and to stand up for those who might be less fortunate, as well as those who have had a different background or life experience.
Susan studied engineering in the mid 1970’s, a time when there were no working women’s bathrooms in the Engineering Building at her alma mater, Michigan State. She has spent her career in engineering and hi-tech, where she had plenty of first-hand experience of what it’s like to be different, and the importance of standing up for that difference.
One example of Susan standing up for Social Justice was her fight to make sure disadvantaged kids in one Boulder school were getting their fair share. Susan’s son Lucas attended their neighborhood school, Columbine Elementary, from 1998-2004. Columbine was designed to foster second language learning. During the time that Lucas spent there, the demographics of the school changed from a student base that was very diverse, to one that was primarily Spanish speaking. When the proportion of primary Spanish speakers reached about 40%, many primary English speaking families in the neighborhood decided to put their students in other Boulder schools further exacerbating the school’s challenges. Overtime, Columbine attracted an overwhelming percentage of disadvantaged kids, as measured by their participation in the free and reduced lunch program. When Susan and other concerned parents learned that Colorado state subsidies were being evenly distributed across all BVSD schools, she worked with the school district to change the rules to ensure that subsidies would be divided between schools based upon the proportion of kids-in-need at the school. For Columbine Elementary and its families, this made a huge difference in funding for the school.
Susan worked with the school district to change the rules to ensure that subsidies would be divided between schools based upon the proportion of kids-in-need.
It’s no accident that Susan’s campaign color is green, as green is the color of the heart chakra. Susan has exceled at heart based leadership, leading many teams to being their best selves. It is part and parcel of who she would be on City Council.
Social Justice's Relationship to:
Managed Growth, Less Traffic: Providing low cost mass transportation for our workforce makes getting to work more equitable, as does spreading our prosperity throughout the region.
Climate Action: Climate change and its impacts are seriously far reaching, see “Why Climate Change Is an Issue of Social Justice.”
Housing Diversity: Moderating market forces with good planning policies is required to provide an even more inclusive community. Integrating a variety of housing stock is good for community. Preservation of neighborhood character and our mountain views is good for everyone’s soul.
Open Space: The fact that Open Space and our Mountain Views are available to all who visit or live in Boulder is a great demonstration of preserving a community asset and making it available to all, regardless of race, economic strata or beliefs.
Healthy Business: Providing a variety of jobs, for a variety of skill sets an levels of education is an important part of a healthy business community.
Arts and Culture: The Arts offer us all a way to speak the same language and can often provide perspective that is difficult to put into words. Experiencing one another’s cultures through artistic expression is an important part of the fabric of our City.
Susan supports the Boulder Arts Commission and the Office of Arts and Culture adoption of the Americans for the Arts Statement on Cultural Equity and will take steps to align the work of cultural affairs to these principles:
“To support a full creative life for all, we commit to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable nation.”
Good Governance: Putting policies in place that serve and protect all people equally is one of the primary functions of good governance.