Larimer County Commissioner Candidate profile: Kristin Stephens (Democrat) Larimer County Commissioner District 2
By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor reached out to all 10 of the major-party candidates for Weld County Commissioner and all nine candidates for the open County Commissioner seats in Larimer County and prefaced four questions, outlined below. Due to space limitations in print and a desire to provide as much detailed information as possible to readers, the candidates’ responses to the questions will be posted verbatim here.
1. Can you please provide a brief history of your background, i.e. career/occupation, family, history in Colorado/Larimer County, etc., just some basic get-to-know-you information for our readers.
I grew up in a small town in Southern Colorado and moved to Larimer County to attend Colorado State University. I lived in Loveland for several years and moved to Fort Collins with my infant son about 28 years ago. I have raised all three of my children close to the foothills on the west side of Fort Collins. My parents taught me the value of giving back to the community, so my children and I have volunteered for many local nonprofits including the Food Bank of Larimer County, the Mother’s Center and Meals on Wheels. I have also been a Larimer County 4-H leader for the past 15 years. In 2015 I was elected to the Fort Collins City Council and am serving my second term as a Councilmember. Last year I was appointed as Mayor Pro Tem of the city and as Chair of the Poudre Fire Authority. I have had the pleasure of serving with Berthoud Mayor Will Karspeck on the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization where we work on transportation planning and air quality issues. Last year I was appointed as Vice Chair of the National League of Cities Human Development Committee and was asked to serve on the Joint Committee on Homelessness. It has been my great pleasure to serve my community, and I would be honored to serve as Larimer County Commissioner in District 2. For more information about me or my campaign please visit my website, kristinforlarimer.com or email me at [email protected]
2. What prompted you to run for Larimer County Commissioner District 2?
I am running for County Commissioner because we need a county wide approach to solve some serious regional issues that we are facing including affordable housing and childcare, economic health, and behavioral health and addiction. In addition, I would like to see the county be a leader on Climate Change and environmental issues. I have experience leading on these issues, and have built relationships with leaders at the local, state, and federal level. As we work to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, we need leaders who have led through crisis, and have experience with budgeting, policy making, and problem solving; I have this experience and am ready to lead our county on day one.
3. Can you please provide a brief outline of your political/ideological philosophy?
I am the Democratic candidate for Larimer County Commissioner in District 2. I grew up in a working-class family in a small town in Southern Colorado; my Dad was a steelworker and my Mom was a schoolteacher. My parents were also tireless volunteers and prepared meals and activities for homeless families in our community. My political philosophy really stems from their example. We need to take care of people and our environment, and we need a healthy economy. On City Council I have worked on affordable childcare, reduced utility rates for lower income households, Climate Change, and accessible loans for minority and women owned businesses. I am committed to working on equity and rooting out systemic racism at the city and county level; I will make sure we are listening to and working for all our residents.
4. What are the major issue(s) on which you want to focus your campaign and potential service as Larimer County Commissioner District 2?
One of the biggest challenges we need to grapple with in the next couple of years is recovery from the COVID pandemic. The pandemic has illuminated some serious gaps we have in our community, and I want to help individuals and small businesses that are struggling. I want to create Resilience Hubs around the county that help people access county administered services including SNAP benefits, childcare assistance, workforce training, small business loans, and mental health and addiction resources. I also plan to address Climate Change, sustainable growth, and environmental issues. I will work to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, institute smart land use planning, and work on community resiliency. Finally, I want to address transportation and infrastructure needs around the county including roads and bridges, but also work on transit options and high-speed broadband to connect our communities in a sustainable way. While we face a lot of challenges in the upcoming years, I am confident that I can help lead our county to a bright and prosperous future.
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