Women Making Strides in County Commissions

Problems don’t follow county lines, so when four commissioners from four Northwest Colorado counties sat down to discuss issues, there were common themes: transportation, social concerns, labor and housing shortages. Another common denominator between them was the fact they were all women, signaling a growing trend in Western Colorado that women are moving up into political power. Invited to an Eagle County Democratic luncheon, newly elected Commissioners Sara Fisher from Eagle, Diane Mitsch Bush from Routt, Rachel Richards from Pitkin and re-elected Commissioner Tresi Houpt also had similar backgrounds: they had been activists in their communities.

Asked if their insight into problems differed because they were female, all disagreed and said their focus was no different than their male counterparts. However, their political leanings were definitely more progressive which made their search for solutions and willingness to work together more ardent.

In their own words, Commissioners Fisher, Houpt, Richards and Bush highlight the top three issues facing their counties:

Another question was posed about how counties work together and could there be more cooperation. The four commissioners responded:

No longer content to stay in the background and willing to juggle families and set aside careers, women are being enticed into politics more than ever. Their grasp of the issues and search for solutions, as evident by these four lady commissioners, may prove the trend will increase for the 2008 elections.

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