As I sit here reflecting on the blue wave that has come crashing over our country (particularly here in Colorado), I can’t help but think about what a whirlwind the past year has been. One year and a few days ago, I, along with two other progressive ladies, won my election in Aurora, CO. The 54th largest city in America, Aurora was represented by a Council that decidedly did not represent its relatively young and extremely diverse community. At the time, there were precisely zero Democrats and the average age was 65. But that all changed. Together, we flipped three seats and significantly reduced the average age by running as 20, 30, and 40-somethings. Since then, we’ve made quite the ruckus.
I won’t delve too much into the details (you can read the highlights here and watch a fun video recap of our entire race here), but I will say it’s been a wild ride. I’ve learned to navigate the politics of big oil, big development, and, well, big everything. But I didn’t run to represent those folks – I ran to represent people; people who worry about how they’ll make rent if they have an emergency, or who have student loans, or who have voices that have traditionally been silenced. We’ve had some wins (such as mitigating cancer risks in the fire department) and some losses (such as failing to join immigrant-friendly organizations, despite having the highest concentration of immigrants and refuges in the states), but I’ve learned that these losses are really just opportunities to find another path forward.
As I head into the second year of my four-year term, there are some things I’ll do the same, but there are also things I’ll do differently. One of them is that I’ll be much more active on The Book Wheel.
Now that I’m settled in and have a handle on time management (working full time while representing 375K+ constituents can be a tad difficult at times), I’ve realized how much I miss this space. For 5 years, The Book Wheel was my heart and soul, and without it, there’s a piece of joy missing from my personal life. Not only do I miss the books (or even knowing what the best new books are), I miss the community and camaraderie. Since I’ve been gone, some of you have published new books, gotten married, had babies, and so on, and I’m thrilled…. But if I’m being entirely honest, I’ve been experiencing some serious FOMO. So, as I wrap up my first year in office and head into the second, I plan to plant myself firmly back into the book world. I hope you’re all still here.
Now, sappiness aside, here are some photos from this past year. Please let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments.