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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Wheat Ridge City Council District II

Voters of Wheat Ridge will be electing one City Council Members for each District. The City of Wheat Ridge functions within a Council-Manager form of government. Wheat Ridge City Council has eight members elected to represent the citizens of Wheat Ridge who are responsible for: Representing the citizens of Wheat Ridge; The Adoption of Ordinances and Resolutions or rules for the City; Determining City policies; Securing and sustaining public improvements such as streets and sidewalks; Superintending the expenditures of money; Establishing property tax and fees; Approving various City contracts; and, Designating members of City boards, commissions and committees. All municpal races are run as nonpartisan.

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  • Candidate picture

    Rachel Hultin
    (NP)

  • Brandy Zamudio
    (NP)

Biographical Information

In your opinion, what makes the City of Wheat Ridge a ‘great place’ to live?

What do you see as the major issue facing Wheat Ridge and what do you think the solution is?

What changes, if any, would you like to see concerning how the city is run?

Why are you running for city council?

Background I am the founder and principal of Yes Plan Do!, a community engagement firm focused on inspired input for impactful outcomes. My previous work experience includes transportation, nonprofit work, advocating for safe streets, healthy community programming, planning, and helping hundreds of people find the right community to buy a home. Most of my life, I have run my own business. In 2014, I started Wheaties Academy, a grassroots leadership program of Localworks which provided community members with the inspiration and skills to turn ideas into action from the ground up. Wheaties Academy has 46 graduates from three cohorts, many of whom serve on boards, commissions and even city council. I also started Pints & Policy to connect people with valuable information about local civics so people could be more involved. I’ve served on the Board of Localworks and on the Partners in Progress committee. I am a founding officer of the Wheat Ridge Active Transportation Advisory. We advocate to improve safe access to walking, biking and transit for all residents in Wheat Ridge. I have been awarded the Wheat Ridge City Council Partner of the Year Award three times for three different areas of involvement in our city. The most valuable insight I will bring to council comes from co-chairing for the recent update to the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. Along with 25 other Steering Committee members, I spent the last year engaging our entire community in a dialogue to answer the question: What does Wheat Ridge need to get right to be the best version of itself over the next 10 years? Over the course of 11 months we participated in over 30 meetings, solicited over 1500 points of community input. Co-chairing the NRS allowed me to learn more about our city and what our neighbors care about so I can be a champion for our quiet neighborhoods and for our vibrant corridors. I have an 8th grade son in JeffCo Public Schools; I’m a huge fan of public art and would like to support our city in becoming more diverse and engaged around the arts; I’m involved in climate security advocacy and champion for sustainability; I am a dedicated companion to two rescue mutts; I love/hate my garden; I hop on a plane to travel somewhere new every chance I get; and I can’t say no to binge-watching SciFi.
Contact e-mail wheatridgeproud@gmail.com
Contact phone 720-464-7446
A friend who moved here from Highlands Ranch once said: Wheat Ridge is both more urban and more rural than other suburbs. She captured the uniqueness of our city and I believe it is exactly why Wheat Ridge is a great place to live. We enjoy small town character and qualities plus we are adjacent to the lifestyle amenities we desire. I can ride my bike on the Clear Creek Trail to 5 Fridges Farm or to Lucky’s Market or to the Rec Center. Young’s Garden Market and Walgreens are both within walking distance of my house. Many of my neighbors have lived here for decades, if not generations. My new neighbors are equally smitten. The uniqueness of Wheat Ridge attracts wonderful people who are the core of our community. Moving forward, we need to find a way to preserve the small town while investing in our corridors. We need to work together to maintain flexibility and standards so we can have civic pride and still be a bit quirky.
Like neighboring cities, Wheat Ridge is grappling with regional growth pressures. Our location is attractive for people who enjoy the small town feel with easy access to the mountains, downtown and local amenities. Rather becoming pro-growth or anti-growth, I believe Wheat Ridge needs to support Authentic Growth in which investments in our city are also investments for our citizens. I co-chaired the 2019 Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy which provides an effective road map with tools for neighbors and neighborhoods to evaluate the merits of proposed projects earlier in the process. The NRS also lays the foundations for neighborhoods to identify assets, needs and concerns ahead of proposals, creating a more predictable environment for everyone. Finding a balance to attract quality development on our corridors while preserving our neighborhoods isn't easy but it can be done with communication and neighborhood involvement which is why I will host monthly District 2 meetings.
Implementing the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy recommendation to “build neighborhood capacity to guide neighborhood change” is critical in order to effectively achieve Authentic Growth. Start by empowering neighbors to identify what is unique to their neighborhood, what they prefer to retain and what type of investments they hope to see happen. Also, many current city policies are clear about what changes and investments the city wants to see happen but these policies are often silent when it comes to what to preserve. I’ve learned that Wheat Ridge values air, land, water, trees, open space and historic buildings. Updating our policies to preserve these attributes will help guide best practices for reinvestment in the community. Cultivating “ambient engagement” will keep people informed and connect them with opportunities to engage with minor and major issues. Lastly, I’d like to develop a Citywide Traffic Management program to improve safety and congestion on all our streets.
I am running to serve District 2 on City Council because I think Wheat Ridge is wonderful. I’m excited about where our city is today and even more excited about what’s next. As a 4th generation Colorado native, I have deep roots. But it wasn’t until moving to Wheat Ridge in 2012 that I experienced the call to step up and serve my community. I wanted to keep it special. I've worked hard to understand our city’s unique heritage so I can continue to work hard to be a steward of its future. My background in transportation and land use gives me the right skills and experience to tackle our city’s biggest challenges and to create bigger opportunities. As the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy co-chair, I spent a year asking 1,500+ neighbors: What does Wheat Ridge need to get right to be the best version of itself? The answer was clear: be a champion for our quiet neighborhoods and for our vibrant corridors. I’m ready to work together to be that champion and keep Wheat Ridge wonderful.
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