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Tuesday November 19th 2019

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Micah Parkin, a Fresh Face in Boulder Politics


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This is the ninth in a series of candidate profiles written by students in Instructor Jeff Browne’s CU News Corps course at CU-Boulder. Lauren is studying for her master’s in journalism at CU-Boulder. She graduated from CU in 2011 with degrees in broadcast journalism, film studies, and international media. Maslen has lived, worked and studied internationally, most recently in Seoul, South Korea.


Candidate Micah Parkin (photo from Facebook)

Not many women can truly take on the role of supermom, but City Council candidate Micah Parkin seems to do a good job. “When you’re a mother, you learn to multitask,” Parkin said as we stood in the middle of the Boulder Farmer’s Market with her two daughters.

On a typical fall Saturday in Boulder, Parkin, friends, family, and supporters geared up for Moms for Micah. In support of the candidate’s campaign, they came prepared with bicycles, balloons, and a message to share with their community: Micah Parkin is Boulder.

The event took the group from Boulder Farmer’s Market to Mountain Goat Dairy, a local goat farm the family works with. It was exemplary of Parkin’s campaign: eco-conscious, local community support.

A background in sustainability

Parkin originally hails from New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, she moved her family to Boulder, in search of a safe city with high ideals.

As executive director of 350colorado.org, an environmental group that focuses on fossil fuel divestment campaigns, the candidate has worked at the county and city level in clean and renewable energy advocacy and politics.

She is a strong advocate of increasing Boulder’s renewable energy portfolio. The profits from Xcel Energy should be kept in Boulder, she said. Parkin wants to implement a year-round farmer’s market, increase the supply of food from local sources, and integrate the Bridge House’s Ready-to-Work program to create community gardens and food forests where the city already invests money into the landscape.

As a mother of two young daughters, Parkin plays it straight when it comes to environmental issues. It’s important not just for us right now, but for future generations, for our children, she said.

Future generations matter now

Parkin’s focus is not just on renewable resources though—she is invested in all aspects of future generations. Diversity enhances Boulder, she said. Her children attend a school known for its majority enrollment of non-native English speakers. “When you test these students in their native language, they thrive,” Parkin said. She said the teachers are excellent and her children learn an hour and a half of Spanish per day. “I started taking lessons a couple years ago and their accents are better than mine. Kids just absorb everything. It’s good to start them young.”

Parkin and her family (from micahforcitycouncil.com)

Parkin says that with Boulder’s 25 percent minority population, we need to pay attention to the diversity of the city and represent it in a way it deserves, particularly in education.

When reached for comment, some Boulder voters were unsure of Parkin, as she is new to Boulder politics. They questioned her “lack of experience.” Parkin, however, said that she has over 12 years of experience working in renewable energy and policy making. If elected, she said she would be the only mother with young children on City Council—a fact not to go unnoticed in a city where the average age is under 30 and close to 20 percent of households have children.

“Previous Mayor Susan Osborne once said that I exemplify many of the values that Boulderites hold dear,” said Parkin. With her unwavering focus on clean, renewable energy, a full spectrum of support for her community and local resources, and a keen eye for future generations, Parkin certainly knows where her priorities and values lie.

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