What year(s) did you march in the Blue Knights?
3rd Soprano bugle!
Where did you attend high school?
Cañon City High School
Education beyond high school?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Fort Lewis College in Durango.
What is your current occupation?
I work for the Colorado Department of Transportation as a Policy Analyst and a Local Government Liaison. Prior to that I worked on Capitol Hill in Washington and in Colorado as a Congressional Aide. I’m also a candidate for Denver City Council (read more).
Why did you choose to march with Blue Knights?
My older brother marched with The Cadets in 1990 and I wanted to share in the experience.
What is your favorite drum corps memory?
There are so many moments to highlight. The relationships, the fun, the challenge, the days when you feel like you’re in boot camp… they’re all meaningful memories. When 128 people are working together to deliver the best performance they can under lights, surrounded by echos of horns and drums, the buzz of the crowd, the smell of the grass and sweat… it’s the best. Those moments when you can hear a pin-drop during a brief rest in the middle of a ballad or after some rifles are tossed in the air really stick with me, too. I wish I could find a way to replicate the feeling of hearing a hornline during warmups at full blast- but there’s literally no way to do it without experiencing it live. I guess that’s why I look forward to at least a show every year-to relive the memories and to salute the young people who have such a commitment to excellence.
How did your experience with Blue Knights benefit you in your chosen profession?
One of the most important nuances of the Drum Corps experience is that most of the participants are coming-of-age. They’re figuring out who they are. Hormones are raging. Emotional self-control and discipline is challenged. I was challenged that summer in a way I had never been. There were times when our section felt like the red-headed stepchildren of the corps, but we figured out ways to take pride in who we were and what we did. We figured out how to contribute. We valued our place in the organization while sometimes carrying a chip on our shoulders. All us of were some of the best musicians coming out of our high school programs, and we were suddenly in the position where we had to learn less about standing out and more about being a cohesive unit. Our section was incredibly close because of it. We felt connected as Blue Knights to everyone, but we were especially dedicated to each other and looked closely after one another.
It’s obvious to highlight the benefits of teamwork, reaching for excellence, and esprit de corps. It can be more difficult to talk about how you had to run extra laps because you were acting like a fool to get some girl’s attention, or how you got cornered by older members who thought you were too unruly. For me these challenges are microcosms of what we deal with in adult life, on a grander scale, and from inverse perspectives. Sometimes you’re the kid who has to run laps, sometimes you’re the one dolling out the punishment, sometimes you’re just watching and trying to survive. I felt a great transformation between the beginning of the season and finals night. I am forever grateful for that experience. To this day, there isn’t a drum corps show that doesn’t make me tear up a little.
My experiences with the Denver Blue Knights taught me that moments of success can be achieved with sweat and discipline, but moments of greatness require love for the art. If you can’t find the love for something you’re working hard on, you might want to consider working on something else!
Why are you running for City Council in Denver and what do you hope to accomplish?
I’m running for City Council because I want my daughter, Rosemary, and her peers to grow up in a diverse, sustainable, and dynamic city. The City Council plays an important role in shaping Denver’s neighborhoods into vibrant areas with multimodal transportation access, universally accessible parks and recreation, thriving artistic and cultural resources, and bustling local business districts. I want to put my diverse experience in collaborating with communities across the state at every level of government to work for the benefit of all of Denver’s citizens.
As an aide to two U.S. Representatives from Colorado – Ed Perlmutter & John Salazar – I’ve worked across the state and in Washington to encourage partnerships, unify community voices, and develop policies to increase investments in public infrastructure, while preserving our most precious resources. Today, as a transportation professional, I work with Colorado communities to develop bicycle and pedestrian projects, road and bridge projects, and create greater access to a more robust public transit system.
As our city grows, we have to find progressive avenues to adapt and become a city of the future. We can’t be afraid of the negative aspects of growth. Rather, we should mitigate them and use growth as an opportunity to reinvest in our city’s infrastructure, with special emphasis on our transportation system. Roads are becoming more congested every day, and this will likely never get any better. The only way to provide for the mobility needs of Denver’s future is to make substantial new investments in public transit and connectivity infrastructure. Coupled with this is the need for new housing options, but affordable and attainable. I hope to help guide development along our transit corridors to ease the impact on our transportation system and incentivize the development of for-sale units. I also hope to help facilitate a new conversation about new revenue streams for affordable housing.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We finally bought our Drums Along the Rockies tickets early this year and are jazzed to sit in the “good” seats. I’m looking forward to seeing some folks there and to a great show! GO BK!