There was a changing of the guard at the Boulder County Courthouse Tuesday that included the historic swearing-in of the first Latina to serve on the three-member board. KGNU’s Roz Brown says the virtual swearing-in followed last November’s election of two new county residents.
Claire Levy representing District 1 and Marta Loachamin for District 2 took their oaths of office remotely Tuesday, stepping into seats vacated by Elise Jones and Deb Gardner. Attorney Levy is the former executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and a former state legislator. In remarks following the swearing-in, Levy said government helps solve problems people cannot solve on their own.
“It can bring equitable access to services and address unmet needs that make us all better off, and that is perhaps more true of local government than any other level of government,” said Levy.
In addition, Levy said the county provides housing and human services to people whose incomes are not sufficient to meet their basic needs.
“It protects children from abuse and neglect and helps support families that are in crisis,” said Levy. “Now almost 11 months into COVID-19 with many facing food insecurity and eviction, we have an even more vivid reminder of how important local government is.”
Loachamin is the first Latina to be elected a Boulder County commissioner. Born in Ecuador, she has lived in Boulder County since the early 1990s. A former realtor, teacher, and community activist, Loachamin told a very personal story about why she wanted to serve the county.
“In 2011, I took my sons to live in Ecuador to strengthen us,” said Lochamin. “I remember driving by billboards and seeing women who looked just like me, they too had their own stories of leadership.”
Loachamin said she would advocate for Boulder County residents who feel unheard.
“I will ensure we’re accountable, and I will asking for a vote on establishing a racial equity office,” said Loachamin. “Being the first Latina county commissioner is my response to the hate in this country and to women who question how far they can go in their careers.”
Boulder County’s newest commissioners join Matt Jones who represents District 3 on the board. Jones will serve as chair of the board this year, while Loachamin will be vice-chair.
The swearing-in and state-of-the-state proceedings will be available at bouldercounty.org later his week.