Democrat in the Spotlight: Ellen Burnes

Name: Ellen Burnes

City:  Longmont

Brief bio: I've been an active Democrat in Pennsylvania, Texas Oregon, and Colorado. My first demonstration was 1986 when students built and personed a Shanty on our campus in 1987....our school divested from South Africa!

I have a Ph.D. Natural Resource Economics, an MBA, and a BA in German. I'm Currently a Professor in the Department of Finance and Real Estate at CSU, and I've worked in Australia, New Zealand and Abu Dhabi.

I enjoy long distance trail running. My favorite is the 50K race. I'm also avid mountain biker.

What made you first register as a democrat?

I knew since before I was 18 that I believed in the platform of the Democratic Party.

What progressive groups are you a part of? 

I'm on the board of Democratic Women of Boulder County and President of the Longmont Area Democrats. I'm a member of the BoCo Dems Executive Committe and am on the Policy and Education Committee of the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA). I'm also a Crew Leader at Community Food Share and a member of the Board and Finance Committee of the Association of Community Living (the ARC).

What issues are you working hardest on now? Why? 

In light of our current administration, I've doubled down working on women's engagement in politics and leadership roles and immigration policy. 

I believe in standing with and speaking out for the entire community. Our immigrant/refugee communities are at risk and vulnerable.  The current policy and ad hoc actions of this administration are unacceptable.

We need more women confidently entering politics and leadership.  Young women continue to doubt their voice, despite demonstrating technical, social and analytic promise.  Violence against women continues to create an achievement void that inclusion policies will not cross unless we directly address it.

What has been the most rewarding part of your work as president of LAD? 

Longmont is a passionate, connected community.  I love learning more about the deep caring and range of our LAD members, and Longmont.

What do you recommend to people feeling defeated in the face of President Trump? How can we all stay motivated? 

I stay motivated by remembering that standing up to the President is a marathon, and I will not fix it all.  However, my voice is strong and important.  I will continue to focus on speaking out and taking action on the issues most important to me, educating others, and being a role model for engagement.  Each baby step any of us can take is part of a huge, growing and effective whole. I stay inspired by what I am doing to demonstrate and continue to create the Community and Country I know -- what will take the place of him, other Republicans and policies that are neither tenable nor lasting.

In the news...

What's new in Washington: 

  1. Senator Michael Bennet spoke out this week, calling on the Trump administration to stop ignoring science.

  2. Andy Puzder has withdrawn his nomination for Secretary of Labor. He was one of the President’s most controversial nominations -- four republicans were planning to vote against him amid accusations of violent spousal abuse, misogynistic business practices, and advocating against fair labor standards.

  3. An AP report suggests that President Trump is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up undocumented immigrants. The president has denied these reports.

Colorado Updates: 

  1. Former republican member of the Colorado House of Representatives, Victor Mitchell, threw his hat in the 2018 Gubernatorial ring. In an interview with the Denver Post, he talks about why he couldn’t bring himself to vote for President Trump.

  2. Boulder Senator Steve Fenberg has introduced a bill to prohibit utilities from charging discriminatory or burdensome fees on customers who want to install electricity storage systems.

  3. Boulder Representative Edie Hooton introduced her first House Bill 17-1015, which would clarify how inmates serving sentences in Colorado's county jails can earn "good-time" reductions in their jail sentences.

  4. • Longmont Democratic Rep. Jonathan Singer's House Bill 1026 would give a homeowner who has taken out a reverse mortgage a longer period of protection against a lender's mandatory foreclosure proceedings after the home has been rendered uninhabitable because of a natural disaster such as a flood or fire.

  5. Representative Mike Foote's House Bill 17-1040 would allow judges to authorize law enforcement agencies to wiretap or electronically eavesdrop on communications during investigations of possible trafficking of humans for involuntary or sexual servitude.

  6. Senator Matt Jones' Senate Bill 17-34 would extend the number of years in which Colorado counties can shift money from their budgets' general funds into their road and bridge accounts to pay for recovery and repair work after state-declared disasters such as floods.

Boulder County Happenings: 

  1. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is suing Boulder County over its ban on accepting oil and gas permit applications.