When the Colorado Municipal League asks members of the General Assembly to “keep local control local and home rule at home,” cities and towns can rest assured there are at least twelve legislators that know exactly what it means.
Former municipal elected officials make up over ten percent of the 71st General Assembly, with several holding key leadership positions and committee chairs. CML already noted the significance of the selection by his peers of former Cañon City councilmember Kevin Grantham to lead the Senate as its president. It has been 96 years since the Senate President has been a former municipal elected official!
Also in the Senate, Sen. Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, was a councilmember in Pueblo, Colorado before coming to the statehouse. His caucus peers in the Senate selected him as assistant minority leader to back up Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, D-Denver. Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, also picked up a key committee assignment in his freshman year by being appointed to the powerful Joint Budget Committee.
In the House of Representatives, two significant leadership positions are occupied by former municipal elected officials. House Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder, was a councilwoman in Boulder prior to being elected to the General Assembly, and her district includes many rural mountain towns. House Minority Caucus Chair Lori Saine, R-Dacono, was a councilmember in Dacono.
Finally, the chairs of the House and Senate Local Government Committees are former city councilmembers…both from the City of Thornton! Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton, and Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, are both prime sponsors of legislation supported by CML and are key allies on municipal issues.
Individually and as a group, the twelve former municipal elected officials are critical connections in the General Assembly for Colorado municipalities. While the League could not reasonably expect them all to vote with CML 100% of the time, we do believe that our advocacy team and municipal officials will be understood when we speak to them about impacts of legislation on municipalities. These twelve have talked the talk and walked the walk.
CML encourages our members to reach out to each of these members, regardless of whether or not their districts happen to cover a member municipality. The senators and representatives are, unofficially, a “municipal caucus” that cities and towns should keep updated on municipal issues, trends, requests, concerns, and celebrations. They understand the jobs that municipal elected officials have, and they want to hear what you are doing in your community.
In the future, perhaps CML can organize an official “Municipal Caucus of the General Assembly” with the cooperation of those that have previously served in a local elected office. The League is grateful to have them in the statehouse and thanks them all for their service.
Former municipal officials in the Colorado Senate
- President Kevin Grantham, R-Cañon City
- Sen. Kerry Donovan, D-Vail
- Asst. Minority Leader Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo
- Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton
- Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City
- Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada
Former municipal officials in the Colorado House of Representatives
- Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder
- Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain
- Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton
- Rep. Hugh McKean, R-Loveland
- Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono
- Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster