After coming to Boulder many times to indulge my passion for rock climbing, my wife and I finally decided to move here. We made the move because we viewed Boulder as a unique place: a small, sophisticated city surrounded by unimaginably beautiful open space, and sitting at the base of the Rocky Mountains. It turns out to be one of the best decisions we ever made.
In my professional career, I have a detailed background in land use and housing issues, which I believe offer a valuable perspective for the many issues that come before Council. My interest in these issues goes way back. While a law student I worked part-time for a state representative organizing rent strikes on behalf of indigent tenants who were being deprived of essential services. As a real estate attorney I had the opportunity to represent private developers of low-income housing, and public benefit corporations (such as the Harlem Urban development Corporation) engaged in public/private development projects in New York City.
Ultimately, I became a real estate developer, which deepened my knowledge and experience in housing issues. My projects emphasized the repurposing of old commercial properties into modern residential structures. In fact, I am pleased to note that none of the urban projects on which I worked involved demolition of an existing structure to replace it with a new one. For both environmental and aesthetic reasons I always preferred to work with existing structures that could be brought back to life.
As any participant in the business can tell you, real estate development is generally an exercise in serial crisis management. How those crises are managed, and how the project is guided to conclusion, will determine either its success or failure. I believe those experiences have taught me how to deal with challenges and to exercise good judgment under pressure.
After moving to Boulder with my wife Joan, I became active in a number of local issues. In 2016 I was invited to serve on the Advisory Committee to the City Council on Development-Related Impact Fees. The purpose of these fees is to mitigate the impact on our infrastructure and housing needs generated by new commercial businesses, and as a result of the work of the Committee, such impact fees have been substantially raised in order to provide additional resources for affordable housing.
I have been involved in politics and public issues for a very long time. My involvement started with organizing in opposition to the Vietnam War. I also spent considerable time in working on voter registration efforts, including time spent in Mississippi on behalf of Charlie Evers (brother of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers), the first black man to run for statewide public office in Mississippi since Reconstruction. I also worked as a speechwriter for Senator Bill Bradley and other political candidates.
As stated earlier, I have been an avid rock climber for more than 40 years, a passion I have pursued with no visible talent, but with great enthusiasm. Climbing has brought me many deep friendships, provided a number of memorable experiences, and heightened my love and appreciation for our shared natural environment. I intend to continue climbing for as long as I am capable.
I won life’s lottery when I met my wife Joan (where else but climbing?) more than 30 years ago. We have been married for 22 years, and I am grateful for every day. As the saying goes, it is better to be lucky than to be good. I am a living example of the truth of that maxim.
My education consists of a BA from Yale University and a JD from Columbia University.
Elsewhere on this site is a list of some of those who have endorsed me. I am very grateful for their support, and a bit humbled by their confidence in me. I will do my best to deserve that support and to justify that confidence.