Environmentalist Elise Jones Runs For Boulder County Commissioner


Elise Jones, a figurehead of the environmentalist movement in the state, is now running for Boulder County Commissioner this November as a single-issue candidate. Jones is looking to transition from her current, longstanding position as head of the Colorado Environmental Coalition (CEC) into elected office for the first time, using the banner of energy and environmentalism as her principal cause.

In the primary, Jones brought in over half of her campaign money from environmentalist groups and their employees. TRACER records reveal that of the $52,000 she has raised, nearly $27,000 of that is from green issue supporters.

Jones’ single-issue focus is confirmed by her campaign material and website. On the “Issues” page of her site, Jones lists five focuses: Clean Energy and Climate, Open Space, No Fracking, No Drilling, and Transportation – all of which revolve around the environmentalist agenda. Her “Experience” and “Story” page reiterate the one focus she believes Boulder County needs to have: “That means preserving the remarkable open spaces and natural beauty that distinguish our county, ensuring that basic needs are met for all Boulder County residents, promoting land use policies that protect the character of our rural areas while fostering vibrant communities, and protecting the quality of our air and water.”

While Boulder Commissioner is local county seat, Jones has received the early, strong backing of a number of key players on the left in Colorado including statewide names like Jared Polis and Bill Ritter, as well as rising Democrat state representatives Matt Jones and Clare Levy. Her work as an environmentalist leader and activist has also won her the attention of groups like BlueFlower Fund, a liberal group that was just shown to have regular “failure to file” reports with the Secretary of State’s office, and the Sierra Club, a big proponent of the Roadless Rule that affected recent fire mitigation efforts throughout Colorado. Jones’ personal contributions show her also donating money to both Sierra Club and BlueFlower Fund on a regular basis.

Jones’ own Colorado Environmental Coalition was at the forefront of efforts to keep federal Roadless Rules intact throughout the state. She also posted a link on her personal Facebook page to a report which blamed fires like those in High Park and Waldo Canyon on global warming and climate change, essentially writing off any possibility of bad policy, lack of water roads, or underbrush clearing rules.

During her time as Director of CEC, the group’s nonprofit financial rating was downgraded to two out of four stars by Charity Navigator, a national nonprofit watchdog. CEC’s financial management score was 43 point out of a possible 70.

Jones is holding a joint fundraiser at her home this evening with the Colorado Conservation Voters network. The lists of hosts include all the big names of the state’s shared environmental network, as investigated by MediaTrackers earlier this week. At her last fundraiser in June, Jones’ appeal to her supporters was to help her “make history” by electing her in order that Boulder County could be home of the first all-female Commissioner board in the state.

The general election is November 6th. Jones is now running uncontested.

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