Application for Congressional Commission for Britta Elise Monson Fisher

Contact Information

Full Name

Britta Elise Monson Fisher

Other Names
Britta Fisher, Britta Elise Monson

Eligible for commission

eligible

Party Affiliation

Unafffiliated

Occupation

Chief Housing Officer and Executive Director, Department of Housing Stability, City & County of Denver

Educational Background

I have a B.A. in Communication from Wartburg College.

Zip Code

80002

Congressional District
7

Background

Past Political Activity

Colorado campaign and political activity: Volunteered with and donated to Denver Makes a Difference in 2020 supporting issue 2E to reduce homelessness in Denver. Donated to Hickenlooper for Colorado for US Senate in 2020. Volunteered with and donated to Hancock for Denver in Denver mayoral race in 2019. Donated to Val Beck and Rachel Hultin for Wheat Ridge City Council races in 2019. Donated to Faith Winter in Colorado Senate District 24 race in 2018. Volunteered with and donated to YES Wheat Ridge in 2016 supporting local ballot measure 2E for infrastructure projects in Wheat Ridge. Donated to Faith Winter in Colorado House District 35 race in 2016. Volunteered with and donated to Colorado Housing Champions in 2016, a small donor committee.

List of Political and Civic Organizations belonged to

Colorado State Housing Board, appointed to represent the 7th Congressional District, Chair, Vice Chair and Member 2012-2020 RTD Code of Conduct Advisory Board 2020 High Cost Cities Housing Forum, Chair and member 2018-2020 Housing Colorado, member and Legislative Committee member Mothers Advocating for Affordable Housing All In Denver Leadership Jefferson County State Day Committee Wheat Ridge Optimist Club Rainbow Ridge Homeowner Association Arvada Covenant Church Classroom speaker and parent in Jefferson County Public Schools

Organization and Advocacy Experience

I have lived in Colorado for 20 years. I started by living in an intentional community where all residents of the program served as full-time volunteers in Denver. My experience supporting participants in programs for food assistance and basic services informed my interest in public policy and informed decisions that serve, respect, and represent all residents of our community. In my work and leadership through Housing Justice and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, I traveled to most cities, towns and counties in our state. I organized in faith communities to inform and equip people of faith as advocates for affordable housing and for our neighbors who need housing stability. I worked with school districts, county and city leaders across the state to inform and educate on fair housing laws, organized in rural and frontier communities to support women’s health, and communicated with as many communities and residents as possible to understand, inform and shape public policies that moved us toward better health and increased housing stability in our state. Specifically, I have served as Chair of the Colorado Housing Investment Fund Coalition where I supported the growth of the organization from a couple dozen to more than 200 organizational supporters and hundreds of individual supporters. My role was to help facilitate constructive conversations that shaped our proposal to fund affordable housing throughout Colorado in a way that served all contexts and communities in Colorado. There were a variety of opinions, needs, economic factors, and people to serve. Many of my skills in bringing people together around common purpose, finding compromises, and articulating policies that are flexible to support needs in the variety of communities throughout Colorado were honed in this experience. I participated in community forums in gyms, county courthouses, community rec centers, schools, faith communities, nonprofits, and businesses in congressional districts across the state. This is how I discovered many of my favorite cafes, mountain passes, and county roads in Colorado. This is also how I got to know more intimately the flavors of government and economic conditions that vary from our plains, to our rural resort towns, to our ranching and mining and extraction areas, to our suburbs and urban centers. I was in the 2009-2010 class of Leadership Jefferson County. We looked in depth at policy areas and government functions in the county. After graduating, I continued as a volunteer with the State Day Committee, where we plan and support the current class on the day they dive into State Government. These experiences have led to lasting relationships across the county and with the West Metro Chamber. My most similar commission experience was in serving on the State Housing Board representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. I served as a member, then Vice Chair, and finally Chair in my eight years and two terms on the board. We carefully considered many complex investments, regulations and rules, and complicated matters. We worked together as a diverse body with balanced political affiliation and made considered decisions and recommendations. On almost all matters we worked to consensus and hammered out to agreement. I can only remember less than a handful of votes that were split decisions. I presided over meetings and public hearings. Our environment was always respectful and collegial even when matters were complicated and passionate views were expressed. My most recent experience was on the Advisory Committee revising the Code of Conduct for the Regional Transportation District. This committee met for several months this spring and summer and was conducted virtually. There were complexities, legalities, and a variety of opinions. I asked questions that grew insight for the body and utilized my representation as a mom living in the suburbs and traveling the system for commutes and recreation to give insights. We waded through considerations for customers and employees, as well as organizations, persons experiencing homelessness, and the community at large, and considered equity as we worked through the material. We came to compromises and worked out a unanimous recommendation that was ultimately approved by the board.

Statement

I believe strongly in the democratic process, in public service, and that representation matters. The redistricting commission’s work is critical to our democratic republic, and how it is conducted must be done with transparency, accountability and respect for all Coloradans. I believe in our state, value our communities in every corner, and believe I can bring value and experience to the redistricting commission. I am fairly moderate in my political views and am used to working through the passions brought by more strongly conservative or liberal views. I am experienced in interpreting complex data and skilled in asking questions that clarify particulars and gaps. I keep focused on our purpose, our commitment to our community, and how we can contribute to a process that allows all to be heard, where those with the least resources and access are sought out, that is respectful, and comes to a conclusion that works for all of Colorado. Finally, I am a mom of three young children living in a multi-generational household in the suburbs. I was born and raised in a rural farming community that strongly formed my values, I have lived in and currently work in our state’s largest urban center. I have travelled to nearly every county and town in Colorado. The outcomes from the redistricting commission are crucial in how we value all Coloradans. I am an experienced representative of my congressional district and a committed community member. It would be an honor and a pleasure to serve Colorado in this way.

Statement on Working with Consensus

I have been appointed by both Republican and Democratic governors to panels, boards and commissions that have served our state. I have never been affiliated with a political party in Colorado. My years of experience have demonstrated that I am a calm and steady presence in complex processes. I will consistently show up and keep my commitments. I believe I was absent for only one meeting in two terms on the State Housing Board, while birthing three children and being fully employed. I have found being approachable, building individual relationships, and being steady and consistent have been important to building trust and creating agreement in any body. I will ask respectful questions and articulate why I support a particular approach. That said, I am persuadable and open to being shaped by the experience of my colleagues as well as the presented information. I will articulate why I found something persuasive and this transparency has contributed to consensus building in the past. While any conflict of interest is not apparent to me, I would disclose if one arose. I have been found fair and impartial in my previous board and commission experiences.

Relevant Analytic Skills for Commission

I have always been an excellent student. I do my homework and come prepared for discussion. I have written many logic models and was a college debater capable of writing up any argument. I find it useful to write the argument or logic flow down to better understand perspectives that differ from my own. It helps me dispassionately evaluate where I could learn or improve the logic of the argument, including my own. I am very capable in articulating the logic and reason I am applying to a problem.

Demographics

Racial categories the applicant identifies with:
Caucasian
Applicant identifies with the following gender

female