Pierce F. Simon Jr.
Bachelor's of Arts and Liberal Studies - University of Delaware (emphasis on Political Science, Communications and American History)j
State Senator Rachel Zenzinger Candidate Diane Mitsch Bush; Colorado Third Congressional District U.S. Senate Candiates Jamie Harrison, South Carolina; M.J. Hegar, Texas; Mark Kelly, Arizona; Cal Cunningham, North Carolina; Theresa Greenfield, Iowa
Arvada Arts and Culture Commission (2015 to present) Volunteer announcer, KUVO-FM, Denver (1998 - 2018)
As a Board Member and Secretary of the Arvada Arts and Culture Commission, I participate in activities that ascertain artistic and cultural needs across the City, promote the work of local artists, and encourage public involvement to increase awareness of local arts and cultural events or displays.
A life-long student of politics and the workings of political systems, my work as a radio reporter and producer brought me to Colorado in March 1981. Since then, I have followed the social, political and economic changes and developments across this fascinating state. From the farmlands of Weld and Larimer County, to the majestic mesas and valleys of Mesa, Delta and Montrose, I have reported on agricultural land use, unending challenges of rural electrification and health care, economic development in towns both booming and struggling, and the workings of city, county and state governments from Fort Collins and Denver to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, as “River City” recovered from “Black Sunday”. In 2021, I will be a 40-year resident of Colorado, with an ongoing interest in this dynamic and evolving state. If selected, it will be my goal to assure that people across Colorado find themselves in election districts that are fairly created, with boundary lines considered reasonable by a consensus of commission members; as politically-balanced as possible. All attempts should be made to avoid gerrymandered districts, which only serve the interests of one political party or agenda.
Note, my first and only political contributions listed in the previous section were all made in 2020. They should not be associated in any way with my career as a Reporter/Producer for public radio stations (1979 – 1997). As a radio reporter in Philadelphia, Fort Collins, Grand Junction and across Western Colorado, I reported on city and regional politics, and the issues affecting public policy. I often reported on “pros and cons”; the “back and forth” of numerous topics, which usually resulted in some sort of consensus being reached by a City Council or other governing body. In essence, I understand the ways of compromise and how political consensus is reached. Regarding fairness, my goal as a reporter was to always include multiple viewpoints on the issue at hand. That is the only way to produce an objective report as well as a report that was most engaging for listeners. This basic premise of journalism was always the way I proceeded when producing a story. I think the same principles of exploring as many options as possible for drawing district boundaries should apply with the task of redistricting.
I know the value of having solid evidence in front of me before making critical decisions. In a newsroom, a good reporter should not proceed with a story that is one-sided and poorly researched. The same principle applied with my work as a Contracting Officer and Grants Specialist at the Department of Energy’s Golden Field Office. It was there while serving on the Geothermal Research team (from 2009 – 2012) that I was part of a team of people who evaluated hundreds of grant applications for the Department’s multi-billion-dollar renewable energy research grant effort. By incorporating the expertise of scientists, who evaluated the technical merits of a grant application, with a rigorous economic evaluation of each applicant’s proposal, the Department of Energy was then able to score each proposal on both technical and financial merit. Our “merit review process” usually produced successful research grants. It is how relevant analysis is applied to a complex grant selection process, involving Federal tax dollars. In the challenges faced when creating viable representative districts, a mutually agreed-to set of standards, like the Department of Energy’s merit review process, should be adopted by commissioners. Standards should include the demographic composition of population centers and rural areas across Colorado, with attention paid to items such as population densities, and the economic status and other demographic features of people in given areas. In order to apply a logical method to the commission’s work, there must be mutual buy-in among commission members for basic criteria or standards that are set.