Marla Kairos Wood
Westwood Properties (co-owner and employee); Maddie Made Productions (owner/operator)
Art History, B.A.
I canvassed for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. I volunteered for John Salazar and became friendly with his staff and engaged in voter registration through their efforts. I was an organizer for the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Since 2015 I’ve donated money to Elizabeth Warren, Lorena Garcia, Joe Biden, Vote Save America, Fair Fight and Diane Mitsch Bush. I also donated my time as a filmmaker to the Broomfield Democrats to make a film encouraging women to run for office in 2017.
Member: Denver Film Society, Mayu Sanctuary Advisory Committee, Autumn Glenn HOA, Overlook HOA, Walnut Creek II HOA; Volunteer: PawsCo, Elephant Circle
My organizing began with my love for animals as a kid. I started advocating for animals and animal habitat and volunteering at animal shelters in high school. I have also been a member of or volunteer for the Colorado chapters of the Humane Society, ASPCA, the Nature Conservancy. I continue that work now with PawsCo, a Denver based dog and cat rescue organization and advocate for animal welfare. I am an advocate for family farms, land conservation and smart growth and was a member of the Mesa County Land Conservancy, before becoming an employee. While operating a small business in Palisade, Colorado I served as the Chairperson of the Palisade Tourism Board. As a member and advocate for arts funding in Colorado I’ve supported numerous arts organizations around the state. I also served as Art Director for Elephant Circle in their Arts in Society funded program Message to our Mothers. I also support the Denver Film Society’s film festival and efforts to expand the Colorado film industry. I have volunteered for both community organizations and political groups for voter rights and healthcare reform. I also represent Colorado as a delegate for the National Congress of Vision2020:Equality in Sight. Through all of these experiences I have appreciated the opportunity to find common ground. Being a vegetarian while working with third generation ranchers who are members of the Cattleman's Association was one highlight and those connections lasted for years beyond the work we did together.
I believe in the amendments that produced these commissions. I have long believed in the democratic process and believe that balanced, considerate and fair redistricting commissions can support democracy. I want to serve on the commission to ensure that the voices of Colorado communities are heard and accounted for in the process of redistricting. I want to bring my analytical skills and big picture thinking to uphold the goals of the Commission. I want to see cities, towns, communities and neighborhoods unify around our common goal of representative democracy. Often the Front Range and urban areas of Colorado hold an imbalance of power when considering the needs of the whole state. Through this work, I want to ensure Western Slope communities are valued and understood—especially the agricultural land and neighborhoods, even though I am a resident of the Front Range now. I want to bring my empathy and compassion to decision making that will impact communities who may not have all the representation they need and deserve. I want to serve on this commission to ensure gender equality, racial equality and representation of the LGBTQ community, in concert with values held dear by Coloradans for generations are demonstrated in all areas of decision making in the state. Finally, I consider being a citizen in a democracy to be a privilege that comes with a duty. I look forward to working with my fellow Coloradans to bring a wide variety of knowledge and experience among us together to think critically about how we can positively impact Colorado voters.
I have worked on several boards and in many organizations where divergent views are prevalent. I believe in this process—finding common ground, sculpting best results through wisdom and experience using clearly outlined rules and regulations. I have often explained the creative process, as an artist, as using constraints to liberate and create something new under long tested rules. This is where, I believe, the greatest outcomes will be found. My familiarity with and appreciation for this process will be an asset I bring to the group. I know that each member of this commission will have an important perspective to share. When well informed and experienced people join in a shared effort I know that agreements will rise to the top. To that end, I bring to any group an open heart, well honed listening skills and a deep curiosity about others, their history, their values, and their goals. In addition, I can help us achieve agreement with my artist's eye for detail, balance and quality. Part of being impartial requires being able to not let fear of others' feelings (or your own) cloud your judgment and to be able to deliver hard truths. This is actually something art historians are trained to do. People wrongly assume that artists are incapable of objectivity or are consumed by their passions, but in fact, to recognize excellence in art requires systematically sorting feelings out from perceptions, impressions out from objective reality, to develop discernment. As director of an art gallery I have had the opportunity to put this into practice in terms of both recognizing excellence and communicating my discernment to others and for others, and I've maintained good relationships for many years with the people I worked with there.
As a real estate investor, I thrive on spreadsheets. In fact, I’ve brought my love of spreadsheets and the pleasure of analyzing the bottom line to my personal life—I’ve been known to build and analyze a spreadsheet when planning my vacations! Further, as an investor, I have significant experience with rules and regulations set forth by planning commissions, and building departments, not to mention HOAs. I read contracts regularly. I am well practiced at deciphering written material for problem-solving purposes. I have over 25 years experience producing long term income generating outcomes under a wide range of constraints, and have positively impacted many people in the process, including my tenants and neighboring investors. I apply logic and reason to a diverse set of problems on a regular basis. In addition, my formal education and work as an art historian includes Formal Analysis. This is a specific method taught and used in art history whereby one analyzes visuals and their effects to reach conclusions. This is something I’ve used in map study in both a professional capacity and as a world traveler and informal collector of maps. This is a skill set I use every day of my life. The kind of work set forth by the Commission is a personal passion of mine.