Vote 2011: Morzel, Plass, Ziskin, Jones, King for Boulder City Council


Boulder voters are fortunate to have so many intelligent, talented and experienced people step forward each time the city of Boulder holds an election for City Council. This year, voters are being asked to consider 13 candidates and choose five council members, each of whom will serve two years. On the ballot are a mix of incumbents and newcomers with wide-ranging career experience. But we’re convinced that some would serve Boulder and the interests of Boulder residents more than others.

After considering candidates’ answers to the Community Questionnaire, meeting many of them face to face and looking carefully at their stance on Boulder’s most pressing issues, Boulder Weekly is happy to endorse Lisa Morzel, Tim Plass, Daniel Ziskin, Suzanne Jones and Dan King for Boulder City Council.

Lisa Morzel is running for re-election, having served on City Council from 1995 to 2003 and then again from 2007 to present. She has a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics and has lived in Boulder since 1977. Even during the times she wasn’t on City Council, she has been involved in recycling, gardening, permaculture and other causes that most Boulderites hold dear. We endorse Lisa not only because of her experience with city politics or because she walks her talk or because she stands where we stand on the big issues facing our city, but because she has proved herself time and again to be a champion of the underdog in a city that sometimes forgets it is also home to underprivileged, low-income people.

Tim Plass ran for election to City Council back in 2009, and we endorsed him then as well. An attorney who has lived in Boulder for 26 years, Plass served for six years on the city’s Landmarks Board and currently serves on the Planning Board. He is familiar with the issues Boulder is facing, not only as a board member, but also as an active member of his own community, having played an activist role in his neighborhood. His answers on the Community Questionnaire reveal a candidate who stands largely where we stand on a host of important topics and have earned him the support of many prominent Boulder residents.

With a Ph.D. in physics, Daniel Ziskin is an environmental scientist whose resume reads like a bowl of alphabet soup — NASA, NCAR, NOAA.

His involvement in Boulder ranges from service on Boulder’s Environmental Advisory Board to being a founding board member of Ratepayers United of Colorado in dealings with Xcel to serving on the board of eGo Carshare. A dedicated environmentalist, he founded Jews of the Earth (, an environmental organization focused on raising awareness about a range of environmental issues in the community. We were particularly impressed with his involvement in the Transition movement and his ideas for helping localize Boulder County’s food supply. Ziskin is also skilled at hearing all sides of an argument and working hard to see that everyone’s needs are met. Despite his impressive accomplishments, Ziskin might not be as well known as some other names on the ballot, but we’re throwing our full support behind him.

Suzanne Jones’ experience could fill this page. For 20 years, she has worked on environment- and wilderness-related issues through government and the nonprofit sector. She is the Colorado regional director of The Wilderness Society, a post she’s held since 1996. She served as a legislative representative for the National Wildlife Federation before that and spent one year working as a congressional staff person for the Fisheries & Wildlife Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Locally, she’s served on the Environmental Advisory Board and the Blue Ribbon Commission II, to name just two. A lifelong outdoorswoman and athlete, she brings a wellrounded perspective to City Council on issues related to land use and outdoor recreation. Also, she agrees with us on the big questions facing Boulder in the near future.

Dan King is serious about local. He is a champion of local small business. His belief that business and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive is demonstrated in his own business, Boulder Outlook Hotel and Suites, which has won awards for being a zero-waste facility. Although we disagree with King on some issues — he opposes Boulder City Ballot Question 2H regarding corporate personhood — he has a practical, business-focused approach to solving problems, which will offer a nice balance on City Council. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as president of the Boulder Hotel & Motel Association, on the executive board for the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, on the Boulder Parks and Recreation’s Finance Subcommittee, on Boulder’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Expenditure Controls and as chair of Boulder’s Capital Investment Strategy Group.

There you have it — Boulder Weekly’s endorsements for the 2011 Boulder City Council race: Morzel, Plass, Ziskin, Jones, King. Now get that ballot in the mail on time.