Support for homegrown youth
(This letter was originally addressed to the Aspen City Council.)Dear Editor:I would like to express my enthusiastic support of Andrew MacCracken’s bid to fill Councilwoman Richards’ position. Having grown up with Andy, I can attest that his solid character and responsibility are of the best in Aspen High School and the Aspen community.Andy, as you may already know, is one of the most outspoken and visible members of Aspen High School. As the student body’s head boy, he has worked hard to make sure every student who wishes to be heard is heard. He is unwilling to let the youth be ignored. One of his greatest desires is for his fellow youth to exercise their rights as citizens, even if they are not of voting age. He is constantly thinking up alternative methods to stimulate change and make a difference. He was the organizer of the Youth Voter Rally held just before the November election. The amount of time he spent arranging the event was obscene, and I felt it was a great success. I also attended the Youth Voters Forum he held with State Sen. Gail Schwartz, which helped me navigate this year’s confusing ballot. He loathes the idea that people his age are sometimes thought of as the “apathetic generation,” and sets an example of empathy for everyone around him.Not only does Andy care more than many adults in the community, he has had more experience in diplomatic situations in his high school career than many adults accrue in their entire lives. He has attended a National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Simply being nominated to attend this event is very prestigious. Andy also participates in the Model United Nations club at school. Last April, we had the opportunity to attend a Model UN conference in San Jose, Costa Rica. Andy, sitting on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Committee, was specifically recognized at the closing ceremony for his leadership in creating a successful resolution.Andy, of course, did not ask me to express my support for him. I hope this does not embarrass him, but I wish for the Council to know how comfortable I am with Andy representing me and the other youth of Aspen. Giving Andy this position would in no way be a gimmick. As a lifetime local, he has been raised on the ideals that make Aspen so special, and I know that he would make a profound impression in the short time he would hold the position, should he be selected for it.This unique situation is an excellent opportunity for you to try a very interesting option: Appoint an 18-year-old to City Council and confirm how well informed, opinionated, and thoughtful a homegrown youth can be.David A. HachAspen High School senior
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Pitkin County administrators are proposing a more than $142 million budget for 2020, which is about $6 million less than this year because of fewer construction projects and capital improvements.