Rose: Running as your good neighbor |

Rose: Running as your good neighbor

Sam Rose
Sam Rose credits his community involvement with better understanding the community he intends to serve on the Aspen City Council.
Courtesy Sam Rose

I am on a quest to become a lifelong Aspenite.

That is why I am running for Aspen City Council: Because I would like to help create a version of Aspen in which natives, non-natives, and non-billionaires like me get to stay, raise a family, and spend the rest of our days contributing to the community and mountains that give so much just by existing.

Local government is not an exact science, but when done right, it has the tangible power to effect positive change. I am here for and to be that change.

Aspen is not accidentally the very best place on Earth to call home. Its preservation and longevity require careful stewardship and ongoing improvements. Protecting Aspen can be tricky because of the complications of honoring the past while preparing for the future in an economy that largely depends on the scenery and native habitat.

We have a responsibility to safeguard Aspen’s small-town charm, its economy and natural environment, and work hard to retain the wonderful people who are all a necessary part of its secret ingredient. 

Starting in the morning from my little slice of paradise in Hunter Creek, I live each day doing my best to honor Aspen’s spirit and history, always with an eye toward the future to ensure economic growth does not come at the expense of the natural environment. 

I do not intend to re-invent City Council. I intend to help make it more effective and work to ensure that it does not operate against the people it’s supposed to be helping (e.g., the sorely missed opportunity to buy the Centennial housing complex and retain 148 deed-restricted units in perpetuity, and letting one of Aspen’s most loved child-care programs of the last several decades close up shop without first ensuring a replacement).

I sit on Aspen’s Planning and Zoning Commission, volunteer with the Aspen Fire Protection District, and advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence through Response’s crisis hotline. Last year, I completed a master’s degree in finance and risk management online from the University of Colorado. I am a member of Colorado’s 9th District State Judicial Performance Commission and a proud graduate of the Aspen 360 program.

Since my first council run two years ago, I have continued to be an eager student of the city’s budget and land-use code as well as the Aspen Area Community Plan. I also found great inspiration reading “To Aspen and Back,” by Peggy Clifford, and “Those Were the Days,” by Jill Sheeley, to learn more about Aspen’s history.

Since making the move from Vermont’s Green Mountains to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, I have made an effort to make a meaningful dent in small and large ways. I want an Aspen where our downtown is safe to navigate on four, two, or no wheels and has more than just a few widely-accessible community gathering spots. 

I’m proud to be a good listener and an even better doer, although I don’t kid myself (or you) into thinking I will make everyone happy all at once. Support from this entire community would be amazing but also impossible.

I am running for City Council to help keep the best of Aspen, Aspen. I won’t make news through my attitude or antics. I don’t use work as therapy or aim for a position in the city, so I can buy or sell more property or make it easier or more lucrative for my friends. I fight for causes that benefit more than just myself or maybe that don’t benefit me at all. 

I’m gunning for a council seat, but what I’m running to be is your permanent neighbor (the kind who shovels, by the way, not the kind who waits for someone else to do it).

Say hi by email (, phone (802-752-7026), and learn more about me by visiting my website