Erin Young advocates for small business in campaign for commissioner
KEYSTONE — If elected to the Summit Board of County Commissioners, Erin Young would like to represent all voices of the Summit County community.
Young is running unaffiliated for the District 3 seat, which covers Silverthorne and northern Summit County, against Democrat Josh Blanchard and Bruce Butler, who is running as an independent. Young is running on a “non-agenda.” She said she wants the community to inform her decisions.
“If elected, I want to represent all the voices and the needs in the community at-large,” she said.
Young said she often hears from community members that they would like more support for the county’s workforce. To support those workers, she aims to create an economic advisory workgroup.
“An economic advisory group that meets regularly will allow the county to be better prepared to handle changes within our economy, within our business and within our community, and put us at the forefront of solutions rather than reactionary,” she said.
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Young said the workgroup should be made up of people from all sectors of business.
“In those workgroups, it is critical that we include … all the voices we can,” she said. “When I sat on (other) workgroups, it was the business CEOs, the managers, the owners. Not often is it the workers, our non-English language speakers. It’s not your restaurant servers, your resort workers. We need to be actively inclusive with those populations.”
Democrats Thomas Davidson, District 2, and Karn Stiegelmeier, District 3, are term limited.
District 1: Breckenridge
District 2: Dillon and Frisco
District 3: Silverthorne
Young, who owns Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea in Silverthorne, plans to support small businesses as they move through the pandemic.
Now that businesses have a better idea of what the state regulations are, Young would like to give businesses more of an ability to respond to changing restrictions without shutting down completely.
“I wouldn’t be open today if I didn’t think we’d be open tomorrow,” she said. “We’re fighters; the businesses up here are fighters, but we need a better understanding of what’s coming.”
Overall, Young is advocating for more communication surrounding the pandemic. She would like to see more information about where spikes in cases are coming from.
“If we know what behaviors are causing spikes, then we can better monitor and be prepared for those,” she said.
Outside of the pandemic, Young has goals of improving livability in the county and helping preserve the environment.
“We need to discuss how wages, affordable living and health care play into each other, not just in isolation, but as a group,” she said.
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Young said she would like to help the county become “more of a player” in the rental market to provide more affordable housing.
“Housing and feeling secure in your housing is critical,” she said. “The gap from being able to be in a house with roommates to a place on my own is huge.”
Young said she believes it’s important to protect Summit County’s environment to keep the economy strong. She said the county needs to heighten communication to visitors and locals about preserving the environment.
“We are a magnet for people to either live or visit because of our clean air, our rivers, our streams, our powder,” she said. “If we don’t protect that, then we weaken our economy.”
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