Karen Harrison announced she will be a candidate for city council in Ward 5 in November.
Harrison is running for the term-limited seat held by Diana Wilson.
“I believe it’s a city council person’s job to be a liaison between the city and its citizens,” she said. “I want residents to know that my door is always open and my phone is always ready - I’m available to them.”
Currently Harrison is serving on the Lakewood planning commission.
Harrison is a Colorado native, born in Monte Vista and raised in Durango. She moved to Lakewood 26 years ago with her husband, Doug.
The couple has two daughters and two granddaughters.
The couple owns an insurance agency, and she specializes in health insurance projects. Harrison said that her experience as a small business owner is one of the key factors that inspired her to make the choice to run.
“I got involved with the Advisory Commission for an Inclusive Community (ACIC) when it was just starting, and served as the chair of the small business committee during the first year,” she said.
“During the second year I served as the chair of the commission.”
Harrison described her time on the ACIC as a great experience that helped her to look at things from the city’s perspective. She has also completed the civics 101 class, the citizens planning academy and citizen police academy.
She regularly attends monthly Ward 5 meetings, and volunteers at her church.
Harrison sees several key issues the city will have to face in the coming years.
One of them is development along the W Rail, and how the neighborhoods and businesses near the line will have to adapt to having the new presence.
“We can’t get enough open space here, so I’m extremely excited for any opportunities we have for more,” Harrison said. “We’ll also be keeping an eye on Green Gables, and try to be a positive influence on what happens there.”
The city’s changing demographics are also on Harrison’s mind, and she said she’d like to work to make sure people can “gray in place” and stay in their homes.
At the same time neighborhoods need to be aware of what young families are looking for in homes and communities.
“I believe I bring common sense and a good ear to listen to both sides of issues,” she said.