My Story

Contact Diane Email: repdianehd26@gmail.com(970) 291-1572 Mailing: P.O. Box 770535Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 Send Diane a message:None of your info will be shared or given to any group or published in any way.Growing up in Minnesota, I loved our forests, lakes and rivers. My grandparents and my great aunt lived near White Bear Lake and Bald Eagle Lake where I spent many happy days with them.  My favorite season was winter. We skated on the lakes, the local playgrounds, and during the St. Paul Winter Carnival, we even skated on one of the main streets downtown.

I read all I could about nature, science, and the outdoors in our wonderful public library, and my dedicated public school teachers helped fill my thirst for more knowledge.  Our Science Museum had great summer programs for kids. While my mother was at work every day, I spent hours with her nature poetry books that spoke to my soul.

When I was 7, we took the train to visit relatives in Oregon, a trip my mother had taken every summer when she was growing up. I remember pressing my face to the window for my first glimpse of the Rockies. Finally, there they were! No poetry, no stories, no pictures could do the mountains justice. Then and there I decided I would live in the mountains. That goal was intensified the next summer when we took the train to Glacier National Park where I first hiked on single-track trails. I first skied when I was 15 and for the rest of life, skiing has been my deepest joy.

Politics were important in my family, and dinner table discussions often centered on problems of the early 1960’s and how we could solve them. When I was 10 I was inspired by our young President John F. Kennedy urging us to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. My mother instilled in me the value of public service and volunteering. She expected me to think about others before myself.  Caring, compassion, and love for others meant that we had a responsibility to make our world better than we found it. This is still one of my core beliefs.

In high school, two books shaped what would become my life long passion for public service: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Michael Harrington’s Other America. Carson’s book is often credited with kindling the 1970’s environmental movement by showing us how pollution disrupted the intricate web of our ecosystems. Harrington’s book along with Bobby Kennedy’s visits to the poorest parts of our nation spurred our attention to the lack of equal opportunity and the existence of grinding poverty in our country.

The spring I graduated from High School was tumultuous: both Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, opposition to the Vietnam War grew, and race riots in major US cities were on the news every night. Our country was divided. My aspiration was to help bring people back together so we all could pursue the American Dream.

So I majored in sociology and social policy at the University of Minnesota. I began to understand more fully that not everyone had the same opportunities that I did with great public schools, libraries and science museums, as well as a caring family who encouraged me – indeed expected me – to succeed.

The first Earth Day celebration on the University of Minnesota campus in 1970 was two weeks before the bombing of Cambodia and the shooting deaths of 4 college students who protested the bombing at Kent State. Sitting on the green mall at the U with my fiancé Steve Bush, we had an “aha” moment: only by building bridges, not barriers, would we be able to solve these intertwined problems of unequal opportunity, injustice, and environmental degradation. I entered graduate school because I believed that scientific research could produce policies to bring us together and help solve these problems.

Six years later, we moved to Steamboat Springs intending to ski for a year while I finished up my PhD. The 1976-1977 ski season was a hundred-year drought in Colorado, which immersed me in western water issues. That made me realize that our free-flowing Western Slope rivers are critical for our economy, our environment, and our communities. Ever since, I have worked to protect our water and I am proud to represent two headwaters counties, Eagle and Routt.

My love for our environment and our communities blossomed into a passion for public service and bringing people together to build a more vibrant economy with opportunities for all.  Especially in our mountain communities, we face broad economic challenges every day.  Affordable housing, childcare and education, domestic violence, better access to healthcare, and improved quality of transportation and broadband are all critical issues for us.

Because I believe education is the key to opportunity, I have worked to strengthen early childhood education and childcare, our K-12 system, and to provide more funding for higher education.  I have supported bills to help businesses create good jobs and provide workforce training, including apprenticeships.  As a volunteer and as an elected official, I have worked on all these issues since the 1990’s, and will continue to do so as your State Representative.

My experiences as a social science policy researcher and professor, a mountain community advocate for over 25 years, and an elected official for 10 years have made me understand that renewable energy, job creation, economic vitality and a clean environment are all inter-connected. I lived in homes powered by the sun back when solar electric panels were in their infancy.

Today, my husband, Michael, and I love to alpine ski, backcountry ski, mountain bike, backpack, and rock climb. He retired last year from 35 years as one of the co-managers of ski tuning and bike tuning at the Ski Haus in Steamboat Springs.

I am your strong mountain community voice down at the Capitol. I will continue to listen to you, get all the evidence before making a decision, bring people together, work across the aisle, and be open, responsive, transparent, and truthful. I am running for reelection on my record and on promises kept.

 

Read More:

Qualifications

About House District 26

Goals and Accomplishments

Paid for by Citizens to Elect Diane Mitsch Bush for Colorado HD 26  •  P.O. Box 770535 Steamboat Springs, 80477  •  ©2012-2016 Diane For Colorado