Angie Malpiede, Candidate for RTD Director, District C

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InvestHER recently sat down with Angie Malpiede to talk about what it is like to be a candidate for the RTD Director, District C. 

Which office are you running for and where?
RTD Director, District C

When is your election day?
November 6, 2018

Why did you decide to run for public office? Did someone encourage or inspire you? If so, who?
I am running for office because I truly care about our community.  I have worked in transportation for the past 18 years and in the nonprofit community my entire adult life.  I am currently a member for the RTD Working Pass Program advocating for affordable fares and a student passes. I was recently appointed to be a member of the Denver’s Multi Modal Advisory Committee and serve as the Vice President of the Asset Acquisition Authority for RTD. This is a partial list. I was asked by several members of my community including elected officials to run for the office because of my commitment and understanding of the issues surrounding transportation. They include Former Secretary of Transportation and Mayor Federico Pena, Mayor Wellington Webb, Mayor Michael Hancock, Representative Dan Pabon, Councilwoman Debbie Ortega to name a few. 

What did you do before you decided to run? Where did you go to school? Tell us a little about your resume.
I am a native of Denver and raised my two girls alone.  I put them through college by working 3 jobs. I found my life’s journey in those jobs. I have been transit- dependent and know what it is like to go to bed in such deep fear of figuring out how to make ends meet.

I worked my way up from part time gift wrap to Buyer at the old May D&F store, it is there where I found my inner strength.  I went on to become a Field Executive for the Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council where I worked in recruiting girls and leaders for troops particularly in low income neighborhoods.  I began several programs that became national models for the Girl Scouts of the USA. 

I was recruited by the Rocky Mountain News to become their Public Affairs Director due to my connection and knowledge of the Diverse Metro wide community.  I went on to run a statewide campaign and landed up at the Denver Center for Crime Victims as their PR/Development Director.  I was there during the Columbine shooting.  It was a life changing event for me.

After that, I went on the Mi Casa Resource Center for Women as their PR/Development Director until I was recruited to lead the transportation issue for the Stapleton Foundation.  That evolved into the Stapleton TMA which is now the Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC) and as the Vice President of the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities.  NETC was recruited by CDOT and Kiewit to do the community and business outreach for the Central 70 corridor because of my expertise.  We are honored to be there.

In addition, I went to Metropolitan State University where I majored in Human Behavior Science.  It was the perfect field of study for me.

What are your top 3 key initiatives/policies?

·       Affordable fares

·       Recruitment and retention of drivers

·       Balanced budget

Tell us about a day in the life of your campaign or tell us your favorite story from the campaign trail.
I love being in the community.  I have several stories they all include sitting and chatting with folks.

I went to a meeting with Nettie Moore.  Nettie is our oldest resident in Villa Park, she is 92 years young and I love listening to her stories about the old days.  She has an amazing personality.  She has been involved in community issues for longer than I have been alive but when she said “honey, we need you at that RTD table to speak for us because you know where we come from and what we need.”  That was spectacular.  Another one of my favorite stories was when I was sitting on a front porch with Donna who lives underneath the 1-70 corridor.  We sat and watched the traffic at a stand-still on I-70 during the evening rush hour. She lives in her mom’s house with her kids, grandkids and daughter. She told me she felt blessed to be able to stay in the home she grew up. Her daughter purchased the house after her mom passed (from breast cancer), her eighteen-year-old son has leukemia and her sister ovarian cancer.  They are in the middle of Globeville, ground zero. As I sat with Donna it felt like a home It reminded me of a New Mexico street where the neighbors are out working on their yards talking in Spanish and you can smell the aroma of the evening meal.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a candidate? Are there challenges you face that are unique to you as a woman candidate?
I think one of the biggest challenges that we face as RTD candidates is that we are non- partisan and at the bottom of the ticket.  It is a struggle to get folks to pay attention to the importance of good candidates for the RTD Board.  Usually we are below the judges, so no one knows who we are and yet this office oversees one of the largest budgets for an agency in the State of Colorado.

Transportation boards have traditionally been for white older men.  That has changed over the years and I think for the good.  If I am elected to the RTD Board, I will be the only Latina on the Board.  I will be the only Latino period.  That is concerning since such a large portion of RTD constituents.

What can women do to help you?
Help me get my name out there.  One of the candidates for the RTD Board always lists his name as a woman “Bonnie.”  I think folks get confused about that and quite frankly it is not cool.

Because the district is so large and literally serves every demographic the outreach must be diverse.  I would need help with that.

Share a fun fact or two with us!
I’m a new grandmother and I have to say I have never felt such a complete deep love as I have with my little Savanna.  I just love being in her presence.

I have travelled all over the world to see the stars.  This weekend I am doing a 20 mile walk in the San Luis Valley and part of it is to lay under the sky and watch the Perseid meteor shower!!!!

Any additional thoughts?
I have had a blast serving my community.  The saying is so true, if you truly love what you do then you will never work a day in your life.  That pretty much sums it up for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story.