Anna Hamilton's BIO
I was born in New York, and when I was 4 we moved to Baltimore, my father worked for the State Department, and my mother was home, later teaching school and doing social work. At age 15 I began working at John Hopkins University and by age 17 I was accepted into the first co-ed class at John Hopkins University, where I graduated with a degree in Biology. I eventually went to on to get my masters in Aquatic Biology from Towson State University. I met my husband David and we moved back to his home of Santa Fe, it was the best decision I have ever made. I love David and Santa Fe.
I graduated from the University of New Mexico with a PhD in aquatic ecology, and have been a consulting environmental scientist for almost 42 years. During my career, I have studied the impacts of a range of human activities on streams, rivers, estuaries, and wetlands; helped develop approaches and tools for evaluating environmental impacts; and participated in environmental restoration planning. For the past decade I have focused on the evaluation of climate change effects on aquatic ecosystems, the assessment of vulnerability and system resilience, and adaptation planning. Much of this work has been interdisciplinary and collaborative, giving me skills in working with and integrating inputs from a diversity of people.
We live in Glorieta,where I see the needs for community services and for strong volunteer participation by community members being relatively high. I have volunteered as the President of my communities’ rural water system, the Greater Glorieta Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association, for more than a decade, helping to maintain a reliable delivery of clean drinking water for our joined communities of Glorieta Village, Glorieta Estates, and East Glorieta.
As President, I lead day-to-day operations, annual budget and policy development, and long-term planning. I have investigated potential sources of funding for rural water systems, and have brought over $1.8 million to our community for infrastructure upgrades and water quality improvements. My long-term involvement solving community water needs and planning issues has given me much greater insight into the problems and potential solutions faced by rural water users in Santa Fe County.
I also am a certified firefighter (structural and wildland) and vehicle extrication technician, and have volunteered with Santa Fe County’s Glorieta Pass Volunteer Fire & Rescue district for the past 6 years. The training time, community meetings, and emergency responses I participate in have made me familiar with many aspects of the County’s emergency response and public safety procedures, policies, needs and issues. I also serve on Santa Fe County’s Water Policy Advisory Board, and through this I have become familiar with many of the current and ongoing water policy issues in front of the Santa Fe County Commission.
My mother-in-law, and our 2 dogs live with us, and I am incredibly lucky to be married (for 24 years) to a husband (David Hamilton) who is supportive and nurturing, and who makes it possible to happily conduct our lives as a team. We love doing projects together. Over the years we have slowly built most of our house together. And we have done so much else together, from walking our dogs on the mesa, to studying martial arts and scuba diving. David is an EMT and also volunteers with Glorieta Pass fire department. When not responding to calls or taking care of his mom, he spends time restoring antique Japanese swords and old cars, and designing our next house projects. David’s mom, a delightful, intelligent and kind woman, has enriched our lives, but David and I have also gained a first-hand sense of what it takes to care for an aging relative, and the types of community resources that might help with that.
"Why I'm Running"
I am running for Santa Fe County Commissioner for District 4 because the local government is where many policies are set and actions are taken that influence the quality of people’s day-to-day lives. It’s critically important to work at this level in order to contribute to the continued well being of our community.
Santa Fe County Commissioners have influence over very important issues such as water supply planning (e.g., availability and quality), food security, public safety (including fire protection), infrastructure (roads and bridges, water and sewer systems, public amenities), zoning, jobs, and health.
Our current District 4 Commissioner, Kathy Holian, has done an incredible job serving our District. She has been tireless in her efforts, committed to open and transparent governance, and has given special attention to sustainability issues related to food, water, and energy within the County. Commissioner Holian will complete her 2nd 4-year term at the end of 2016, and due to term limits, cannot run again. I am proud to have her endorsement.
As your next County Commissioner I will work tirelessly to carry on District 4’s now well-established tradition of transparent and effective governance with strong community involvement.
I look forward to contributing my efforts and expertise to shape a vision for our District 4 and our County that will:
sustain and improve the good health
economic well being of all
incorporating policies and approaches that protect our environmental resources and restore resilience.
My goal as County Commissioner is to serve the range of needs in District 4 in as effective a manner as possible, and I want that process to be transparent and interactive.
"What I will Bring to the County Commission
and the People of District 4"
It is important for me as County Commissioner to be accessible to the people of District 4. Even though I am unopposed in this election, I am putting a strong effort into developing communications with the people of District 4 – lines of communication that we will be able to maintain and expand as we progress from the campaign to my serving as County Commissioner.
For example, I’ve established this website with an easy way to e-mail me; a ‘Connect with Anna’ button so people can provide their e-mail and join my contact list and receive newsletters and other ongoing communications; and my cell phone number, so that anyone in District 4 can talk with me easily and directly about problems, issues, ideas, and needs.
I need and want to listen, but I will also bring information to all of you in District 4. My leadership as a County Commissioner will include ongoing communication about issues coming up before the Commission, events and meetings, and engagement with you as stakeholders and also as resources for knowledge and action. In my professional and personal life, I believe my success has come from a willingness to work hard and be persistent, and I will bring this to the job of County Commissioner for District 4.
For the Country
I want to work to help make District 4 and Santa Fe County a place that can provide basic needs and services for all its residents in a sustainable manner, encourage good jobs, fair wages and benefits, and economic opportunities, and protect our environmental resources and the quality of our natural as well as of our developed spaces.
Our county is large and ranges from urban to rural settings, and as a result, we will continue to face diverse challenges. These include some practical but important issues such as aging or inadequate water system infrastructure, unpaved or poorly maintained roads; resources for fire fighters, emergency workers and sheriffs; and public transportation services. I have first-hand experience to bring to many of these issues, including the challenges facing small community water systems, and the needs of our volunteer and county staff fire fighters. For example, in our county there is a lot of urban-wildland interface, and with our recent droughts and the progressive effects of climate change, the level of threat of wildland fires at the interface with residential and other developed areas is increasing, and of great concern to our citizens.
Given our arid climate, we have always had to deal with challenges of water availability. And while I am excited to say that Santa Fe County has been progressive in trying to incorporate consideration of the substantial influence of climate change, along with population growth and economic stress, into County planning efforts to increase the resilience of our long-term water supply, I would like to help expand our thinking and contribute to a process that will hopefully let us embrace a wider range of conservation and reuse options.
The diversity in our county is also reflected economically, where we have a range from wealthy to very poor residents. We have some local food resources, local outlets that include the Farmers Market, and some programs that are a wonderful start at addressing community issues of hunger and food insecurity. But I believe there is more support needed, including policy considerations, that could improve our capacity to make a difference in this area.