Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

MacKenzie weighs in on election

Denver City Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie doesn’t know who her successor in District 7 will be, but she has some strong ideas about how voters should sort through the candidates.

Here’s what voters should look for, MacKenzie says: responsiveness to questions, evidence of hard work, bravery and brains.

“One of the things I would ask of who succeeds me — one of the things I would judge them on — is their willingness to confront powerful people.

“When I was having those battles with (former DU Chancellor Dan) Ritchie, I thought ‘What are you doing, here’s a man who’s a giant in our community, don’t knit-pick.’ 

“But you have to be willing to say, ‘Yeah, you know you’ve done a lot of good things, but there are problems there.’ I don’t think politicians do that enough.”

Evaluate brains, she says, as if you were interviewing the person for a job. Measure responsiveness to questions by what makes sense and whether the answers seem “forthright and honest.”

Lastly, MacKenzie advises, look at how much effort they put into their campaigns.

“You want somebody who is going to be a hard worker.”

This article originally appeared in The Source, April 2007.

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