Charles Fletcher has nearly forty years’ experience in community health education. He earned his Masters Degree in Public Health from UCLA in 1977. Influenced by the emerging holistic health and wellness movements of the time, Charles has a long history of bringing these concepts into public health and community settings. In 1985, as Director of Health Education for Boulder County Health Department, Charles led efforts to establish the first local HIV testing and prevention services. He organized an advisory group that gave voice to at-risk community members and worked with them to help shape testing policy, care and prevention strategies. This advisory group led to the creation of Boulder County AIDS Project in 1986.
Also influenced by the power of nature, Charles has facilitated hundreds of health-related workshops and retreats in natural settings, including vision quests for HIV positive men during the early years of the epidemic. Since 2006, Charles and his partner Richard have co-directed Colorado ManREACH (Rural Education in Action for Community Health), a non-profit organization committed to building a heart-centered community of GBTQ men in the belief that heart-centered friendships and relationships among men who love men are the cornerstone to a healthy, vibrant community.
Coming from a Colorado Pioneer family, Mardi’s formative years were spent in rural CO training race horses, working with her father in his practice and showing cattle. Mardi graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Political Science.
While attending DU Mardi realized that her “differentness” had a name, but she was not fully prepared or ready to admit it to herself or to her family. Shortly after college, Mardi left Colorado to find a career and self-acceptance.
Since then she has been active in LGBTQ politics at the local and national level. From Seattle out West to New York City back East and then finally back home to Colorado, Mardi has been involved in many ground-breaking LGBTQ events, activities and legislation over the past 30 years.
Over the last three years in her role as Executive Director of Out Boulder County Mardi has put together a solid team of staff, diversified and built a strong board, increased individual giving by over 200%, balanced the budget and by working with community members has increased the number of programs and services that Out Boulder County provides to the LGBTQ and Allied communities. Most notably in her tenure Out Boulder County implemented a Trans* Leadership Academy and a Trans Steering Committee that has ensured that Boulder County has one of the strongest if not the strongest Trans community in the State of Colorado. Additionally, just this year Out Boulder County opened a second location in Longmont to better serve all of Boulder County
Recently, Mardi received the PFLAG Boulder LGBT Activist of the Year Award and the GLBT Center of Colorado’s Trans Ally of the Year Award.
Personally, Mardi is the mother of two and the grandmother of three.
Pat Steadman has served in the Colorado State Senate since 2009, representing District 31 in central and east Denver. Steadman was appointed to fill a vacancy after the resignation of former Sen. Jennifer Veiga, Colorado’s first lawmaker to come out while serving in office. Today Steadman is one of seven openly LGBT legislators in the Colorado General Assembly. He is completing his sixth and final year as a member of the Joint Budget Committee.
Steadman is a graduate of Regis College and the University of Colorado School of Law. After law school practice turned to politics as he worked for the campaign opposing “Amendment 2”. He helped put together the successful lawsuit (with local legend Jean Dubofsky) challenging its constitutionality all the way to the United States Supreme Court. In 1996, Romer v. Evans was the first of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s several significant rulings protecting the equal rights of LGBT Americans, ending most recently in marriage equality.
Due to term limits, Steadman is serving his last year in the Senate. Through his work on the Joint Budget Committee programs such as the Drug Assistance Program and CHAP prevention grants have been reformed, expanded and had their funding increased. In 2016, Sen. Steadman successfully passed SB 16-146, modernizing sexually transmitted infection law. This major overhaul enhances public health protections and reduces stigma in the law, most notably by repealing certain criminal offenses applicable only to people living with HIV.