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Shari Malloy: Citizen Activist, Longmont


From the street, Shari Malloy’s Longmont home has the comfortable, colorful look that’s commonplace in today’s suburbia.

Flowers are tucked into the corners of the shaded lawn, and Shea—the border collie/retriever mix lounging in the shade of the garage—doesn’t give up a bark unless you pull in the driveway.

Once you do, you start to notice the unmistakable décor of a person who isn’t just disappointed with the state of our nation, but is leading the way to salvation by example.

A compost bin is tucked under the eve and recycling containers are filled to the brim—they fill faster than the trash, which, for this family of three, could on most weeks fit in your glove compartment. Even the illuminated garden gnome has a solar panel.

Malloy, 48, has lived in Longmont for 22 years, working as a special needs teacher and raising her son and daughter.

She started working on local environmental issues by volunteering at Eco-Cycle in 1986. Since then, she has become involved with open space issues, recycling, political campaigns and, most recently, collecting signatures and opposing the LifeBridge church annexation into Longmont.

“It was Eco-Cycle that really helped me see the big picture—that everything we do in terms of living, eating, cleaning, consuming, working, commuting, traveling, has an impact on our health and the health of our earth,” Malloy says. “Eco-Cycle’s mission statement speaks volumes: We believe in individual and community action to transform society’s throw-away ethic into environmentally-friendly stewardship.”

Her tenacious work for such issues has made her a staple in organizations like the Boulder County Democrats and the Longmont Area Democrats. She helped assemble campaign signs for “Open Space Yes” at Carolyn Holmberg’s home, the late director of Boulder County’s Parks and Open Space Department, and was involved in creating the Boulder County Recycling Center. In addition to her political involvement, she served on the committee that brought curbside recycling to Longmont and currently serves as the chair of the Boulder County Resource Conservation Advisory Board.

“Recycling is often the first step people take on the earth-friendly path and once people start, they think about other ways to lighten their footprint by driving less, buying more efficient automobiles and appliances, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs, choosing products that are more earth friendly, buying organic and locally-produced items, etc.,” Malloy says.

“Doing the right thing not only feels good, but saves money, too.”

With so much experience, a strong work ethic, high public profile and consistently walking the green walk, it’s no wonder that several colleagues have suggested she run for office.

“People constantly ask me that,” she says. “I’m a hard-working Indian, but not a good chief. I’m better at working hard in the short term and making a difference.”

That work used to only include environmental issues, but has since expanded to include politics as well.
“I realized that it’s politics and the machine that gets things done,” Malloy says.

That activism, coupled with an endearing charm and innate marketing sense, resulted in her being one of four people selected from hundreds at the state convention to serve as delegate at this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Denver.

A photo of her wearing a red and white top hat, a la Dr. Seuss’ Cat In The Hat popping up out of a mountain outhouse, with a caption reading “Let’s get out of the outhouse and into the White House” struck a memorable chord.

And while clever turns of phrase have paid off, it’s Malloy’s day-in-day-out leadership by example that makes a difference and shows people that doing the right thing isn’t so hard.

She is the change she wants to see happen.

“People are waking up and realizing that what we do has an impact,” Malloy says.

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1 comment

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    Shari IS a hometown hero for Longmont. Her energy is boundless and she can be a model for all of us. Shari practices what she preaches in all aspects of her life. Come and meet her at the Grand Opening of the Longmont Office for the Boulder County Democratic Office in the 300 block of Main St,(east side) Longmont, at 10 AM on Saturday, July 12, 2008!

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