Meet our newest political columnist |

Meet our newest political columnist

Autumn Phillips/From the Editor

People come into my office all the time pitching column ideas.

The first thing I ask them is, “Have you ever written anything before?”

“Have you ever had to meet a deadline?”

“And do you know that after you finish that first column, you’ll have 51 more to write to fill every week of the year?”

I’m not trying to drive them away. I just want them to know that the idea of writing a column is much different than the reality.

It takes discipline and the ability to find inspiration when you have none.

When I first moved to Grand County ” exactly one year ago this week ” Bill Hamilton knew we were planning to make major changes to the format of the newspaper. He wanted to be a part of it and pitched a once-a-week political column called “Central View.”

He faithfully writes every week. He has never missed a deadline.

Though he calls his column “Central View,” his columns are often written from the political right. And every month or so, someone will walk into my office as a representative from the left.

They complain that we don’t publish a counterpoint to Hamilton’s column.

I always answer that I’m open to such a thing if they want to write it. They say they will, but I never hear from them again.

Three weeks ago, Felicia Muftic came into my office saying the same thing and making the same promises to write a column from the left. What made her different from all the rest was simple – she actually did it.

Next Monday, we will publish the third of her columns titled, “My View.”

With only two columns in print, we have already begun to see a stream of letters.

One such letter ” addressed privately to me ” asked to know more about Felicia.

Knowing her background, he wrote, would help readers better decide how much weight to give her opinions.

I agree.

I asked her to send me some background. Here’s what she sent ” appended for space:

“I was born in Muskogee, Okla. I spent all of our summer vacations when I was young in the Estes Park and Grand Lake area. When I was in high school, I was a nationally ranked debater. I attended Northwestern University majoring in political science. I met my future husband Dr. Michael Muftic in Berlin, Germany, in the middle of the Cold War when I was on a junior year abroad program.

“I graduated from Northwestern, with independent studies in Balkan history.

“My husband and I moved to Colorado in 1962.

“In 1960, I attended the Democratic National Convention on the staffs of Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson and Oklahoma Sen. Mike Monroney.

“In the late 1960s I led a survey of local grocery prices, organizing women on a grassroots level. We showed a great differentiation of prices from neighborhood to neighborhood. I was appointed to head the five county District Attorney’s Office to prosecute White Collar crime and consumer fraud, a post which I held for nearly seven years. I am a published author of a book on consumer affairs.

“I was one of the founding members of PLAN Metro Denver, an advocacy group for good urban planning and mass transportation.

“In 1979, I was the first woman to run for mayor of Denver, coming in second in a field of 11 candidates.

“When Federico Pena was elected mayor of Denver, I was appointed Clerk and Recorder for Denver and Denver election commissioner, posts which I held for Pena’s two terms. In his last term I doubled my duties as the Mayor’s liaison to city council.

“I have been in public relations in the nonprofit and private sectors for the past 15 years.

“My interest and knowledge of national and international affairs are born of hands-on experience. I am active in the Institute of International Education as a volunteer entertaining many official visitors sponsored by the U.S. State Department. I am accustomed to entertaining visiting ambassadors and foreign media.

“My passion is politics, both domestic and international. Another passion is good land use planning, and I have been active in that arena in Denver and Grand County.”

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