My name is Leslie Summey, and I’m running for Arapahoe County Commission District Four. I’m a mother, a veteran, a small business owner, union member, an advocate, and a proud Coloradan dedicated to improving my community that I love dearly.
The Early Days
I was raised in Colorado Springs, and was lucky enough to have parents that not only raised me with strong core values, but lived out those same principles daily in their own lives - my retired Air Force father was the Executive Director of the PIkes Peak Community Action Agency, while my mother worked in El Paso County’s Election Division for 20 years. For years as a kid I would be a “runner” for the ballots as they came in from their respective precincts on Election Night. We would take the ballots to various stations of the Election Department for sorting and counting. When I turned 18, my mother was the one who helped me register to vote at a voter registration drive at my high school.
I had a front row seat to the struggles of the disenfranchised as I saw my father work to improve the lives of the poor and those of low-wealth. I had the same front row seat to the electoral process.
A Career of Service
After attending Colorado College, I left Colorado Springs to follow my dreams and enlisting in the United States Navy. I was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina and San Diego, California before being assigned to the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC, where I had the honor of singing for presidents and world dignitaries while continuing to serve my country.
It was there that I met my husband, Harold, a percussionist. We’ve been married for 28 years, and have five kids ranging in age from 27 to almost 17.
As I transitioned from a prestigious military career to creating a new life for our growing family, my life became much different. I navigated self-employment and small children. It was during this critical time that I became even more aware of the intersections between race, class, and gender through the lens of a mother. I believe that one of the most important responsibilities of a parent is to ensure that their children have the education they need to achieve their goals and dreams in life. That road is different for every child. Parenting LGBTQ kids, and a child on the Autism spectrum allowed me to experience sharply the inequities that seep into our society at every turn.
This is also the same time that I became more involved in my community seeking to create positive change for families such as my own while also aiming to ease the weight of the fissures of inequity I saw everyday.
The Next Chapter: Family Life
My life’s journey has brought me here today. It is central to not only my campaign, but my values that I represent families, veterans, women, and children–those who were born here in Arapahoe County to those newly arrived immigrants. The community must have a voice at the table where decisions are made. I am that voice. I’m so honored to be running and I hope to earn your vote.