Washington Park Profile/Life on Capitol Hill - Q&A with Peg
(4/4/19) Thank you to Life on Capitol Hill and The Washington Park Profile for publishing a Q&A about the Clerk’s office and my vision for serving Denver if elected:
Has lived in Denver since 2010.
Profession: Public interest lawyer
Campaign Website: www.perlfordenver.com
Why are you seeking this office?
I am running for Denver clerk because I’ve spent my legal career working to make government more open and accountable to all people, not just the wealthy and well-connected. For 15 years my focus has fighting for people in the core areas of the Denver clerk’s responsibilities: voting rights, campaign finance, public records access, and government ethics. For years, I’ve also helped people frustrated by trying to access public information or records being stopped by fees and other hurdles to finding what they need.
What makes you the best choice for this office?
I am passionate about connecting people with their government to increase community participation in governing, and have a track record of bipartisan success in passing and implementing reforms and increasing government accountability and transparency. At the local level, I have collaborated with the current Denver clerk and City Council to improve transparency of city lobbyist reporting, update the code of ethics, and modernize Denver’s campaign rules to reduce the amount of “dark money” in city elections.
What are the most important traits or skills for the clerk to possess?
The clerk should have experience in the technical areas that the office oversees, such as elections and public records, and be committed to making services and information accessible to all residents without regard to political considerations. The clerk is an important representative of the city working with the secretary of state, legislative leaders, and the other county clerks across Colorado in elections, public records, and land recording or public trustee issues and must have relationships and the ability to lead if necessary on measures at a statewide level.
What must an effective clerk accomplish?
The clerk’s ultimate mission is to connect residents to the city government, not only through direct service offerings like land recordings and marriage licenses, but by supporting public participation in governing on Election Day and every other day when policy is made in our city. My vision for the clerk’s office is one that breaks down remaining barriers to voting for some communities and ensures equal access to public information regarding city decisions. An effective clerk is one who instills confidence in city government.
What will be your top priority if you are elected to this office?
An overarching main priority will be to improve accountability and transparency in city government by integrating the information and accessibility of all divisions of the clerk’s office. This effort will also involve gathering community input on improving the transparency of public records access and searchability of information in the clerk’s office and I will post a full inventory or directory of all public records available, because there are a number of city records that are not advertised as such.