My Story

Emilie Mitcham and family
Our three-generation household

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about who I am and why I’m running for Mountain View Mayor. I am a paralegal mediator, the mother of four boys, an artist, community organizer, and a writer.

Recent Accomplishments

For the last eight years, I have been active in state and local politics, volunteering for candidates, writing postcards, stuffing envelopes, joining town clean-up days, and initiating community conversations. Most recently I started Mountain View United to help residents stay informed and engaged. In addition, I served on the Mountain View Council, filling a vacancy in 2017 and being elected Mayor Pro Tem, serving in 2018 and 2019.

In my time on Council, I helped create the Community Development & Outreach Committee—launching a resident survey that assisted us as we prioritized projects. Additionally, as the sole member of the Finance Committee at the time, I initiated a study to look at town employee salaries which helped bring our Police Department salaries into line with the surrounding area, making it more possible to attract and retain good officers.

More recently, as a community organizer, I brought an idea to Council members Chelsea Steen, Adam Ellsworth, and Kathleen Bailey that has come to fruition. I, along with 25 other residents, requested that the town supply residents with lidded trash bins in order to cut down on the litter happening in our alleys. This summer, the new bins have been distributed throughout town. It’s a good example of how, working together, we can have a positive impact.

Earlier Life Story

Although I was born in Colorado (at the old St. Anthony’s Hospital overlooking Sloan’s Lake), I was raised mostly in rural Kentucky where my parents founded a small, intentional community for families—an upbringing that taught me firsthand the value and hard work of living in community. As a teenager, I moved back to Colorado, where I graduated from Boulder High School in 1986. I married, and after the birth of my first son, moved to San Francisco where my other three sons were born, and where I graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute.

Returning to Colorado in 2004 to raise my children closer to family, I received my paralegal certificate from Arapahoe Community College (2012) and my Mediation Certificate from Phoenix Strategies (2017). I now live in Mountain View with two of my four sons and my parents. My three-generation family lives in the old Berkeley Farms School House.

Professional Experience & Driving Force

Prior to running for municipal office, I volunteered as a paralegal mediator for Jefferson County Mediators and with Porchlight Family Justice Center. I also worked as a Records and Information Manager for a structural engineering firm in San Francisco, gaining valuable organizational management skills. I currently work as a caretaker for my mother, Marylee, who was diagnosed with dementia two years ago. My father, Carl, is a Professor Emeritus at the Colorado School of Mines.

In addition to my robust professional background, my overriding principles come from a desire to live fully in each moment and to be present to the ways in which I might help others. I bring both my creative skills and my experiences as a mediator to the work of helping the Mountain View community solve shared problems and find new ways forward.

I believe I am uniquely qualified to help Mountain View explore, debate, articulate, and unite behind a shared vision for the future. As a mediator, I have facilitated group problem solving and mediated many neighbor-to-neighbor disputes. My work always emphasizes the importance of civility, listening to others the way we want to be listened to, and listening for meaning, which involves giving others the benefit of the doubt and not listening in order to cultivate our own answers but to truly understand another’s perspective.

Council work is rooted in healthy debate and discussion. The person facilitating the Council meetings, as the head of the governing body, is responsible for upholding a spirit of mutual respect and collaboration. Because I have training in this area, I can facilitate meetings that are respectful and productive.

Looking Forward

I look forward to working with the Council and with the Town Police Department, appointed officials, and staff. Each person in town has an important role to play, including residents. I’m excited to help us begin to build a vision for our future, by initiating a discussion and planning process that will ultimately result in a Comprehensive Master Plan. This Master Plan will help Council make important decisions about all aspects of our shared life together. From infrastructure to zoning, and from code enforcement to sustainability practices, we have some big, impactful decisions to make together!

No one person can accomplish any of this alone. Community is the root of government and the reason for its existence. Therefore, all government should strive mightily to be inclusive. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because more engaged voices create more comprehensive and effective solutions.

Thank you again for your time!