Claudia Folska, Westword cover girl, wins seat on RTD board of directors

Claudia Folska, the subject of our recent feature story "Fare Treatment," won her race Tuesday for a seat on the Regional Transportation District board of directors, besting three opponents. Folska, who is blind and uses RTD to get around, will represent District E, which includes parts of Denver, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Centennial, on the fifteen-member board.

"I really, really believe that RTD is at this precipice, looking into the future, for creating and building and completing a multi-modal transit system that sets the gold standard for transit districts in North America," Folska says. "We all, as board members, have that opportunity. ... But it means we all have to work together."

According to the Colorado Secretary of State's office, Folska won 46 percent of the vote. Opponent Dave Williams won 21 percent, Jeff Bjorlin won 19 percent and Vince Chowdhury won 14 percent. In all, nine seats on the board were up for grabs. Three of the races, in Districts G, K and M, were very close. The Denver Post reports that there may be a recount in District M -- where the two opponents are only separated by 115 votes.

Folska says she's eager to tackle several key issues, including expanding RTD's ridership and finishing the multi-billion-dollar FasTracks expansion. "Growing the ridership is key," Folska says -- and the easier accomplishment of the two. "It will take a concerted effort working on many different fronts to move forward in completing FasTracks."

As for how to do that, she says, "There are lots of ideas floating around. I think every option needs to be looked at and evaluated to see what people are willing to do."

More from our Politics archive: "Scott Gessler: Officials probably didn't catch all fraudulent voters before election."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar