Our Mission


Colorado Rising For Communities is powering a grassroots movement to protect our health, safety, quality of life, and the future of our climate from the harms and impacts of oil and gas operations.

Who We Are

History

Colorado Rising for Communities is a statewide 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to protect Colorado’s health, safety, wildlife, environment, and the future of our climate from the impacts of oil & gas development.

The organization was founded in September, 2019, to focus on litigation, state agency rulemaking, administrative processes, and public education concern over a number of explosions, spills, leaks, and other catastrophic oil and gas accidents in Colorado, compounded by years of political inaction and the failure of state agencies to address health and safety issues drew widespread support for the effort.

Commitment to People

We honor diversity. Our board of directors and leadership team is 60% women and BIPOC-led with representation from Latinx, Chicano, Indigenous, African American, LGBTQ and non-binary genders. We are not only committed to increasing diversity, inclusion and representation within our organization at all levels, but within the climate movement as well.

Meet The Board

Tricia Olson

Board President and Treasurer

As the organization’s founder, Tricia resides in an area that is under direct threat of large-scale fracking operations and is currently impacted by poor air quality from fracking in neighboring counties.

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Russell Mendel

Vice President of the Board

Russell Mendell is an Associate with the US program at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) on the America’s All In and Federal Policy teams. He received a Masters in Energy Regulation and Law at Vermont Law School. Prior to RMI, Russell was the Campaign Director of the youth-led environmental non-profit Earth Guardians.

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Suzanne Cabral

Board Secretary

Suzanne is a Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), frontline resident and community leader. She began advocacy after researching the health and environmental impacts of unconventional oil and gas development. Suzanne is co-founder of Front Range Residents for Environment Safety.

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Steve Douglas

Board Member

Steve served 8 years as a Commerce City Council Member At-Large, and participated in over a dozen advisory boards and committees. He is actively involved in the present and future visions of infrastructure and air quality throughout Commerce City.

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Cynthia Allison

Board Member

As a teenager, Cynthia organized and managed a neighborhood recycling collection point and was involved in city planning hearings. After retiring from a career in IT, Cynthia has focused on raising awareness of the impacts of fracking. She has testified at numerous local and state commission hearings and has played an active role in state agency rulemaking processes regarding fracking and air quality. She is also on the leadership team of The Lookout Alliance.

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Leadership

Joseph Salazar

Executive Director and Chief Litigator

As a Colorado native, Joe’s indigenous and Spanish roots in New Mexico and Colorado go back centuries. After receiving a BA from CU Boulder and a JD from University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Joe focused his career on civil and constitutional rights, and worked for the state as a civil rights and criminal investigator. Joe served as Colorado House Representative for HD31 from 2012 to 2018. During his time in office he served as vice-chairs for the House State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

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