Claire has over 25 years experience serving the people of Boulder and Colorado as a volunteer, as a legislator, a policy advocate and as a community activist. She currently serves on the board of Boulder Housing Partners, the city of Boulder’s housing authority. Claire also serves on the statewide Access to Justice Commission.
The voters of House District 13 elected Claire in 2006 to serve as their State Representative in the Colorado legislature. She was reelected three times to represent Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Grand and Jackson counties. While in the legislature, Claire served Vice-chair of the Joint Budget Committee, Chair of the Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Judiciary Committee. She also served in numerous leadership roles including Speaker Pro Tem, Majority Whip and Assistant Caucus Chair.
Claire was among the most productive members of the legislature, writing many significant pieces of legislation, including
- Colorado’s first statewide energy efficiency building code, the country’s first community solar gardens act, reforms to make rooftop solar more affordable, and requirements for utility energy efficiency programs;
- Colorado’s first bill to allow permanent vote-by-mail status and legislation to facilitate voting by overseas voters;
- Restrictions on prosecuting juveniles as adults, legislation to keep juveniles out of adult jails and to requires that all juveniles in detention receive an education, and improvements in juvenile legal defense;
- The first prohibition on texting while driving;
- Advances in civil rights protections;
- Creation of the Transit and Rail Division in the Department of Transportation;
- Reforms to correctional practices including a plan to close private prisons, restrict use of solitary confinement, prohibit shackling pregnant inmates during labor, and increase access to educational and therapeutic programming;
- Protections for wildfire victims including homeowner insurance reforms and changes to property tax assessments;
- Drug sentence and other criminal sentence reforms;
- Reforms to school discipline practices to reduce suspensions and expulsions and referrals to law enforcement;
- Expansion of pre-trial diversion programs and reductions in pretrial detention; and
- Legislation to improve access to employment for people with a criminal history.
Following her term in the legislature, Claire was named the Executive Director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy on November 1, 2013. The Colorado Center on Law and Policy is a Denver-based nonprofit advocacy organization working to advance the health, economic security and well-being of low-income Coloradans through research, education, advocacy and litigation. In that position, Claire grew the organization by 40%, brought a focus on racial equity to CCLP, and was an outspoken advocate about growing income inequality and the racial wealth divide. In addition to leading CCLP, Claire tackled Colorado’s affordable housing crisis, worked on the campaign to increase Colorado’s minimum wage, advocated to eliminate wealth-based pretrial detention and continued her work on access to employment for people with a criminal history.
Before being elected to public office, Claire was involved in numerous community activities. She served on the city of Boulder Planning Board, the boards of Boulder Arts Academy and Boulder Ballet, Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee, PLAN Boulder County and volunteered with the Democratic Party and with her daughters’ schools.