About Us


WCC's Office and Staff

128 North Sixth Street
P.O. Box 1931, GRAND JUNCTION, CO 81502
(970) 256-7650 ph; (970) 245-0686 fax

Frank Smith, Director of Organizing
Lee Gelatt, Community Organizer
Brenda Bafus-Williams, Administrative Assistant

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WCC's Board of Directors

President : Gretchen Nicholoff, Hotchkiss
Vice President: Penny Heuscher, Cedaredge
Secretary: Dennis Olmstead, Montrose
Treasurer: Randy Parker, Ridgway
Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley: Steve Aigner, Steamboat Spgs
Grand Valley Citizens Alliance: Paul Light, Parachute
Ridgway-Ouray Community Council: Rein van West, Ridgway
Uncompahgre Valley Association: Marv Ballantyne, Montrose

WCC of Mesa County : Claudette Konola, Grand Junction

Director-at-Large: Bob Arrington, Battlement Mesa
Director-at-Large: David Cale, Grand Junction
Director-at-Large: Monica Wiitanen, Paonia
Director Emeritus: Peggy Rawlins, Grand Junction

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WCC's Mission

Western Colorado Congress (WCC) is a grassroots, democratic organization dedicated to challenging injustice by organizing people to increase their power over decisions that affect their lives. WCC's community groups and members work together to create healthy, sustainable communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship and a truly democratic society.

As a member of Western Colorado Congress, you can:

  • Contribute to developing solutions for our issues.
  • Stay informed on local and regional issues through WCC's newsletter, fact sheets and action alerts.
  • Take advantage of trainings and leadership development opportunities.
  • Participate in community affairs. If this involvement is new to you, you can learn on the experience of other members.
  • Meet other people who are concerned about Colorado's people, communities and natural resources.

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WCC's History

In the late 1970s, local citizens groups sprouted across the Western Slope of Colorado in response to threats to their local communities - coal and molybdenum mining, oil shale development, and plans for powerlines were a few of the concerns. As the scope of their concerns broadened, members of these local groups decided to band together to create a unified citizens voice. From these groups and their members, the Western Colorado Congress formed in 1980.

Over the past 31 years, Western Colorado Congress members have tackled — and won on — a wide variety of issues. For instance, we have:

  • Safeguarded the health of people on the Western Slope by blocking the creation of a radioactive waste dump;
  • Protected consumer interests by preventing excessive utility rate hikes;
  • Added to the legacy of future generations by winning wilderness status for low-elevation canyon country;
  • Stopped corporations from polluting our air and water in many of our local communities;
  • Ensured more sustainable management of our public lands by limiting aspen clearcutting; and
  • Enhanced our members’ abilities to participate in our democracy over the long haul by providing trainings and real-life experience.

Because we take on such a variety of issues, WCC has come to mean different things to different people. However, Western Colorado Congress has always maintained its commitment to organizing citizens on issues that directly affect their lives.

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Foundation Support

Western Colorado Congress would like to thank the following foundations for their generous support of our members' efforts:

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Western Colorado Congress is an alliance for community action empowering people
to protect and enhance their quality of life in western Colorado.

PO Box 1931, Grand Junction, CO 81502; phone (970) 256-7650; fax (970) 245-0686