Our Mission


Colorado Rising 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 is a statewide 501(c)4 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, 2016, 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.

colonialism is a current ongoing process

Land acknowledgement

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Colorado Rising and Colorado Rising for Communities honors and acknowledges that we reside on the traditional and unceded territories of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary Indigenous Tribes and Nations who have historically called Colorado home and support the return of indigenous lands to its original native inhabitants.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and to all those who have stewarded the land, air, and water for generations.

We affirm that this acknowledgment expresses our commitment to protect the health, safety, quality of life, and future of vibrant Indigenous communities from the injustices of environmental racism along with the exploitation of their precious lands while upholding their sacred relation to our delicate environment.

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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Harv Teitelbaum

Board Member

An activist for over 50 years and a nontraditional educator for 25, Harv has an MA in Ecopsychology and Environmental Leadership and has worked with such orgs as PSR-Colorado, the Environmental Health Project, Sierra Club, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. His current focus is on fossil fuels, and environmental and health justice.

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Leadership