ALAMOSA — Charlotte Bobicki has spent years listening to people and advocating on their behalf. Now, the San Luis Valley native is ready to step down as Senator Michael Bennet’s regional representative and retire.
“It’s time,” Bobicki said. “I spent 12 years with the senate, 36 years with education and eight with the commissioners. It’s time.”
Bobicki didn’t originally plan for a career in politics when she was growing up on her family’s farm in the Mount Pleasant area. After graduating from the one-room brick school in 1958 she thought she was going to become a nurse. However, that didn’t work out so she attended Adams State University—known then as Adams State Normal School—to get a teaching degree.
The educator life took her to Albuquerque, N.M. and Fredrick, Md. before coming back to the Valley. Bobicki taught math and science for fifth, sixth and seventh grades in Alamosa and served as a principal. When she retired in 1994 her husband Tom convinced her to run for county commissioner. Two terms later Leroy Salazar approached her to be a representative for Senator Ken Salazar.
“It just happened,” said Bobicki. “I didn’t apply and didn’t have a background in politics. It’s just a love for the Valley.”
That love for the region enabled her to speak up on transportation, education, water and other issues. As a representative for Salazar and Bennet, Bobicki filed reports on news and events in the area to keep them informed. “The big fellows need to know about rural Colorado,” she said. “That was a big thing when we were commissioners.”
Bobicki kept her eyes and ears open to observe the diverse and dynamic landscape.
“Growing up in the Valley is a big loyalty,” said Bobicki. “We grew up with the idea, even all the way through college, that the Valley was special and independent. Each county is so different. You go from Creede down to San Luis and you see all kind of life in between.”