Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap is a community leader here in Humboldt County. She is the Director of a local organization dedicated to growing democracy at the grassroots level and protecting local control over resources.
She has served as your representative on the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board for the past four years and is seeking re-election.
Kaitlin grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a community facing water crises in recent years. In 2003, the nation's top water manager said that New Mexico was a "poster child" for the West's water crisis. For the past decade the City of Santa Fe has imposed water rations on the community - Kaitlin remembers saving bath and dish water so that her mother was able to also water her garden. Kaitlin knows how important it is to protect our water - not just the quality - but also our right to it.
The communities in the mountains of the Southwest are suffering because their water rights have been sold to places like Los Angeles and Phoenix. Kaitlin understands from experience that we cannot let that happen in the Pacific Northwest.
Kaitlin has dedicated her time to protecting local communities from the harmful affects of international trade agreements that favor large corporations over the rights of people and communities. Her concern for water issues stems from an understanding that water is a public resource that must not be privatized. Privitization in other communities has led to rate hikes, poorer quality and less accessibility.
At Democracy Unlimited she leads educational workshops for the public, oversees the organization's staff, supervises volunteers and manages the finances for the organization.
Kaitlin attended Hampshire College in rural Massachusetts for three years where she studied education and community. After she moved to Eureka she graduated from New College of California in Santa Rosa.
In 2004 Kaitlin was elected to the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District Board. She is the first woman to serve on the District board and the youngest person. She has worked to protect our water for the past four years and is seeking re-election to continue the job she started in her first term.