What I Am with Alia Scanlon, City of Aspen, CO

Posted on July 13, 2015

Link: ELGL Spreads Across the Country

“Cross between The Atlantic magazine and Buzzfeed”
Welcome to our new member feature. We’ve all heard the excuse “I’m too busy” too many times so we’ve simplified our new member feature to elicit short, meaningful responses.

Alia Scanlon (LinkedIn) is a management analyst intern at City of Aspen. She has an MPA from the University of Colorado Denver. Alia will be relocating to Toronto in the next few months.

What I Want From ELGL:
Community, smarts, laughs, and career development.

What I Wish Local Government Did Better: ​
Responding to promising but untested ideas with an earnest “maybe” instead of a hard, knee jerk “no.”
What I Am Listening To: 
This week it’s Run the Jewels 2, on repeat​.
What I Am Reading:
download (4)
​Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
What I Am Doing This Summer:
​I’m a summer management analyst intern at the City of Aspen! It’s such a thrill to work for a local government that sees value in experimenting with new ideas as a way of drawing the public into the decision-making process. I’m working primarily on a program called Rethink the Street that aims to produce citizen-led pedestrian safety interventions that also inject joy, playfulness, and beauty into the city’s public spaces. Last week I installed a community wishing tree in a pedestrian curb extension…it’s my own small experiment with activating a public space.
What I Am Afraid of: 
My student loans. Ewoks are a close second.
What I Wish I Was Doing (Instead of Completing This Questionnaire):
Riding my bike to the grocery store! I don’t have a car, but the Rio Grande Trail is shut-the-front-door gorgeous and runs up and down the Roaring Fork Valley…every week I get to take myself on a beautiful, exhilarating, life-affirming trip to the grocery store.
What I Consider As My Career Accomplishments:
​I spent five years working in China before coming back to do my MPA. Not only did I pick up some pretty competent Mandarin skills, but I also learned how important it is to cultivate empathy, adaptability, and self-awareness. They’re skills that I’ve definitely found useful in local government.
What Song/Movie Makes Me Cry: ​

Not even a little ashamed to admit that President Obama’s 2008 “Yes, We Can” victory speech makes me tear up. Every. Single. Time.

What I Am Wishing Would Go Away: Global climate change.​
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