Pollock says she'd find the "opportunity in chaos" on Casper City Council - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Pollock says she’d find the “opportunity in chaos” on Casper City Council

Co-owner Amber Pollock poses in the Backwards Distilling Company’s downtown tasting room on Friday afternoon. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo —  “I believe that local government is just as impactful, and sometimes more impactful on most peoples’ day-to-day life than the things that happen in national politics,” said Amber Pollock in an email to Oil City News.

Pollock is running for one of two available four-year terms on Casper City Council for Ward I.

Pollock said her role on council would be to lead with a vision informed by her experience as well as input from experts and stakeholders.

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Pollock started Backwards Distillery with her family 6 years ago, and at a candidate forum in August, said their businesses had to “pivot” due to the mass public closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said council needed to be just as “nimble” as it faced the ongoing crisis and budget shortfall.  

“You find a lot opportunity in the chaos,” Pollock said, and added she’d bring that vision to council to “see the points of opportunity rather than just panic about the money we don’t have.”

 Pollock also said engaging the younger demographic was a priority.

“We have some of the largest outmigration of young people in this state,” Pollock said in August.

“Working with ENGAGE has taught me that there are so many young people who are not at decision-making tables, despite the fact that our leaders are constantly talking about our youth retention and making decisions that will impact their futures,” Pollock added in her email.

Pollock said that business and government should have a “mutually beneficial relationship.” She said that in her four years on the board of the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance (now Advance Casper) the board’s model has shifted to be “more private sector led.”

“Government should function in a way that supports private business and should look to the private sector to help solve problems,” Pollock said. “The business sector should take an active role to support the initiatives of the government to improve the economy and strengthen the community as well as to help set the vision for the community.”

Pollock said that, as a business owner, she has worked with the city council to create policies to better the community and make it possible for her business to operate on several occasions. 

“In each case, I learned about the process of creating policy change, building coalitions, and working with city staff to bring these ideas to reality,” Pollock said.

 Final question:What do you think are the core concerns of the citizens of Casper?

“Generally, I think people care most about whether Casper is a “good” place to live,” Pollock said.

“People want great schools, opportunities for jobs that can support their families, safe and welcoming communities, and things to do. City Council has a role to play in each of these areas and can have an influence on whether or not these needs are being met.”

Pollock was born and raised in Casper and graduated with master’s from the University of Wyoming in musical education.

The general election is Nov. 3, and early voting in ongoing in Natrona County. The Casper City Council races are as follows:

Ward I (2 seats available, 4 year term)

Ward II (2 seats available)

Ward III ( 1 seat available)