Matthew AppelbaumFormer Mayor/Councilmember
City of Boulder, CO

Matthew Appelbaum

Matthew Appelbaum has served on the Boulder City Council for more than 16 years, initially from 1987 to 1995, and currently since 2007. He was selected by the City Council to serve as the mayor of the City of Boulder from 2011 to 2015, and previously in 2009.

Matt has been involved in civic activities for three decades, serving on a wide variety of city boards and committees that advised the council on such issues as transportation, budgeting and revenues, affordable housing, and parks and recreation. He has also served on the board of directors and as chair of PLAN-Boulder County and on the executive committee of the local chapter of the Sierra Club. His current interests on council range across a wide variety of issues in addition to those just noted, including land use and urban design, economic vitality, environmental protection, and a more recent emphasis on energy efficiency, potential municipalization of the city’s electric system, resilience and long-term sustainability.

During his tenure on council, Matt has been particularly involved with regional, state and national organizations. On the national level, Matt has been an active participant at the National League of Cities, where he is on the Board of Directors, having previously served on the Steering Committee of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, which he also has chaired. He is also on the Steering Committee of NLC’s University Communities Council, and of NLC’s Sustainable Cities Institute.

Matt is currently on the Executive Board of the Colorado Municipal League, and he represented Boulder on CML’s Policy Committee for several years. Regionally, he has served on the executive committee of the Denver Metro Mayors Caucus and represented them on statewide transportation matters. And he has represented Boulder in several forums, notably the US36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition, regarding FasTracks and RTD regional transportation issues in the northwest metro corridor. From 1990 to 1995, he served as the city's representative to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and was instrumental in the creation of that group's first regional plan and associated long-term policies.

Matt is also actively involved with ICLEI, an international organization of cities working on issues of sustainability and climate change. He is currently on the Board of ICLEI USA and also ICLEI’s North America Regional Executive Committee. Matt was part of a delegation sponsored by ICLEI and NLC to the COP21, the UN’s climate change conference in Paris.

Matt has been invited to speak on energy issues at the World Economic Forum, gave a major presentation on Boulder’s Open Space system to more than 400 mayors in Japan at a conference held by the Ecosystem Preservation Society, and was invited to join a select group of cities representing the U.S. at the first European Green Capital Conference in Stockholm. He has also represented NLC on the Climate Ready Water Utilities Working Group, a committee created by the Environmental Protection Agency to recommend strategy for helping water utilities adapt to climate change.

Matt has lived in Boulder since 1976, working for several start-up companies as a computer software architect/developer/trainer. His wife, Joni – who has served on both the city's Planning Board and Urban Renewal Authority, and is currently on the library commission – was an attorney for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and then worked at the General Services Administration in the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings. Matt is also active in green building activities, having helped design and build their passive-solar house, and as a LEED Accredited Professional.