Next Generation Advisory Committee chairperson Iftin Abshir announced a bid for the District 4 seat on city council this fall.
Abshir is the first candidate to declare for the seat, which will be open as its current occupant, Mayor Debbie Brinkman, is term-limited.
Abshir, 28, is a caretaker for her grandmother, and also runs a YouTube channel. She holds bachelor's degrees in chemistry and screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University in California, and a master's degree in cinema and media studies from the University of Southern California.
Abshir is a third-generation Littletonian, she said, and a graduate of Heritage High School.
Abshir became interested in serving in the city while traveling back and forth between home and college, she said.
“Not all change is a bad thing, but I began to notice it was increasingly difficult to distinguish between California and Colorado,” Abshir said.
Abshir was selected to sit on the Next Generation Advisory Committee, a city-run group that seeks feedback on local issues from young people, and later was selected as chairperson.
She said the committee has put her in touch with other young people who care about Littleton's future.
“They have great ideas and thoughtful things to say,” Abshir said. “We're ready to make Littleton better.”
Abshir said if elected, she would focus on “thoughtful growth.”
“It's important to make sure infrastructure precedes development,” Abshir said. “If we're going to grow, roads, traffic, and utilities need to be addressed beforehand, not after they become a problem.”
District 4, the city's southwest quadrant and its largest council district, includes large residential neighborhoods as well as South Platte Park and a long stretch of the South Platte River. The district also includes the Ensor property, one of Littleton's largest undeveloped parcels. Two development groups are currently working on proposals to build hundreds of homes and apartments on the land.
Abshir said she would also focus on sustainable and environmentally conscious growth, with an eye toward preserving open space.
“We need to make sure development is right for the area and for current residents, while planning for the future,” Abshir said.
Abshir also said that as the daughter of a librarian, she understands the importance of amenities like Bemis Library, and would be a dedicated supporter of the library, museum, and Town Hall Arts Center.