CHEYENNE – As a longtime Cheyenne resident, Keren Meister-Emerich has built a network of connections in town, from both her time as a teacher at East High School and as a volunteer for local organizations.
Meister-Emerich said she’s always encouraging her friends to get involved in the community, so when they turned the tables and suggested she run for office, something clicked.
With a holistic approach to decision making and a diverse academic background, Meister-Emerich is running for a Ward 2 seat on the Cheyenne City Council in this year’s election.
“I look at this as a way to serve the community and try to make the community better,” Meister-Emerich said. “My focus is making this the kind of place where families want to live in the future – where people say, ‘This is a great place to live.’”
For everything from development projects to budget cuts, Meister-Emerich said she takes a “holistic” viewpoint and considers all the possible domino effects in order to avoid preventable problems.
She fully realized the importance of information gathering when she participated in Leadership Wyoming, finding value in looking at things from financial, social, economic, technological and environmental perspectives.
“I think Leadership Wyoming gave me a really good view of the state, but it also gave me a view that sometimes you don’t know the issues. Sometimes, you just have to talk to people, listen to people and get more information so that you really know what the issues are and how they’re impacting them,” she said.
And with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in statistics, Meister-Emerich said she’d bring a new viewpoint to the City Council if elected. She’s taught both computer programming and computer networking at East High and has a keen eye for technological security.
“Infrastructure is really important to me, and not just streets and roads, but also technology infrastructure,” Meister-Emerich said. “If we’re going to progress as a community, we have to have good internet capability.”
Going back to her holistic approach, she said the council needs to consider the impacts new developments could have on the technology infrastructure in town and promote projects that encourage more technological advancements.
And when it comes to economic development, Meister-Emerich realizes the need to attract new businesses, especially after the pandemic. However, she said new development shouldn’t come into the community at the expense of existing businesses or industries.
“(Development) should expand our economic base so that when one industry has trouble, we don’t really negatively impact our overall budget,” she said.
Meister-Emerich also has worked directly with members of the community through the years, whether it was by volunteering for the Cheyenne 150 Committee, the Cheyenne Frontier Days ticket and PR committees or on the Ascension Lutheran Church Council.
If elected to the City Council, she said she wants her constituents to feel comfortable communicating with her by call, text, email or social media, whether they have an issue that needs to be fixed or an idea for how to address a problem.
“My goal is to just make sure that Cheyenne is a great place to live and raise your family,” she said.
Meister-Emerich is one of two women running for a seat on the all-male council. She will be running against Bryan Cook (incumbent), James Johnson, Tom Segrave and Boyd Wiggam for one of the two open Ward 2 seats.
Wyoming’s primary election is scheduled for Aug. 18, and the general election will take place Nov. 3. Absentee and early voting begin July 2.