2 minute read

Polly Baca-Barragán: 1941—: Politician, Media Relations Specialist

Created Strong Ties As Politician

Part of Baca's success as a politician was her visibility among her constituents and throughout her state. Another element was her good relationship with the Democratic party leadership in Washington, D.C. Her years in Washington, coupled with her hard work and her expertise in public relations and communication, made her one of the best connected Democratic politicians in Colorado. From 1981 to 1989 she served as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, and she was co-chair of the 1980 and 1984 Democratic National Conventions. The Denver Post went so far as to suggest that Baca had more influence in Washington than then-governor Richard Lamm.

In 1986 Baca decided it was time to try for the U.S. Congress. She fought a hard battle and was defeated despite her popularity and track record. She decided to retire from politics and devote her time to Sierra Baca, a management consulting firm she had begun in 1985. Sierra Baca focused on many of the same issues that Baca had tackled while in politics: education reform, the role of women and minorities in society, understanding public policy. She ran the company until 1989 when she accepted a position as executive director of the Colorado Hispanic American Institute. The Institute's mission was to develop multicultural leadership and develop programs that would benefit Hispanics and other minorities. One of the projects she worked on during her five years at the Institute was the direction of Visiones, a leadership development program that brought community leaders from different racial and ethnic groups together and helped them to understand one another's cultures more completely.

In February of 1994 Baca was back in Washington briefly. This time she was a special assistant to President Bill Clinton and director of the Office of Consumer Affairs. As part of her duties, she chaired the U.S. delegation to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Committee on Consumer Policy conference.

From November of 1994 to May of 1999, Baca was regional administrator for the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). In that capacity she oversaw GSA activities for an area covering six states and 48,000 government employees working in 43 government agencies. In 1999 she went back to her consulting business, Sierra Baca. Her civic activities include serving as executive director of the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA), an advocacy group for the Hispanic community; and InSites, a nonprofit organization that conducts research and evaluation programs for educational organizations.



Meier, Matt S., Mexican American Biographies: A Historical Dictionary, 1836-1987, Greenwood Press, 1988.


Denver Post, October 21, 1979.

Vista, February 4, 1992.


"Polly B. Baca" 9 News, www.9news.com/latino/baca_resume_long.htm (June 4, 2003).

—George A. Milite

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Miguel Angel Asturias: 1899-1974: Writer to Don Berrysmith Biography - Grew up in the Pacific NorthwestPolly Baca-Barragán: 1941—: Politician, Media Relations Specialist Biography - Showed Early Interest In Politics, Began Political Career, Created Strong Ties As Politician