I have spent my entire life in Colorado. Growing up here, attending our public schools, graduating from our university system, working in both the private and public sectors of our state, and caring for my family has shaped who I am today. I understand from my own personal experiences the challenges that our state faces. I have had the opportunity to work in the highest levels of state government alongside distinguished elected officials including Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien, as well as Representatives Angela Williams and Rhonda Fields.
My top priority is promoting the well being of my constituents and all Coloradans. I believe we can do this by working together, collaborating, and sharing ideas. As I have talked with our neighbors, several issues have come to the forefront:
Our state is struggling because our state constitution requires we maintain a balanced budget and simultaneously we cannot raise taxes directly through the legislature due to TABOR. I support eliminating the harmful effects of TABOR that restrict the legislature’s ability to increase revenue.
I support redirecting spending priorities that take away much needed services. For example, we spend nearly dollar for dollar on Corrections as we do for Higher Education. I would shift this balance to favor education over incarceration.
I oppose capital punishment and I advocate for the elimination of the death penalty in Colorado. While I understand and empathize with many families of victims that view the death penalty as a part of the search for justice, studies show that the death penalty is often used in sentencing disproportionately against minorities and fails to be a deterrent for future crimes. I support life imprisonment as the maximum sentence in Colorado law.
Our government has NO right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body. I support the Roe vs. Wade court decision and will vigorously fight to defend a woman’s right to choose.
ECONOMY & JOBS
I know the challenges the working class in our state face. I was raised in a single parent, working class home. I watched my mother work two jobs to provide for us, while striving to keep me on a path to success. Many in our district are facing this scenario and it has been made worse by our slow economic recovery. As a former member of the United Food and Commercial Workers local 7, I understand a good job doesn’t just mean a paycheck, but access to healthcare and retirement planning.
We must not only attract more jobs to our state, but we must keep jobs from leaving by supporting our community’s industry. I support legislation that gives Colorado companies preferences for Colorado contracts. I support legislation that gives Colorado companies more resources for providing training and better working conditions. I will work to cut the red tape that keeps small businesses from growing. I will be an advocate for Colorado’s Working Families.
As a product of public schools and a proud graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, I know first-hand the challenges our students face when preparing for success after high school. The Denver Post recently reported that of all students graduating from a Colorado public high school and attending college; over 35% of those students have to take remedial courses. Of those students, 75% drop out before completing their degree. This is unacceptable. Not only do the students suffer but also underperforming schools have an adverse effect on our economy and livelihood.
Among other remedies I will explore, I will introduce is the Colorado College Ready Plan, which will change the state’s high school graduation requirements to match those of our Community College system. We must ensure our K-12 system prepares students for college or vocational training in either a four year or two year program.
I vigorously oppose any legislation that takes away the rights of an individual or group based on Gender, Ethnicity, Race, Religion, or Sexuality.
I support legislation for civil unions and should the opportunity come to repeal the state’s current definition of marriage, I will also fully support gay marriage legislation.
I support legislation that requires equal pay for women who receive less pay for the same positions as their male counterparts.
Our state is the most beautiful place on earth. As a native Coloradan, I remember when you could look from Aurora towards the foothills and the skies were as clear as could be. That’s not the case anymore. Now when you look west, you see a thick brown smog hover between our view of the Rockies.
The environment will be one of largest issues that our state will face over the next 30 years and we cannot delay in protecting it. I am against harmful Hydraulic Fracking practices, and support local control methods.
Health care should be offered to all just as education and public safety are available to all. I support government operated single payer health care. I would sponsor or co-sponsor such a plan to ensure that all Coloradans have adequate health care.
I support providing undocumented immigrants currently here in the United States and immigrants wishing to enter the country with a more reasonable pathway to citizenship, while securing our borders to ensure that all residents are properly documented to be here. I also support tuition equity for all Colorado high school students.
I support the continued maintenance of our infrastructure as well as new infrastructure projects such as completion of the I-225 Lightrail line from Parker Road to the Eagle P-3 line along I-70. Supporting these infrastructure projects bring much needed construction jobs, helps our local economy, and enhances our community by connecting us more with the rest of the metro area.
In March of 2009, my Grandmother suffered a stroke. Fortunately, she survived, but this greatly affected her abilities to care for herself. She requires more assistance from others and my entire family shares in that responsibility. I have witnessed the high cost of her continued treatment.
We must protect services and programs that help our senior population. Too many of our seniors face rising health care costs while living on fixed incomes. I will work to ensure that much needed retiree programs operate efficiently and effectively. I will oppose changing the Gallagher Amendment (which keeps property taxes low) for those over the age of 65. While we must find new sources of revenue, we cannot take resources away from our seniors that can’t afford it.
Water is one of our most valuable resources. We must protect our water supply through conservation methods and in negotiating water rights with nearby states to ensure that we are protected in times of drought. We must also protect our water supply from pollution and contamination caused by industrial spillover as well as oil and gas fracking extraction methods.
It is important that we build on the accomplishments of the past and come up with solutions that not only will address short-term needs, but lasting policies to ensure success for generation to come. I will continue to work with law makers, our business community, non profit organizations, and most importantly, YOU, my neighbors and fellow community members.