The tensions caused by growth and development in House District 5 are one of the greatest challenges we face. I support identifying ways that we can be more proactive about the rapid growth that Colorado is experiencing and find smarter ways to make it work for everyone. This includes increasing access to affordable housing by using incentives and public funding to get it developed and continuing to improve our community while simultaneously respecting the rights of the people living in areas affected by changing neighborhoods.
Although Colorado’s legislators have been able to get around some TABOR restrictions and preserve the basic functionality of some services, the fact remains that TABOR severely limits our ability to grow and advance to our full capabilities. We are overdue for a bipartisan examination of TABOR’s effectiveness and its place (if any) in our future.
Healthcare is the primary issue I hope to work on if I am elected. I am horrified that 50% of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are related to medical bills. That means that we and our families are just one accident or one diagnosis away from potentially losing everything we've worked for our entire lives.
My two year old receives healthcare through the state children's health insurance program. Given how important this program is to our family and tens of thousands of other families across the state, I will continue to do everything I can to support and fund it.
I also believe that everyone should have access to healthcare regardless of their immigration status. Therefore, I will push legislation that provides healthcare options regardless of status.
We also need to ensure that insurance is affordable across the state. I come from Eagle County which is one of the most expensive counties for health insurance in the country. My cousin, an electrician, would have to pay 35% of his income in order to afford it. Therefore, he goes without.
Our ultimate goal should absolutely be a 100% clean energy economy. My years of experience working in the solar industry give me the experience and knowledge to understand the benefits of clean energy and how best to grow the new energy economy. As a state legislator, I will focus my efforts on building on the great work that our state has already accomplished, I will push measures that will enable the innovation that is needed that will lead us to 100% clean energy and I will create opportunities that will bring the fulfillment of the new energy economy. However, I will also consider those who may be negatively affected by the state’s full transition to clean energy to ensure that they have appropriate support and retraining.
Population growth and lack of funding has strained the state’s transportation infrastructure almost to the breaking point. Given that the gas tax hasn’t increased since 1991, it might be worthwhile to consider increasing it now to help fund transportation projects. It would also be great if we could pass a ballot initiative to ensure voters are supportive of raising funds for transportation infrastructure. We also need direct state funding support although, once again, TABOR makes that difficult. I absolutely do not support the privatization of our roads to provide funding. Instead, we should direct funding toward making our current public transportation networks more robust so they can be better utilized by working people who do not own personal vehicles.
I spent some time working for SEIU Local 105. While doing so, I realized that Unions not only protect workers and decrease the gender pay gap but that they are also on the front lines of social justice. To that end, I attended (and continue to attend) actions that support undocumented immigrants, allowing home healthcare workers to unionize and providing people access to $15 and a union.
I support common sense policies that will allow for responsible gun ownership but limit gun violence. These include:
• A permit-to-purchase policy that requires people to obtain a permit that is contingent on passing a background check before they are allowed to buy a firearm
• Policies that keep firearms out of the hands of perpetrators of domestic violence
• Denying firearms to those with convictions for violent misdemeanors
Our campaign is grassroots-based with a focus on engaging the community in new, creative ways. We rely on existing structures within our community to welcome and engage new folks, including monthly neighborhood meet-ups at local businesses and traditional door-to-door outreach. If/when I am elected, we will continue these community-focused efforts to ensure that every voice is heard and that every person counts.
As a renewable energy advocate who has worked across the country in nearly twenty states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., I have worked with people from many different backgrounds and political parties. I know that I do not completely agree with everyone but I do believe that I can find shared values in common with nearly everyone. I use those shared values to then discuss desired outcomes (which often align) and potential solutions (which often don’t). And then I work with them to compromise and find a way to yes—to the desired outcome.