IMG_5335I’m running for office because the working people and families in our communities deserve strong leaders willing to listen to local stakeholders and work hand-in-hand with state partners to solve the challenges facing us today.  I believe in honest, responsive government and am passionate about seeing the families in our small mountain and Western Slope communities have great opportunities at leading productive, happy lives. 

My legislative priorities focus on helping the working people and families succeed in my District, and protecting the Colorado I’ve come to know and love.

Public education is the pathway to individual success, strong communities and a vibrant economy. Colorado must ensure that all children receive a high-quality education that prepares them for a postsecondary credential or a career.  Specifically, in public education, these are my top priorities:

  • First and foremost, we must solve our funding dilemma in public education, because every teacher, bus driver and school employee deserves to make a living wage.  I believe there is a better way to equitably and adequately fund public education.
  • Kids should feel safe in their schools.  Behavioral/mental health and safety needs are climbing dramatically and our schools schools desperately need funding for more school health professionals, improved professional development for staff and better access to school based health center services for children/youth and families. This includes working across service sectors, outside of public schools, to strengthen community services for families.
  • I am working with community partners to bring a Universal Preschool Program to Summit County.  I am passionate about early childhood education, promoting parents as partners and strengthening family engagement in the earliest years.  I would be excited to see access to quality preschool programs for all children across Colorado, along with fully-funded kindergarten statewide.

Healthcare is a basic human right. Every man, woman and child deserves access to high-quality, reasonably-priced healthcare.  While I do not believe a single-payer approach is viable at the state level, I believe there are measures we can put into place right now that would make a significant difference in reducing the cost of healthcare for working families:

  • I support reinsurance in Colorado similar to the proposals enacted in Alaska and Minnesota.  Reinsurance will stabilize the individual marketplace and has the potential of lowering health insurance premiums by 20-30% along the Western Slope.
  • I support more transparency in understanding prescription and healthcare costs.  
  • The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act was an important first step in providing healthcare to thousands more Coloradans.  I will fight to protect this expanded coverage for families and children.

Coloradans should be able to find affordable workforce housing in the communities where they work.  I believe there are more ways we can support local efforts to improve the availability of workforce housing, including the right kinds of incentives for public-private partnerships and making sure that we balance the rights of homeowners in the short-term rental market with the need for more long-term rentals and incentivizing workforce housing development.

We must protect and preserve our spectacular natural environments and waterways so that working people and families can live their own grand Colorado adventure:  

  • Climate Change is the greatest threat to Colorado’s natural environment, healthy ecosystems and tourism/outdoor recreation economy.  I strongly support the numerous efforts underway by local communities and state government to reduce greenhouse gases by promoting alternative energy consumption and transition away from fossil fuels in favor of renewables.  Several counties and communities in HD61 are leading the state with aggressive energy and climate action plans. The state must support these local initiatives and drive similar efforts at the state level.
  • Water Quality and Conservation are key to our agricultural, ranching, and tourism/outdoor recreation economies.  Water demand in this state, especially along the front range, exceeds our water supply from the Western Slope. I support funding for the implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan and innovative approaches to ensure adequate water supply and storage.
  • Poor Forest Health and Wildfires are significant threats to our mountain communities and pristine landscapes.