1. Would you support a full repeal of TABOR? If yes, how would you propose achieving success at the ballot? If no, what provisions of it will you support repealing or revising, and how would you propose achieving success at the ballot?
Yes. This will require talking to house district chairs, and getting PCPs involved in canvassing and talking to our neighbors. I would join in the effort to educate our community on the benefits we would receive by repealing TABOR.
2. Last year, the state legislature passed a bill committing the state to cut climate pollution (from 2005 levels) 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050. What further legislation will you promote in order to achieve those goals, and how will you address vehicle emissions as part of the framework?
I support reforestation as a way to achieve carbon sequestration. I support working to make public transportation accessible and efficient. I support using electric busses that have zero emissions to replace busses when they become no longer operational. I support increasing charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles. I support increasing the number of bike lanes to make biking a safer and more accessible mode of transportation. I support legislation to update building codes and energy efficiency standards. I support incentivizing carbon farming as the agricultural industry is one of the leading causes of Co2 emissions. There are many ways farmers can reduce their climate impact, have greater crop yields while at the same time reducing the use of pesticides. There are also things we can push on the local levels. We can talk to our local officials on City Council about mixed-use zoning to reduce the need for cars in neighborhoods. We can support single-payer waste hauling programs and compost programs on the local level. I would like to see Colorado lead the way in new technologies in this area. This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of things we can do but we need to be aggressive in our efforts to reduce climate change if we are going to be successful.
3. What is your position on a non-profit single-payer healthcare system or an improved Medicare for All system in Colorado, and how will it help solve our health care crisis and the high cost of prescription drugs?
I support a non-profit single-payer healthcare system for Colorado. I am someone who has had to try and navigate the healthcare system while being chronically ill without health insurance because I couldn’t afford it. No one deserves to have a lower quality of life strictly because of the cost of healthcare. I believe that healthcare is a human right. When we take care of our people we all benefit. I would like to see dental and eye coverage as a part of our single payer healthcare system.
By implementing a single payer system in Colorado insurance will no longer be a barrier for healthcare, improving accessibility and affordability and it will eliminate healthcare premiums that are paid to private insurance companies. Administrative costs would be reduced, and it would be a more efficient system driving down the cost even more. Healthcare would no longer be tied to your job and many businesses will save money. A single payer system would cover prescription drugs, meaning that your ability to pay for medication is not a qualifier to receive your medication making it accessible to anyone who needs prescription drugs.
4. What is your position regarding public schools, including charter schools? What will you do to strengthen our public school system?
I support our public school system. I am not a fan of how some of our charter schools currently operate. Charter schools are technically public schools because they receive state and federal funding and are not for profit. However, charter schools have separate boards that do not comprise of publicly elected officials unlike traditional public schools. While traditional public schools and charter schools have similar rates of success, charter schools do something called “weeding out” the kids that have behavioral issues and low performance, which is something that traditional public schools don’t do. Charter schools also do not have the same regulations that traditional public schools do which has allowed things like LGBTQ discrimination by staff, and making a choice not to teach eveolution in high school science classrooms. More and more of our traditional public schools are closing down and being replaced with charter schools which is something I do not agree with and would use my position to try and improve the public schools we have instead of closing them. Our kids need our neighborhood public schools.
We can improve education by providing a mental healthcare provider in every school, increasing teacher pay, replacing the teacher evaluation system that’s currently in place, and rewriting the school finance formula that determines how funds are divided among schools. We also need to address overcrowded classrooms which puts a strain on both students and teachers.
5. How does using military force (violence) as the central tenant of our foreign policy effect violence in our communities? What can the legislature do to stem the increased militarism of local police?
We need to raise the standards by which we use military force. Our national military spending is out of control. We need to make sure we are providing our veterans with the care they need when they return home. Too many of our veterans return home with PTSD, and too many of our veterans take their own lives.
We do not need to be handing down military grade weapons to our police departments. Our police officers are not soldiers, they are here to protect and serve our communities and that does not require military issued gear. Military gear is for war and our police officers are not at war with our community.
I would like to see more accountability in our police departments and training to reduce officer bias.
6. How will you address the needs of the undocumented children who have only known the U.S. as their home country?
We need to close the ICE detention centers in Colorado. We should not take part in locking up children in cages in our state. Children who have only known the U.S. as their home should be protected and a path to citizenship should be provided. This is their home and we need to be clear that undocumented children have rights in Colorado. They should have the same rights as any other child in Colorado.
7. How will you address affordable housing, attainable housing, and housing for the homeless?
We need to continue to expand affordable housing units for seniors as there are many more seniors in our district that qualify for affordable housing than we have units available. We also need to find a way to protect seniors that have lived in the same house for many years but are being priced out due to the housing boom causing the price of their home to increase in value which in turn raises their property taxes to an unaffordable level for someone on a fixed income. I would like to see caps put on property taxes for seniors so more people can stay in their homes.
I would like to see more wrap-around services so people can stay in their homes. As someone who has lost their home due to unaffordability, I have first-hand experience when it comes to the lack of services we have to keep people from experiencing homelessness.
Some homelessness is connected to our opioid epidemic. Other states have had success with the MAT program. When states have enough saturation of MAT clinics and MAT programs, it reduces drug use, reduces crime, and reduces homelessness.
Attainable housing is something that both Senator Zenzinger and Representative Titone have been championing. I would like to work alongside them to increase the success of what they are already doing.
8. How will you address the needs of urban and rural communities and how do you see them differing?
The needs of urban and rural communities are very different and it is essential that is taken into account in many of the bills that come across a legislator’s desk. Most of our state is rural, and we need to make sure we are protecting our rural communities and not inadvertently harming our rural populations with our legislation. Our rural communities do not have the same access to healthcare, public programs and services, and public transportation among other things that we have access to in our urban areas. We need to do what we can to increase access in our rural communities, and look out for unintended consequences that may do the opposite before voting on legislation.
9. Do you support the right of workers, as well as public employees, to organize and engage in collective bargaining?
Yes! I believe in people over profit!
10. Do you support legislation to ban private correctional facilities in Colorado?
Yes! Corporations should not be making money off of locking up people.