Brianna Titone, Candidate For State Representative, House District 27
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?
TABOR has been a strain on the Colorado economy for too long now. It prevents us from collecting revenue to fund basic necessities like our schools, our roads, and our infrastructure. Colorado is beautiful because of the diversity of our population, but different parts of the state have different needs. Asking for a statewide consensus on funding for wildly different communities creates crushing restrictions on our ability to serve the people who need it most. While a full repeal could be far from reach, I support any reform of the TABOR system that brings us closer to funding the programs our state needs if voters reject a repeal effort. It will take compromise, hard work, and some serious community organizing but I believe we can come together for the greater good.
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 am so proud of the landmark HB19-1261 bill that paved the way for environmental initiatives across the country. This is a first step towards creating an economy that thrives off of renewable energy and protecting our precious wildlife here in Colorado. There are other bills this year that I will be supporting as well. Addressing vehicle emissions is a critical step in reducing our climate pollution which is why I think investing in public transportation infrastructure is our best solution. Pushing for more reliable, and accessible public transportation can help us reduce the number of cars on the road and make a contribution as well.
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 healthcare crisis and the high cost of prescription drugs?
We are currently working on ways of reducing prescription drug costs by increasing transparency. We already allowed the importation of drugs from Canada, and there’s another bill that would allow importation from other countries. There could be opportunities here as Colorado is a leader in blockchain, to use this emerging technology to track these medications to ensure safety.
With Medicare for All, I do support this as an end goal. I’m not sure Colorado can do this for every Coloradan on our own with the restrictions of TABOR and lack of overall available funding without voter approval. I believe there are other ways we can address the issue and we are exploring those ways now. I believe that for Medicare for All to really work, it would need to be implemented on the Federal level where there are far more resources available.
4. What is your position regarding public schools, including charter schools? What will you do to strengthen our public school system?
I support public schools and believe that they are an important part of our communities. I think public charter schools can play a role to fill some niche populations. I would like to see more parents sending their kids to their local school. This brings community members together and strengthens the community. On a related topic, I think that charter schools are responsible for a lot of our increased traffic on our roads. Everyone is taking their kids to a different part of town at the same time. Without a robust system of public transportation, this idea of school choice can have unintended consequences.
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?
Military force should be a last resort in all circumstances. We should prioritize diplomacy and crisis management in our police and armed forces and ensure all of our service members are trained to de-escalate conflict before any violence is used. We can legislate more de-escalation training, but I’m afraid that this will be an unfunded mandate that only wealthier areas will be able to do.
6. How will you address the needs of the undocumented children who have only known the U.S. as their home country?
My heart goes out to the children of this country who have lost their families, homes, and a sense of security because of recent policies under the Trump administration. We should make sure our DREAMERs know that we are fighting for them and we won’t stop, They deserve to feel safe, welcome, and accepted in their own country. It’s horrible seeing kids that know no other home than the US sent back to their home country because of no fault of their own.
7. How will you address affordable housing, attainable housing, and housing for the homeless?
The citizens of Colorado need livable wages. We need jobs that will allow us to afford a safe place to raise a family. Along with that, we need housing that is affordable to their wage. We need to find a balance that works for workers and businesses so everyone can thrive. We need to work with municipalities to provide places for affordable housing to be built. I believe there are technological advances we can make to help the homeless. Many have smartphones and using technology to make job opportunities and ‘banking’ available to them can help them turn around their situations.
8. How will you address the needs of urban and rural communities and how do you see them differing?
Colorado is a wonderfully diverse state and of course, each district has its own needs. While my district is primarily urban and suburban- I grew up in a rural community and understand the challenges they face on a daily basis. While I am focused on representing my district and the people who live there, I have tried to make sure the rural community isn’t forgotten when writing legislation. The right to repair bill I am working on addresses the rights of farmers to be able to repair their own equipment. I am also working to pass a grant program to supply schools in low-income communities with menstrual products- these schools are located across the state including many in rural communities. I try to consider the impact of legislation on communities across the state when working in the capitol.
9. Do you support the right of workers, as well as public employees, to organize and engage in collective bargaining?
I believe in a worker’s right to organize, collectively bargain, negotiate wages, safer working conditions, and fair sick leave and family leave. So-called ‘Right to Work’ laws take away the power of Unions to promote the values that unions strive to strengthen, and I will vote against any such bill. Union workers’ collective voices help to increase average wages across America and play an important role in our Colorado economy.
10. Do you support legislation to ban private correctional facilities in Colorado?
Yes. Correctional facilities should be focused on rehabilitation and reintegration- not profiting off of cheap prison labor.