Obi Ezeadi
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Obi Ezeadi
Candidate for Senate District 19


What is the most tragic or disturbing story you have heard or experienced about trying to get or pay for healthcare? How have you tried to help yourself or the person who was hurt?

The story of Jaclyn, a resident of Westminster, and her struggles to secure essential healthcare for her son is both tragic and disturbing. Despite moving to Colorado for its progressive medical marijuana program to treat her son’s special needs, Jaclyn faced numerous obstacles. Her son was unexpectedly dropped from Medicaid and denied services due to bureaucratic errors and mismanagement, which led to a desperate and ongoing battle for his essential medical care. As a City Councilor, I intervened, attempting to navigate the complex system to restore her son’s healthcare services. Despite connecting Jaclyn with state and local resources, I couldn’t fully resolve their situation. This experience has left a lasting impact on me and has fueled my resolve to push for comprehensive healthcare reforms at the state level. The realization that my role on the city council was insufficient to prevent such injustices only deepens my commitment to ensuring no other family endures such needless suffering. This is why I am running for state office—to implement the changes our healthcare system desperately needs and protect families like Jaclyn’s from falling through the cracks.


What have you done in the past and will do in the future to support efforts to implement a state-wide universal, single payer, privately delivered healthcare system which would improve affordability, access, and quality of Colorado’s healthcare?

In the past, as a city councilor, I’ve advocated strongly for healthcare reforms that prioritize affordability, accessibility, and quality. My commitment to improving healthcare included working directly with constituents facing systemic barriers to care, and advocating for more inclusive health policies at the municipal level. Moving forward, I am fully committed to sponsoring legislation that would establish a state-wide universal, single-payer, privately delivered healthcare system in Colorado. This system will ensure that all Coloradans have access to the care they need without the burden of exorbitant costs. By supporting a model that combines universal coverage with private delivery, we aim to improve healthcare outcomes while maintaining high standards of care and innovation. Implementing this system is not just a priority; it is a necessity to guarantee that every resident of Colorado can lead a healthier, more secure life.


During her years in the state Senate, Rachel Zenzinger has been a strong advocate for increasing affordable housing in Colorado. She has served on the Board for the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), was active in the Affordable Housing Transformational Committee created for using ARPA funds, and she has sponsored and actively worked for a number of affordable housing bills at the state. Please discuss any actions you have taken in your current elected offices to make housing more affordable and what your plans for housing affordability as the Senator for Senate District 19.

During my tenure on the Westminster City Council, I have been a steadfast advocate for affordable housing, spearheading initiatives that have led to significant investments and developments. We’ve invested millions into the creation of affordable units, with hundreds more in the pipeline. Notably, we approved the development of thousands of new housing units, including Colorado’s first townhomes and condos in over a decade. Additionally, we have dedicated over $3 million towards housing for those experiencing homelessness and approved diverse housing types to meet community needs, including 1,825 units of multifamily, 231 units of single-family detached, and 126 units of single-family attached homes. Building on the groundwork laid by Senator Rachel Zenzinger, my plan as a Senator for District 19 is to expand her Middle Income Access Program to enhance workforce housing. I aim to dismantle governmental barriers that hinder housing supply by streamlining land use regulations, the building permit process, and building codes. Moreover, I propose a pioneering policy to establish a statewide initiative focused on restorative justice and reentry transition housing for young adults aged 18-24. This initiative is designed to reduce recidivism and improve long-term outcomes by providing crucial support during a pivotal period of personal development.


Utah’s proposed Uinta Basin rail project could result in a dramatic increase of the movement of hazardous materials on the Union Pacific line along the Colorado River and through Arvada. It is estimated the Uinta Basin project will quadruple the amount of hazardous materials transported by rail through Arvada as up to five two-mile-long oil trains a day move east through our city. The stated purpose of the project is to increase the supply of fuel for America but the Gulf Coast refineries that the waxy crude are supposedly destined for are already near full capacity and not configured to handle this product. This product is clearly intended for export and the profit of the fuel industry.

The proposed rail link project has the support of the local Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah & Ouray Reservation and Utah lawmakers and has been approved by the federal Surface Transportation Board, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service but is currently on hold due to lawsuits filed by environmental groups and Eagle County. These efforts to block the project have the support of the cities of Glenwood Springs, Minturn, Avon, Red Cliff, Vail, and the counties of Routt, Boulder, Chaffee, Lake and Pitkin. Colorado elected representatives including Senators Bennett and Hickenlooper, and Representatives Pettersen, DeGette, Crow, and Neguse have also acted to oppose this project.

Will you as a candidate and (potentially) as an elected Colorado State Senator pledge to join with those opposed to this project? If not, why not?

Yes, I will join those opposed to the Uinta Basin rail project. The environmental risks and the impact on our communities from the increased transportation of hazardous materials cannot be overlooked. It’s imperative to prioritize the safety and well-being of our residents and protect our natural resources.


Rachel Zenzinger has been an advocate for public school funding and has served on the Education Committee during her time as State Senator. While in office she co-sponsored SB23-287 Public School Finance bill that passed into law. This law Increases the statewide base per pupil funding for the 2023-24 budget year by $598.25 and repeals the budget stabilization factor, effective July 1, 2024. What have you done to support public education in the past and what will you do to support public education if elected as State Senator?

If we respected our kids and our teachers, Colorado wouldn’t rank near last on per-pupil funding, education spending and teacher wages. It turns out that today’s education system might provide the poor with credentials – if they make it through future-crushing tuition (which increases 8% every single year). And it might provide the privileged with an abundance of social capital – if they don’t decide to simply drop out and create their own company. But, it definitely does not provide our teachers with living wages, our schools with basic infrastructure (like AC, heat and supplies), nor the majority with practical skills they can use in real life.

Like a recipe, there are plenty of reasons why our education system has become a vehicle for reproducing unequal outcomes across working-class children and more advantaged children. Pervasive poverty impacts Coloradans, including those who live in joblessness, low-wages, and racial and class segregation. Now, add in TABOR. Then add to that the fact that too many adults lack a postsecondary credential of any kind, with too lack of funding for our community colleges and alternative pathways like vocational programs and apprenticeships. And be sure to add in the politicians who weaponize education as a topic to divide the state.

We’ll fund our schools to 2025 funding levels (vs. the current 1989 level). Second, we must hire more teachers to effectively reduce class sizes, which will improve achievement gains and graduation rates. While we’re at it, we must increase the population of BIPOC teachers – an important step to improving opportunities to learn across all races. Additionally, we need to hire more ESL supporting staff to ensure those students get the equitable support they need, while not disproportionately garnering more attention than other students in the same classroom. And, overall, we must pay our teachers way more money. The work that they do under increasingly stressful environments is undervalued, and their pay is unsustainable.


Will you introduce or support laws in Colorado that either outlaw ownership of automatic weapons or require their storage in secure sites, preferably target ranges.

Yes, as a Moms Demand Gun Sense candidate and a endorsee of Colorado Ceasefire, I will support these laws which actually aligns with the majority opinion among gun owners: 87% support measures that reduce gun violence; 86% support background checks; and 76% favor required safe storage.


Given that states rights were used recently in several critical Supreme Court decisions involving citizen’s rights, how will you support the rights granted by our constitution and bill of rights for Coloradans? What would be your first two priorities that are at risk?

My first priority will be safeguarding reproductive rights, ensuring that despite federal rollbacks, Coloradans can make personal health decisions without undue governmental interference. Secondly, I will prioritize the protection of voting rights, countering any efforts that threaten the accessibility and integrity of our electoral process, ensuring every Coloradan’s voice is heard and counted. These priorities are essential for maintaining personal freedoms and democratic principles in our state.


What do you see as your role as our State Senator in Dist. 19 in either helping or opposing citizen initiatives?

As the State Senator for District 19, my role in regards to citizen initiatives is to actively engage with and support the democratic process. As I’ve done as a community activist and organizer, I will continue to see it as essential to help amplify community voices and facilitate the initiative process when it aligns with the broader interests of public welfare and local values. Whether it involves supporting initiatives that reflect the community’s needs or opposing those that could be detrimental, I am committed to maintaining a transparent dialogue with constituents, providing guidance, and ensuring every initiative is considered with the respect it deserves.


The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is an emotionally charged situation in Colorado. What are your thoughts on the current protests and encampments on Colorado’s campuses? Will you sign a permanent ceasefire letter or resolution urging an end to the current hostilities?

I believe it’s always crucial to support peaceful and lawful expressions of opinion. Regarding the conflict itself, I have already written a statement which said that I believe in a viable framework of peace that must be discovered that allows Israel and Palestine to coexist—side by side, independent and secure, free and democratic. I support Israel’s right to exist and defend itself, while also condemning policies that result in the loss of innocent Palestinian lives. Similarly, I uphold Palestine’s right to self-determination, while I condemn Hamas for its acts of terrorism. This vision respects the dignity, sovereignty, and aspirations of all parties involved.