Read Steven Paletz's Statement on COVID-19
No doubt, your inbox — like mine — has been flooded with news of new diagnoses, canceled events, and uncertain futures. As everyone from the media to our own families grapple with doubt and, perhaps, anxiety, it is easy to feel discouraged. In times like these, I try to keep in mind my great-grandparents, who, five generations ago, endured hardships and came to Colorado to work towards a better future; and my daughter, for whom I must actively seek a brighter tomorrow. They inspire me to work hard when times become challenging.
But mostly, I think of our fellow Coloradans. Many of us are fortunate enough to have health insurance and the privilege of working from home. We may be able to self-quarantine for days, even weeks, with only minimal discomfort. But, there are other Coloradans whose choices are between putting food on the table at risk to their personal health or going without pay; sending their sick child to school or being left without childcare; spending hard-earned money on prohibitive healthcare appointments or making their next rent payment. For these Coloradans, we must do better.
I am extremely grateful to Governor Polis for taking the necessary step to declare a State of Emergency in the State, which, among other things, will allow for four days of paid lave for Colorado workers in service-related industries. This is the first of many steps our government officials and communities can take to protect and advocate for the most vulnerable amongst us. It is imperative that the state provides emergency funding to support individuals that are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, either through direct assistance or credit programs. For Coloradans living paycheck to paycheck, missing work for the time period required to sufficiently recover may not be an option — for their sakes, and our community’s, we must work together to develop solutions. We are also seeing the closure of schools statewide in other states, and are already seeing the closure of individual schools in the Denver metro area. We must also be prepared to accommodate and support the needs of these children and their parents, especially as families struggle to find a safe place for their children to be when not in school.
I will focus my campaign on getting the word out about the resources available to Coloradans, and continue to advocate for additional support, whether through action by the Governor or by the passing of an emergency bill through the legislature. In a time of personal anxiety, remember your neighbors, your community, and those who inspire you to stay positive, work hard, and support others.