Transportation and Infrastructure
Building Colorado's Tomorrow
Means Addressing Today's Challenges
Providing access to quality mental health care for all Coloradans is an issue of passion for me. Colorado has had the highest increase in the youth suicide rate in the U.S. since 2016* and suicide is the cause of 1 in 5 adolescent deaths in Colorado. Furthermore, mental illness is the leading cause of chronic homelessness in Denver.** Colorado must lead on this issue and I will advocate for more investment in mental health care, use my leadership role to fight the stigma that surrounds the seeking of mental health care, and strive to end the use of jails and prisons as replacements for quality mental health facilities. Investment in quality mental health care for young people and the most vulnerable in our society must be a priority in order to increase our overall health and wellbeing, decrease our youth suicide rate, and reduce the risks of our most vulnerable population becoming chronically homeless. The future of our state depends on it and our young people deserve it.
Education is the bedrock of our society. Every Coloradan deserves access to an exceptional education defined by quality teachers, government accountability, and innovative practices to meet every student’s individual need. Right now, Colorado ranks 50th in teacher wage competitiveness, 42nd in spending on education, and 41st in per-student spending. In HD6 alone, there are dozens of schools and thousands of students who demand the accountability and investment of elected officials.
Investment in education means investment in the future; we must be innovative and creative when it comes to approaching the unique challenges of education in our ever-growing city and state. All students, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or background should have access to equitable resources, well-prepared — and well supported — educators, and options to support each student’s individual needs. This is why I support public school choice, reforming the teacher preparation space to ensure inspired educators, and pursuing resource equity through creative strategies.
Clean air, land, and water are precious environmental resources in Colorado. So much of our economic growth comes from residents and visitors alike that come to enjoy our beautiful natural resources. Far too often our federal government fails to enact legislation that sufficiently protects these natural resources. Colorado must be a leader in protecting, preserving, and improving our environment. Colorado provides the highest state motor vehicle tax credit for electric vehicles, yet Colorado is still not the leader in the percentage of electric vehicles on the road. Additionally, the strain we have put on our environment has further limited Colorado’s most important resource, our water, and without swift and thoughtful action, we will lose this invaluable natural resource. I will make it a priority to enact legislation that protects and improves our environment for our children’s generation.
COVID-19 has placed unprecedented economic challenges on our city and State. Colorado’s thriving economy has come to a grinding halt and many Coloradans are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table. The focus of the next legislative session will be a plan for long term economic recovery and the plan must provide effective support for small businesses, corporations and individual, hard-working Coloradans.
A successful economic recovery plan can and will only succeed if TABOR’s limitations on a multi-year fiscal commitment are lifted. During the initial recovery period, Colorado will not be generating sufficient revenue to appropriately fund a viable economic recovery plan. The investments and economic aid that we provide to Coloradans and their businesses must be able to rely on future tax revenue and not only what is available to the state in the relevant budgetary year. TABOR does not allow that to occur. There is no better time to overturn TABOR then when we see the direct effect TABOR will have on preventing a successful economic recovery for Colorado.
Our district requires and deserves leadership that will ensure Colorado’s economic future is secure post COVID-19. I am committed to leading on Colorado’s economic recovery to ensure that our District and the entire State emerges economically stronger and more secure.
I know the amount of pride a family puts into having a home to build a life in together. I have been privileged to work for a national homebuilder who provides entry-level housing, and I am uniquely qualified to address one of the biggest challenges that Colorado faces, the lack of affordable housing. I want to ensure that any Coloradan who wants to pursue their dream of owning a home can. I will prioritize smart housing development that creates real results for the families of HD6 while ensuring that the property values of current residents are preserved.
One of the biggest challenges in affordability is the challenge that construction companies and contractors face in securing the labor force necessary to complete their construction projects in Colorado. I will prioritize supporting our labor force to ensure that construction workers are incentivized to come to Colorado and the work is properly categorized to ensure good-paying jobs and the creation of quality, affordable housing exists.
Because of my experience, I understand the needs of everyday people and the language of developers. I know how to bring all parties to the table to make the necessary changes to improve the affordability of housing. I also understand where the legislature fits into the equation and what it needs to do to ensure all Coloradans can achieve the cornerstone of the American dream, the ownership of a home.
Updating our Transportation and Infrastructure
Each and every day that we commute to our children’s schools, work, or our everyday activities and errands, it feels that commute gets longer and longer, and our roads and highways are continuously in a state of disrepair. Every extra minute we are on the road is time away from our families, money out of Colorado’s economy, and more carbon emissions contributing to further damage our fragile environment. For those riding their bicycles to their daily activities, residents of HD6 know that the bike lanes we do have are insufficient and so many of my neighbors feel that they put their lives at risk every time they get on their bike.
For those that enjoy going up to the mountains for our great Colorado skiing, we all know too well the hours it takes to successfully make the trip. Even tourists that once made Colorado their first choice for ski and mountain vacations are seeking out other states that have easier access from their largest airports to their best ski resorts. Colorado must seek a consistent, efficient, and carbon-neutral rail transit option to get Coloradans and visitors from Denver to the mountains. Whether that is through direct government investment or public-private partnership, ensuring the success of our tourism industry through efficient and environmentally friendly means must be a priority for us.
As your representative, I will prioritize investment in transportation and infrastructure, including the implementation of managed bus lanes in urban settings and investing in environmentally-friendly transit. I also will prioritize evolving our most important travel corridor, I-70, our pathway to the mountains and a transit route essential to our tourism-based economy.