I believe in the second amendment right to bear arms. However, like our other rights, we can limit it for the benefit of the public good. I do not believe private citizens should have access to weapons of war. I come from a hunting family. We started with hunter safety classes in 5th and 6th grade. Using a gun for hunting was the primary focus and safety was paramount. I am for banning the purchase of military style firearms as guns made for war should be left on the battlefield. I hope to create legislation to raise the age to buy a firearm to 21 and I support red flag warning laws that allow families to request law enforcement to secure guns from those who show signs to harm themselves or others. I am for common sense gun control.
As a former high school history and government teacher, a parent of a daughter in kindergarten and 18 month old, and a spouse to a middle school educator, I am also member of LPS district accountability committee, I am certified financial planner with a majority of my clients who are teachers or former teachers, I am committed to improving our funding of public schools and improve our education services to all students in our state. I believe the best investment we can make is in our future, our children, through our public schools. I am endorsing the Great Schools Thriving Communities initiative to fix education funding that has been hampered through the Gallagher Amendment of 1982. I am also for the funding initiative supported by over 90% of the superintendents of Colorado to create a student centric funding formula for this money to create equitable funding for every school district.
I believe we need to make quality investments to fix our transportation issues. We need to think not only for today, but for the next 50 years. Transportation improvements and protecting our environment are interrelated in that intelligent transportation solutions will also help protect our environment. I will promote common sense investments to increase access to mass transportation that will address these issues. We need to work with all stakeholders to be forward thinking in addressing these solutions. We need a better methodology to adequately fund the Colorado Department of Transportation so we can make the investments needed to create a more efficient transportation system across the state. Fixing transportation issues can only be accomplished when we bring every stakeholder to the table.
I believe the inequities in wages throughout the country is due to a lack of support for labor. Throughout our history, unions have fought for fair wages and benefits for employees. I am a son of labor, whose father was a UAW union member for 33 years. I will support the rights of labor unions to represent employees to create a better standard of living for all. I will be a strong proponent for unions. I will fight any attempt to turn Colorado in a right to work state.
As a father of two daughters and a husband to my wonderful wife, I am committed to empowering women and protecting their rights. Paid family leave is necessary for individuals and families having children or undergoing trauma. In times where folks need income stability the most, we must encourage their employers to support their workers. I strongly believe that women are entitled to be in charge of their own reproductive health and I will passionately defend their right to do so and will not compromise on women's rights. I will actively oppose any legislation that seeks to limit the rights of women to govern their bodies and their health. Women are also entitled to a fair wage. The wage gap in this country is staggering and I will work hard to make this economy more equitable for those who are contributing their time and work, regardless of gender.
Universal Health Care
I believe basic healthcare is a right. I was fortunate to have quality health care under my father’s union benefits. It is something he fought for, but something we shouldn’t have to fight for. Regardless of employment status, everyone has a right to access basic healthcare. This access must include mental healthcare coverage. I have been named a champion of universal healthcare by the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care by demonstrating a consistent commitment to universal healthcare. I will work to expand this right in Colorado.
I believe many of us choose to live here for the access to the great outdoors of Colorado. The two things any living organism cannot live without are air and water. We must protect these for all creatures big and small, for ourselves, and for our future. I will fight any legislation that does not continue our protections of our environment and support laws that continue to protect Colorful Colorado. One prime example is that we don’t have adequate setbacks from drilling sites and our schools. We need a legislator who can listen and address environmental challenges Colorado faces today and many years from now.
I believe we have a promise we have to uphold to our fellow citizens who are members of PERA. They are our teachers, school support staff, road maintenance workers at CDOT, state troopers, state correctional officers, and all other state employees. PERA was founded by forward thinking Coloradans before Social Security was even started to provide retirement for these employees. They do not pay in or receive Social Security benefits and may not receive any as a spouse of someone who does receive Social Security. PERA is currently underfunded and common sense solutions need to be enacted at the legislature so that we all share in the prosperity of Colorado.
I am a descendent of immigrants who came to this country looking for a better life. I believe immigrants provide an essential fusion of culture and determination that is essential to our society across the country. In the era of the current presidential administration, our immigrant community needs to know they have an ally in their corner, who will stand up to protect their basic civil rights.
Economic Growth & Inequality
I believe our state must play a role in reducing economic inequality. The rapid economic growth across the Denver Metro area has created massive economic growth but the gains have not been felt by everyone. People are telling me that they want to see legislative action to make sure this growth is smart, that it’s planned well, and that it’s equitable. Littleton and Centennial aren’t the only places where Coloradans are seeing this. Other legislators from districts across the state are noticing this too. I plan to work with these legislators to enact legislation that will make sure that economic growth in this state is equitable and doesn’t create more economic inequality.
For far too many, it is too expensive to live in this district and across this metro area. I’ve been to forums, community meetings, seminars, and have been getting to the bottom of this issue. Half of the families in Arapahoe County can’t afford rent and a quality level of life. We need to listen and take note of the needs of municipal leaders who are working on the front lines of creating more affordable housing units. We need them to know we have a representative who will take their needs to the Capitol.
Criminal Justice Reform
I will work to continue the efforts of others who have started the discussion on fixing our criminal justice system. Throwing someone in jail is too often looked at as the sole solution to ending crime. Common sense punishments for non-violent offenders should not immediately require a one-size-fits-all incarceration policy. Case workers at county human services departments need to have the opportunity to adapt holistic approaches towards rehabilitation and substance abuse treatment when necessary. We must reform how we treat those with mental illness or developmental disabilities so that our jails are not a dumping ground for those without access to adequate health care. These solutions can reduce the frequency of habitual offenders, reducing the unnecessary strain on our judicial system and giving everyone a chance to fulfill their potential.