South High School

Issues

"While there is a lower class, I am in it.
While there is a criminal element, I am of it.
While there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
                    -Eugene V. Debs-

As a lifelong Democrat, my stances on the fundamental issues we face shouldn’t surprise you.  I know the Democratic Party of Denver Platform, and worked with many of you to help craft it over the years.  I believe in upholding our Party Platform, but if there are planks I disagree with,I'm happy to let you know. 

Here are a few highlights of issues that are especially important to me.  I would welcome your input, and I’d love to talk to you about the issues most important to you.

Campaign Finance Reform/Good Governance
We need serious campaign finance reform to even the playing field and protect our democracy.  I’m appalled at the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission to allow corporations to make unlimited political contributions in the name of individual freedom of speech.  "Artificial persons" (corporations) are not persons, and money is not speech.  

  • I support a constitutional amendment to repeal corporate personhood. 
  • I support public funding of political campaigns.

I am inspired by candidates bold enough to reject PAC money, and I am proud to count myself among them.

  • I will not accept PAC money in this or future elections.
  • I will conduct a clean and respectful campaign.
  • I will denounce anyone engaging in negative, disrespectful tactics on my behalf.


Energy and Environment
Protecting our environment has been a lifelong mission for me, and it would be a top priority for me in office.  I believe Governor Bill Ritter’s greatest legacy will be his work in making Colorado the center of a new energy economy. 
I support sustainable energy production and businesses that are helping create the new energy economy.  We should offer incentives for individuals and companies who want to switch to renewable energy.
  • I advocate stronger programs and policies that encourage recycling, composting, and energy conservation.
  • I am committed to the conservation of natural habitats and healthful management of forests.  I support water conservation and stream flow restoration efforts.
  • We’ve got to work to reduce our reliance on corn-based ethanol. 
  • I am concerned about the growing practice of hydraulic fracturing and the increasing encroachment on residential communities.  I support those who are acting to keep fracking out of their communities.  Public lands are our lands, and we have the right to expect our land to be protected against fracking and fossil fuel extraction.  I believe in strong, zero-tolerance regulations ensuring safety and transparency.  I insist on the strongest standards for public health and for air, soil, and water quality.  I have been studying and following the issue carefully, and I am focusing on science-based research in developing a legislative strategy to ensure our public health and safety are not threatened and our natural resources are protected.

Education
I am a former teacher from a family of educators.  

  • I believe in an inclusive education system that meets the needs of a diverse population, guarantees funding, encourages community involvement, and educates the whole individual through academic rigor, athletic competition, artistic endeavor, and career training.
  • I believe in the right for educational professionals to earn a good living wage and to organize to protect their rights.
  • I advocate offering in-state tuition rates for all graduates of Colorado public schools
  • I am against issuing vouchers from Public School funds for students to use for tuition at religious and private schools.  It is our responsibility as a society to support our public institutions and to provide well-funded schools for all students.


Civil Rights

  • I  support same sex marriage and the repeal of "The Defense of Marriage Act."
  • I supported ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
  • I believe Americans with disabilities should be accommodated in their efforts to participate fully in our political processes, and I support their right to live in the least restrictive environment possible and to direct their own medical care.
  • Communities in Denver and throughout Colorado need a permanent reliable State source for affordable housing funding, such as Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHAFA) and other similar mortgage programs.
  • Equal pay for equal work is essential for all Coloradans. 

Immigration

  • I support a long overdue immigration reform bill that promotes a direct path toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
  • I support streamlined regulations to allow for a rational, just, and humane process. 
  • I believe in family reunification and I am committed to efforts to end isolation and fear of immigrants.

Poverty and Homelessness

  • We need to raise the bar and commit to ending homelessness in Denver.  In a diverse district like ours, it’s imperative that we have elected officials determined to give voice to those so often unheard amidst the din of big money interests.
  • Homelessness is result of a combination of factors, including insufficient affordable housing, too few jobs offering a living wage, and ongoing issues of accessible, affordable health insurance and child care.  Few things matter more to me than protecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens.
  • I am committed to promote the sustainability and livelihood of all Denver neighborhoods - particularly "at risk" neighborhoods such as Elyria and Swansea.  Too often, these communities are not given a voice in their own determination, and I will ensure that their concerns are heard.

Economy
I worked hard to ensure the defeat of Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, and I’m encouraged by Coloradans’ ability to understand that we have to pay for the services we depend on.  I will continue to communicate our need to fulfill our fiscal responsibilities for funding government services at an adequate but restrained level.  We have hard choices ahead of us, and I am prepared to make the tough decisions required with full consideration of input from my constituents. 

  • I wholeheartedly endorse public funding at both the federal and local levels for essential services such as infrastructure, health care, and education.
  • I am encouraged by efforts to reform regulation of the national and international financial system based on transparency and the principle that no bank or financial institution is "too big to fail."
  • I am determined to help solve the problems tangling our state’s economy by working for a state constitutional amendment modifying or eliminating TABOR and giving the Legislature more room to adapt to the year-to-year needs of the State.

Health Care
Health Care is a right, and I am committed to continued reform of health care on the state and national level.  I have fought for single payer health care in the past, and I will fight for it in the House.

  • I believe in universal, single-payer, health care for all in Colorado that would ensure affordable coverage for all, not linked to employment and with no denial of access for any reason.  
  • I believe in a public option  for federal health care, run on the premiums it collects and which removes anti-trust exemptions for the health care industry.  I support adequate funding for services for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities.
  • I believe our healthcare system should include prescription coverage, dental care, hearing and vision care, services for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities, and addiction treatment.
  • To ensure treatment for our elders and low-income citizens, I am committed to protecting necessary Medicare and Medicaid funding and services.
  • I believe in lowering health care costs by providing incentives for wellness, preventive measures, and models based on best practices of cost effective, sensible allocation of resources.
  • I believe in initiatives such as school lunch programs focusing on healthful food in school breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. 
  • I will not compromise my commitment to providing access to reproductive choice, including abortion, as part of health care.  We should strive to prevent unintended pregnancy through family planning, comprehensive sex education, and emergency contraception.

Labor

  • I am committed to a fair minimum wage for all workers and urge Congress to pass a minimum living wage that enables fulltime workers' families to live above the poverty line.
  • I support workers’ right to participate in union elections where a majority supports collective bargaining.  
  • I advocate accountability through penalties against non-complying employers. 
  • I support the right of guest workers to unionize.
  • I believe in the Employee Free Choice Act. 

Transportation
A healthy transportation infrastructure, including high-capacity public transportation, brings more business investment and economic growth to the state and can help alleviate stress and congestion on our roads and scale back on the impact we make on our environment.  

  • I’m committed to supporting public transportation to reduce our environmental impact.
  • I believe in encouraging flexible work schedules to promote off-peak travel, to reduce congestion, and to lessen our impact on roadways.
  • I support improving our “poor” road and bridge conditions to “good” or “fair” standards, taking advantage of a favorable economic climate for construction. 

Criminal Justice
We’ve seen too much evidence of incarceration as a default response to mental illness and drug addiction.  Channeling our resources toward treatment rather than incarceration in these kinds of cases should give us better results.

  • I believe in separate trial and sentencing procedures for juveniles who commit serious offenses.
  • I support dedicated juvenile rehabilitation facilities as an appropriate alternative to prisons.
  • I am in favor of providing an opportunity for parole for juveniles serving life in adult prisons.
  • I oppose the death penalty.

Military and Veterans

  • I am committed to full and adequate funding for veterans’ programs including, but not limited to, physical and mental health care, care givers, rehabilitation, and education for veterans and their dependents.
  • I support the full enforcement of existing laws requiring the rehire of military personnel returning from deployment.
  • I oppose the privatization of the military, including the use of private contractors for jobs traditionally done by military personnel.
  • I support the honorable reinstatement of military personnel who have been discharged because of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

Miscellaneous Issues

  • I commend the legislature for getting medical marijuana laws on the books to protect patients and provide reasonable regulation for an industry that is here to stay. 
  • I support full legalization of marijuana through a vote on the 2012 ballot.
  • I am in favor of strict regulations on guns, including closing any gun-show related loop-holes and a ban on openly carried firearms.

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