1. Leading Common Sense Change
Our political system has forgotten how to make decisions that listen and give credence to the voices of the people they represent and that serve the needs of today and future generations. I will seek out colleagues with a proven record of listening to and serving their constituents, collaborating with them to be your voice and lead common sense change at the State House.
Common Sense Education Reforms
Providing quality education for all children in Colorado is the foremost desire of our HD18 people; we hear it every day. We want creative problem solvers, not test-taking robots. We want high quality schools, teachers, and graduates, ready and capable of building the future of Colorado! Investing in our children is common sense in every way: logically, civically, and economically.
Establish Alternatives to High Stakes Testing
Alternative means of reporting for accountability would allow school districts, teachers, and families to use existing testing to report and track growth, shifting the focus to relevant, informative measures rather than the current destructive path.
Increase educational funding
I would work through the budget mechanism and/or adjustments to Tabor needed to restore budgets to 2004 funding levels, when Colorado was at the national average for per pupil spending. This would allow school districts to lower class sizes, provide well-paid and qualified teaching staffs, and create safe and secure facilities.
Despite attacks on PERA, I will work with educational unions and listen to educators in the fight to keep PERA funded and focused on serving our public employees.
Continued Criminal Justice Reform
Most constituents in HD18 express that the legacy of Criminal Justice reform that Representative Pete Lee has fought for needs to continue and grow. Improvements and innovations in this arena will continue to reduce the cost of incarceration, the number of people incarcerated, and the number that return to prisons.
Increase District Attorney adoption of Restorative Justice
One of the limitations of the effectiveness of Restorative Justice is the willingness and implementation of the concepts by District Attorneys’ offices across the state. I will work to build relationships with these decision-makers to communicate and convince them that using Restorative Justice is worthy.
Reduce the dependence on and defund the use of Private Prisons in Colorado.
The mission of the state prison system is to rehabilitate and reintegrate inmates into society. For-profit prisons do not have the same incentive. I will work on all fronts to remove any perceived or monetary-based need for private prisons, especially through legislative efforts and reduction of the number of incarcerated.
Common Sense Gun Safety
The effects of gun violence reverberate through our schools, churches and communities. We in Colorado need to engage in the conversation to establish reasonable, common sense Gun Safety legislation. This issue is polarizing, but I intend to work with those in the legislature to stiffen the requirements so that we can insure that people who should rightfully own a gun have the ability and those that don’t will not.
Protect Colorado’s existing gun safety provisions
In the wake of the Aurora Theater shootings, the Colorado legislature took reasonable common sense steps in passing magazine limitations and background check requirements. We need to keep these the law of the land.
Legislate the possibility for Red Flag Restraining Orders
These would allow law enforcement to protect victims of domestic violence, stalking, or other dangerous interpersonal conflicts.
Continue to establish reasonable Requirements for gun ownership
We have reasonable requirements for access to most freedoms in Colorado and having reasonable requirements to insure the safety and insure that gun owners are properly trained and eligible to own and carry weapons.