Colorado State House District 37 candidate Q&A

Why are you seeking public office?
As a small business owner and mom who raised two kids in CCSD, I’ve invested 20 years talking with people across the community to learn what’s important to them. For 17 years I’ve volunteered with Girl Scouts teaching young women how to identify a problem and then solve it. Putting both ideas together….I believe we have an opportunity to listen to what our voters have told us our priorities should be while ensuring our communities remain a safe place to raise a family. I have the capability, confidence, and commitment to represent our community at the capitol.

What will your top three priorities be if elected?
In talking with voters the issues I hear about most are education, healthcare, and the economy. Affordable healthcare that allows people to make informed choices about coverage for their family. Nurturing job creation over mandates on small businesses helps Coloradans get back to work so they can support their families. And expanding education so more kids learn 21st century skills so they can become problem solvers for our future. This last point is my passion and it extends beyond education — it’s about ensuring the next generation will experience the quality of life Coloradans enjoy today.

Do you support some type of public option health insurance or Medicare for All at the state level? If so, which and why? If not, why not?
Coloradans need access to affordable healthcare that works for their situation including coverage for preexisting conditions. Costs are increasing each year while coverage is shrinking. I will work to increase pricing and cost transparency so people know what they are paying for. I support options for consumers so they can benefit from competition rather than a one size fits all solution or a government mandated rate setting scheme.

Have your views on policing and racism in Colorado changed this year? If so, how?
Simply stated we need to do better. Our community has one of the most rigorous hiring policies for police in Colorado. Those policies foster a higher level of professionalism that benefits our public safety locally. Increasing transparency and accountability across the state ensures those standards are upheld more uniformly, which in turn will help increase public safety statewide. I believe our biggest lesson learned from 2020 will be that our personal actions matter. Regardless of the situation, all people should be accountable for their actions — be that members of the public or the police.

Do you place a greater importance on addressing climate change or preserving Colorado’s oil and gas industry? What steps would you take on these issues as a lawmaker?
I believe both of these issues are equally important. Colorado has some of the most rigorous environmental standards in the nation to help protect our abundant natural resources. In many instances this work was created by partnering with the oil and gas industry who provided the field expertise. I support an “all of the above” approach to energy usage that blends traditional energy resources with newer technologies. Empowering consumers to choose their preferred energy source encourages companies to provide alternatives that people want in a way that will ensure any transition is affordable not forced.

Should Colorado consider any new gun laws? If so, which do you support?
Colorado has numerous gun laws in place that need to be enforced before we consider new legislation. This includes background checks intended to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those with a history of mental illness while not restricting law abiding citizens from owning a gun. I support processes that prevent guns from getting into the hands of criminals. I would be interested in new legislation that stiffens the penalty for anyone seeking to purchase a gun to commit a crime.


Why are you seeking public office?
My son, Alex, was murdered on 7/20/12 in the Aurora Theater Massacre. I am running to ensure no other family experiences what mine did. Before running for office, I advocated at the local, state, and federal level for Gun Violence Prevention legislation, but learned that it takes advocates under the dome to make a meaningful impact. I am working to achieve justice for all victims and to prevent further gun violence.

As a veteran and 40+ year union member, I am also fighting for workers and veterans rights and protections.

What will your top three priorities be if elected?
My top priorities have been Gun Violence Prevention, Workers, Veterans, and Victims Rights, and increasing access to mental health care. While we were able to take important steps with the Extreme Risk Protection Orders, there is still unfinished business on GVP legislation including safe storage and accountability for lost and stolen firearms.

I will also continue to advocate for workers, veterans, and victims to expand their rights and protections and will continue to support legislation that increases access to mental health treatment.

Do you support some type of public option health insurance or Medicare for All at the state level? If so, which and why? If not, why not?
I support a public option to healthcare. Healthcare is a right and should be available to everyone, regardless of employment status. I believe we need to take steps to move towards universal healthcare, but at this time, we need to add a public option to allow individuals to choose the healthcare plan that works best for them and their family before moving immediately to a Medicare for All model.

Have your views on policing and racism in Colorado changed this year? If so, how?
This year has been eye-opening with respect to policing and systemic racism in our society. I cannot truly share the lived experience of Black people in America so I must listen and engage in meaningful conversations to work on systemic changes to these issues. The pandemic has demonstrated critical inequities in our healthcare system with people of color dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than white people.

This year has also demonstrated the need for immediate police reform. I was proud to support SB20-217, and look forward to continuing the conversations to increase police accountability and transparency.