Where I stand
Issues & Policy Positions
I’m no longer a legislator, but I still care deeply about policy and values. Here’s a short selection of my stances on top issues of our time.
Fighting Climate Change
I fully embrace calls for 100% renewable energy by 2035 or sooner. It is what is needed to respond to the climate crisis facing our planet and will greatly benefit our state and country as we drive innovation and create jobs, tax benefits, and economic multiplier effects. Specifically, I support Community Choice Energy to let communities that are “Ready For 100” get to clean energy faster than the plans proposed by the incumbent utilities.
I also support imposing polluter fees on carbon emissions at the source. The money collected should be returned to households by lowering income taxes. This approach would be revenue-neutral and reflect the true costs to our health and environment of burning fossil fuels.
Weather-related events in Colorado – droughts, forest fires, floods, widespread tree diseases, and unusual weather patterns – are only going to get worse unless we act. The recent Marshall Fire was a terrifying and tragic local event, and we all witnessed how disasters can cause such extreme damage to human lives, family stability, our environment, local economies, water supplies, availability of housing, and more. As your state representative, I am working hard to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and grow our renewable energy sector so that state government does its part to address our climate crisis.
Economic Opportunity for All
I believe that all people, regardless of background or life circumstances, deserve a chance at a good education and a decent life with economic security – when so many Coloradans are only one hospital bill, one student debt payment, or one paycheck away from economic disaster.
As your state representative, I have fought and will fight for increased investments in our K-12, higher education, and transportation systems. I look for ways to pass common sense policy that will help create good-paying jobs so that we can rebuild the middle class.
Fighting for Pay Equity
Statistics show that Colorado women face a massive pay gap that is hurting families’ economic security and holding back economic growth. The problem is even more severe for women of color. If we close the pay gap, the poverty rate for working women will be cut in half and the Colorado economy would grow by over $9 billion!
Specifically, I was overjoyed to support and vote for the Equal Pay For Equal Work Act (SB 19-085). The bill requires businesses to pay all employees at the same rate regardless of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, or national origin for substantially similar work. Still, even with a strong law in place, we must remain vigilant to protect fair opportunity in the workplace for all.
High Quality and Affordable Education
I am fighting to reverse Colorado’s education funding gap. Sadly, our investment in K-12 and higher education is currently at the bottom in the U.S. because of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). We must find creative ways to ensure that education is accessible and affordable for all, including Dreamers. In addition, I support universal full-day pre-K to ensure all of our children are getting early education support that will help them succeed in the future. Thanks to Colorado voters supporting Proposition EE in 2020, we are expecting major advances in pre-K availability in the very near future, but I know we’ve still got a lot of work ahead to make sure Coloradans have access to the education necessary for better economic opportunities and a stronger society.
Protecting Citizens from Fracking
Oil and gas extraction plays an important role in our state’s economy, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the health and safety of families. I fully supported SB-181 – the most meaningful oil and gas legislation passed in 60 years. Here’s what the bill does:
Refocus the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) to prioritize health, safety and the environment over industry profits;
Empower local governments to have a stronger say by clarifying basic powers such as zoning and noise limitations and allowing local oversight and enforcement of operations;
Direct air quality experts to consider rules to greatly reduce harmful emissions including methane, a dense greenhouse gas;
Better protects property owners from forced pooling;
Combat the growing problem of orphaned wells by setting forth a rule making around financial assurances and bonding requirements for oil and gas permits; and,
Create a professional, paid commission that is better equipped to handle permitting, rule-making and oversight.
I will continue to look for new opportunities to ensure the health and safety of Colorado communities is protected.
Protecting Women’s Health Care and Reproductive Rights
As the daughter of a doctor who provided reproductive health services to women, I strongly believe that everyone deserves to have unequivocal control over their reproduction. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey has literally put reproductive rights in jeopardy, often depending on the state in which people live. In Colorado, we acted in advance of expected Supreme Court action by passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act (HB 22-1279), which affirmed reproductive rights in Colorado. Nonetheless, I know attacks on reproductive rights will continue, so I will work in support of new efforts we might need in Colorado, including opposing Republican extremists who are trying to impose “personhood” laws on Colorado women, and protecting access to contraception - such as a successful teen pregnancy prevention program that Senate Republicans actually voted against in a 2015 committee. The strength of my conviction is why I am endorsed by the BlueFlower Fund, which raises money for pro-choice female candidates.
We live in a highly desirable city, in a state that is one of the fastest growing in the country, and this desirability is contributing to burdensome housing prices for many Coloradans. Sensible housing policy is vital to serving all the people of our state, including first-time homebuyers, renters, and low-income families. Two fundamentally opposing housing markets – the investment market and the living market – compete for the same land and buildings. We must make it possible for low and middle-income earners to own or rent, without fear that the investment market will price them out.
To this end, affordable housing and inclusionary housing policy plays an important role in opening doors that the market otherwise shuts. I’ve played a leading role in sponsoring bills to protect rights and living conditions for owners of manufactured homes, among the last types of unsubsidized affordable housing available in Colorado. I’ve also sponsored a bill charting a pathway for manufactured home residents to purchase their own park, potentially in advance of profit-motivated corporations purchasing parks and raising lot rents. I’ve voted for and supported a number of state bills that put significant money into affordable housing programs, and other bills to encourage opportunities to develop affordable housing supply. It’s not an exaggeration to call our situation a crisis right now, and I’m committed to strong policy actions in the interest of housing access and affordability.
Saving Lives With Gun Safety Policies
Gun safety has always been important to me, but our community was shaken on March 22, 2021, when a shooter killed 10 people at the King Soopers in south Boulder. The General Assembly took action, passing six gun safety bills in 2021, but of course more needs to be done. I support Colorado’s existing ban on large capacity magazines, the “red flag” law we passed in 2019 under which courts can order temporary removal of weapons from people known to be a threat to public safety, and I support assault weapon restrictions into the future. I support universal background checks on all gun sales, including eliminating the loophole for gun shows, online sales, and private sales. We might never attain a perfectly safe society, but wise policy can make a difference when it comes to the potential matters of life and death we're currently encountering far too often.
Justice for the LGBTQ+ Community
We have a diverse and vibrant community in Colorado, but we can’t take equality and justice for many segments of society for granted. Although the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2015, the current conservative Supreme Court majority might attempt to overturn yet another right people have already enjoyed - and Justice Clarence Thomas is on the record saying the court “should reconsider” the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges. I’ve always known the fight for justice never ends, but our situation when it comes to protecting civil rights seems more dire and pressing in 2022 than it has for decades. We need to continue to work toward equality in the workplace, in health and human services, and in our schools. I will fight discrimination wherever it exists, and will support future bills or initiatives drafted in the interest of ensuring the human rights we all deserve in a free society.
Ending the Death Penalty and Solitary Confinement
I unequivocally oppose the death penalty, and was proud to see Colorado abolish this practice in 2020 with SB 20-100. As a system, the death penalty has failed society by being imposed arbitrarily – disproportionately affecting the poor and people of color. The cost to the taxpayers is exorbitant for a system that is proven to have no deterrent effect. With so many individuals around the country being exonerated because of new evidence or procedural abuse at trial, there is no certainty that innocent people aren’t facing execution.
I also oppose solitary confinement because of its proven detrimental effect on the mental health of the individual and the cumulative negative effect on our community. We are the only advanced nation in the world that continues to use solitary confinement as a behavior modification tool, and the evidence shows it to be a failure.