Born and raised in the high country, I know the value of hard work and the importance of listening to neighbors from all political parties because solutions can be found in every corner of our district.
In the State Senate, I will focus on improving education for our kids and growing our economy while protecting our land and resources.
Good communities are defined by the opportunities they provide. I was shaped by great teachers and believe that investing in schools is investing in the future of our state and our economy. Our kids must be able to compete globally in every subject. As an experienced educator, I’ve seen the huge challenges our kids and teachers face daily in the classroom and, if elected, will strive to find balanced solutions for all of our schools. A great example of a school enhancing the learning experience for our students right here in the district is Crested Butte Community School, recently ranked as one of the top ten schools in Colorado by U.S. News and World Report.
ECONOMY AND JOB CREATION:
I believe in the gumption of Coloradans and will fight to strengthen our rural economy and tourism industry in the State Senate. To solve the problems we face in our district while growing our economy, I will fight to leverage the resources of the state to provide economic benefits for local communities. This includes providing every Coloradan with broadband Internet so that they can tap into support from all over the world to turn their vision into a reality.
Tourism in its many different forms is a critical economic driver in our district. As your State Senator, I will celebrate our local culture and businesses at the Capitol by helping to promote the economic benefit of strong local economies, like the organic farming of the North Fork, which brings critical revenue into our towns.
OUR WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES:
We are at a critical crossroads in determining the future of our water usage in Colorado. This issue requires someone who is willing to listen to all the voices at the table while being a strong advocate for our region and pushing back against policies that will negatively impact our economy by diverting the flow of our mountain streams and rivers. I believe in keeping water in the basin where it’s born and as your voice in the State Senate, will defend that principle. Water is also critical to many cherished past-times in our district, such as FIBArk, which celebrates its 66th year in 2014.
You have my word that I will work to defend your ability to purchase and use guns.
The current law passed by Denver limiting high-capacity magazines is unenforceable and I would not have supported it. I believe that gun owners will exercise personal responsibility and discretion in the interest of public safety when selling their weapons and will work to make sure that background checks help and do not hinder that process. But I do support making sure that convicted criminals or the mentally ill cannot get guns.
I believe that the single best way to strengthen gun-safety in our state is by providing better mental-health resources in our schools and communities. This is absolutely critical in ensuring that law-abiding gun owners are not associated with a prejudice that deems them unsafe users of what we in our region primarily use as tools and not weapons. We must also ensure that background checks are not a burden on small businesses and encourage thoughtful conversation between advocates on both sides of the issue.
Our region was recently rated as the #1 most expensive health care market in the entire country. The middle-class is being priced out of quality health care as a result of the geographic rating assigned to us that determines the cost of care for the region. This is unacceptable and I will work with stakeholders in the area, as well as care providers, patients and business leaders to bring affordable health care to our communities while ensuring that families can choose a plan that fits their needs. I believe in a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and I will defend that right in the State Senate.
Energy independence is something we can all get behind. Colorado has a wide array of resources available all across the state that will help us build an energy future that supports everyone. In our part of the state, we have a unique opportunity to be leader in energy production that isn’t tied down to just one industry. For example, in Gypsum, we have Colorado’s first biomass plant, which has been delivering locally-created power to our region.
As I’ve been traveling the district, many of you have asked me about fracking. Fracking has the potential to be the bridge between traditional energy sources and alternative energy sources, and it’s important to continue the conversation our state has been having regarding how to regulate the drilling process to ensure that it is done safely. Oil and gas companies and the federal government should take into account the concerns of communities when considering leasing land for the purposes of fracking.