Rhonda Fields: A Dedicated Leader for Aurora
Representative Rhonda Fields was first elected to serve the Colorado House of Representatives for the 68th General Assembly in 2010. She is the first African American woman elected to the state legislature to represent Aurora’s House District 42, Arapahoe County.
When State Representative Karen Middleton chose not to run for re-election late in the 2010 cycle, Rep. Fields put her name forward as a candidate, backed by the considerable support and encouragement from her family, community, friends and House Speaker Terrance Carroll. Once nominated, she ran a short eight-week campaign on the platform of continuing her efforts to for fairness and accountability in Colorado’s legislature. She was elected with 61% of the vote.
As a freshman legislator, Rep. Fields’ work at the State Capitol and within the community has earned her respect and recognition from colleagues, community leaders, business-people, and most importantly: her constituents. She is dedicated to the economic vitality of Colorado and doing her part to confront the inequities that exist in the system.
In 2011, 5280 Magazine ranked Rep. Fields 37th on its list of the 50 “most powerful” people in the Denver Metro area, stating that she has “gained the type of respect that politicians dream about.”
In just her first term as a freshman legislator, Rep. Fields sponsored and moved through sixteen bills that were signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.
The results of Rep. Fields’ efforts include:
- Increased penalties for “hit-and-run” traffic accidents where there is serious injury to a person.
- Reduced paperwork for health care providers.
- University credit for life experience such as military service or prior work history.
- Increased school safety through interoperable communications between first responders and schools.
- Reducing childhood obesity by requiring schools to provide access to physical activity.
For a more detailed look at Rep. Fields accomplishments and recognition, please click visit the page “First Term Success.”
Rhonda was raised in a military family. Her father served and defended this nation for over 30 years as a Command Sergeant Major (E-9), the highest noncommissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. Her mother was a supportive wife who dedicated herself to raising her children to be responsible members of the community. Both her parents instilled in her a love for her country, an appreciation of hard work, and the importance of education. Her parents taught her that it was not enough for an individual to succeed: she must have compassion for community and others.
Rhonda is a longtime resident of Aurora, Colorado, where she also raised her two children, Maisha and Javad, in local public schools. Both children graduated from Colorado State University. Her daughter Maisha and her son-in-law Greg Pollard live in Centennial where they are raising her three granddaughters, Nyrema (11), Nyla (7) and Nia (3).
As a mother and grandmother, Rhonda knows that a good education is the key to success. She supports investments in local schools and will work to keep our colleges affordable so that all Colorado’s children can have the bright future that they deserve.
Education and professional career
Rhonda Fields graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education in 1974, and a Master’s Degree in Psychology Counseling and Guidance in 1976. Upon graduation, she worked at the University of Northern Colorado for eight years within the division of Student Affairs.
In the late ’80s Rhonda moved to Denver and worked for the University of Denver. She was hired by United Airlines in 1986 as a Regional Training Manager, responsible for Airport Operations, Training and Development, where she continues to work to this day.
A Fighter for Justice, Fairness and Community
Rhonda is not your traditional politician. She subscribes to Thomas Jefferson’s view that politicians should act as “citizen public servants.” She has a long history of committed political and community service to the citizens of Colorado, working to promote public safety and civic engagement in her numerous local and statewide efforts.
On the night of June 20, 2005 — both Javad and his fiancee Vivian Wolfe were shot and killed at an intersection in Aurora. The very next day, Rhonda’s son Javad Fields, who had just graduated from Colorado State University, was expected to be a key witness in the murder trial of his friend Gregory Vann.
Through Rhonda’s tireless advocacy, three men were arrested, charged and convicted eight months after the murders of Javad and Vivian. Although justice was served, Rhonda felt that no one with the courage to be a prosecution witness should have to give up his or her life to help put criminals behind bars. This tragedy led her to work with legislators at the Colorado State House of Representatives where she fought to improve public safety and our criminal justice system. Through State Representative Garcia and State Senator Nancy Spence, she introduced House Bill 1379, which was designed to help ensure the safety of witnesses. The bill was passed and named the Javad Marshall Fields & Vivian Wolfe Witness Protection Act.
It is in memory of her son’s courage, confidence and heroism that Rhonda founded the Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund, a nonprofit organization designed exclusively to promote academic excellence, civic engagement and community service. She established an endowed scholarship in October of 2005 for incoming freshmen attending Colorado State University and has raised $350,000 in five years to support academic scholarships. Yearly scholarships are awarded to qualified students that meet eligibility criteria managed by CSU staff. Students are granted $5,000 annually throughout their studies at CSU. She is proud to report that two of her recipients have graduated, which gives testament to the impact these scholarships are making on empowering youth in Colorado.
For more information on the Fields/Wolfe Memorial Fund, please visit: www.fieldswolfememorilafund.org
Appointed by Governor Bill Ritter, Rhonda currently serves on the Colorado Commission on Criminal Juvenile Justice. She also serves on numerous boards including:
- Safe 2 Tell Advisory Board, which promotes school safety
- Former President of Victim of Voices, which helps victims of crimes
- Rhonda’s professional affiliations include:
- American Association of Training and Development
- National Council of Negro Women
- Women in Government
- Urban League of Denver
- Black Women for Political Action
Rhonda is a member of the House Worship Center in Denver, where she serves on the deaconess board. She also remains an active member Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.