Rhonda Fields … A Proven Leader for Aurora
A forceful advocate for families, children, and public safety, 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. In November 2014, she was reelected to her third term in the House of Representatives. She serves as the Chair of the Local Government committee and is the ranking member on the Education Committee.
Representative Fields has aggressively represented the needs of the under-served and vulnerable people in her district and throughout the State. She is a champion of quality public education, and helped secure nearly $500 million in funding for K-12 programs – helping to reduce class sizes and retain best teachers. She continues to work to expand early childhood education and workforce programs to prepare young people for success in their chosen fields. She has
A leader in efforts to improve public safety, Rhonda Fields has established a reputation for being unafraid to tackle tough issues on behalf of her constituents, for a more just Colorado, and for a safer world. She has ushered in new laws that protect those who have been harmed by gun voilence, drunken drivers or impacted by sexual assault or harassment. She founded the House Victim’s Right Caucus to help address the challenges faced by crime victims. Rep. Fields has fought for justice and fairness in our community, and won.
Being an advocate for hardworking Coloradans, she has authored legislation to expand training and educational opportunties to help build skills and put people to work in good jobs. In 2013, she was the co-chair of the Economic Opportunity Poverty Reduction Taskforce interim committee which passed landmark legislation to secure pathways out of poverty for struggling families in Colorado.
Representative Fields is a strong proponent of qualtiy education, affordable housing, the homeless, low income energy assistance, job training, making health care affordable, just immigration policies, the establishment of a living wage, and protection of the right of women to make decisions about their reproductive health. She is the former Speaker Pro Temp of the Colorado House of Representative.
Rhonda Fields is fighting for a Colorado where everyone has a fair shot to succeed. She has fought to promote services for our military veterans and authored the Veterans Full Employment Act and legislation to ensure college credit for life experience for military service.
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 and again in 2013, 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.”
She has won numerous awards for her dedicated work to address equality and justice for all. As a trusted public servant she serves on numerous boards, including the Bonatic Gardens, Safe 2 Tell Advisory Board and Voices of Victims. Rep. Fields’ professional affiliations include Women in Government, National Federation of Women Legislators, the Colorado Black Caucus, the National Council of Negro Women, the Urban League of Denver, the NAACP, Black Women for Political Action and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority of African-American college-educated women.
Rhonda was raised in a military family. Her father served and defended this nation for over 30 years as a Sergeant Major (E-9), the highest non-commissioned officer rank an enlisted person can achieve. Her mother was a supportive wife who dedicated herself to raising her only child to be a 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. She is blessed with four grandchildren. Her daughter Maisha and her son-in-law Greg live in Centennial where they are raising her three granddaughters, Nyrema, Nyla and Nia .
As a mother and grandmother, Rhonda knows that there is nothing more important than helping every young person compete and succeed in the 21st Century economy. 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 Experience
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 and has held various leadership roles in Human Resources and Training/ Development. After 29 years of service, she retired in March, 2015.
Growing Hope Through Community Outreach
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. Rhonda’s son Javad Fields, had just graduated from Colorado State University and 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 pass 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. Yearly scholarships are awarded to qualified students that meet eligibility criteria managed by CSU staff.
Committed to building a Colorado in which every person has the opportunity to succeed, Rep. Fields collaborated with community partners and opened the Dayton Street Community Center in March, 2015. The center is a place where families and individuals can transformed their lives.