Overcoming the Politics that Divide Us

Around this time last year I went from someone who never even thought about running for office to someone who was in the throes of an election. I went on to win House District 42 in Aurora, where I raised my children and have lived for many years. It’s an honor to represent this community and though my first legislative session was full of challenges, it was also filled with triumphs.

First, House Democrats fought hard and succeeded in preventing the cuts to K-12 education by $178 million. We restored the vital Start Smart free breakfast program for low-income school kids. We also extended a successful foreclosure prevention program; streamlined the teacher licensure process; created a platform to reach out to and empower small businesses and startups; and established a child-only health-insurance plan, among the other legislation that create jobs, increase government transparency and help Coloradans.

One bill that I passed this year will help tackle our growing obesity problem by giving our children a chance to move around and exercise during the school day. House Bill 11- 1069 will direct each Colorado school district to adopt a policy that incorporates a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity daily. I believe that daily exercise can also improve mood and focus and teach our children healthy habits.

I worked with fellow Aurora Representative on a bill that extends the Military Family Relief Fund tax check off program. This successful program helps make up loss in income and helps to defray increased expenses for food, housing, utilities, medical services and other costs for qualifying families of active-duty Reserve and National Guard members. In 2009, the relief fund received $187,799 in contributions, the highest amount of the 14 check-off programs in Colorado.

Additionally, I sponsored legislation authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to adopt rules creating an exemption from tiered electricity rate plans based on a customer’s medical condition; making schools safer in the event of an emergency by authorizing schools and local emergency agencies to share information; adding legal remedies to the consumer credit laws; increasing bail bond conditions if a person is arrested for a 3 DUI; and changing who serves as the presiding officer of the CU Hospital authority.

My first term has taught me to overcome the politics that divide us by recognizing our common dreams and destiny for liberty, justice and fairness. Not just for the powerful and rich… but for all! It is an honor to serve you. Though the session is over, I remain your Representative year round. I encourage you to stay in contact with me about issues that are of concern to you and your family. Email me at or stop by one of my regular town halls or coffee get-togethers.