Jobs & the Economy
Pueblo became the seat of Colorado’s working class because our citizens know what it means to work for a paycheck. Farmers built Otero and Fremont counties and the Pueblo Chile. Steelworkers built the city of Pueblo. Now it’s time to build a future in Pueblo that brings 21st-century jobs to our home. At the heart of that change will be what has driven Pueblo in the past and what will continue to drive us forward: our unions.
I have picketed with my own teacher union and know what it means to fight for my worth in the workplace. By sending me to Denver you can send a strong champion of unions to our capitol who will protect us from the “right to work” laws that have devastated the American middle class.
Access to Childcare
Affordable high-quality childcare is out of reach for too many working Americans. Creating universal pre-k will help both students and working parents, while jumpstarting our student's educations, helping them succeed in the future as well.
Increased access to Small Business Loans
Small businesses are the heart and soul of District 47. From the farm stands out on Highway 50 to Squawk Coffee right by my office, we need to make it easier as a state to help local entrepreneurs get their business of the ground. Without small business, Southern Colorado would not be as vibrant and diverse as it is today.
Pueblo is the home of heroes. With that title comes the responsibility to care for those who have protected us. My parents and husband both served in the US military and I have seen again and again how the government fails our veterans. Pueblo has the opportunity to lead the country in care and service for our veterans. The most medal of honor recipients in any city in this country means that we should have the highest level of care available anywhere in this country. It is my duty to protect the retirements and health care of our veterans the way that they protected us.
Tax Reduction for Veterans
Veterans deserve to retire in dignity. To protect the retirements of our veterans I support a tax reduction on veteran pensions.
Veterans Trauma Courts
Many of the scars that veterans bring home are not physical. When a veteran faces legal trouble special consideration must be given to them on account of factors like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Veteran trauma courts would hold veterans accountable for their actions while understanding the ordeals that they have undergone.
For too long politicians in Denver have cut education spending to the bone to make room elsewhere. That ends with me. As a public school teacher, I see first-hand how disastrous short-sighted policies like TABOR and the negative factor have been to Colorado’s most precious natural resource: our children.
Many of our best teachers in Colorado have been leaving for surrounding states because they have more resources. We must make sure that we keep our teachers here in Colorado, for the sake of our children.
The very schools that I teach in are often unsafe, students get shocked and it creates a hazardous learning environment. We must expand the Building Excellent Schools Today program and ensure that the money raised for schools is reaching the classrooms, not high priced consultants in Denver.
I have seen again and again how an education system that tries to prepare every student for four years of college fails our children. The four-year option should be available to those that want it, but our schools need to prepare students for professions in the trades and other such valuable services. Studies have also shown that trade programs also benefit the outcomes of all students, not just those looking at specific industries. We must make sure that our schools prepare all students for a bright future.
Our public employees deserve a dignified retirement after spending a career serving us. This means protecting PERA. Including teachers, State Troopers, snowplow drivers, and corrections officers, PERA is responsible for the retirement of 560,000 Coloradoans a full 10% of our population.
PERA is a Promise
PERA is not a handout, it is an earned benefit. Members are required to pay in, meaning that they are owed their retirement. In many cases, they have no other option but to rely on PERA for their old age, as they do not have Social Security. We must honor their legacy by honoring our promise. Politicians have tried again and again to carve away at PERA to make room elsewhere. With me, you can trust that PERA has a champion in the statehouse.
As a working mother, I know what it’s like to balance a budget with healthcare costs. We have made great strides in the pursuit of 100% of Coloradans with quality care, but there is still work to be done. In Fremont and Otero counties citizens have to drive for hours to access Doctors and Dentists. Like so many other services, Southern Colorado lacks the same service that exists elsewhere in the state.
For too many of our families, medical costs eat up a majority of their budget. It is because of this that I will support expanding the state's Medicaid program to ensure that families can survive and thrive.
Too Long a Drive Too Few Providers
Our neighbors in La Junta and Penrose all roll their eyes knowingly when we talk about the trek they have to make to access specialist care. Bri supports expanded medical residency programs in rural Colorado counties. With the best and brightest medical school graduates right around the corner, we can ensure that rural citizens have access to cutting-edge care.
Drug Companies Are Not People
Prescription drug companies must be held responsible for their actions. If a drug cartel was responsible for creating a public health crisis on the scale of the opioid epidemic what would our reaction be? Additionally, I support multi-state bulk drug purchasing arrangement for other prescription medications to help keep costs of live-saving medicine down.
Southern Colorado Issues
Anyone who drives from La Junta to Penrose or anywhere in between knows that our roads are crumbling. Our roads are how seniors in far-flung corners of HD47 access the health care that they need. They are how most of our children get to school every day. Farmers haul their produce on Highway 50 at all hours of the day and night. It is imperative that we not only fix Highway 50 but we bring the rest of our district's infrastructure into the 21st century.
Expand Highway 50
Highway 50 needs to be re-paved and expanded. Four lanes from La Junta to Pueblo and out to Penrose would ensure that it meets the needs of our community for the foreseeable future. We will fight to keep Highway 50 in its current geographic footprint so as to not disrupt the lives of those who live along the route.
With recent advancements in telehealth technology, highspeed broadband is a necessity in rural Colorado. I will push for legislation that ensures that every corner of our state has quality internet connection. Furthermore, the expansion of Highway 50 gives us a great opportunity to lay fiber optic cable, boosting access for District 47 with only minimal disturbance.
Water Is our Lifeblood
As this past winter drought has shown, our farmers continue to face an uncertain climate. This means that our water storage capabilities as a state need to be upgraded to meet this uncertain future. We must stop our “use it or lose it” policies and give farmers more control over their water.