While walking in east Arvada, our neighbors were shocked that a candidate for the Colorado House was knocking on their door. After sharing their dismay that they have not met a recent representative candidate (or any candidate ever), most people shared what was on their mind. I found many of the same concerns across the newly drawn House District 24, which encompasses most of central Arvada and East Table Mountain.
It doesn’t matter where one lives. It seems everyone is affected by rising prices, crime, decreasing education quality, potential school closings and a desire to protect the great community feel in Arvada. People are tired of government overreach that led to forty percent of small businesses closing and a staggering increase in the mental health needs of our children. Voters want criminals off our streets, a fully staffed and respected police force, an ability to earn a living where they aren’t forced to chose between school supplies and groceries, and an education system that offers high quality academics focused on helping students learn.
Often, my first question for folks at their door is, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”. Nearly everyone tells me no. They say they are ready for a change in leadership in Colorado. They want to be represented by neighbors facing the same challenges they face daily. And they want representatives willing to work across the aisle and find common ground and solutions that return Colorado to the safe, affordable state we once were. They are tired of special interests driving decisions that don’t make their lives better and tired of wealthy politicians making decisions on how to run their life.
I offer just such an alternative to the residents of House District 24. I am not a politician. I am a small business owner. I chose to live in Colorado after a career helping business owners around the world better serve their customers and be better stewards of their resources. I chose to come to Colorado because it was a great place to run a business, become successful and enjoy a quality of life not available in most places.
Then COVID hit and our Governor required some businesses to close, while others stayed open. My small business was forced to close while larger competitors remained open. I lost most of my employees and nearly lost my business. I know many of your families also lost their livelihoods and just like me are trying to recover. Now we are facing the highest inflation rates in the country due to out-of-control state spending. “Fees” like the ‘delivery fee’, passed by our legislators are making affordability even tougher. We need to roll back government spending and make Colorado affordable again.
Our legislators reduced penalties for hundreds of crimes, and criminals are back on the street. Voters tell me at the door that they now know someone who has been affected by crime in some way. People who have lived in Arvada for decades tell me it has never been this bad. We need to make our neighborhoods safe again by giving prosecutors the tools they need to keep criminals off the street.
I also hear at the door a great deal of concern for our students’ and children’s education. We know school shutdowns affected our students and have caused nearly two years of learning loss. Parents are worried that their children won’t recover this learning. Many children are also dealing with such severe mental health issues that Children’s Hospital declared a state of emergency, because we don’t have enough support for the damage. We must do better by our children. Funds need to follow our students so they can get the tutoring and supports they need to be successful, and we need to have more mental health support.
Arvada residents want change. They want their voices heard. They are tired of political rhetoric. I will represent Arvada and fight for the change we need.