I have a long history of advocating for issues with a focus on equity and fairness. Before coming to the University of Colorado Boulder for law school, I worked for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, for the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Ivory Coast (Côte d'I·voire), and I served as a White House intern in the Obama administration. In addition to my work on Boulder City Council and in state and national committees, I am a former precinct captain with the Boulder County Democratic Party and I am currently serving as an Area Coordinator. I am also a small business owner and a family lawyer who protects families from government interference. Learn more about my positions on issues I look forward to being a champion for as your Colorado House District 10 representative.
Air pollution impacts our well being as a species. Corporate greed intensifies and accelerates water and air pollution. Corporations, especially the oil and gas industries, have to be held accountable for their actions that have led to more and more days when it is dangerous for many people to breathe the air outside. I believe that corporate polluters should be held accountable for the emissions they create and the effects of those emissions on our community. Since they create a disproportionate amount of pollution they need to be a large part of the solution.I also believe we should be much more proactive in meeting air quality goals.
When we had unusually heavy rains a couple of weeks ago, many of my neighbors’ garden-level apartments flooded. Walkways that usually have children’s toys and bikes and chalk drawings outside their doors had water-logged carpet and cords for fans. Low income workers and families and retirees are always the first to suffer in the climate crisis – or any crisis – and I want to make sure our safety is finally prioritized in climate efforts.
Drug Use and Addiction
Addiction is a disease. We should focus on prevention and treatment of drug use, not punishment and incarceration. Prevention and treatment are effective in reducing rates of use and addiction and these are the approaches a majority of us want to pursue. We’ve all been appalled that US athlete Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia for drug possession, but 1 in 5 people in our own country are incarcerated for drug offenses. If incarceration decreased rates of drug addiction and use, we’d have solved this problem by now. We need more prevention and treatment, not more people in prisons.
Right now one of the biggest problems facing our K-12 schools is a shortage of workers, including: teachers, support staff, bus drivers, and before- and after-school care providers. I am hearing from working families in our community who are not only struggling with preschool and daycare, but who have school-age children who do not have after-school care due to staffing shortages. As Colorado is among the lowest in the country in terms of teacher salaries, it is no surprise we are struggling to find teachers for our schools.
As a Black woman, especially as an immigrant for whom English is not my native language, our lack of equity has major impacts on my life. In my daily life I experience racism personally and professionally. Sometimes it is explicit, but most of the time people do not even think about the ways they are treating me differently because of my skin color. The doctors who talk down to me or ignore my health issues altogether, the people who include me in committees to check a box but do not listen to my ideas or treat me as an equal partner, the lack of family wealth that keeps me trapped as a renter with rising housing costs. For Black women, working for racial equity isn't a hobby. It is a survival mechanism.
I wholeheartedly supported Boulder’s recent common-sense gun violence prevention ordinances and as your House District 10 Representative, I will be a supporter of statewide bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Guns don’t just cause deaths in mass shootings, they affect rates of death in domestic violence, suicide attempts, and police violence. Some legislators are afraid of angering the NRA and its supporters with bans on assault weapons, but I value people’s freedom to stay alive more than I value people’s freedom to have military-grade weapons.
Gun violence is an epidemic and we need to end easy access to guns across the state if we want to keep our community safe. I will be honored to take Boulder’s fight to the state legislature.
Housing cost continues to be a leading concern for communities across Colorado and the nation. Our housing policies incentivize building large, luxury homes while housing prices increase to the point fewer and fewer can afford to either purchase a home or even rent in the communities where they work.
Collective bargaining rights are human rights. I believe that workers throughout Colorado should be empowered to organize in order to ensure the protection and promotion of their rights. As union membership has declined over the past 50 years, income inequality has grown. This is no coincidence. When workers are not able to collectively bargain and organize, their labor is exploited and they are at the mercy of corporations that care more for profits and shareholders than workers. The collective bargaining bill that passed in the last legislative session was so watered down as to be more harmful than it was helpful. I will advocate for strong labor policies that do not constrain workers’ abilities to organize, strike, and collectively bargain.
I believe in free access to abortion for all, regardless of class or income level. Forcing someone to continue a pregnancy that they do not want or cannot safely maintain is inhumane and against everything I stand for as an advocate for human rights. Everyone should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies.
Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in our state. But moving to a greener transportation system isn’t just about electrifying our transportation system and moving to sustainable and renewable energy, it’s about changing the way we live and move around in our cities and regions. I am an alternate on DRCOG, the Denver Regional Council of Governments. One of DRCOG’s primary roles is to allocate federal and state transportation funding to cities and counties along the Front Range. At our retreat this year, 60 representatives from cities and counties all over the Denver Metro area identified housing as a key area of focus, because housing drives transportation (no pun intended).
“Mental health problems, including alcohol abuse, are among the ten leading causes of disability in both developed and developing countries… Poor mental health is both a cause and a consequence of poverty, it compromises education, contributes to gender inequality, ill-health, violence and other challenges. It impedes the individual’s capacity to work productively, realize their potential and make a contribution to their community.” UNO
The evidence is clear that the cost to society is far greater when we are reacting to the aftermath of individual mental health challenges, instead of working to solve them at the root. As a new legislator from Boulder County, I will be one of the many champions of mental health funding at the Capitol. I will be an advocate for ensuring that we bring a variety of stakeholders into the process with lived experience who can provide humane solutions to a very real and human problem.