Why are we running?
We have a duty to ensure our communities are kept safe from the classroom to the park. One of the ways we can do this is by banning assault weapons. These instruments of war do not belong on our streets, and when elected, if it is not already done, I will work to increase funding to expand mental health services; we should not normalize losing young people to suicide, mass shootings, or other unnatural deaths, and we must invest in youth programs to combat youth violence across our state.
Over the last four years, I have served on the Denver School Board during times of crisis and celebrations. In my first 50 days in office, we worked with Moms Demand Action to pass the first safe gun storage policy in Colorado. I worked with students from across the district to get our Board to endorse a measure to allow them to vote in our School Board elections, and we didn’t stop there; we worked with One Colorado and other district leaders and passed the most comprehensive LGBTQIA + inclusion policy in our district's history. We took COVID-19 head-on and kept our system operational and our communities fed; we reunified Montbello and West High Schools, we implemented universal dyslexia screening, we ended period poverty in our district, we disrupted the school-to-prison pipeline, raised our minimum wage to $20.00 an hour. And the list goes on.
These major accomplishments should not only be afforded to the students of Denver Public Schools but to all students across the state.
As a father of a two-year-old, I have an obligation to ensure that he has the best education possible, and that begins in preschool, but a barrier that we as a family will soon encounter is that we do not fully fund preschool. This is an unfair burden on working-class families. We need to fund and expand universal pre-k and access to education for our youngest learners, including programming for infants to 3 years old.
Protecting Worker Rights:
I have been an hourly worker since graduating from Manual High School, and if Denver Public Schools did not exceed the statewide minimum wage, I would not have been able to live and work in the city that I love; that is not the Colorado promise. When elected, I will do what I did on the School Board and advocate to increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour. I will support the expansion of collective bargaining; as a former unionized educator and grandson of a public school teacher, I know all too well the importance of having a union, and everyone that wants to join one should have that access. As a renter, I understand the importance of allowing municipalities to have the right to enact rent control if they decide to.
This is simple; the government should not be involved in a person's reproductive healthcare, and I will actively oppose any attempt to strip a person's right to decide what is best for their body. The right to choose should be enshrined in the Colorado Constitution.
"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas."