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Julie on the Issues

My mom was born and raised in rural Gardner, Colorado, and she dropped out of high school, but never stopped learning. Mom obtained her GED, went to Adams State and became the first in her family to graduate from college, and instilled in her kids the power of education as a first-grade teacher. I graduated from Yale thanks to my mom’s encouragement
Our Colorado economy is booming, but our state’s education system is ranked at the bottom. We must fund preschool and kindergarten to ensure every child is prepared for success. Let’s actually fund our K-12 education system, so that we no longer have half the school districts in the state operating on four-day school weeks. Our state university and community college systems are a treasure – and we must ensure they are affordable, because Colorado’s youth deserve access to training in the skills our 21st century economy needs, but without incurring a lifetime of debt. Investments in our kids make Colorado thrive – and ensures that ALL of our students will have an opportunity to succeed.
I’ve lived in an affordable housing unit in Jefferson Park since 2008, and I know firsthand just how transformative creating housing stability can be, for both families and a community. Colorado must:
Colorado has the opportunity to pass statewide policies that increase the construction of both rental and for-sale affordable housing units, and provide down payment assistance for first-time home buyers. We also have the opportunity to end the statewide prohibition on rent control and restore those decisions to local municipalities.
My fiancé Ben and I are a one-car family, and just like every other resident in SD34, we can attest that traffic in Colorado is out of control! Solely expanding highways that cut into historical low-income neighborhoods, pollute our air, and degrade the health of our communities is not going to magically solve our gridlock problems. It’s high time that we build a 21st-century transportation system so that Coloradans are not spending half of our lives stuck in traffic.
Public transportation also means economic freedom. Colorado must prioritize systems that give residents affordable, convenient options. We need to expand light rail, dedicated bus lanes, and bike lanes. We also have to make housing more affordable so that families can live in the communities that they work. All these things will make us a smarter and more efficient city and state.
Climate change is real, and every Coloradan has the right to clean air and water. SD34 includes the most-polluted zip code in America (80216), and given that reality, the fight for environmental protections in Colorado must balance the two goals of protecting the most pristine and precious parts of our state with also restoring and remediating the most polluted.
Individual choices to recycle are simply not enough to address our impending environmental crisis: we must pass bold policies at the state level. As your state Senator, I will fight to end our dependency on fossil fuels that pollute our beautiful state and our precious water supply, and instead invest in our residents by training Coloradans for the new energy economy. I will fight to protect the health of our communities, by putting forward policies that build a 21st century transportation system so that our communities are more walkable and less car-dependent.
Healthcare is a human right. I have too many friends and family whose livelihoods have been determined not by their work ethic or their education, but by their (lack of) access to quality, affordable healthcare.
As your next state Senator, I will fight like hell to pass and implement universal healthcare so that no Colorado family has to worry about potentially suffering mountains of debt in order to live a healthy life. I will lead the fight to protect Medicaid expansion and CHIP, and I will fight the Trump administration on any attempts to cut Medicare for seniors and disabled residents.
Every Coloradan has the right to live their lives with dignity and with equal treatment under the law.
Criminal Justice Reform
Having worked in a law firm alongside both defendants and victims for the past five years, I recognize that there are many meaningful ways to ensure that individuals who have committed crimes are able to repair the harm done to society, and that locking someone up in a cell isn’t necessarily the only or the best option.
A criminal conviction has long-lasting and profound impacts on an individual’s life, far beyond the actual days spent in a jail or prison cell, and as a state, we spend many more dollars incarcerating people than we do educating people. It’s time for us to end mass incarceration and overhaul how we think about community safety. Let’s invest our dollars in rehabilitation and rehabilitation, and remove barriers to employment for individuals who have successfully repaid their debt to society.
Protecting and expanding LGBTQ+ rights
We have to protect the rights of Coloradans to love and marry whomever they want. We also cannot allow business and organizations to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. As a state Senator, I will fight against any bill that strips hard-fought rights from our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, because all Coloradans should live in a world where they are respected and can live their full selves with dignity.
Protecting new American communities
Having been in the immigrant rights movement for the past decade, I have seen the real-life consequences of our broken immigration system far too many times. I have seen the heartbreak and worry that a family faces knowing their loved one could be taken from them at any moment.
In Colorado, we must ensure that local law enforcement is not being co-opted by Trump’s ICE agents, so that immigrant communities can trust and cooperate with local authorities in order to keep our communities safe. I will also fight back against any legislation that tries to take the state backwards on immigration policy.
 
 

Julie on the Record