Here’s how Ellen will work with Coloradans and understands our issues…
As a community leader on various boards that give voices to the most vulnerable members of our society, a business leader developing policy and management systems to take on climate change, and as a professor in our Land Grant university system, Ellen understands the people of Colorado and our extraordinary capacity for setting bold paths to address Coloradans needs and aspirations.
Bringing Colorado-based leadership and an economic lens developed across social services, small business, technology acquisition, and infrastructure development, Ellen offers a compassionate, disciplined approach to our economic, social, and environmental challenges.
This platform is about Real People doing Real Work. Let’s hear from you.
Economic Expansion and Stability
We must develop a National economic framework that meets economic, social and environmental goals. Our current trajectory is irresponsible.
A thriving economy means that we create pathways from poverty supported by case workers rather than probation officers, address the mental health and addiction crises, invest in infrastructure that supports a digital economy, alternative energy, housing (that jointly meets employment, training and energy efficiency objectives), and transportation (e.g. electric vehicles, public transportation, and goods transport).
Fiscally responsible means that we bring transparency to the investment and immediate benefits of our budget from both a REVENUE and EXPENDITURE process.
We must decrease our National Debt. Fiscally responsible means that politicians serve their constituents for jobs, wages, education and infrastructure, even if it means conflict with powerful stakeholders from healthcare and energy, among others.
Fiscally responsible means that changes in input prices (e.g. energy due to carbon pollution pricing) are not offset with a corresponding tax break.
Fiscally responsible means that revenue targeting a specific problem (e.g. carbon pollution) are effectively used to solve the problem, rather than to become a source of funds for other stakeholders.
- Restoring the Pre-2016 Tax Plan
- Balancing the budget
- Paying down debt
We have an obligation to provide accessible, affordable healthcare for everyone who wants it. Healthcare delivery, insurance, and medication/equipment are monopolies that will continue to drive up costs, while delivering lower levels of service. Our health outcomes, based on infant mortality rates alone, are staggeringly out of line with other comparable economic partner countries.
Mental health is a critical area for further support. Recent research indicates the lasting negative effects that infant and childhood trauma have on learning and socialization. Untreated mental health is a driver of homelessness and too-often incarceration. Colorado continues to demonstrate the country’s highest suicide rates for people under 18. We must do more to de-stigmatize, diagnose and treat mental illness.
- Expanded access and affordability to mental health services
- Expanded access and affordability for rural healthcare services
- Creating true competition across insurance, pharmaceutical, and healthcare delivery OR
- Regulating the healthcare monopoly with a framework such as those applied to electricity, telecommunications and other utilities
- Providing healthcare to all
We must do more to provide access to community colleges, apprentice programs and other skills development platforms. For students who choose a college path toward a bachelor’s degree, higher tuition combined with privatized student loans at 8%-13% are resulting in student loan debt at ~ $1.3 Trillion. Lack of access to training beyond high school, and the daunting challenge of education loan repayment is threatening the ability of young people’s ability to buy homes, save, provide for the families or make other long-term investments.
We must support the education and training of our people.
- Low interest, federally-backed student loans for training, community college and other college study.
- For existing student loans, government refinance of current, high-interest rate privately held student loans
- Student loan forgiveness for specific careers and work in specific geographies
Housing costs are growing faster than wages. Middle class wage stagnation prevents stable housing. Families with children are the fastest growing homeless population. Since 2008, the number of Colorado school children experiencing homelessness has increased -- despite the ‘economic recovery’ experienced by some.
- Keeping families HOUSED
- Affordable Housing for low- and middle-income individuals and families
- Safe, affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities
- Support Section 8 Housing by streamlining the process and protecting tenants from non-compliant landlords
The recent Supreme Court debacles blocking President Obama’s nomination and appointing Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have left Women’s Rights -- from safety to health and choice -- at risk. Furthermore, the failure to reinstate the Violence Against Women Act, which expired on December 21, 2018, not only exposes women to greater threats from Date Rape and Domestic Violence but also reduces support and education for survivors. We need more than legislation. We need leaders who demand safe, fair and equitable treatment for all.
- Reinstatement of the Violence Against Women’s Act
- Keeping Abortion Safe and Legal
- Passing the Equal Rights Amendment
- Including women’s and infant’s hygiene in low-income support programs
- Health and support services for transwomen
Decriminalize Poverty: Criminal Justice Reform and Law Enforcement
Lack of access to resources, profiling and excessive fines are among drivers of high recidivism, low education and generational poverty among those raised under low socio-economic conditions. Though our constitution provides for the right to an attorney, increasingly this right is being met with the burden of fees that result in longer (privately-managed) probation, re-incarceration, and bankruptcy.
- Investing in public schools rather than private prisons
- Increased support for addiction and mental health rather than for jails or prisons
- Increased scope and scale of Child Services. Truant kids need support, not detention.
- Penalizing profiling. Call out corruption, legislate meaningful penalties and support local leadership training.
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer and Gender Non-Conforming Rights and Equity
For those of us who do not conform to ‘traditional’ roles, safety, education, professional development, family structure and legal protection are often at risk. Again, the makeup of the Supreme Court will continue to have a strong bearing on the protection and advancement of all underrepresented people. Legislation ensuring protection continues to be insufficient. We must have leadership that requires effective follow through and implementation.
- Continued support to end discrimination by businesses against consumers
- Greater protection for ‘whistle blowers’ and targets of discrimination
- Keeping marriage for all adults legal
- Reliable, affordable healthcare
We have a duty to protect our children against gun violence. Even though they don’t yet have a say in our democratic process, thousands of our students in Colorado and across America have made their voices clear, demanding comprehensive and meaningful gun reform.
- Background checks for all gun purchases (including closing the gun show loophole).
- Longer wait times for gun purchases.
- Remove weapons of war from the general public
- Expand Colorado’s Red Flag Laws to the National level
Immigration is an integrated component of our nation’s history and a fundamental element of our aspiration and success. Growing and engaging a broader pool of cultural history, perspectives and viewpoints is a necessary element of our continued success. The current administration’s threats to end safety net services to legal permanent residents, inhumane treatment of people at our borders, family separation policy, and menacing of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants are despicable.
- Legal residency for DACA participants
- Comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship
- Improved seasonal workforce platforms to support agriculture and rural economies
- Greater scope of asylum protection
The Environment and Food Production
Stop Carbon Pollution
We must end the debt on future generations. We are still paying the >$40 Billion-dollar price tag from past corporate waste resulting in over 1,400 Superfund sites across America -- including as many as 23 in Colorado.
We must put a Price of Carbon Pollution that supports a transition to a low carbon economy. This will take new technologies, energy sources and workforce training.
- Signing the Paris Climate Agreement
- Ending the Trade War with China that is raising the cost of Solar Infrastructure
- Training in renewable energy development, installation and management
- Research to improve technology, efficiency and application of alternative energy
- Installing and using more wind and solar energy across this state
Agriculture and Rural Communities
Food security, community economic health, and rural community mental health are key tenets and needs areas for a stable national economy. The current trade war is threatening each of these areas. In Colorado, farmers dependent on strong corn, wheat, and soybean prices are most impacted by the loss of a key trade partner, China. Threats to our farmland, workers, technology and productivity must be taken seriously. Only two percent of our population works on farms -- that is 2% of our ~ 330 million people are feeding everyone. We are placing the risk of food production on our farmers, and they bear the costs of environmental and economic disruption.
- Increased support for restorative agricultural practices to improve soil quality and productivity
- Expanding crop insurance programs to include affordable specialty crop coverage
- Greater support for family-owned and local-market focused farms
- Expanded access to mental health services in rural communities
- Integrating renewable energy for on-farm use and generation