Brenda’s Priorities

Infrastructure

As I have walked our district the roads are rough with pot holes in several areas especially back in neighborhoods to the south. This work has been deferred for years due to the constitutional budget constrictions of Tabor and Gallagher. These roads adds unnecessary car damage. Work has started in areas but there is much to do to make up for years of neglect. Again Colorado will have a budget surplus I support-using that money to the benefit of our citizens in HD 15.

Education

It’s important that we tend to adequately fund our public schools. I will work to support school funding and teacher salaries that insure high standards for all students. I believe that upon graduation, every student should have the opportunity to go on to earn a degree or be given an opportunity to apprentice in a trade of their choice. I will work to increase opportunities for our high school graduates in District 15.

Unfortunately funding for higher education has taken a hit while less than a 1/3 of high school graduates go on to earn a 4 year college degree. Colorado has a robust economy and Colorado teachers are around 31st in their pay compared to other states and we are 39th among states to fund our students.

I support investment in apprentice programs for people to learn technical and vocation skills and be mindful the 21st century technical jobs needed that may not need a college degree. We need to support our teachers and school staff more to insure high quality people and we need to make sure our children get the technological skills that will help them succeed in a highly complex world. The Colorado legislature did increase funding for Colorado schools this year but there is more work to do.

Compare my stance on education compared to my opponent’s stance here.

School Safety

There are also some things we can do to lower the number of deaths from mass shooting in our school. For example, some schools districts are encouraging apps for kids to download to report to authorities any potential violence they see on social media. I advocate increasing the number of school counselors for each school in HD 15. Counselors working in schools are stretched thin with multiple responsibilities that divert attention away from mental health. When counselors have so many expectations and they are working long hours with duties that include scheduling classes to keep students on track for graduation, providing career and college plans for students, and other duties is there time for crisis intervention? We need to lower the ratio of counselors to students to insure that mental health issues at school are addressed.

Environment

I will support legislation that will protect Colorado’s natural resources and landscapes. I support taking steps to reduce pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep our community healthy and beautiful. I believe in taking a stance against global climate change in order to leave behind a safe and sustainable Earth for our children and generations to come.

 

Mental Health

In my experience as a Mental Health Professional, I have seen firsthand the need for increased funding to support mental health programs and mental health professionals in the military and private sector. I would work to make it easier for those with mental health challenges to find the support they need and provide more comprehensive care. This includes insurance companies authorizing more mental health sessions and family sessions per year and funding more mental health emergency services and in-patient care for adults and our youth.

Health Care

Health care should be a right for all Americans, not just a privilege. Everyday Coloradan – especially those with pre-existing conditions shouldn’t be left at risk of losing jobs, going bankrupt or unable to afford medical treatment because they don’t have health insurance. No one in this country should be afraid they will lose their life or their homes just because they got sick. Second, people caught up with opioid addiction issues need comprehensive care.  Third, Veterans need to be vigilant that the current administration does not succeed in privatizing the VA so that CEO’s can make a profit off the veteran’s healthcare needs and taxpayers dollars.

Voting

Voting in our state elections is important. More laws that affect our community are made at the state level – including how tax dollars are spent on schools, roads, health care, and how we are taxed are decided in Denver – not Washington DC.  It is important for our citizens in House District 15 to vote in the mid term election.