Colorado State Director - Democrats for Education Reform
Bachelor of Arts, English, University of Colorado 1991 Certificate, Colorado Institute of Leadership Training 2006 Certificate, Public Education Leadership Project, Harvard University 2011 Certificate, Policy Innovators in Education Leadership Cohort 2018
Precinct Committee Person from 2001-2019 Arapahoe County Democrats 2nd Vice Chair 2005-2007 Arapahoe County Democrats Chair 2007 Campaign and Political Contributions: ANGELA COBIAN FOR SOUTHWEST DENVER ANGELA WILLIAMS FOR STATE SENATE ARAPAHOE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY BARBARA O'BRIEN FOR DENVER'S KIDS BLUEFLOWER ACTION BRI FOR COLORADO BRIDGES FOR COLORADO BRITTANY PETTERSEN FOR COLORADO COLORADO DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMMITTEE TO ELECT BRITTANY PETTERSEN COMMITTEE TO ELECT JAMES COLEMAN COMMITTEE TO ELECT PETE LEE COMMITTEE TO ELECT TRACY KRAFT-THARP DEMOCRATS FOR EDUCATION REFORM COLORADO POLITICAL COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS FOR EDUCATION REFORM SMALL DONOR COMMITTEE DURAN FOR COLORADO LEADERSHIP FUND FAITH FOR SD 24 GAIL FOR AURORA KIDS HOLEN FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER JANET BUCKNER FOR COLORADO JEFF BRIDGES FOR COLORADO KERRY TIPPER FOR HOUSE DISTRICT 28 KYLE MULLICA FOR HD 34 LEADERSHIP FOR EDUCATIONAL EQUITY - COLORADO PAC LESLIE HEROD FOR COLORADO LOVATO FOR AURORA EDUCATION MCCANN FOR DENVER DA MIKE JOHNSON FOR DENVER KIDS MIKE JOHNSTON FOR GOVERNOR ONE COLORADO PAC ONE COLORADO SMALL DONOR COMMITTEE ORTIZ FOR COLORADO RACHEL FOR COLORADO RACHELE ESPIRITU FOR DENVERS KIDS RHONDA FIELDS FOR COLORADO
Governor Polis Transition Team - Education Committee Member Policy Innovators in Education - Leadership Cohort Colorado Democracy Alliance - Board Chair Born to Run Colorado - Board Member Luminary Learning Network - Vice Chair
As a proud native Coloradan, I have always believed – and acted on that belief – that engaging at the neighborhood, municipal and state levels is crucial to protecting our Colorado way of life. For me, that way of life means believing in the inherent goodness of our neighbors; celebrating our differences, but also putting aside those differences to work together in a creative and collaborative spirit to solve problems; and prioritizing a better future for our children and grandchildren. For the past decade, the main focus of my efforts – both personally and professionally – has been advocating and organizing around education equity for Colorado’s children. I am driven on a daily basis by the belief that every child, no matter their race, ethnicity, language, gender identity, religion or ZIP code deserves access to a high-quality public education. This work can’t be done on a superficial level. It can only succeed when engaging deeply with students, families and the broader community. I have worked with, and for, community organizations across the metro area and Colorado to create opportunities for children that have been historically underserved by the system. Efforts outside of work have included volunteering and serving in my children’s schools, canvassing in support of local bond and mill efforts, and advocacy for LGBTQ and environmental issues.
In order for our democracy to continue and succeed in the same way it has for me, my parents, and other generations before us, fair, equitable and logical representation in our electoral process must be at the core of our politics. Democracy – and the fairness inherent within it – is not guaranteed. It must be fought for and protected by fair-minded citizens who are willing to set aside their personal beliefs for the good of all Colorado. The required redistricting and reapportionment process must be built upon the foundation that every person’s vote matters, and we must ensure that fair and transparent representation for communities is maintained. One need only look at the wild twists and turns of state legislative and congressional maps in other states to see the hyper-partisan lengths some have gone through to nakedly hold on to power. Districts that are truly representative create equity in the political process for communities. They empower all, provide hope and give rise to the notion that everyone can participate. The importance of the work of the commission, my commitment to equity and my drive for civic engagement are the factors driving me to apply.
Assuming best intent of others is how I begin every conversation, and it is where I will begin my work on this commission. Too many times in our current dialogue, we label those who disagree with us or who come from a different philosophical or political outlook. We shut down before opening up; we shake our heads before listening; we say “No” before making “Yes” even a possibility. In order to promote a process that recognizes all voices in our representative government, the Commission must be dedicated to the same fair trade of ideas. When the voters of Colorado approved this new system in 2016, they were intentional about the structure, allowing participation from all parties, a transparent naming process and a committed opportunity for the commission to hear from our community. Commissioners must take those principals to the core of the work they are being asked to do together. Working in advocacy, I have developed the tools needed to ensure that all voices are brought to the table and have worked to bridge consensus by actively listening to different opinions in the effort to find common ground.
In the world of public education, the numbers don’t lie. That is why I take pride in my ability to look deeply at student and educator performance metrics to ascertain trends that inform my advocacy goals, strategy and tactics. Whether it is analyzing school accountability data to decipher the reasons for a widening opportunity gap for children of color, or tracking legislative action on critical measures that impact Colorado’s families, I believe you can’t fix a problem that you can’t measure. I seek to start all decision making grounded in data and apply pragmatic reasoning and creative thinking to find solutions.