B.A. Indiana University, Double Major: Political Science, History (2012) Minor in Public & Environmental Affairs Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) 6/7/13 – Present
I have been involved in politics since I was a child eagerly taking part in our 5th grade mock elections, and I was very involved in college. Since 2015 I have been less involved in politics, focusing on work and family. I have volunteered canvasing with my former union SEIU Local 105 and the Democratic party in the 2018 and 2020 elections. I have made very small donations to many Democratic candidates since 2015 including Bernie Sanders, Jon Ossoff, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, DNC, Tammy Baldwin, Joe Donnelly, Kamala Harris, Mike Johnston, Mark Kelly, Pete Buttigeig, Michael Bennett, Lucy McBath, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joe Biden, John Hickenlooper, Ed Perlmutter, DLCC, Jaime Harrison, Sara Gideon, Amy McGrath, Theresa Greenfield, Steve Bullock, MJ Heger, Brianna Titone, Mi Familia Vota, Raphael Warnock, Alan Gross, Barbara Bollier, Black Votes Matter Fund and Doug Jones. The largest total amount to any individual candidate was less than $60.
I have been involved in many professional groups during my time at Kaiser Permanente including KP Pride which is the Kaiser Permanente LBGTQ+ Multicultural Business Resource Group, I was a Kaiser Permanente Diversity Navigator Trainer, and also doing community volunteering with the KP Cares Community Benefit groups during my time at KP from 2015-2020. I have also volunteered at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge gift shop since 2017, MaxFund Animal shelter since 2016, Feline Fix animal shelter since 2019, and as a Adams County Election Judge during the 2020 elections. I have been involved in Friends of the Front Range Wildlife Refuges and Friends of The Great Sand Dunes since 2015. I have volunteered for the Democratic party and various Democratic candidates since 2016 canvassing and engaging the community. In 2018 I was chosen by my union, SEIU Local 105 to do union organizing and political canvassing in the Colorado Elections.
I have been heavily involved in advocating for the political rights of the LGBTQ+ community, both in my work professionally at Kaiser Permenente and out in our community at events like Denver Pride. I have marched with candidates in the Denver Pride Parade, and handed out health information at Denver Pride with KP Pride. I was also on the board of KP Pride, not only did we organize and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community at work, we also advocated heavily for our patient community, helping Kaiser implement gender neutral language and name changes in our many computer systems.
I would like to serve on the commission to help prove that community, citizen driven commissions like this are an excellent way to bring fairness to our political process not only to Colorado but to the rest of the county. Much like our very successful mail voting system and legalized recreational marijuana, I think that the eyes of the county will be on this commission to see how successful it is. I would love to contribute to that success. I have an academic background studying Political Science and history, and have studied how gerrymandering has been used by both parties in attempts to tip the scales of representative democracy in their favor. This game has been played since our republic was founded, with all states big or small getting 2 Senators and representation in the House not only based on the population of citizens in each district, but also at the time, slaves. The constitutional changes that have lead to directly elected senators, a set size of 428 for the House and Electoral College, and the current issue we find ourselves discussing now: the necessary redistricting that comes with our growing nation. With this commission we take another bold step to make our representative democratic republic more free, fair, and equal. I can't think of something more exciting than contributing to that sacred and civic duty, to make a more perfect union. While I majored in Political Science and History in college, which makes me quite familiar with the political process of redistricting after each census, I think that my personal background and experience give me the perspective to serve well on this commission. Fair and free elections are the foundation of our democracy, and all too often redistricting has become a partisan brawl that either way has lead to extremely gerrymandered districts that lean heavily to the left or right. This is unfair and it must stop. Drawing proper districts goes farther than obvious divides like party, or even race and ethnicity, though these are very important. I think one of the biggest divides in our state has become the rural/urban divide, and I think redistricting could be a huge help with this divide. I grew up in a very small town, among the cornfields of Indiana, and it breaks my heart when I see city folks and country folks going at each other. Fair maps don't just effect votes in Washington D.C., it has a huge effect on all our communities here in Colorado, big or small. We should be working together, not against each other, redistricting fair can greatly help.
Finding consensus and working together will be an important part of this commission, I feel strongly that the meaning of this commission is to serve the people of Colorado as best we can, and like I said above, that doesn't only mean making politically fair and geographically coherent districts, it also means working for everyone in our state, from the big city, to the high plains, to the mountains and parks of the Rockies. I think I would be able to emphasize this during discussions and debates, to remind my fellow commissioners who we serve, Coloradans. In college I had the privilege of serving as the elected president of the College Democrats Club. While seemingly a united group of Democrats, this position was the hardest in my life as far as working with people who had different perspectives. Not only did I have to work with many different groups across the political spectrum to plan political and civic events I also had many unique interest groups represented on my own executive board, and they were often in disagreement. Not only did I have to manage these competing groups, I had to navigate a fierce Democratic primary for local mayor. This primary divided our group, and I had to keep each side from fighting, try to stay above the fray, and give each side equal time and space. I have to say, it was often easier working with the president of College Republicans to plan debates and 9/11 remembrances than it was working with my own board. There were times they were not nice to each other, however, I was able to lead our group treating each campaign fairly and lead the group out of the election united, and for that I was very proud.
I am proud of the critical thinking and communication skills I learned during my liberal arts education. In my work as a pharmacy technician I worked with many people who received a vastly different education than myself, and I saw how even some highly educated people in some fields lack critical thinking skills required to properly understand our society. Not only did I learn accurate analytical skills working with drugs and prescriptions, but I learned much about working with and understanding people with serious diseases and addiction. I learned very quickly to treat everyone with dignity and respect, even if they don't think or act the way I would. Sadly, I realized it requires critical thinking to understand how others might find themselves fighting addiction, instead of just judging and speaking ill of them. While initially I was annoyed and upset when addicts would come to buy needles, I quickly realized that I should treat them with compassion and respect not just because I was a healthcare professional, but because they were making a logical, responsible, and ethical decision to try to protect their own health and the health of our community by using clean needles. I would tell my coworkers who would judge them for their faults should at least be respectful of their smart decision that helps everyone. While getting my degree taught me about the hard academic work researching for history papers, preparing for debates, and studying for tests it also installed in me a deep love and respect for the research and investigation that went into preparing my essays. My junior history thesis was about the average soldiers tried for their crimes during the Holocaust during the Einsatzgruppen trials after World War II and my senior history thesis was concerning Eastern Native American demographic and social changes from 1300s-English Colonization. Both of these tragic subjects interested me partially because of the demographic history and changes that both events lead to. While these subjects are extremely tragic, I think they are pertinent to show my interest and experience researching the demographic and historical documents to come to my conclusions. While I have loved history since I was in school, since childhood I have loved geography, I have been staring at atlases and globes since long before I could read. One of my favorite jobs working the 2020 election was helping voters and my fellow judges determine where people lived and especially what county they live in. Simply put, I am not only prepared to sit and read census reports, demographic information and look at maps all day, I am very eager to do this!
Male - Queer