Quality of life
Jeffco is the Gateway to the Rockies, and we’re fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful locations in the country.
It’s a great place to raise a family, start a business, enjoy the outdoors, or retire. We also have thriving arts and culture. Our family chose to live here because of Jeffco’s great schools and stunning views. As a community, our values and our choices directly impact our quality of life. We need a leader and collaborator who knows how to bring together diverse perspectives to identify opportunities and address challenges in our community that affect our quality of life.
Thriving economy and workforce
Jeffco’s economic health is a top priority for me. Some of the country’s most innovative companies are located here.
I’ll work with business leaders to attract companies that offer better paying jobs and help advance a career-ready workforce through partnerships with our schools, higher education, and businesses. Let’s continue to build our competitive edge in fields like aerospace, healthcare, and other areas. New opportunities on the horizon hold promise too, including the Verve Innovation Park with nearly 600 acres of planned office, commercial, and light industrial space as well as Lockheed Martin’s new $350 million facility offering more, in-demand STEM jobs.
Whether you’re a parent or a senior citizen, we all want to be safe and secure in our homes and in our neighborhoods.
My aunt was a former Sheriff’s Deputy in California and my uncle was a detective for the Chicago Police Department. I understand the importance of supporting our first responders so they can best serve our community. Public safety, fire mitigation, elder abuse prevention, drug prevention, mental health, and emergency preparedness are top priorities for me. We also want to attract and keep top talent. Let’s ensure law enforcement officers receive on-going training and competitive salaries. When I served on the Jeffco school board, I supported the creation of the Frank DeAngelis Center for Community Safety – a one-of-its-kind training center for first responders and an exemplar of collaboration between our schools and law enforcement that’s garnered national attention. I also back efforts to use county resources even more effectively like Jeffco’s innovative Family Justice Center – an initiative that helps victims of elder abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, and sex trafficking in one location.
Many of us live in Jeffco because we enjoy what it offers – from hiking trails to energetic downtowns to sweeping Rocky Mountain views.
Our diverse geography offers a unique mix of urban, rural, and mountain living. As more families and businesses move here, we must find ways to balance growth and land use, while addressing private property rights and sustaining the county’s long-term financial health. Key to success is long-term master planning, transparency, and a balanced budget that reflects our values.
Strong fiscal oversight and transparency
We all want a strong return on taxpayers’ investment. This requires leadership that’s thoughtful and strategic about how we leverage every taxpayer dollar.
A balanced budget, a multi-year forecast of capital needs, and a sound emergency reserve fund are critical to the county’s fiscal health. I will advocate for transparency. I support the county’s efforts to launch a web-based platform that shows how it collects and uses taxpayer money. Jeffco residents rate their quality of life based in part on the overall quality of the services provided by the county. Demand for services continues to climb. Whether you’re renewing your license plate or visiting one of Jeffco’s parks, I want to ensure Jeffco delivers efficient, high-quality services.
Listening to our community
Engaging our citizens to identify priorities and inform decision-making is a core value of mine.
Over the years, I have worked in urban, suburban, and rural communities to help stakeholders involve citizens in their work. Together, they are making a difference in their communities. I will continue to build on the county’s efforts to ensure community members are well informed and involved. You can count on me to listen to diverse perspectives and collaborate with you to find workable solutions. When I was president of the Jeffco school board, we created the board’s first-ever community engagement policy. At the time, it was one of only a handful in Colorado. The policy underscored the importance of listening to our community to better inform the board’s decision-making process to prepare children for a successful future.
Open space, environmental stewardship
In Jeffco, we have more than 230 miles of trails and nearly 30 regional parks – more than 50,000 acres are devoted to open space.
We’re one of the most active regions in the nation. We must preserve our nationally recognized open space and parks, address trail erosion, practice exemplary environmental stewardship, and encourage sustainable practices like renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling, community gardens, and waste reduction. It’s our responsibility to protect our natural resources. Let’s leave our beautiful environment in great shape for our children and future generations to enjoy.
Quality, attainable housing
As more people move to Colorado, we have seen an increase in the demand for quality housing that’s also affordable.
The cost of housing is soaring. The result: seniors, young families, teachers, police officers, and others increasingly are priced out. I want to keep them in our communities. I’ll partner with our community members, mayors, city councils, nonprofit leaders, housing experts, and businesses to identify housing options in Jeffco, especially along major transportation routes.
No one likes to sit in bumper-to- bumper traffic. Whether you commute to the office by car, bike, light rail, or bus, it’s important to have lots of transportation options across Jeffco.
We must continue to invest in updating aging roads and bridges as well as public transportation. Some of us are using the W-Line to get to work and that’s good for the environment and easing traffic congestion. Let’s continue to explore our options to improve the ease of traveling.
Supporting our seniors and helping our veterans
In Jeffco, the number of people age 60 or older will double in the next 20 years. What’s more, 40 percent of the county’s workforce is eligible to retire in the next decade.
I support Jeffco’s Aging Well initiative and value the work of nonprofits, which help seniors receive basic care and remain independent so they can live in their own homes.
I also will be a strong advocate for our veterans. Jeffco has the third highest veteran population in Colorado. Requests for county services such as filing claims for insurance, hospitalization, and vocational training continue to grow.
We must protect our seniors, veterans, children, and individuals with disabilities from abuse and neglect, as well as make sure our neighbors have access to strong mental health and wellness services.
Giving kids a strong start
Jeffco has great schools with a high school graduation rate that’s above the national average. We also have a highly educated workforce.
We need to give our youngest children a strong start! The county’s Head Start program provides full-day preschool to our youngest students. But there’s a long wait list and we can do more. One in four children in Colorado enters kindergarten unprepared to keep pace with their peers As the former president of the Jeffco school board, I advocated for full-day kindergarten for at-risk students and, as your next commissioner, I will support Head Start.
In Jeffco, we value our nationally recognized public libraries. Our library system is a community asset for every generation.
As you walk through the doors of one of Jeffco’s ten libraries, you will discover more than books – you will hear author talks, learn about free events for families, have access to the internet and free meeting rooms, and much more. When our daughter was a toddler, we’d visit the library often and still do today. I strongly support a robust, forward thinking library system that’s responsive to today’s needs. Look for a new library coming to Edgewater in 2018!