Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

DOWN BALLOTS MATTER (2016 EDITION)



I received my ballot in the mail last week.

While there is the top of the ticket, there are also several downballots that deserve just as much attention.

I am equally concerned about who occupies 200 East Colfax Ave ZIP Code 80206 as much as who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and who controls Capitol Hill.

Many require a deeper analysis and I will announce my findings about those issues in several upcoming posts.

For now, these are some of elections that are on the ballot specifically in Denver that I am endorsing.


HERE COMES THE JUDGE
Consult your 2016 State Ballot Information Book (Blue Book) for information on whether to retain or dismiss judges. Based on the recommendations, I have selected to retain all judges.



RTD DISTRICT A, E
I do not live in either of these districts, they include portions of the City and County of Denver. Still, I feel the need to voice an endorsement. RTD District D is not listed because it is an uncontested race.

In RTD District A, I encourage a vote for Aaron Goldhamer. I have had a couple of conversations of with him, most recently at a watch party for the second presidential debate. It was mainly me listening to him about politics and he is knowledgeable about a whole variety of issues. By day he is an attorney and I believe that he will apply his passion to the law in addressing Denver’s varying transportation needs.

For RTD District E, I encourage those that live in that district to strongly research the two candidates, Claudia Folska and JM (Maria J) Fay, and make the choice of the person they feel best represents their issues.


UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOARD OF REGENTS
I voted for Jack Kroll in the Democratic primary and plan to do so in the general election because Kroll will address the issue of increasing tuition rates and was a founding member of CU-Denver’s Military Student Day.

The issue on college affordability is also why I encourage a vote for the at-large regent, Alice Madden.


CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER BALLOT QUESTIONS 2A, 3A, 3B, and 4B
2A supports the Denver Preschool Program so that is a YES vote.

3A & 3B concerns the funding of Denver schools. 3A is about the hiring of personnel needed to address the diverse needs of Denver’s school-aged children and prepare them for a 21st century job market while 3B is about the construction and maintenance of the buildings. Definite YES votes.

Denver is a large diverse cosmopolitan city and people seem forget that given that it is landlocked in the Rocky Mountain region. 4B addresses maintaining that notoriety by supporting the Denver Metropolitan Scientific & Cultural Facilities (SCFD).

I support the various arts, be it performance like plays, the physical such as paintings, the scientific, and social. The local VFW Post in Denver holds their meetings in an art gallery on Santa Fe and just recently restored a neon sign that is both a piece of art and historical significance. So, a YES vote on 4B.


DENVER DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Advocates of criminal justice reform and death penalty abolition need to understand that this is where the most impact can happen.

It matters who your district attorney is. In nearby Arapahoe County, District Attorney George Brauchler rejected the plea bargain in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and instead opted for a trial in hopes of getting a death penalty conviction for the shooter. The strategy was condemned and seen as a ploy to possibly increase Brauchler’s political profile.


I voted for a different candidate in the June primary but I will be voting for Beth McCann. She is my current state representative and in this May Denver Post op-ed by McCann she states that she opposes the death penalty, is looking for alternatives to sentencing where it is available, and is a strong victim rights advocate citing her legislative record.


AMENDMENT T, U


Vote YES on Amendment T.

While the arguments for Amendment U are sound in that the administrative cost at times exceed the tax collection, to me personally it sounds like a tax cut for businesses that use government land for private benefit. I encourage a NO on Amendment U.


COLORADO’S 1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
The Denver Post recommends that Representative Diana DeGette returns for another 2-year term in the House citing her work to increase funding for stem-cell research and willingness to work with Republicans on immigration reform. I echo that support and encourage a vote for Diana DeGette.


COLORADO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The general assembly divides Colorado into 65 state House and 35 state Senate districts.

Unfortunately, I live in very strong Democratic state legislative districts so the voting power only goes so far in determining who receives Colorado’s 9 electoral votes and other statewide elections. Definitely a change from living in strong Republican districts in Texas.

In the June primary I knocked on doors for Leslie Herod and stated my reasons why I supported her in a previous post.


Even though she represented HD-7, Angelia Williams won the SD-33 primary by a nearly 5-to-1 margin despite grumblings by some Democrats that she is not liberal enough. Well, apparently the Democrats that participated in the primary think she is and would best represent their interests.

So for the following Denver based districts I encourage the following votes

Senate District 33: Angelia Williams
House District 8: Leslie Herod
House District 1: Susan Lontine
House District 2: Alec Garnett
House District 4: Dan Pabón
House District 5: The next speaker of the Colorado House, Crisanta Duran
House District 6: Chris Hansen
House District 7: James Rashad Coleman
House District 9: Paul Rosenthal

I expect to see them in the general assembly come January 2017 working on getting things done for Colorado.


I still remember the words from Omar Narvaez at a Dallas Stonewall Democrats meeting and it is why I advocate.

“Obama is going to give me (a gay Latino) my equality. But he ain’t going to fix the potholes on Harry Hines Blvd.”

Currently, Mr. Narvaez is a member of the Dallas County School Board.

These elections matter too.

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