City of residence: Lakewood
Profession: Formerly a structural engineer, now committed to my legislative role full time
Campaign Website: www.Kennedy4CO.com
What makes you the best choice for this office?
Everyone who works hard and does their fair share should have a fair shot to get ahead and enjoy the Colorado way of life. To achieve this vision, we must increase our support for public schools, invest in infrastructure, protect equal rights for all, and address the high costs of health care, child care, and housing. We must also accelerate our transition to renewable energy and protect our clean air, water, and open land.
What can the Legislature do to ease the strain of rising housing prices on Colorado residents?
While there’s a real shortage of affordable homes, condos, and apartments, there seem to be plenty of high-end products being built. Our cities must get smart about the right places for infill and density, and the legislature needs to create a stable fund to be used to incentivize builders to make sure all new condo or apartment projects have a significant percentage of affordable units.
What can be done to ensure the state’s transportation system will be able to accommodate continued population growth?
Since the gas tax hasn’t increased since 1992 – even for inflation – our investment in transportation infrastructure has been inadequate for too long. We must repair and expand our roads and bridges, and we must also increase transit options and bike paths. I support Proposition 110, which increases our sales tax by 0.62% to fund transportation. I oppose Proposition 109, which forces the legislature to make deep cuts in education and health care to fund transportation.
What two issues demand more attention in the upcoming Legislative session than they received in the previous one, and why?
Health care costs and higher education. While we worked on many policy ideas to improve health care price transparency and reform our broken insurance system, these issues didn’t gain much traction – especially in the GOP-controlled Senate. We made solid investments in K-12 schools – though not enough to catch us up with the national per-pupil average – but we still haven’t been able to increase funding for higher education or reduce in-state tuition.
If elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?
These last two years, I’m proud to say I worked across the aisle whenever there was agreement to be found, and when there wasn’t, I fought the good fight for my constituents. I hope to achieve more bipartisan breakthroughs like the new consumer protections at free-standing emergency departments, and I will keep advocating for things like cost transparency from hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, which were defeated this year in the GOP-controlled Senate.
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