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Economy - John Hickenlooper for U.S. SenateSkip to main content Enable accessibility for visually impaired Open the accessibility menu Skip to content CHIP IN $10 TO SUPPORT JOHN HICKENLOOPER >> CHIP IN $10 TO SUPPORT JOHN HICKENLOOPER >> Home Meet John Español Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Spotify Donate Now Donate Now Economy Building a Strong, Resilient Economy After COVID-19 INTRODUCTION In mid-[DATE REMOVED], seemingly overnight, our economy shut down. The threat of an invisible yet deadly virus created an economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression. The fallout has been severe, lopsided, and unrelenting. Many small businesses, struggling to come up with the money to stay afloat, have closed their doors for good. Tens of millions of Americans lost their jobs and often their health coverage in one fell swoop. Schools hastily transitioned to online learning, forcing parents to adopt dual roles of working professional and at-home teacher and widening the digital divide for households without reliable internet access. Colorado families have struggled to pay rent while billionaires reached extraordinary levels of wealth. Through it all, essential workers keep going to work, risking their lives to do the jobs that keep our cities running, grocery stores full, and population healthy. These workers, disproportionately Black and Latinx and often without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), have seen their communities especially hard-hit by COVID-19 as a result.  The pandemic has highlighted and often exacerbated structural inequalities that predated this crisis. Systemic racism. Income Inequality. Unaffordable housing. Stagnant wage growth. Climate change. Unaffordable health care. Crumbling infrastructure. Attacks on labor unions. And a weakened social safety net unable to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our society. For too long, the economy has benefited the wealthiest among us, at the expense of small businesses and working families. As the richest nation on earth, we can and we must do better.   One of the many tragedies of COVID-19 is that willful disregard of science and mismanagement at the highest levels of government worsened this needless catastrophe. When the pandemic first started, President Trump dismissed the crisis out-of-hand, wasting precious weeks when the country could have been mobilizing a strong response. He refused to model good public health behavior by wearing a mask, opposed increased testing because he didn’t like what the data had to say, and sidelined scientists from his administration’s response. And Senator Cory Gardner stood by him every step of the way. While the House passed critical COVID-19 relief legislation in May, Senator Gardner went on vacation instead of taking action—leaving Colorado families in the lurch.  We need a problem-solver who knows how to get things done representing Colorado in the U.S. Senate, not a Donald Trump ‘yes’ man. As Governor, I helped bring Colorado’s economy from 40th in job creation to the number one economy in the nation. I know what it takes to recover from the fires, floods, and other crises that Coloradans have faced in the past. And as an entrepreneur, I have experienced firsthand the thrills and challenges of running a small business. If elected, I will draw from these experiences to rebuild our economy stronger and more resilient than before. My four-point plan calls for economic growth that is immediate, inclusive, integrated, and innovative to get our country back on track after COVID-19.  Here’s what this plan means for Coloradans:   Immediate: Help Colorado families weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Inclusive: End giveaways to big corporations, invest in workers, and make sure every community can benefit from Colorado’s economic success. Integrated: Align the skills of the workforce with the needs of Colorado employers. Innovative: Invest in the most dynamic and value-creating industries of the future. An immediate, inclusive, integrated, and innovative economic plan will make it easier for Coloradans to earn a living wage, build and grow small businesses, and develop the skills needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy.  IMMEDIATE Help Colorado families weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19  Prioritize Public Health to Reopen the Economy: Our economy cannot fully rebound from COVID-19 until we get the present outbreak under control. But Senate Republicans, including Cory Gardner, shirked their responsibility to pass relief legislation that helps Americans stay afloat and healthy when returning to work. The government must adopt a national, equitable vaccine development and distribution strategy—one that does not cut corners in the name of politics. In the interim, the production and procurement of PPE and COVID-19 testing should continue to be a top priority to keep workers safe on the job.  Support the Smallest Businesses: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been a successful lifeline for some companies—but not everyone was able to benefit. Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, as well as many of the smallest businesses, struggled to navigate a flawed program that disadvantaged minority and small business owners who lacked pre-existing relationships with big banks. Senator Gardner personally advocated to expand the program, allowing large, publicly-traded corporations to be at the front of the line for assistance. Congress must prioritize assistance to the smallest small businesses through entities such as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI), which primarily lend to underbanked communities and communities of color. The stakes could not be higher for our 630,000 small businesses in Colorado and the 1.1 million Coloradans they employ.  Help Local Governments Through the Economic Crisis: States and municipalities are facing severe funding shortfalls due to the pandemic, which means cuts to education programs, layoffs for public employees, dwindling unemployment funds, and canceled contracts with local businesses. Congress should provide fiscal relief to local governments to jumpstart the economic recovery in states like Colorado and prevent further decline.  Pass Legislation to Help Coloradans get Back on Their Feet: From supplemental emergency unemployment insurance to eviction assistance and funding for schools to safely reopen, Congressional legislation is necessary to help Coloradans recover from COVID-19. The House passed a bill in May, while Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner’s Senate spent [DATE REMOVED] bickering without passing additional relief. In the Senate, I will focus my efforts on legislation that aids the Coloradans who have been most affected by the coronavirus outbreak. We cannot afford any more delays. INCLUSIVE End giveaways to big corporations, invest in workers, and make sure every community can benefit from Colorado’s economic success Fight for Working Families: In 2017, President Trump and Cory Gardner’s Senate enacted a regressive tax giveaway to wealthy families and corporations. The results were predictable: inadequate support for workers and more stock buybacks and government debt. 60 of the country’s biggest companies such as Amazon and Netflix even used the law to pay no taxes at all. Unfortunately, these actions are part of a larger pattern from Washington Republicans of supporting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Revenue from corporate taxes, aided by billions in targeted tax breaks, has been on the decline for decades, leaving the middle class to foot more of the bill. If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will prioritize putting money back in the pockets of working families. I support expanding and strengthening the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), which have effectively tackled poverty and boosted incomes for countless Coloradans. I am in favor of funding critical nutrition and workforce programs such as SNAP, WIC, and TANF—lifelines during and after economic crises like COVID-19. I will fight for a public option, to boost competition and lower health care costs, which are a huge expense for many families. And I will protect Social Security—which helps millions of Americans retire with dignity—against any attempt to reduce benefits. Help People Earn a Living Wage: For decades, the cost of living has skyrocketed and paychecks simply haven’t kept up. The value of the minimum wage has gone down by thirty-one percent from its peak in 1968. Stagnant wages put families in a more precarious financial position when the pandemic hit. This reality is unacceptable. While Senator Gardner has voted against increasing the minimum wage, I support raising it to $15 per hour, an action that would boost the pay of nearly 40 million Americans. Coloradans shouldn’t have to work multiple jobs to be on stable financial footing. A higher minimum wage could help rebuild a sense of financial security during and after this crisis. Strengthen Labor Unions: Unions are critical to an inclusive economy. Collective bargaining lowers income inequality, raises wages, and improves working conditions for all—both members and nonmembers alike. Benefits such as the 40-hour workweek, health insurance, and pensions are all the result of worker advocacy. Yet Washington Republicans have been promoting the insidious spread of right-to-work legislation for over a decade—a national effort that has significantly weakened labor unions in our country and put the profits of big corporations above the middle class. Unions are key advocates for worker health and safety—an essential priority during the pandemic. I believe workers should have the right to organize and collectively bargain if they choose to do so, and legislation such as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act are important steps in this direction. Boost Fairness in our Economic System: For centuries, women and communities of color have faced gaps in wealth, gaps in pay, and gaps in opportunity, which this administration has done nothing to address. Today, these groups are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. I support legislation to boost pay equity between men and women of all races, which Senator Gardner has voted against four times. I will work to make childcare more affordable and pass paid family and sick leave legislation to strengthen the economic wellbeing of Colorado households. And I believe we must address workplace discrimination against the LGBTQ community by finally passing the Equality Act. As Senator, I will make it my mission to level the economic playing field by supporting legislation that brings opportunity closer for all Coloradans. Support Wealth-Building Efforts in Communities of Color: The economic impact of racism is staggering. In our country today, communities of color have systematically lower levels of homeownership, a significant wealth gap, decreased access to credit opportunities, and less money saved in the bank. Over their lifetimes, for example, Black Americans can expect to earn $1 million less than white Americans. Wealth-building efforts, specifically those aimed at the Black community, will be essential to address these historic injustices. Congress can help build more equal pathways to wealth by increasing access to a quality, affordable education for all Americans, supporting homeownership in communities of color, helping minority entrepreneurs obtain affordable capital, investing in skills training initiatives and professional pipelines for high-quality jobs, addressing workplace discrimination, and so much more. Economic justice and inclusion must be a top priority for the next Congress to help communities of color recover from COVID-19 and to make our economy fairer and more resilient overall.  Invest in Rural Economies: From the Eastern Plains to the Western Slope, Colorado’s rural communities are vital to the economy of our state. As Governor, I worked to expand broadband internet across the state, established Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, and made it easier to start a business through the Rural Jump-Start program. In contrast, President Trump and the Republican-led Senate have harmed rural Colorado by overseeing the largest rollback of protected public lands in U.S. history. And Cory Gardner refuses to support the CORE Act—a collaborative, locally-driven, decade-in-the-making effort to protect 400,000 acres of Colorado public lands and boost our outdoor recreation economy. If elected to the U.S. Senate, I will prioritize passing the CORE Act, as well as other public lands legislation that preserves the outdoor lifestyles of Coloradans and generates jobs and economic activity throughout our state. And I will fight to expand access to reliable, high-speed broadband internet nationwide, so rural communities can meaningfully benefit from, and contribute to, the 21st century economy.    Advocate for Colorado Farmers and Ranchers: President Trump has been bad for Colorado agriculture. He picked a fight with China, leading to tariffs that have had catastrophic effects on farmers and ranchers in our state. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has disrupted agricultural supply chains, put farm and commercial food workers in harm’s way, and increased the volatility of meat and other food prices—all while wildfires and droughts raged with abandon. As Senator, I will fight for Colorado agriculture, as I have always done in my career. When I was governor, we collaborated with farmers and ranchers to boost agricultural exports in Colorado. In the Senate, I will make sure any trade deal ratified by the United States is to their benefit. I will work to ensure that agriculture remains a viable career path for Coloradans and that the federal government supports beginning farmers and ranchers. I will advocate for small farmers grappling with agricultural consolidation, as well as farms that adopt sustainable and regenerative practices. And I will ensure that Colorado farmers and ranchers have their voices heard during farm bill negotiations in 2022. Unlike President Trump and Senator Gardner, I will always advocate for our farming and ranching communities.  Address Housing Inequality: Affordable housing is a fundamental necessity. During a pandemic, it is a lifeline. Yet decades of segregationist and racist housing policies have left communities of color more housing insecure than their white peers. Expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and compliance with the 1968 Fair Housing Act are critical steps towards reducing this disparity. If elected to the Senate, I will also push for the inclusion of affordable housing in any major infrastructure package we consider, work to make sure all new federal housing units meet accessibility guidelines for individuals with disabilities, and hold lenders accountable for discrimination and predatory housing loans.  Make Higher Education More Affordable: Higher education can be a powerful tool for economic mobility. Yet our present model is failing to deliver on this promise. For many students, the cost of college is prohibitive and the return on investment increasingly unclear. Congress has failed to respond, leaving Americans crushed by student debt. Senator Gardner has voted at least four times against allowing borrowers to refinance student loans and at least 10 times to cut funding for Pell Grants. I believe we must act swiftly to reform student loans: lowering interest rates and expanding loan forgiveness for those working in public service or rural areas. Community colleges offer flexible, industry-aligned credentials, and should be accessible tuition-free for those who need it. And I support expanding Pell Grant eligibility to include short-term workforce training to help adult learners acquire skills that help preserve their competitive edge. INTEGRATED Align the skills of the workforce with the needs of Colorado employers Expand Apprenticeship Programs: Only thirty-nine percent of young people in the United States ever complete a bachelor’s degree or higher. Apprenticeships are powerful alternatives that help shift the conversation away from expensive degrees and towards the skills needed to do the job. While the Trump Administration proposed an apprenticeship program that undermines fair wages and labor standards, I helped establish CareerWise in Colorado, a job training program that provides students with valuable work experience, a paycheck in the tens of thousands, and free college credit—all while still in high school. In addition, we launched the Skillful State Network, a bipartisan community of 20 fellow governors focused on promoting skills acquisition in hiring, which continues to [DATE REMOVED]. By working in the Senate to support these types of programs nationwide, we can expand certified skills training programs to students across America, encourage employers to hire based on clearly-defined abilities, and provide workers with a pathway to well-paying, dignified work without a college degree. Doing so could close employment gaps in manufacturing, trades, rural health care, technology, and provide diverse cohorts of students the on-the-job training they need to succeed in the economy of the future. Preparing our Workforce for the Future: Twenty-five percent of all jobs are at a high risk of automation, portending a future of mass displacement—particularly for women and workers of color. Embracing the opportunities created by technological innovation will require rethinking how we support individuals most impacted by this transition. So far, Washington has done little to address their needs. As Senator, I intend to take decisive action. First, I will boost funding for training programs and incentivize companies to retrain workers in roles that build on their existing abilities. Second, I will expand access to certified apprenticeships, which offer on-the-job preparation for new, well-paying positions. Third, I will put power back in the hands of workers in the gig economy who do not enjoy employer-provided benefits by supporting the development of portable savings and retirement accounts, and reimagining the social safety net in the process.   INNOVATIVE Invest in the most dynamic and value-creating industries of the future Make it Easier to Start and Grow a Business: Business creation is central to American economic prosperity. Unfortunately, it has been declining nationwide for decades. I intend to draw upon my experience as an entrepreneur to pass legislation in the Senate to reverse this trend and strengthen our economy after the COVID-19. We must start by increasing access to affordable capital, particularly for women and minority CEOs, through expanded crowdfunding and innovation voucher programs. Congress should also leverage the ability of CDFIs and MDIs to deliver financing in communities of color and set aside specific funding for minority-owned lending institutions and minority-owned businesses. I know from experience how important mentorship is for fledgling entrepreneurs, and I support facilitating opportunities for startups to learn from more seasoned business owners. Colorado’s Rural Jump-Start program has demonstrated the power of startups to spur entrepreneurship in rural communities, and I am in favor of the expansion of similar programs nationwide. And to mitigate some of the risk inherent in building a business, Congress can help by boosting the portability of health and retirement benefits. Finally, I intend to work with the Small Business Administration to streamline regulations for small businesses, which could help them keep a competitive edge in the face of increasing consolidation of large corporations. This includes reforming occupational licensing, which can increase business creation among groups that traditionally face barriers to entry such as military families, immigrants, and individuals with a criminal record.   Promote Job Growth in the Clean Energy Economy: As a small business owner, I saw firsthand how creating jobs and protecting Colorado’s environment can go hand-in-hand. Our brewpub prioritized sustainability from the start, including by recycling cardboard, glass, and water before it was common to do so. And we prospered. Similarly, the clean economy offers an exciting opportunity to create millions of new jobs. Entrepreneurs can play a vital role in creating value rather than destroying it. That is why in my plan to address climate change, I propose establishing a Climate Corps Program, which will inspire more young people to pursue careers in renewable energy, carbon capture, regenerative agriculture, and green startups. I support investments in sustainable infrastructure, which will create jobs while greening our nation’s severely neglected transportation networks, as well as promoting clean vehicles on our roads. And for individuals working in sectors that will be negatively impacted by this transition—many of whom have the most marketable skills in our workforce—we need to ensure financial support, skills training, and community engagement are available to help ensure each and every person finds quality work in the new economy. While Cory Gardner unravels limits on pollution and fails to take meaningful action on climate change, I will focus on building a workforce built around conservation, regeneration, and renewable energy.  Support the Marijuana Industry: Colorado has led the movement for marijuana legalization since 2012. From a social justice perspective, this change was significant because African American men are disproportionately imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana crimes. From an economic perspective, the legalization of marijuana created new opportunities for thousands of startups in our state, boosted tourism, and produced over a billion dollars in new sales and tax revenue to help fund education, mental health, and local government services. I believe Congress should deschedule marijuana nationwide, creating new pathways for entrepreneurship and medical research across the country. As Senator, I am also committed to leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs of color in the cannabis industry. As a small business owner, I know how challenging it can be to access capital. All aspiring entrepreneurs should be able to take advantage of the economic opportunity this burgeoning industry presents, should they choose to do so. Invest in Technological Leadership: The United States has historically been the undisputed leader in technology and innovation. This primacy is now in question. While Congress dithers on key technological investments, other nations are racing ahead. As the founder of the National Cybersecurity Center, I know what it takes to prioritize innovation. I believe the United States can and will drive the development of artificial intelligence, 5G internet, quantum computing, blockchain, and other technologies, but only with a whole-of-government approach. A new national innovation strategy is necessary to boost research funding for agencies and require that every department outline a strategic plan for incorporating advanced technologies. Concurrently, we must prepare our workforce by investing in STEM education, particularly for women and underrepresented minorities. Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on email Share on print Join Us Email Address Zip Code Phone Number By providing your cell phone number you consent to receive 10 or more recurring updates or donation asks each month from Hickenlooper for Colorado by automated text message. Txt HELP for help, STOP to end. Msg&Data rates may apply. Privacy Policy. Terms of Service. Home Privacy Policy Terms Accessibility Volunteer Donate PAID FOR BY HICKENLOOPER FOR COLORADO PO Box 18886, Denver, CO 80218 hello@hickenlooper.com Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Flickr Spotify Youtube
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Equity for All - John Hickenlooper for U.S. SenateSkip to main content Enable accessibility for visually impaired Open the accessibility menu Skip to content CHIP IN $10 TO SUPPORT JOHN HICKENLOOPER >> CHIP IN $10 TO SUPPORT JOHN HICKENLOOPER >> Home Meet John Español Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Spotify Donate Now Donate Now The United States has a long history of racism, segregation, and legalized oppression based on skin color. The economic disadvantages associated with race are varied, and persist to [DATE REMOVED]. Any form of discrimination, either overt or covert, has no place in our state or country. We must ensure all people have access to quality education, a strong social safety net, family-sustaining jobs, and physical security. I am committed to working hand-in-hand with communities of color to design economically just reforms that make an impact on the legacy of inequality that has plagued our country for generations. For the entirety of my career in public life, I have been committed to increasing the size of the table so that everyone has a seat. When I was mayor of Denver, nearly 60% of my cabinet appointments were women, and more than half were people of color. My predecessor, Mayor Wellington Webb, connected our team with leading organizations that became invaluable partners in supporting our agenda of diversity and inclusion. As governor, I put special effort into making sure that every state board and commission more accurately reflected the diversity of Colorado’s population.  My Equity For All plan is a continuation of this work and a commitment to the people of Colorado. Every individual deserves to live in a country where biases against race do not determine their opportunity to succeed. Whether in health care, the economy, the legal system, the environment, or our democracy, greater equity is not optional — it is required. We have a moral imperative to do far better than we ever have before, and I am committed to being a fierce advocate in this fight. INCREASING HEALTH EQUITY Improve Access to Health Care: Health care is a right, not a privilege. As governor, I was proud to bring lawmakers together from both sides of the aisle to expand Medicaid for an additional 400,000 Coloradans. I also established our state exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, which allowed individuals to compare plans for quality and affordability. In the process, we cut the uninsured rate by nearly two-thirds.  We worked hard to reach everyone, but there is more work to be done. As of 2019, 361,000 Coloradans still lacked health insurance — a quarter of whom are eligible for coverage under Medicaid. And, as of 2015, the Latinx community in Colorado was uninsured at three times the rate of white Coloradans. The final steps to universal coverage are among the most difficult, and largely depend on the outcome of [DATE REMOVED]’s election. Senator Gardner and the Republican-led Senate have repeatedly voted to repeal the ACA and Medicaid expansion, and Gardner supports a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that could end protections for people with preexisting conditions — including 2.4 million Coloradans.  If elected, I am committed to working towards affordable, universal coverage by introducing a public option that can boost competition in the marketplace and lower prices. I will also fight to cut the cost of prescription drugs and ensure that our vital social safety net programs such as mental health and substance abuse recovery services, as well as CHIP, Medicare, and Medicaid, have Congress’s full funding and support. Address Systemic Racism: Health care outcomes diverge dramatically based on race. This reality is rooted in structural biases, systemic racism, and decades of underinvestment in communities of color. It is not enough to simply expand the scope of coverage, we must change the nature of how care is provided to ensure more equal treatment for all. No policy proposal will be a panacea — the factors that contribute to these health disparities are as varied as they are damaging — but dedicated resources will absolutely help. We must research diseases where divergent outcomes are pronounced — including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and infant mortality — to better understand their roots. Congress should appropriate funds for programs addressing the social determinants of health, including nutritious food, public transportation, and safe spaces for physical activity. Medical schools must play their part by prioritizing diversity and inclusion when recruiting the next generation of practitioners, and curriculums should provide thorough training in identifying and correcting biases in care. Finally, important bills such as the Health Equity and Accountability Act, a collaborative effort to reduce inequalities in health care that has been reintroduced each Congress for [DATE REMOVED], should finally have the chance to become law. Close Gaps in COVID-19 Outcomes: The coronavirus is highlighting the glaring inequalities in our healthcare system. Black Coloradans make up nearly 4% of the state’s population yet account for 7.6% of coronavirus cases. Latinx Coloradans are 22% of the population and make up 35% of the state’s positive cases. This is unacceptable. Coloradans of color are particularly vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 because they are more likely to be essential workers in this pandemic, and it is vital that they have the protective equipment they need to do their jobs safely. Furthermore, study after study shows that Black and Latinx Americans are dying of coronavirus at significantly higher rates than white Americans. Adequate testing, robust contact tracing, and social distancing are essential components to address any outbreak, but to get to the source of these divergent outcomes, we also must address the structural inequities in our healthcare system. Rooting out biases can and should continue far beyond the search for a vaccine. Fight for Reproductive Rights: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) marked a dramatic advancement for reproductive rights in this country, with childbirth no longer classified as a “pre-existing condition” and significantly reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for birth control. Yet gaps in coverage and access persist in communities of color, particularly during pregnancy. The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the industrialized world, and Black women die three to four times more often than white women when giving birth. Women of color deserve equal access to high-quality, patient-centered care, both of which I am committed to fighting for as senator. This means gathering data about maternal mortality, investing in culturally-sensitive perinatal care and doula training, extending Medicaid coverage for new mothers to [DATE REMOVED], and using innovative payment models to incentivize improved outcomes. As senator, I pledge to protect the right to choose, fully fund critical government programs for reproductive health such as Title X, and work to reduce racial disparities across the spectrum of reproductive care.  EXPANDING ECONOMIC EQUITY Strengthen the Safety Net for Workers: Persistent efforts to weaken the social safety net — too often led, unfortunately, by Republicans in Congress — have contributed to the chronically high levels of poverty in our nation. These trends have only worsened as workers grapple with low hourly wages, lack of health insurance, and few workforce protections. The economic gap across racial lines is a constant reminder of the work that must be done to address poverty and support equality nationwide. Unions have been critical partners in this regard, nearly doubling wealth for union members as compared to nonmembers — particularly members of color. Workers cannot get ahead without affordable childcare, paid family leave, and fair compensation, including raising the minimum wage to $15. For individuals of color with disabilities, the barriers to economic opportunity can be even steeper, and tailored career, education, and financial support is necessary to foster more equal outcomes. Outside of the workplace, investments in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are critical, to keep working families healthy and fed. Our nation’s public transportation system, which many workers rely on to reach their jobs, is in dire need of repair. Finally, we should use the opportunity zone framework to prioritize federal investment in marginalized communities that face maintenance, safety, and water challenges. We must collectively fight for a future where all people have access to economic opportunities. A strong safety net helps bring those opportunities closer. Invest in Education: Education is one of the best investments we can make in our kids. As a public school parent, I am keenly aware of the particular power that public schools have to equalize opportunity for all students. As mayor of Denver, I helped lead the successful effort to establish the Denver Preschool Program, which provides free early childhood education to Denver families. As senator, I will work to ensure every student can benefit from the foundation for future success that education provides.  This includes closing the achievement gap by expanding literacy opportunities, promoting STEM learning for students of color, funding Head Start and full-day kindergarten, supporting the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), recruiting and retaining teachers of color, and so much more. We must also end the “school-to-prison pipeline,” in which students – sometimes as young as three – are disciplined under “zero tolerance policies” and suspended or expelled. Our public education system needs adequate funding to provide the type of enriching academic environment that is so vital to eliminate this practice. College affordability is another major hurdle for students. Expanded loan repayment and forgiveness programs, tuition-free community college, and investment in minority-serving scholarship programs such as TRIO and Gear Up are a big step in the right direction. For students who go to college but are unable to complete their degree, we must collect quality data on racial disparities in graduation rates as well as policy interventions that work best to address these gaps. Minority-Serving Institutions, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Asian American & Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, do important work to address discrimination in education, and I am committed to making sure they have the funding they need to continue their vital missions.  Boost Skills Training: Apprenticeships are a great tool for equalizing access to employment for all Americans. Currently, only 37% of young people in the United States complete a four-year degree. Apprenticeships offer an attractive bridge — or alternative — to postsecondary education. As governor, I helped establish CareerWise in Colorado, a job training program that works to provide students with valuable work experience, a paycheck in the tens of thousands, and free college credit—all while still in high school. As senator, I will fight to close employment gaps for communities of color by providing diverse cohorts of students the on-the-job skills training they need to succeed in the economy of the future.  Support Entrepreneurs of Color: Minority-owned small businesses are engines of employment and powerful agents of economic growth in their communities. Yet access to capital, which is a big challenge for any small business owner, is particularly difficult for entrepreneurs of color. Minority entrepreneurs are less likely to be approved for business loans or to receive investment than firms owned by white Americans. Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) step in to fill these gaps, and should receive full financial support from Congress. The economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has made funding particularly challenging to access these days, and by and large, relief efforts have not been designed with minority-owned small businesses in mind. I proposed a COVID-19 recovery plan that would set aside funding, including for businesses with 20 or fewer employees, which represent 88% of all small businesses, and give priority to minority- and women-owned businesses in particular. We must do all we can to make sure that minority entrepreneurs have the support they need to weather this crisis. Address Housing Inequality: Affordable housing is a fundamental necessity. Yet decades of segregationist and racist housing policies have left communities of color more housing insecure than their white peers. Expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and compliance with the 1968 Fair Housing Act are critical steps towards reducing this disparity. If elected senator, I will also push for the inclusion of affordable housing in any major infrastructure package we consider, and hold lenders accountable for predatory housing loans.  SECURING LEGAL EQUITY Overhaul the Immigration System: Our immigration system is a mess. Children have been held in cages at the southern border, the future of DACA recipients hangs in the balance, and President Trump is using the coronavirus as an excuse to turn away anyone seeking to immigrate. Many of these stories are wrenching. The last time Congress came close to passing comprehensive immigration reform was 2013, when then-Representative Gardner opposed the bill and helped block its passage in the House of Representatives. Our country cannot afford to wait any longer for the Republican-led Senate to find its conscience. Change needs to come now. Change needs to come for the one million pending immigration cases languishing in our underfunded courts system. Change needs to come for the businesses and farmers who depend on consistency yet receive none from our current visa program. And change needs to come for the nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants and 700,000 Dreamers whose lives are being upended by this administration. These individuals are enmeshed in our communities, they have families and pay taxes, and they deserve a pathway to citizenship. If we can invite this change by passing comprehensive immigration reform, we can do justice to our legacy as a nation of immigrants. Addressing Police Brutality: Videos of Black and Brown Americans being shot and brutalized should awaken outrage in every individual. I stand in solidarity with those who seek justice. In communities of color, playing in the park, asking for roadside assistance, relaxing at home, or even reporting on live television—raises the specter of discrimination and violence at the hands of police in a way it never does for other Americans. As mayor of Denver, police reform was one of our central priorities. [DATE REMOVED] Ferguson, we initiated efforts to reduce lethal force in policing, requiring all officers to go through crisis de-escalation training. For the first time in the history of the Denver Police Department, we hired a minority recruiter and established the Office of Independent Monitor to investigate allegations of police misconduct. We created the Civilian Oversight Commission to give communities direct input on how their own neighborhoods are policed, and we made it easier to discipline officers who use excessive force. What we did wasn’t perfect and there is so much more work to be done, locally and nationally, but we listened to communities of color. We tried to gain a greater understanding of the challenges they face, and we worked together towards a common goal. All of this needs to be done on a much larger scale today as the use of deadly force against Black and Brown Americans by police continues to be an epidemic in our country. There are tangible steps Congress can and must take to stop the violence, including requiring body cameras for all police officers, swiftly disciplining  officers who use excessive force, increasing transparency in policing data, and funding programs to heal the trauma of communities living in fear. As senator, I am committed to working with communities of color to address the fear and mistrust of law enforcement, to fiercely advocate for proper police training, and to increase accountability and oversight. People have a right to be safe, unafraid, and secure in their communities. And people have a right to not be victimized in their day-to-day lives or when they peacefully protest injustice. As a country, we have tolerated systemic racism and a broken criminal justice system for far too long. Now more than ever, we must listen to one another and ask ourselves what we can do to be a part of the solution. I pledge to do my part. Restructuring our Criminal Justice System: Our country incarcerates 22% of the world’s prisoners—the highest rate in the world, and disproportionately incarcerates people of color. 23% of all inmates in the state or federal prison system are Latinx, and 33% are African American. For too many, the criminal justice system is anything but just. As senator, I will work to address these disparities by supporting legislation such as Bobby Scott’s SAFE Justice Act, which offers an evidence-based prevention approach alongside tangible proposals to reduce recidivism and increase sentencing alternatives, including restorative justice. In addition, physical and verbal harassment against people of color, particularly LGBTQ individuals and, more recently, members of the AAPI community, are a form of overt discrimination that should never be tolerated. We must partner with police departments to close gaps that prevent the reporting and enforcement of existing bias crime laws, such as strengthening the tracking and reporting of hate crimes. Restructuring at all levels will be essential to ensuring that both public safety and social equality are protected. Decriminalize Marijuana: The movement for legalization gained steam across the country after Coloradans took decisive action to legalize marijuana in 2012. The implications for the justice system are massive. We know that African American men have been disproportionately imprisoned for nonviolent marijuana crimes. That’s one of the many reasons why I believe we must decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, with the flexibility for states to determine whether or not to legalize it. We should not be putting people in jail for nonviolent marijuana crimes, and we should evaluate sentences for those who were incarcerated prior to legalization. And in states like Colorado where marijuana is legal, we should work to level the playing field with regards to access to capital for entrepreneurs of color in the cannabis industry. All aspiring business owners should be able to take advantage of the economic opportunity this burgeoning industry presents, should they choose to do so. Promote Gun Safety: Over the past decade, more than 1.2 million Americans have been shot and millions more traumatized by gun violence. It is a national crisis, and one that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Latinx Americans are nearly twice as likely to die from gun violence as white Americans, while Black Americans are ten times as likely. We can and must take action by implementing universal background checks, passing red flag laws, banning assault weapons, and funding gun violence prevention research. Federal action on this front is astonishingly overdue and will make all communities safer. GROWING ENVIRONMENTAL EQUITY Support Environmental Justice: Climate change and environmental pollution affect all Americans, but they impact people of color and indigenous communities in an outsized way. According to the NAACP, “race – even more than class – is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country.” Air and water pollution cause higher rates of associated illnesses. The need to ensure that communities can rely on a clean water supply was devastatingly apparent in the failure of government in Flint, Michigan and is playing out again amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic. Fighting for a cleaner planet is irrevocably intertwined with racial justice. As senator, I will approach any climate or environmental policy from the perspective of civil rights and look forward to working with communities of color to design more inclusive, equitable solutions. Expand Access to Public Lands: Colorado is defined by our wild places. In the Senate, I’ll fight to make sure that federal agencies are working with local agencies and the outdoor sports and recreation industry to invest in innovative projects that increase access to and equity in the outdoors. In addition, I will support initiatives to promote hiring a diverse workforce within the National Park Service and associated agencies. By breaking down the barriers that prevent entry to the outdoors for communities of color, we can all share the amazing benefits of time spent exploring the landscapes that make our state unique. PROTECTING DEMOCRATIC EQUITY Reduce Barriers to the Political Process: Voting is the backbone of our democracy. When I was governor, I worked with the legislature to make sure that every eligible registered voter in Colorado gets a mail-in ballot, and we made it so that voters can register to vote online, and at any time — even on Election Day. Automatic voter registration, mail-in ballots, and fixing the Voting Rights Act — which has been gutted of its protections for communities of color by the Supreme Court — will work to make voter suppression a relic of the past and hold our leaders accountable. It is also essential that every resident gets counted by the U.S. Census. In 2010, 2.1% of Black Americans and 1.5% of Latinx Americans were not counted, which impacted how federal dollars were spent and congressional seats apportioned. In 2020, Colorado is at risk of losing $48–$193 million in federal spending if significant undercounting occurs. We can close this gap by providing more funding for the census to reach as many residents as possible. Policies that promote civic engagement help everyone participate in our democracy, and lead to political outcomes that address injustice by genuinely reflecting the will of the people.  Pledge Continued Engagement: Collaboration with, and leadership from, communities of color will be essential to achieving any of the policy objectives I have mentioned. Throughout my tenure as mayor of Denver and governor of Colorado, I relied heavily on advocates in communities of color to develop and implement our agenda to build a more welcoming and diverse state. We must not only fight for legislation that creates a fairer America, we should also lift up and celebrate the arts and traditions of communities of color that intertwine to form America’s cultural fabric. If elected to the U.S. Senate, I hope to continue this collaborative working relationship, maintaining open lines of communication to craft policies that will help make America a more equitable place to live.  Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on email Share on print Join Us Email Address Zip Code Phone Number By providing your cell phone number you consent to receive 10 or more recurring updates or donation asks each month from Hickenlooper for Colorado by automated text message. Txt HELP for help, STOP to end. Msg&Data rates may apply. Privacy Policy. Terms of Service. Home Privacy Policy Terms Accessibility Volunteer Donate PAID FOR BY HICKENLOOPER FOR COLORADO PO Box 18886, Denver, CO 80218 hello@hickenlooper.com Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Flickr Spotify Youtube
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ENDORSEMENT: El Semanario’s Advisory Board Urges Support for John Hickenlooper to Protect DACA Recipients - John Hickenlooper for U.S. SenateSkip to main content Enable accessibility for visually impaired Open the accessibility menu Skip to content CHIP IN $10 TO SUPPORT JOHN HICKENLOOPER >> CHIP IN $10 TO SUPPORT JOHN HICKENLOOPER >> Home Meet John Español Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Spotify Donate Now Donate Now OCTOBER 9, 2020 ENDORSEMENT: El Semanario’s Advisory Board Urges Support for John Hickenlooper to Protect DACA Recipients El Semanario, a bilingual publication serving Colorado’s Latinx community for over [DATE REMOVED], announced their endorsement of John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate because they know he will work tirelessly to protect DACA recipients — just like he did when he was governor. They called out Senator Cory Gardner for aiding and abetting President Trump’s crusade to terminate the DACA program, which would disrupt the lives of 15,000 DACA recipients that call Colorado home.  The El Semanario Advisory Board wrote:   The vote for U.S. Senator from Colorado and for U.S. President will be upon us [DATE REMOVED], whether by mail-in ballot or in-person voting.  The Advisory Committee for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario strongly urge you to protect the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which has been under strident attack by President Trump since his 2016 campaign and throughout his presidency, aided and abetted by his Senator, Cory Gardner. … Now consider DACA recipients in Donald Trump’s and Cory Gardner’s América. Do DACA children at age 6, and young people when they receive DACA certification, have legal recourse to the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects citizens, of course, but also “persons,” citizens or not?  The answer is, in Barack Obama’s América, they did.  But in Trump’s and Gardner’s América, they do not, since both politicians, and their Republican cohorts, have done all they could to do away with DACA and other such protections. … Our concern is that Trump’s and Gardner’s crusade to eliminate DACA will return, probably in time to generate renewed enthusiasm for Trump’s and Gardner’s flagging reelection campaigns, in a follow-up Executive Order. The New York Times on [DATE REMOVED], in “Trump Says Administration Will Try Again to End ‘Dreamers’ Program,” … For the above reasons and more, we urge our readers to support DACA once more, and continuing. Vice President Joe Biden and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper have tirelessly supported these young people before and will continue to do so. Get Out the Vote! Joe Biden for President Joe Biden and John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate. Read more in El Semanario. Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on email Share on print Join Us Email Address Zip Code Phone Number By providing your cell phone number you consent to receive 10 or more recurring updates or donation asks each month from Hickenlooper for Colorado by automated text message. Txt HELP for help, STOP to end. Msg&Data rates may apply. Privacy Policy. Terms of Service. Home Privacy Policy Terms Accessibility Volunteer Donate PAID FOR BY HICKENLOOPER FOR COLORADO PO Box 18886, Denver, CO 80218 hello@hickenlooper.com Facebook-f Twitter Instagram Flickr Spotify Youtube
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