Colorado is a fantastic place to be. We know this. However, this popularity, combined with state and local policies, has created a housing crisis. Low-income and affordable housing is scarce. In 2017, Denver County had one of the lowest affordability indexes for an area with over half a million inhabitants. This problem has only gotten more serious with time. Aurora's average home price just passed the $500,000 mark. While these prices are affordable for some families, they are beyond prohibitive for the vast majority of our residents. Colorado in general and Aurora, in particular, has to continue its efforts, indeed, redouble those efforts, to ensure that our residents can rent and buy housing in their communities.
If you've had to look for childcare in Aurora, CO, you know that daycares rarely cost less than $200/week per child and those prices can be much higher--especially when space is limited. In a city where the median family income is $52,000, childcare can effectively cost 1/5 of a household's income, per child. This is untenable. As a mother of four, and a full time worker, Giugi knows how critical childcare is to women's full employment--should they wish to choose that path. Asking families to sacrifice the professional aspirations and productivity of one parent due to lack of childcare is unacceptable. It also creates an unbearable strain on families trying to grow their financial resources. In other words, lack of access to affordable childcare not only hampers the growth of our economy it also contributes to trapping low income families in a cycle of poverty. We need to do better. Whether by subsidizing childcare providers, encourage in-home childcare centers, or pooling community resources, affordable childcare will be one of Giugi's priorities as a legislator.
Career & Technical Education
Job opportunities come in a variety of forms. It is no secret that over the past few decades, the country, in general, has gravitated towards the position that college, and only college, is the path to a livable wage. This is not true and has had negative repercussions on an entire generation. Student debt burden too heavy to bear, college degrees that do not translate into commensurate salaries, and a shortage of career & technical workers are stressing our economy. Colorado needs, and can produce, CTE-trained individuals who can enjoy the benefits of fulfilling, well-paying careers that benefit all of us. Having served on the Colorado Community College Systems Board and having observed the importance of a varied workforce, Giugi is committed to ensuring access to affordable and financially beneficial educational options for all Coloradoans.
The Colorado Health Exchange has benefited numerous families in the State. However, more can be done to make sure that all of us can access affordable and effective health insurance plans. Regardless of how Washington treats the issue, the State has to be strong in its commitment to ensuring that catastrophic events don't upend families' years of financial efforts and sacrifice. In addition, Colorado has been at the forefront of sex education and access to contraception for teenagers, which has resulted in plummeting rates of teenage pregnancies. We can improve on those efforts, ensuring that every Coloradoan has access to fact-based sex-education that emphasizes science & consent, while also guaranteeing access to contraception across the board. Family planning is critical to success and lack thereof impacts vulnerable communities in devastating ways.
Colorado is magnificent. From its Western Slope to its Front Range, from its mountains to its valleys, from its peaks to its rivers, every piece of it is important, majestic, and needed. As a state that both possesses and relies on natural resources, for its survival, its economy, and its livelihood, Colorado knows the importance of protecting itself from exploitation. Whether it be Climate Change or oil & gas exploitation, the Colorado legislature must make environmental policy and environmental preservation a priority. Special interests should not be driving natural resource laws, where their self-interest conflicts with the well-being of individual citizens. Giugi commits to fighting for a healthier Colorado.
Criminal Justice Reform
The criminal justice system has done women and people of color a tremendous disservice. Women continue to be victimized by intimate partners, while prosecution of sexual assault continues to be haphazard and insufficient. In addition, even when there is a conviction, sexual assault sentences fail to recognize the damage sexual assault causes to their victims. Giugi will fight, as she already does, for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. There is no excuse for it in the 21st century and it must be treated as the crime that it is. Conversely, while marijuana has been legalized in the state, the terrible toll its over criminalization has taken on black & brown communities continues its legacy of destruction. We cannot both allow and encourage newcomers to profit from an industry which the criminal justice system used to decimate particular communities. Giugi will continue efforts to address these profound inequities.