DFER Colorado Announces 2012 Endorsements
September 25, 2012
“Offering our children an outstanding education is one of our most fundamental, perhaps our most fundamental, obligations as a country. Whether we meet that obligation not only reflects who we are as Americans, it will shape our future as a nation. Countries that out educate us today will out compete us tomorrow and I refuse to let that happen on my watch.” – President Barack Obama
The Democrats for Education Reform Colorado Advisory Committee is excited to announce our endorsements for the 2012 state elections.
We are fortunate to have such an amazing group of outstanding Democrats from all corners of Colorado who are committed to ensuring that every child in the state, regardless of neighborhood, ethnicity or socioeconomic status, has access to great public schools. These members are willing to champion education reform within the Democratic Party and at the State Legislature.
DFER CO’s Advisory Committee chose a diverse group of candidates to endorse after a thorough review of their responses to our candidate survey, interviews, and, where applicable, voting records.
DFER CO believes that each of these candidates is committed to our vision for all children to receive a high quality career and college preparatory education, preschool though graduation. We urge you to support each of these Democrats who value education reform as central to their work on behalf of Colorado’s children.
2012 DFER Colorado Candidate Endorsements
Colorado State Senate
Senator Mary Hodge
(Running for re-election in Senate District 25, Adams County)
Senator Mary Hodge is a steady, common sense leader on education reform who cuts right to the chase. A former elementary school teacher, Mary understands the educator experience, and she’s great at bridging divides and forging compromise. Since she was first elected in 2000 to the CO House of Representatives (then later to the Senate), Mary has been a consistent supporter of Colorado’s historic education reform bills. Her ability to work effectively with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle makes her a critical ally. She was one of a handful of Democrat sponsors for Colorado’s educator effectiveness bill, SB 191.
“The entire school finance system act needs to be revisited. Funds should follow the student and be available based on need. Schools and school districts should be accountable for student results.”
To learn more about Senator Hodge or to contribute to her campaign, please visit www.maryhodge.com.
(Running for open seat in Senate District 35, San Luis Valley)
Crestina Martinez is a dynamic young woman, born and raised in the San Luis Valley, and a rising star in southern Colorado. She is a former San Luis Valley Person of the Year, Colorado Young Dem of the Year, Colorado Freshman Commissioner of the Year, and more. She quickly identified the teacher pipeline and access to technology and high level coursework as key issues for rural schools. Crestina is clear that we must ensure all kids have access to the same quality of education regardless of what corner of Colorado they live in. As a county commissioner, she has learned how to effectively advocate for the unique issues facing rural Colorado and we know she’ll do the same to ensure quality schools for the students in her district.
“Educators have a tremendous impact on students’ success, and we should make every effort to measure the effectiveness of our educators and school leaders.”
To learn more about Crestina or to contribute to her campaign, please visit www.crestinamartinez.com.
Senator Linda Newell
(Running for re-election in Senate District 26, Arapahoe County)
Senator Newell is a longtime business consultant with an entrepreneurial streak. As a single mother who has been on both sides of financial success, she is an empathetic but highly pragmatic policymaker. Since she was elected to the Senate in 2008, Linda has been a strong and consistent vote for Colorado’s education reform bills. Her sponsorship was crucial to the passage of Colorado’s landmark educator effectiveness bill, SB 191.
“I fully support the innovation and accountability necessary to improve Colorado’s public schools.”
To learn more about Senator Newell or to contribute to her campaign, please visit www.senlindanewell.com.
Colorado House of Representatives
Representative Rhonda Fields
(Endorsed by DFER CO in 2010; running for re-election in House District 42, Aurora)
After spending her career in both the public and private sectors, Representative Fields is the first African American woman elected to represent Aurora’s House District 42. As a single, working mom whose two children attended Colorado public schools and a fierce advocate for minority children, Representative Fields brings a unique perspective to the education debates at the Capitol. Over the past two years she has strongly supported quality charter schools, ensuring high academic standards for all students, legislation to accelerate student learning through early college programs, and efforts to boost student literacy.
“Teachers have the responsibility to bring out the best in every student despite what’s going on at home. Kids are dealing with so much, but teachers must reach them and educate them.”
To learn more about Representative Fields or contribute to her campaign, please visit www.rhondafields.com.
Representative Millie Hamner
(Running for re-election in House District 61, Western Slope communities)
Millie Hamner has emerged as one of the strongest advocates for education reform at the Capitol. Before serving as a legislator, Millie was the Superintendent of the Summit School District and both a teacher and school administrator before that. She has proven leadership abilities – as Superintendent, she protected the district’s 3,000 students from budget cuts that would have resulted in larger classes and fewer teachers. Last session, Representative Hamner was the Democrat sponsor of Colorado’s landmark early literacy bill, using her skills to successfully bring all parties to the table to negotiate the legislation. She supports student-based funding that is weighted to student need, believes in equitable funding for charter schools, and is excited to help lead the effort to address much needed changes to Colorado’s school finance act.
“We must continue to improve the quality of education in every classroom by providing a balance of supports and accountability for teachers and principals.”
To learn more about Representative Hamner or contribute to her campaign, please visit www.milliehamner.com.
Representative Pete Lee
(Endorsed by DFER CO in 2010; running for re-election in House District 18, Colorado Springs)
Representative Lee has proven to be a practical and stalwart champion for public education reform since joining the House in 2010. His first foray into education was as a parent, then as a board member for a Colorado Springs’ charter school for at-risk students. He is currently a member of his school district’s budget committee. As a former human services executive, he brings a valuable perspective to the teacher and principal evaluation discussion. He supports equitable funding for charter schools, understands the importance of having inspiring, knowledgeable and competent school leaders, supports using funding as an incentive to improve student achievement, and knows that in our public schools, “what we’ve been doing isn’t working and we need to try something different.”
“In addition to the ongoing issue of a stable source of funding for public schools, I believe we need to focus on how to create a learning environment where every child can achieve and be ready for college or work.”
To learn more about Representative Lee or to contribute to his campaign, please visit www.peteleecolorado.com.
(Running for an open seat in House District 32, Adams County)
Dominick Moreno is an up and coming Democratic star currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem of Commerce City. Born and raised in Commerce City, he attended public schools throughout his education, beating the odds to graduate (valedictorian of his class, no less) and receiving a full scholarship to Georgetown University. Not afraid to tackle tough issues, Dominick has worked on collective bargaining, energy and other issues critical to his community. At the Capitol, he is ready to work to ensure that Colorado is challenging all of its students by providing high standards, rigorous curriculums and working to get the best teachers in the lowest performing classrooms. He also supports tying funding to accountability and student results.
“We have done things in K12 the same way for a long time. We need to modernize the system and ensure that it serves the best interests and needs of all students.”
To learn more about Dominick or to contribute to his campaign, please visit www.dominickmoreno.com.
(Running for open seat in House District 28, Jefferson County)
As the first in her family to graduate from high school and college, Brittany knows that access to quality education is critical to future success. Upon graduating, she volunteered at schools and orphanages around the world, worked for Senator Michael Bennet, and now works for New Era Colorado, a non-profit dedicated to engaging youth in government and politics. When it comes to education policy, Brittany believes funding and reforms must be coupled together. She strongly supports money following the kids to ensure that at-risk students receive additional funding. In addition to neighborhood schools, she is an advocate for public school choice, believing that charter schools offer a way to “explore exciting new ideas and best practices that can be incorporated into our public schools.”
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