SALLY BOCCELLA

Campaign website: sallyforcolorado.com

Biography

  • As the daughter of an Italian immigrant, U.S. Navy veteran and Purple Heart recipient, I am a first-generation American and a first-generation college graduate. I earned my degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. I currently serve on three Weld-Re5j school district committees and volunteer weekly for Weld Food Bank delivering food commodities to Seniors. My professional experiences in marketing and promotions, radio, film production, and public education have given me opportunities to build coalitions, create partnerships, and engage the community. I am a substitute teacher, community leader, mom to two amazing young people and two rescue dogs, and wife to a supportive husband.

Why do you want this job?

  • I am running a community-focused campaign to bring all voices of SD 23 to the Capitol, and to represent them in these challenging times. For too long the district has not served all people. I have marched, petitioned, and canvassed with fellow residents on issues and campaigns. I have organized and attended constituent meetings with our local, State and federal representatives on issues from Endangered Species protection, environmental conservation, fossil fuels accountability and public safety, school funding, mental health care and food security. I am connected to the people of this district and committed to service. I know I can do so much more at the Capitol. I am uniquely connected to my community. Any successful elected official knows that running for office is a call to service and taking my call to service to the Capitol is an extension of my love for my community. Bringing constituents together with their elected officials is something I have a history of, and that is something that has been lacking in this district. I will listen to all constituent voices, forge alliances, and find common ground to move the district and Colorado forward. I will work across the aisle to find solutions that benefit all Coloradans. 

Budgeting in tough times 

> What is one bill you plan to sponsor that won't cost taxpayers anything?

> What new ideas do you bring in a time of budget cuts?

  • There are indeed some tough decisions being made regarding the state budget this year. Balancing the budget requires months of collaboration and consideration of essential programs throughout the state. Colorado’s tax system is set up as such that our legislatures' hands are tied at times in budget crisis. It is estimated that next year’s budget will be even tougher. We will have to collaborate with our federal legislators to bring federal dollars to our small businesses and small towns in Colorado. The only way we can avoid even more dire budget decisions will be to bring together all levels of our government, local, state and federal, to increase funding in our state that is desperately needed to preserve our Colorado way of life. For that to happen we need to elect strong leaders, regardless of party, up and down the ballot this November. We need leadership that can work across the aisle and forge alliances that benefit all Coloradans. I am actively working on an environmental recovery plan that includes geothermal energy and industrial hemp that will employ Coloradans and protect our Colorado way of life.

Perennial budget issues

(Choose one to answer)

> How do we pay for education?

> How do we pay for transportation?

  • An effective way to fund education will be to have ballot initiative 271 voted on this November.  This will bring an estimated $2 billion a year to our general fund, with 50% or more going to K-12 funding. Colorado is already one of the lowest states for education funding, and in a time of difficult budget decisions our students, teachers, and schools are facing even bigger cuts. If we can get 271 on the ballot and into law, an estimated 95% of Coloradans will receive a tax cut. I will be a strong leader at the Capitol for our students, teachers, families, and schools, as I have been in my community.
  • I will run a coordinated campaign with the Colorado Fair tax campaign to make sure voters are informed of the benefits ahead of the November election. 

Issues of the pandemic

(Choose one to answer) 

> Is the state reopening too quickly or too slowly?
> Are health care reforms an immediate priority?
> What are the best steps to rebuilding the economy? 

  • Healthcare reform must be a top priority. COVID has brought to light the many inequities in our communities. Food security, paid leave and education, workplace safety, are just a few of the many issues that have been brought into focus in recent months. Access to quality, affordable healthcare is one of the many issues we are facing in this time of crisis, and it is one of the most critical areas that can impact the spread of this virus, and prevent unnecessary deaths. The only way to combat the gap in healthcare for Coloradans is to have federal dollars diverted into our state for the purpose of making sure our residents do not have to choose between going to the doctor and putting food on the table or a roof over their head. I am honored to be recognized as a "Champion" by the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care for my support for Single Payer Improved Medicare for All (SPIMFA) at both the federal and state level. We also need to shift our workplace culture into an environment where people feel safe and are paid to stay home when ill.

Working together

(Choose one to answer)

> What is an idea or approach your primary opponent has proposed that you intend to take to the Capitol?

> Name a current or former legislator from the opposing party you admire, and why.

  • In this most recent legislative session, I was impressed with Senator John Cooke’s handling of SB20-217. As a former Weld County Sheriff, he was able to bring his colleagues together with other stakeholders and collaborate on the bill. Together, they offered amendments that were friendly, and which made it a bill that could bring people together. Increased accountability and transparency in law enforcement is long overdue, and his ability to work across the aisle made this measure something all sides can get behind. This bill will protect the majority of law enforcement officers who practice with integrity, while also taking measures to increase public trust. I commend Senator Cooke’s efforts to compromise and work together to get things done, and to enact meaningful change that impacts all Coloradans.

GALINA NICOLL

Campaign website: https://galinaforsd23.com/

Biography

  • A long-time Broomfield resident and a new U.S. citizen; distinguished community leader, researcher and educator, teaching Space Exploration and Russian Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Grew up in Belarus (former Soviet Bloc country), moved to Colorado in 2003 to pursue graduate work. Earned Doctorate in 2010. Actively involved in the life of my community, staging local environmental actions; large- and small-scale cultural, equity and diversity educational events; advocating for the rights of LGBTQ community and women on campus. Currently develop mental health solutions for CU-Boulder and previously for Veterans and those suffering from PTSD. Co-authored two pieces of state legislation in CO during my graduate work at CU. As a member of local nonprofits, I perform, organize and advocate for social and environmental justice. Wife of a two-tour Iraq War Combat Veteran and mother of an 8-yr-old attending a public school.  

Why do you want this job?

  • I believe representation matters, now more than ever. With BLM and the racial justice movement taking center stage, and the Legislature focused on post-COVID economic recovery, it is essential that we make every effort to transition to a more just and equitable society. I am seeking to represent constituents in Broomfield, Larimer and Weld counties because I care about our most vulnerable populations and have shared some of their experiences: I have lived with a mixed-immigration status; I have filed a political Asylum case for my parents; I have been without health insurance while pregnant, I have also struggled as a teaching professor with a PhD living paycheck to paycheck. I want to bring these experiences to my representation for our children and seniors, our working families and small business owners. To that end, I have proposed specific plans to jumpstart our economy that are inclusive, sustainable and people-focused. Smart fiscal policy will allow us to not only re-energize our strong renewable industries sector, but will also support our most affected and historically-underserved populations: those living in poverty, lacking training, or having lost or been unable to find a way to earn a decent income.
  • I dedicated over seventeen years in service to my community through educational, advocacy and artistic work as a tax-paying Coloradan. I care deeply about the health, safety and wellbeing of my neighbors, friends and family and am willing to take urgent and bold action to: 1) ensure that our air, water and soil are safe for all; 2) that our schools have adequate funding; 3) that our healthcare system can deliver quality medical services and pharmaceuticals that are AFFORDABLE; 4) that we reexamine our social services to address racial and social inequities; and 5) that our transportation infrastructure is updated and our immigration processes overhauled. 

Budgeting in tough times 

> What is one bill you plan to sponsor that won't cost taxpayers anything?

> What new ideas do you bring in a time of budget cuts?

  • I have proposed expanding and extending child-care tax credits for low and middle-income families; referring a TABOR modification to the voters to allow school boards to retain local property tax revenue to adequately fund K-12 schools; allowing citizens to vote on decoupling our state income tax from the federal form to shield CO’s budget from the Republican’s income tax cut for wealthy investors hidden in the federal CARES ACT (this alone would save the state budget between $250-$500 Million in lost revenue… money that would be used to fund services for small business and those most impacted by the coronavirus outbreak); and finally, passing Initiative 271 raising income taxes on the very wealthy to bring in an additional $2 Billion annually to fund K-12.

Perennial budget issues

> How do we pay for transportation?

  • I included in my answer above about passing Initiative 271 and decoupling the state income tax from the federal income tax form (to retain and bring in hundreds of millions more in additional revenue) to pay for K-12 and higher education, so I’ll include my thoughts on transportation funding. The US-36 and I-25 transportation corridors are amongst the busiest and most congested in the entire Metro-area! The congestion is awful! I propose expanding the RTD taxing district to include ALL OF DOUGLAS COUNTY, which has seen the benefits of FasTracks funding without paying into the RTD! I would expand the district so that Douglas County pays its fair share of funding, bringing in an additional $25 Million a year to help expand mass transit and light rail along the US-36 and I-25 corridors. I also support the proposed light-rail line from Pueblo to Ft. Collins which would service commuters up and down the I-25 corridor, create high-paying union jobs, be better for the environment, and reduce traffic congestion.

Issues of the pandemic

> Are health care reforms an immediate priority? 

  • Healthcare reform is an immediate priority in the face of potential second wave of the pandemic. We must make sure that we supply our frontline workers, our food industry workers and essential businesses with ample PPEs and make healthcare accessible to all. Current Affordable Healthcare Act makes healthcare unaffordable; patients and taxpayers are wasting money on the complexity of insurance payments. We are the only nation in the world where patients have lost health coverage during this pandemic....We must ensure that everyone has access to quality medical care during this time in particular. We can create a system that is efficient and simple, improve the quality of care and offer fair, equitable and affordable services. I support Gov. Polis’ proposed “public option.”

Working together

> What is an idea or approach your primary opponent has proposed that you intend to take to the Capitol?

  • On most issues, I agree with my primary opponent on the broad principles of what must be done to address the most critical issues facing CO. The difference, however, is that I have proposed specific legislation to fund these initiatives. On education we both agree adequate funding is required but I have come out in support of Initiative 271 to institute a progressive income tax on the wealthiest Coloradans to pay for K-12 and refer a TABOR amendment to allow local school boards to raise property taxes to hold K-12 harmless; I have also proposed decoupling the state’s income tax from the federal income tax form, retaining $400 Million otherwise lost to the Republican tax cut for the wealthy embedded in the federal CARES ACT.

  • Similarly, on funding transportation infrastructure I have proposed expanding the RTD taxing district to include all of Douglas County, bringing in an additional $25 Million a year to be used for traffic mitigation along US-36 and I-25 north corridor (2/3 of Douglas County does not pay the tax, but nevertheless receive the benefits of light-rail provided by funding paid by the rest of us).

  • Finally, although we are both strongly pro-environment, I believe the severance tax on oil and gas extraction needs to be increased when the price of oil reaches $100 a barrel, since the state of CO has the lowest tax on fossil fuel extraction compared to our neighboring states, resulting in hundreds of millions in LOST revenue…I would use that money to pay for field worker retraining, new apprenticeships, or transitioning to cleaner, greener industries like wind, solar, or geothermal…. I would also like to see this revenue used to establish a vibrant and viable plastics recycling industry here in CO

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