The 2020 election is heating up in Colorado and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but voters will also decide the outcome of state representative and senate seats.
Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
Mary Parker is running for Colorado House of Representatives District 22.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Family: My husband and I have 4 daughters and 6 grandchildren
Occupation: Small business owner for 24 years, Systems Engineer at HP for 21 years
Previous elected experience: None
Family members in government: No
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
COVID is currently the most pressing issue facing our state and I will work towards making sure schools and businesses have the resources and support they need to stay open safely.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I differ from my opponents in that I believe there is an important role for the state government to play in protecting our citizens and our economy.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I am a small business owner and I have worked in corporate America too, so I understand the need to protect workers without placing undue burdens on business. In addition, I have worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for neglected and abused children which has given me an understanding of the challenges facing children and families.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
The most important thing we need to do to help local businesses is to realize that different business sectors face different challenges and that we must tailor our support accordingly. Retail businesses may be able to get by with online orders while others need loans and other financial support. Some restaurants with outside seating and robust take-out business can get by while others remain closed. Businesses such as movie and live theaters require long-term planning support. In addition, we need to shore up the state's unemployment insurance program.
How will you address the calls for racial justice and police reform?
There is much that can be done in the area of racial justice and police reform. As the wife of a former policeman, I have watched with distress the increasing militarization of law enforcement and how law enforcement has been vilified because of the abusive actions of very bad actors who have not been held accountable. Also, my CASA work has given me lots of experience with our court system.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
1. Safe schools and neighborhoods, especially in the area of gun violence prevention – I will support legislation that ensures that guns are stored safely and that they are kept out of the hands of violent people.
2. Universal access to affordable health care – I will support a state public option for health care.
3. Climate - I will support efforts to move the state forward in the use of renewable energy.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I am committed to keeping communication lines open with my constituents so that I inform them of what is going on at the Capitol and they inform me of their concerns and priorities.