Suggestions of Democratic ‘Overreach’ A Stretch
By state Sen. Angela Williams
Special to the GPHN
That is why Coloradans helped Democrats win not just the trifecta – the Senate, House, and governorship – but every statewide office. In the state Senate, even our most closely watched and contested races were won by double digit margins.
We have not even begun to govern, but the media, our friends across the aisle, and the business community are already trying to push the narrative of “overreach.” That is, suggesting that Democrats will respond to majority rule by trying to push the edges too far, and too fast.
These premature claims are being made without an informed awareness of how Colorado voters have given Democrats an opportunity to govern smartly. We are proudly Democrats, but we are more importantly Coloradans. As Coloradans, we understand that collaboration is essential to ensuring that our citizens are not only treated and represented equally, but that we are also able to pass the best pieces of legislation possible.
That has not always been the case, when the shoe was on the other foot.
Under Republican leadership in the Senate, good legislation was killed not because they were bad proposals, but because they were bills run by Democrats. It is my hope that, as the 2019 legislative kicks off beginning Jan 4, we will be able to continue to reach across the aisle to pass legislation that helps all hardworking Coloradans. I believe that our leadership will listen to the concerns of all sides, have robust debate, and get the best possible legislation through the chambers, to the governor’s desk.
Coloradans want and expect their leaders to listen to their concerns and do what is best for them. That means voting based on policy, not politics. In the senate Democratic caucus, we are dedicated to listening and doing what is best for the people of Colorado. But “overreach” concerns are taking the focus away from the issues that matter most to Coloradans and the issues that Democrats campaigned on.
The people of Colorado gave us a clear mandate to pursue a legislative agenda that would put hardworking Coloradans first and move every community across this state – rural, urban, and suburban – forward. They elected leaders, at all levels of government, who will proudly fight to build a fair economy, to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, invest in education and transportation, and protect our land, water, and air.
Coloradans are facing these real issues. We should absolutely work across the aisle with our Republican colleagues, but we also must stand up for our beliefs and the policies that Coloradans overwhelmingly support. Without the type of government gridlock we’ve experienced in recent years, we have a chance to pass legislation to address issues like transportation, education, healthcare, and housing. Rest assured that I will always vote on policy, not politics.
As citizens, it is important to look at what improvements we need to make in our state. We cannot falter our focus on those issues. This legislative session will be as powerful and impactful as we make it.
As the chair of the Business Labor and Technology Committee and as a pragmatic leader, I will continue to find balanced solutions on policies for women, children, families, employees, and employers. I look forward to working with fellow Senate Democrat colleagues on this approach, and investing in a partnership with the Republican Minority to find solutions that help Coloradans everywhere, regardless of party affiliation, and move every community across our state forward.
Please give Senate Democrats the opportunity to lead before jumping to conclusions of “overreach.”
Angela Williams represents District 33, which includes Park Hill, in the Colorado State Senate. She can be contacted at 303- 866-4864. To learn more about the legislative process, determine who else represents you in the Colorado legislature, track bills and watch the deliberations live during session, check out leg.colorado.gov.