Emily Tracy: Willing to work across the aisle | SteamboatToday.com

Emily Tracy: Willing to work across the aisle







The people of Northwest Colorado know that for our part of the state to thrive, we must receive well-deserved attention from state government, to maintain and grow the infrastructure upon which our rural economy depends. For too long, rural Coloradans have taken a back seat to the political power of the population-dense Front Range, leaving rural communities sometimes struggling to survive.

As a candidate for Senate District 8, I have walked in neighborhoods in more than a dozen towns and cities and have heard some very consistent themes: People do not want to lose more water to the Front Range; our highest-in-the-nation health insurance costs are driving families out of the region; people value the outdoor recreation opportunities our clean air, clean water, and public lands provide; residents struggle in many communities to find affordable housing; rural schools are losing vital funding; and people recognize that high-speed internet must be fully available in rural Colorado so we can compete in the 21st century economy.

I have a long background of public service. I have lived in Colorado since 1965, and in rural Colorado since 1977, so I'm well-acquainted with the struggles our part of the state faces every day.

My longest career was in child protection, foster care and adoption. I have also worked for the courts, for nonprofits, for a chamber of commerce serving the business community, in the conflict resolution field and for a police department. I am currently an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge, teaching in the sustainability program.

I was elected to two four-year terms on the City Council of Cañon City and worked to build partnerships with business and community leaders to promote economic development. I have served on land use planning commissions for more than 16 years. I was appointed by Governor Romer to the original Great Outdoors Colorado committee, which laid the foundation for funding for open space, trails and other recreational improvements around the state. I am an alternate to the board of Club 20, the Western Slope's advocacy organization, and a 12-year resident of Breckenridge where I live with my husband, Del Bush, a businessman and a Republican.

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Rural residents want a level playing field so their communities can succeed just as the cities and suburbs on the Front Range succeed. So, how can rural Colorado achieve the political power we need to ensure a vital future?

Rural Western Slope legislators must work across the aisle with representatives and senators of both political parties, not follow the orders of party bosses, to solve problems we all face. I have a history of working with diverse groups of people. Plus, I'm a Democrat, and my husband is a Republican, so I work across the aisle every day at home. I have been endorsed in this race by former Republican state Senators Al and Jean White because they know I am a hardworking, common-sense leader who will work for bipartisan solutions.

The Senate District 8 race this year is critically important. Residents of the district deserve full representation.

If I am elected, my commitment to you is this: I will visit the district regularly; I will respond to calls, email messages and letters; I will respond to requests from local governments from all corners of the district; I will actively participate in legislative committees of which I'm a member; and I will vote for the best interests of Northwest Colorado. I hope I earn your support.

Democrat Emily Tracy is running for Colorado Senate District 8.