Moving Jeffco Forward
As Colorado grows, it can get more and more difficult to get to where we need to go by car. There’s no doubt that we need to do more to expand our existing automobile infrastructure, and to better maintain the roads we do have through targeted investments. But it’s a mistake to invest in roads, wipe our hands, and call it done. Jefferson County can and must be a leader in multimodal transportation solutions that reflect the reality of the age we live in: From ride-sharing apps to light rail trains to bicycling to and from work (guilty as charged!), there are a lot of ways to get around. Where Jeffco falls short are the critical first-mile and last-mile links to and from transportation hubs. Investing in these connections makes it much, much easier for folks to rely on new transportation tools - which has the added benefit of reducing the strain on our roads. An investment in multimodal options is, in that way, an investment in our traditional automotive infrastructure.
How do we preserve Jeffco’s unique character and natural beauty, while making sure that our community is as welcoming to those moving here as it was to us? The 2018 Jeffco Comprehensive Plan goes a long way in balancing these interests, and those of our rural, suburban, and urban core residents. I’m proud to support it.
Jefferson County’s stunning open space program is the crown jewel of the Denver-metro area. Jeffco just wouldn’t be Jeffco without open space, and it’s why so many of us choose to live here - and gives us (and our families) a whole lot to do on weekends. Ask anybody: I have a long history as a champion for open space. As commissioner, I’ll continue this legacy by fighting to build and maintain additional trails and, critically, increasing financial and strategic support for wildfire mitigation. Investments in open space are also an investment in the future, as expanding public lands is an important way to fight the effects of climate change.
As a dad to three kids growing up in this digital age, I’m keenly aware of the importance of increasing access to mental health care. It’s why I recently joined the board of directors of the Second Wind Fund after working with them for many years. The example set by the Second Wind Fund is an important one: Jefferson County must continue to partner with it and other innovative treatment providers to expand the levels of support we’re able to provide those who need it most. There’s a lot of work we can do at the county level, in partnership with the state, to help a lot of people. But we’re able to exponentially grow our impact through work with outside organizations to ensure that everybody who needs mental health care can and will get good, timely, and easy access. Lives are on the line, especially among our teenagers, veterans, and medically underserved.
Our partners in local government have done much to keep our communities safe by expanding their investments in their police forces. But there’s a lot more to criminal justice than just increasing the number of people who protect us. One innovative approach? Increasing funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates, which help abused or neglected children find safe, stable, and welcoming permanent homes. Creating stability and fostering love at this age sets kids up for a lifetime of success. Jefferson County relies too heavily on volunteer advocates. We need to step up our investment, as a county, in our future. Doing just that will create a safer community for years to come.