BOCC supports Schwartz |

BOCC supports Schwartz

Dear Editor:

In order to confidently endorse a candidate for any elected office, it is necessary to have a working relationship with that person. Blanket partisan political endorsements are not very convincing. In our roles as Pitkin County commissioners, we have each had the opportunity to work closely with our state Sen. Gail Schwartz to protect and advance the interests of Pitkin County residents. We can honestly say that Gail lives up to her reputation as the hardest-working senator at the state capitol.

Sen. Schwartz has taken the lead in protecting Western Slope water resources. She has carried legislation to improve water quality, maintain minimum stream flows, and sponsored the bill that allowed Pitkin County to enter into a water trust agreement with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to improve flows in the Roaring Fork Watershed. She promised to protect our natural resources and Western Slope water to benefit agriculture, tourism and sportsmen. Her record reflects that she has delivered on that promise.

As chair of the Senate energy committee, Sen. Schwartz has thoughtfully and powerfully put forward a clean energy agenda – tripling Colorado’s commitment to renewable energy generation – that has made Colorado a national leader, and a major creator of new energy economy jobs. The framework she established for energy efficiencies and renewable energy production will help reduce our dependence on foreign energy imports, reduce carbon emissions, stabilize energy prices for our community, and help ensure that the jobs of the future are right here in Colorado.

Sen. Schwartz has diligently pursued improved educational opportunities for all Colorado youths from kindergarten through higher education. She was the Senate sponsor of the “BEST” bill – Building Excellent Schools Today – which is funding $1 billion of K-12 capital construction throughout Colorado, with $160 million already dedicated to building 10 new schools in Senate District 5. Sen. Schwartz has been a real champion of K-12 and higher education in Colorado, knowing that our children’s and our state’s future depends on having the best educational opportunities possible.

Sen. Schwartz has tirelessly and successfully worked to improve the lives of our residents, expanding access to rural health care, preventing insurance companies from discriminating against women, expanding access to mammograms, and funding rural substance abuse programs. Sen. Schwartz has protected our senior citizens from financial fraud and abuse, and voted to protect their homestead exemption.

This endorsement does not come lightly; Sen. Schwartz has earned it with her sound judgment, hard work and commitment to Pitkin County for more than 38 years, demonstrated as former chair of the Aspen Education Foundation, past member of the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation Board, former member of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and former vice chair of the CU regents. With the many challenges facing Colorado, we need her experience, intelligence and drive at the Statehouse and urge Pitkin County voters to re-elect our hometown senator, Gail Schwartz.

George Newman, Rachel Richards, Michael Owsley, Jack Hatfield, Patti Clapper

Pitkin Board of County commissioners

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