Holding Onto Our Traditions in a Changing World

Holding Onto Our Traditions in a Changing World

Last week, we celebrated July 4th, the anniversary of one of the world’s great experiments in democracy. The Declaration of Independence famously announced “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The American experiment, in other words, established a commitment to protect our freedoms and enable opportunity for all.

Defending Our Constitutional Freedoms

The Constitution was adopted to enforce and advance the vision set out in the Declaration of Independence. Under our Constitution, we have established a set of core freedoms—the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, equal protection for all, and the due process of law (which means people must be treated fairly by their government and legal system). These freedoms, however, are not self-enforcing and require institutions, citizens, and leaders to enforce and advance them.

Today, we face a challenging environment that is testing our constitutional and democratic institutions. As one conservative commentator has put it, President Trump is an “institutional arsonist,” threatening to do grave damage to our democracy and legal system. What will enable our democracy and constitutional system to endure? Active citizens and leaders stepping up to protect our constitutional freedoms and traditions. For me, this imperative is a central reason I am running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General.

Fighting for the American Dream

Another powerful reason I’m running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General is my belief in the American Dream. The American Dream is the promise that each generation should be able to look forward to building on the progress of their parents and building a better life for themselves—the pursuit of happiness, in other words. I experienced this promise firsthand because my parents, who came to this country as immigrants (my mom after surviving the Holocaust), were the first in their families to go to college and climb the ladder of opportunity. And I, in turn, benefited from the opportunities they had.

Today, many Coloradans experience a world where their lives are getting harder, and they are not being treated fairly as citizens, workers, and consumers. When I talk about fighting for opportunities for all Coloradans, I mean that we must develop strategies and institutions to change this equation—whether it is protecting Coloradans from voter suppression efforts, fighting wage theft from workers, or standing up to pharmaceutical companies engaging in price fixing that leads to higher drug prices for consumers. And we will need to do more than that to adapt to today’s changing economy, including enabling all Coloradans to have broadband Internet access, developing skills training opportunities for those not going to college, and supporting an environment where businesses can be started around our State. Thankfully, Coloradans are not afraid of change, are adaptable, and willing to experiment.

Safeguarding Our Land, Air, and Water

Finally, to thrive in the 21st century, we must protect our land, air, and water so that our children can live healthy lives in an era where climate change will transform our world. We can manage and address climate change by, for example, developing strategies for overseeing oil and gas development that restrict methane emissions. Colorado proudly developed the template for managing methane emissions—through collaborative and innovative leadership from our Governor—that the EPA later adopted. Unfortunately, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt initially challenged those rules as the Oklahoma Attorney General and has led an effort for the EPA to abandon them. Our Governor John Hickenlooper and others successfully challenged this effort by EPA Administrator Pruitt, but our AG stayed on the sidelines in this battle, forcing the Governor to hire private counsel.

Joining This Mission

In 2018, we can elect an Attorney General who is committed to protecting our freedoms, fighting for opportunity for all Coloradans, and safeguarding our land, air, and water. This is going to require engaged citizens and a campaign inspired by and true to our nation’s ideals. I look forward to running such a campaign and welcome you to join me however you are able to support our mission.

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