Experience

I am proud to have served tirelessly to enhance the quality of life of Thornton citizens on Thornton City Council from November 2007–January 5, 2015 representing Ward 3 as well as in my public service representing you in the State legislature as your Senator in District 24 from January 6, 2014–January 2, 2019.

As an engaged advocate for beneficial collaboration with other cities, our school districts, outside coalitions and many other governmental entities, we were able to accomplish a lot for the benefit of our community.

My goal is to pursue the issues of interest to the citizens of the City of Thornton which has also included face-to-face meetings with State as well as Federal government agencies and the Colorado Congressional elected officials in Washington, DC.

While I served as a Thornton City Council member, I was an active participant in order to become a better citizen representative for you as well as to help our community.  Please click on the links below for additional information about my public service and involvement.

Municipal Public Service

  • Board Member and Representative for the City on the 27J School District Capital Facilities Foundation Board. The School District 27J Capital Facility Fee Foundation is a unique public/private partnership between municipalities, developers and builders, and School District 27J. It was established in 2001 to collect contributions from developers and builders to help fund school expansion or new school construction.
  • Adams County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Interim appointed City Representative. The Adams County Housing Authority assists individuals, families, seniors and persons with disabilities throughout all of Adams County, including the rural and unincorporated areas. The goal is to provide these households with quality, affordable housing options.
  • National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) member. Often asked to be a guest facilitator at annual conferences for panels that presented and discussed specific topic information (ex: education and healthcare.)
  • City Council Alternate Representative on the North Area Transportation Alliance. NATA is a partnership of public and private entities in the North I-25 Corridor working to identify, develop, advocate and lobby for transportation solutions that will enhance mobility, drive economic development and reduce traffic congestion in the north metro area.
  • Served as a Director and represented the City on the Smart Commute Metro North Management Organization Board. Smart Commute offers free services to promote and support smarter commuting options such as transit and ride-sharing. Their mission is to inform and serve local communities and businesses by advocating for better transportation options and enhanced mobility for the north metro region.
  • City Representative at I-25 Drives Commuter Reward meetings. This sub-group offers some incentives to help you commute smarter, reduce congestion, and improve air quality on I-25.
  • City Council member representing the City on the North I-25 Coalition. This group focuses on transportation, infrastructure needs and funding in the northern corridor.
  • Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee Council Representative. CML is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization providing services and resources to assist municipal officials in managing their governments, serving the cities and towns of Colorado to empower them so we have a united and strong state.
  • Vice President for the Colorado Women in Government. CWIG is sub-group of CML that promotes leadership participation in government, provides information/history and coordinates a morning fitness class at annual CML conferences.
  • City Council Alternate on the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) DRCOG is a planning organization with 58 Board members from local governments that includes 3 non-voting Board positions: RTD, CDOT & one State of Colorado member. The Board works to established guidelines, set policy, allocate funding in the areas of transportation, mobility, growth, development, aging and disability resources. I attended the Board meetings for six and a half years.
  • Served on the State Transportation Advisory Committee first as an Alternate and then as the Representative on behalf of DRCOG. STAC makes recommendations to the State Transportation Commission regarding CDOT projects, allocated funding for projects to address state transportation needs including roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs.
  • Member of the Advisory Committee on Aging. DRCOG is the designated Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for an eight-county region. DRCOG plans and provides comprehensive services to address the needs of the region’s population of older adults and people living with disabilities. The AAA establishes a coordinated system of community based supportive and nutritional needs for the region’s older adults.
  • Member of the Ad Hoc DRCOG Committee that drafted the updates revisions to the by-law and guidelines for DRCOG that the Board adopted.
  • Chair, Vice Chair and a Committee Member on the National League of Cities Information Technology & Communications Steering Committee. This Committee is part of the National League of Cities and is responsible for developing policy positions on issues involving telecommunications, internet infrastructure, information systems and public access to these systems in communities nationwide.
  • National League of Cities Member. Thornton is a member city and I attended conferences for six years to become more knowledgeable about other state and national issues, federal funding options available for projects and to discuss solutions being accomplished by other cities in each of these areas.
  • Represented the City when asked to fill in and attend meetings as the City Council Representative on the E-470 Commission, read and presented a Proclamation and attended other meetings as needed when the Mayor or appointed Councilmembers could not attend.
  • 2004 Thornton Police Citizens Academy Graduate and Alumni Association member. The Citizens Academy is designed to increase interaction and understanding between Thornton Police Officers and the citizens they protect and serve by providing an inside look at law enforcement. Alumni members also assist the Police Dept. with public safety events, wrapping gifts for children in December and recruit training.
  • Council liaison on the Thornton Leadership Institute Committee. City Council provided information and attended department staff presentations to citizens that had interest in the city who also expressed a desire to become more involved on a Board, Commission or as a City Council member.
  • Community Liaison and Member of the League of Women Voters of Adams County. The League promotes political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in local, state and national government. It is part of a national network that is nonpartisan, grassroots that studies multi-issues and they help advocate for the shaping of public policy.

Community Involvement

  • Was present at most of the City Council Ward summer ice cream socials to have ice cream, listen to music and talk with residents.
  • Attend Senior Center functions to find out what issues are important to the active older adults in our community.
  • Donated time to the Thornton Police Dept. for their annual gift wrap for kids, have assisted the PD as a Citizens Police Academy Alumni member for training and attended PD sponsored special events.
  • Council worked with Almost Home and the Faith Based Community to provide care for individuals and families that find themselves homeless.
  • Have attended each City Council Ward meeting while on Council to find out what issues or concerns the residents in the different parts of the city are experiencing.
  • Met with all of the School Districts, District 12, 27J and Mapleton School Board members, Superintendents and their staff members to discuss educational needs in our community as well as to see how the City can partner with them to help provide great educational opportunities for our kids.
  • Attended local, County, State and national meetings or events hosted by a variety of agencies, organizations or other outside groups on behalf of our city.
  • Was one of the Council members who annually met with our State and Federal elected leaders to discuss what is important to Thornton, funding, solutions, options and requests to support initiatives Thornton is supporting.
  • Attended many art and choral music events at the Thornton Cultural Arts and Cultural events center.
  • Supported School District foundations and attended school or special District forums or events
  • Volunteer driver that helped transport dogs and puppies from other shelters to no-kill shelters here.
  • Participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
  • Helped build a home working with Habitat for Humanity at a location in Commerce City that had been selected in Adams County that year.
  • Supported students aged elementary to high school for their science project presentations at City Hall.
  • Attended Thornton Arts, Science and Humanities Council events. The Thornton Arts, Sciences and Humanities Council (TASHCO) is a 501(c)(3) organization that promotes cultural, historical and scientific activities in the city of Thornton.
  • Went to elementary schools to read to classes during the District 12 reading promotions.
  • Made myself accessible to residents and the business community when there were questions, concerns, ideas, suggestions, a need for resources, etc. I serve those that have entrusted me to be a City leader.

Accomplishments While Serving on City Council

  • Businesses of Thornton Advisory Commission (BTAC), initiated and worked with Council to approve this Commission. BTAC represents the business community and makes recommendations to City Council on issues impacting the business community’s success in the city.
  • Was involved in the establishment of the Vendor Fee Program which uses a portion of the sales and use tax vendor fee previously retained by the vendor to directly assist City businesses. The program provides grants to businesses who wish to make exterior/exterior improvements, purchase equipment for the business, graffiti removal, funds free business development counseling through a partnership with the North Metro Small Business Development Center and provides funding to bring in additional shoppers to our businesses through the Shop Thornton Campaign.
  • Thornton Arts and Culture Center. Was involved in the decisions that established this facility, which was the first of its kind in Thornton.
  • A Fifth Ambulance was added to increase emergency medical response to residents by our Fire Department First Responders.
  • Community Gardens, Beekeeping and Chickens. Community gardens, beekeeping and raising chickens in residential yards were all approved.
  • Margaret Carpenter Rec Center Outdoor Completion. The pond, paddle boat area, b-ball courts, shuffle board, pavilion, seating, additional tennis courts, dancing waters, children’s playground, outdoor amphitheater and installing the Carousel were all completed that finished the Rec Center.  Plans were discussed and put into the build an Active Adult Center near one of the parks and it is currently being built
  • Thornton Trailwinds Park Phase I. This is Thornton’s largest city park on Holly Street and 136th  Built soccer playing fields, a skate park, restrooms and dog park.
  • Thornton Cares Program designed to assist residents during the economic crisis.
  • Advocated for transportation funding by working with outside entities and stakeholders for: the I-25 Managed lanes, Call-n-Ride bus service for the residents living in the West side of Thornton, the 104th Avenue bridge widening project and collaborative work with RTD to bring FasTraks to Thornton.
  • Consolidated Service Center. Worked with District 12 Adams Five Star Schools to share the building and operation of the Center that has saved mutual taxpayers dollars every year.
  • Aquatics Center Facility. Collaborated with District 12 Adams Five Star Schools in the construction and operation of the Veterans Aquatics Center Facility at Thornton Trailwinds Park and Open Space.
  • Veteran’s Memorial. City Council supported providing funding to finish the Veteran’s Memorial when the money had been taken and worked with the Thornton Veteran’s Memorial Foundation to get it completed. The memorial is located on the North side of the Veteran’s Aquatics Center Facility.
  • Chapter 18 of the City Development Code. Supported Council changes regarding Transit Oriented Development Districts (TODs) which allows Thornton to have a better opportunity to compete for federal grant monies for transportation projects.
  • Accessory Dwelling Units: Initiated discussion and subsequent City Council approval for accessory dwelling units to be allowed if certain lot criteria is met to enhance existing residential housing and to allow new homes to have attached accessory dwelling units as a part of the builder plan.
  • Economic Development: List the number of jobs created, new businesses that came into the city.  Reviewed the Comprehensive Plan with citizen input.
  • Annual Budget Review: Worked with City Council members and City staff to do a line item budget review, engaged in discussion and provided recommendations based on the ongoing City work plan so that the annual budget was approved.
  • City Council and Staff Advance: Participated in each annual advance weekend meetings to discuss the City work plan for the coming year. The work plan model that Thornton uses is now also used by many other cities for their annual project and planning purposes.  The work plan allows City departments and staff to know what is on the plan as well as what has been added to the plan and where in the process each project is.
  • Thornton Community Band: Supported the creation of the Thornton Community Band.  The band plays at the 4th of July celebration and holds a variety of concerts for the public to attend each year.
  • 4th of July In Thornton and City Festivals: Support and attend City festivals as well as the 4th of July celebration.  Encouraged and approved the City having fireworks during the time when other communities canceled their fireworks due to dryer than normal weather conditions and burn bans.  Thornton holds three annual festivals – ThorntonFest in May, HarvestFest in September and WinterFest in December for residents and non-residents to enjoy.
  • Other City Events: Movies in the Park in the summer, Thornton’s Trunk Or Treat Halloween event for children, Paws for A Dip – dogs can swim on the closing day of the outdoor swimming pool, Thornton’s Got Talent – acts and bands apply to perform, WinterFest 5k run, Easter Egg Scramble and the Lion’s Club relays events occur now annually with City Council’s approval.

State Public Service

I had the honor of serving you as your District 24 State Senator from 2015-2018.

As your citizen legislator during my term at the State Legislature, I was appointed to serve on Committees of Reference as well as a variety of other committees when the Legislature was not in session.  I also attended conferences, meetings with agencies, outside organizations, conducted stakeholder meetings regarding potential bill proposals, met with constituents, spoke with Colorado Congressional delegation members, spoke with groups and assisted residents statewide when they called, emailed or wrote to me asking for my help. I participated in national groups to stay ahead of issues that were being discussed on the Hill in Washington DC regarding new healthcare initiatives, grant funding opportunities, spoke with other State Legislators, participated frequently as a panelist, being a guest speaker and was engaged in various groups that allowed me to seek information that was beneficial to you and our great state.

Committees of Reference:

  • Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Vice Chair 2017-2018, Committee Member since 2015
  • Senate Local Government Committee, Chair 2017-2018, Committee Member since 2015
  • Joint Technology CommitteeVice Chair 2018, Chair 2017, Member since 2015
  • Legislative Statute Revision CommitteeVice Chair 2018, Chair 2017
  • Mental Health Disorders in the Juvenile and Criminal Justice
  • System Legislative Oversight Committee Vice Chair 2018, Chair 2017, Vice Chair 2016, Chair 2015

Legislative Involvement Year-Round and During the Interim

  • Aerospace Caucus Member
  • Aging Caucus, Founding Co-Chair
  • Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Diseases Grants Oversight Committee Senate Representative Member
  • Cancer Caucus, Founding Co-Chair
  • Colorado Legislative Animal Welfare Caucus Member
  • Colorado Health Exchange Legislative Oversight Committee Senate Member
  • Colorado Legislative Women’s Caucus Member
  • Council of State Governments West Member & Health Policy Committee Member
  • Domestic Violence Caucus Member
  • DUID Task Force Participant Interim 2017
  • Early Childhood School Readiness Legislative Oversight Commission – Member 2015, Vice Chair 2016, Chair 2017, Member 2018
  • General Assembly Workplace Sexual Assault and Harassment Study Committee 2018
  • Governor’s Mental Health Hold Interim Task Force 2016
  • Health Equity Grants Oversight Commission Senate Representative Member 2015-2017
  • Latina’s Lead (part of NHCSL) Member 2016-2018
  • Mental Health Caucus Member
  • National Conference of State Legislators Member
  • National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (Member 2015-2018)
  • National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, Director 2016-2018
  • Sportsman’s Caucus Member
  • Victims Rights Caucus Member
  • Western Leadership Academy 2016 Alumni Member
  • Women in Government – Colorado State Director 2016-2018

Legislative Work Recognition:

  • 2018 Friend of Physical Therapy Award: American Physical Therapy Association – Colorado Chapter
  • 2018 Common Sense in the Courtroom Award: Colorado Civil Justice League
  • 2018 Champion of Economic Justice: Colorado Center on Law and Policy
  • 2018 Women of Excellence Award from the National Foundation for Women Legislators (received in Washington, DC)
  • 2017 Legislator of the Year: Junior League of Denver
  • 2017 Regional Policy Council Legislative Award: Mental Health America
  • 2017 Common Sense in the Courtroom Award: Colorado Civil Justice League
  • 2016 Legislator of the Year: Mental Health Colorado
  • 2016 Legislator of the Year: GreenCO
  • 2016 Serving Our Seniors Award: Colorado Senior Lobby
  • 2016 Common Sense in the Courtroom Award: Colorado Civil Justice League
  • 2016 Leadership Award: Colorado Respite Coalition
  • 2016 Legislative Award: Colorado Social Legislation Committee
  • 2016 Legislator of the Year: Colorado County Clerks Association

Additional Involvement:

  • Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Education Advisory Group Member
  • Multiple Sclerosis Fundraising Bike Event – 2019 marks 17 years as a SAG volunteer
  • Project Angel Heart, assisted with meal prep packaging