• Kennedy

Profession: State Legislator (formerly a structural engineer)

Residence: Lakewood

Contact: www.kennedy4co.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

As a structural engineer, I learned how to solve tough problems. Over my last four years as your representative, I’ve applied those same skills to working on some of Colorado’s thorniest public policy problems. Through perseverance, I’ve found common ground with the other side of the aisle and work together to achieve common goals. I’ve been accessible by phone, email, Facebook, and at regular town hall meetings. I feel incredibly lucky to have a job in which I get to help people every day, and I’ll keep working hard to make life better for all hard-working Coloradans.

If elected, what would your top issue be?

When the state is facing a crisis, we must all make that crisis our top priority. I’m proud of Colorado’s response to this unprecedented global pandemic, and I’m proud of what we’ve done to provide relief to struggling people and businesses. But we’re not out of the woods yet, and we’re going to need to keep providing that kind of relief while also dealing with a major budget shortfall. As we begin to recover from the pandemic and recession, I intend to resume focusing on one of my top priorities, reducing the high cost of health care.

If elected, what would you want to accomplish in order for you to consider the term a success?

By the end of 2022, I hope to see Colorado fully recovered from the pandemic and recession. In addition to getting people back to work, this means restoring funding to K-12 and higher education, which have taken the brunt of the cuts. I am also hopeful that we’ll be able to take steps forward on health care reform, mental health access, fighting climate change, transportation funding, and affordable housing.

Your view on TABOR reform efforts?

I believe that TABOR is the reason that Colorado’s education funding is among the very lowest in the country. Even with reforms like Referendum C and the Hospital Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise, Colorado lawmakers’ hands are tied such that we cannot recover as quickly from economic downturns. I believe we must pay teachers more and reduce college tuition, but we can’t do that until we have a tax code in which the wealthiest among us pay their fair share.

The Red Flag law went into effect this year. Has it been a good law, and would you change anything?

The Red Flag law, which allows law enforcement officers or family members to request a court order to temporarily remove firearms from a person likely to cause harm to themselves or others, is a good law and has very likely been responsible for saving many lives already. While all laws need review and adjustment, I don’t see any major reforms needed at present.