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Seven years after the Great Recession, Colorado’s economy is one of the strongest in the country. For many, quality of life has improved and opportunities are growing. But many of our neighbors are still seeking work that lets them support their families, and our small businesses continue to face challenges.  
Small Business and Workforce Development

I’m a small business owner and believe that small businesses are the backbone of our community—not only creating most new jobs but also helping us create livable, walkable communities and places for us to gather. Small businesses are also often the canary in the coal mine - an early warning that economic health may be strengthening or starting to fade.  


Leslie’s Plan - With so much job growth and community success premised on small business success, we need to empower small businesses to succeed. My plan will:


  • advocate for small business interests, including access to capital and technical assistance;

  • explore the use of old and new tools like micro-grant programs, crowdfunding and the use of social enterprises;

  • look for innovative ways to promote small business growth and workforce development;

  • support efforts at job training that ensure that all workers —young and old—are equipped with the skills they need to participate in today’s economy;

  • ensure that the State’s role in unemployment insurance is adequate and meets the needs of unemployed workers.




The cost of housing for both homeowners and renters is increasing across the state and the Denver metro region is becoming increasingly unaffordable as more people pay a disproportionate share of their income on housing costs.  By helping families feel secure in their homes, our community is safer and more productive.


Leslie’s Plan - Rather than permit this crisis to continue unabated, we need a plan to take this challenge on head-on. My plan will:


  • support the state removing the prohibition on local rent control policies;

  • explore smart growth strategies.


Support for Working Families

Working families are the backbone of the middle-class. But many Coloradans are working harder and longer hours and have not seen their wages increase. The growing income inequality in Colorado is a warning of a deeper problem - those who can afford influence are picking winners and losers, while the middle class is being hung out to dry. It’s leaving families frustrated and stressed, taking opportunities away despite their hard work.


Leslie’s Plan - Since Washington has decided not to address income inequality, Colorado must take the lead. My plan will:


  • raise the Colorado minimum wage;

  • support family-flexible workplace policies for state employees as a model for what’s possible in everyday businesses;

  • require equal pay for women - no longer should working women and their families have to settle for less when they’re doing the same work as their male coworkers

  • build on the federal Family Leave Act and the Child Care Family Supporting Jobs Act to aid families in maintaining a job, ending poverty, and improving the quality of life for all working families;

  • advance policies that protect pregnant women and moms in the workplace;

  • require the best value contracting at the state level--supporting and protecting workers statewide.