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“No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (Amendment XIV, U.S. Constitution). Equality is enshrined within our state’s and nation’s constitutions. It is one of the fundamental values that shape our country. While we have seen some recent successes, the path to equality for all has not always been quick—nor has it been easy.  Though Colorado has made tremendous progress in this area, more work remains to be done.
Racial Equality 

I remember the conversations between my mom and my brother when we were young: “keep your hands out of your pockets, keep your arms up and don’t talk back.”  No one should have to fear for their life because of the color of their skin. Clearly this conversation isn’t over—and it goes far beyond the tragedies of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Jessie Hernandez and so many others.


Leslie’s Plan - Racial injustice and inequality need to be addressed at every level in our communities: in our preschools, our high schools, our colleges. My plan will:


  • foster a culture of inclusivity and fair treatment within the Capitol halls;

  • bring the race relations dialogue into the law by passing and supporting legislation aiming to protect—and better the lives of—our diverse communities;

  • ensure that the state has adequate infrastructure to collect accurate data on police stops and arrests.




Most recently, the Supreme Court of the United States  recognized marriage as a fundamental right to which all Americans are entitled regardless of their sexual orientation. This is a remarkable victory for the LGBTQ community and the entire nation.


Leslie’s Plan - But marriage is not the only right. We need to end any discrimination, bullying, intimidation and violence against all Coloradans.  My plan will:


  • oppose and fend off initiatives that propose religious exemption measures that legalize discrimination and hate;

  • support full equality of transgender people through identification modernization, full parity in medical services and insurance, and support in schools and in the workplace;

  • support measures that limit a minor’s access to conversion therapy—a false “treatment” that is not only ineffective but dangerous;

  • foster a culture of inclusivity and fair treatment within the Capitol halls.



The Americans with Disabilities Act was a landmark victory. But no parent should have to worry that their child will be humiliated instead of helped; no employee should have to fear choosing between their job and their rights. Equality for all must take this effort further, and break down barriers and end the fear that continues to stigmatize disabilities and limits conversations before they even start.


Leslie’s Plan - Colorado should aim to be a state of openness and support. My plan will:


  • strive for participation and meaningful involvement by all who are affected by disabilities—including parents and caregivers, students, employees and any involved person who needs support;

  • explore opportunities to bring more accessibility;

  • provide support systems for the disability community.   




Our communities face a profound challenge of a growing homeless population that has a variety of origins: mental illness, economic hardship or veterans returning from service to our country, and others. The homeless are often forced to survive in public places for the simple reason that they have no place else to be or go. But criminalizing homelessness, or seeking to “move them along” are “band-aid” solutions that fail to fix the underlying problems.


Leslie’s Plan - Instead of “band-aid” solutions, we need to explore real and innovative solutions to reduce homelessness that can address the problem rather than simply covering it up.  My plan will:


  • convene a discussion among stakeholders to develop alternatives to laws that criminalize homelessness rather than solve homelessness;

  • propose solutions that advance housing first;

  • convene a discussion seeking solutions that address the root of homelessness;

  • support and fund mental health, drug and substance abuse programs.



I support federal comprehensive immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship. In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that provided comprehensive reform to the immigration system along with sufficient border security. The bill provided a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented individuals living in this country, almost 200,000 of which call Colorado home. Immigration reform and immigration policy is largely a federal issue. But the federal government refuses to act. Meanwhil, the lives of undocumented individuals lie in the balance.


Leslie's Plan - Continue to call for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level while also fighting for change here in Colorado. My plan will:


  • support Colorado policies and laws that recognize and acknowledge that the rights to due process and equal protection under the federal and Colorado Constitutions belong to all people regardless of their immigration status;

  • support laws and policies that discourage local law enforcement from serving as immigration enforcement agents. Such practices diminish community trust and potentially profile American citizens;

  • expand access to driver’s licenses by undocumented immigrants. Such access improves road safety for all Coloradans;

  • promote policies that provide access to vital health care services to all Coloradans regardless of immigration status;

  • eliminate barriers and provide greater access to higher education for the many young men and women of undocumented parents that call Colorado home (the "dreamers"); and

  • support ICE's stated policy to focus deportation efforts on individuals that present a significant public safety or national security risk to Coloradans.