My name is Millie Hamner, and I'm running to represent our beautiful, unique mountain communities in the Capitol after having the privilege of representing Summit, Lake, and Eagle counties for the last two years. Your vote is important to me, and I will continue touring the district, visiting your towns and neighborhoods to earn your support.
I am not a politician. I'm a career educator who worked hard and was asked to serve in increasingly higher capacities through my years of serving the students of Western Slope schools until I had the unbelievable honor of becoming superintendent of Summit Schools.
I was then asked to run for Rep. Scanlan's vacancy and was humbled to be selected by the committee to serve the constituents of House District 56.
After reapportionment, the district was redrawn and I immediately began touring the new counties of Delta, Gunnison and Pitkin to get to know the people and their issues. I held town hall meetings, coffees, canvasses and phone banks to learn more about the families in these counties and their issues. I pledged to my future constituents that I would be a Representative who doesn't work for a party or an interest group, but one who will work for the district.
I have learned a lot about our Western Slope economy, education system, and the challenges we face with our transportation system and natural resources. I enjoy representing our mountain communities at the state Capitol. My background in education allows me to play at a high level in the building and to fight for our Western Slope schools.
That's why I worked across the aisle with Rep. Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs) on the groundbreaking K-3 Literacy Act of 2012. This new policy focuses on getting our kids to achieve reading benchmarks by third grade - a scientifically significant time in the development of young minds. I found as a teacher and a superintendent, and the data backs it up, that getting kids reading at grade level by third grade leads to better performance in school, a better chance of perusing a higher education, and better career success later in life.
There's no reason that schools in Paonia, Hotchkiss, Leadville or Crested Butte shouldn't have the same resources as schools in Cherry Creek. I have fought and I will continue to fight for our fair share to ensure that our kids have the education they need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century, and to fight for a transportation system that brings more tourism, jobs, and goods and services to and from our mountain communities.
Our tourism economy on the western slope is dependent on protecting our beautiful places, keeping our air and water clean and safe, and ensuring that we are taking the steps necessary to deal with the bark beetle epidemic. That's why I worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to pass the Forest Health Act, expanding resources and continuing funding to the critical forest restoration program to cure our ailing forests, and creating western slope jobs by doing so.
Last year, Leadville family members and friends of Vonnie Flores approached me with an idea to strengthen Colorado's anti-stalking laws to prevent tragedies like hers from happening again. House Bill 12-1114 was signed into law, and now protects victims of stalkers by giving them a real legal shield so that they may begin to live their lives in peace after living under the shadow of a stalker. Many of my legislative ideas come directly from my constituents, and I encourage you to send me your ideas on how to make government more efficient, accountable, and to protect our people and special places.
My name is Millie Hamner, and I'm the Democratic nominee for House District 61. Please visit my website www.milliehamner.com, where you can learn more about the issues, get involved, or contact me with any questions you have.
Millie Hamner is the Democratic nominee for House District 61 and lives in Dillon.