House District 61 candidate Q&A: Debra Irvine
Ryan Summerlin October 23, 2012
I come from a family dedicated to service. I have always served the communities in which I lived. I offer my time, experience, knowledge and dedication for the benefit of the varied interests of our district. Unlike others, I do not see this position as a stepping stone to other positions. It would be an honor to be a state representative.
My work experience is varied making me a uniquely qualified candidate. Our district has a vast ski industry – I know the industry well. I grew up in a ski resort (11 years), was a professional ski instructor and on high school and university ski teams.As co-director of fundraising for an international school, I developed creative fundraising; working successfully with an international staff, students and parents.Before moving to Breckenridge, my husband Rob was a NATO diplomat for six years. I worked well and closely with diverse people representing 26 countries while remaining considerate of their cultures and languages. All the while, I represented the United States. Because of my opponents’ votes in the Legislature and the knowledge I will support business, the National Federation of Independent Business has given me their endorsement.I grew up speaking different languages and was a language instructor. I offer experience with regard to English as a second language in our schools.I have worked national defense issues and held leadership positions.Community service: I am an active member of Summit County Rotary; my involvement includes 4-Way Test with Summit Middle School and literacy council. As a member of the Summit County Arts Council and Arts Alive Gallery, 40 percent of my artwork sales goes to community projects. With the Family Intercultural & Resource Center, I sew items for fundraising. I am a member of the Summit Independent Business Alliance and Summit Chamber. I volunteered as a suicide hotline counselor for the Washington, D.C. area, was an assistant soccer coach and a Cub Scout leader. See my qualifications at: www.IrvineForColorado.com
I believe it unfair to identify any problem as the “most important.” For the family struggling to make ends meet here, it’s the economy and job creation. For the business owner, it’s the burdensome regulations, taxes and bureaucracy that hinder growth and reinvestment. For the homeowner facing foreclosure, it’s the prospect of starting anew (Colorado is eighth in foreclosures). For the parents of students who see the low CSAP scores in schools, it’s the concern their children will not be prepared for their future. For parents of college students, it’s the increased tuition rates they will face. For our environment, it’s the bark beetle kill and the watershed complications that are pending. For people who travel Interstate 70, it’s the expected gridlock. For the future, it’s water conservation and protection, economic growth, energy independence, mining preservation, et al. With community and industry input as guidance, I will represent all issues to the best of my ability.
The legislature in Washington certainly has issues with partisan gridlock. The Colorado Legislature, however, is having successes. The Colorado budget passed this year with a notable vote of 64-1 in the House and 30-5 vote in the Senate. Ninety-nine percent of the bills passed out of the Republican-controlled House were passed with bipartisan support. Less than 1 percent passed on party lines and the majority were introduced by the Republican-controlled House. Because people have strong opinions, opposition to certain issues will certainly exist. Know that the interests of our district will be my priority.
I am very proud to be endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business which represents over 250,000 small businesses nationwide, 6,000 in Colorado. I also have the endorsement of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. The biggest concern I hear from business is mounting regulations. At the state level, we can pass legislation to adjust state-imposed regulation. We can repeal bills that were passed that harm business. We can lower fees and taxes to bring business into our state from more business-friendly states. Lowering taxes will also encourage growth of existing Colorado businesses. Regarding federal regulations we can pass resolutions of concern/protest but to reduce them we must have business advocates in the U.S. Congress.