Arn Menconi says he isn’t a conventional politician and has experience getting bold ideas passed
DILLON — Arn Menconi is running for Colorado Senate in District 8 for the Democratic Party. Menconi leans on his experience serving as an Eagle County commissioner from 2001-2009 and as the founder of SOS Outreach, a youth development nonprofit for underserved children.
And he advocates for a residential wealth tax to address the current economic downturn.
“If elected, my goal is to try to fight for a wealth tax because my experience in five recessions is that government always is forced into austerity, and austerity means it will take three to five times longer to recover for working families and people. So, we are watching at the state Capitol right now a discussion of how to handle $3 billion in cuts, and we have to find a wealth tax,” Menconi said.
Menconi said there should be a residential real estate wealth tax over $5 million. He predicted that there would be three to four years of tax decline as part of the current recession. Menconi said legislation needs to be created that “makes things more equitable for all people.”
Discussing the High Country economy, Menconi noted that we don’t know whether the ski resorts will reopen or how they will reopen in winter.
“I was there in the early days when people were trying to figure out how to generate summer economies,” Menconi said. “What are we going to do to attract more people to our summer events? And I was building economic development organizations and trying to create different types of events that appealed to more people. … You’ve got to work with all of the different partners in order to reinvent what the new economy is going to be.”
Another one of Menconi’s top priorities is mitigating climate change. He questioned how the changing climate would affect the High Country as winters shorten. He said Colorado would need to turn from oil and gas to renewable energy and to re-engineer the type of economies within the state.
“When I got into this race, I wanted to fight for solutions to stop climate change for children and … I wanted to try to fight for affordable health care,” Menconi said. “Those are still priorities, but now, since I jumped into the race on March 1, we have a public health crisis, an economic crisis, one of federalism and transitioning over into a new climate economy, a Green New Deal economy.”
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Menconi said his life’s work has been in social justice and that he is motivated by his children, who he says are growing up with the story that they will not have an environment and that there is massive racism and police brutality as well as a depression going on. Menconi said he wants to work on a just transition. He praised Senate Bill 217, which addresses police accountability, but he said it should go further as independent prosecutors are also necessary.
He said that while there is a trifecta in state leadership with a Democratic-led Senate and House as well as governor, there has not been real change that progressives and Democrats have expected to see in the past two years.
Menconi said he has experience and results in getting bold ideas passed and hopes to get elected to move these ideas faster.
“I’m not a conventional politician, and these aren’t conventional times,” Menconi said.
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