Opinion | Arn Menconi: Let’s get back to equality and justice for all | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Arn Menconi: Let’s get back to equality and justice for all

Arn Menconi
Colorado Senate District 8 Democratic candidate
Arn Menconi is running for a state Senate to represent Colorado's District 8.
Courtesy Arn Menconi

I’m Arn Menconi, and I’m running for Colorado Senate District 8 to represent you and your family. I was a two-term Eagle County commissioner. I was the founder and executive director of SOS Outreach, a nationally recognized youth leadership development organization, from 1993-2014. I am a father of two rockstar kids, ages 15 and 13. I earned my MBA from the University of Denver. 

Maybe you worry whether your job is secure. Maybe you’re worried about the pandemic, skyrocketing health care costs, about your kid’s education, school shootings, police brutality, climate change or Donald Trump, who makes all of these worse. Or all of the above. If so, we have a lot in common. 

I understand many of you are cynical about politicians. Rightly so. But as a progressive, I have never been a conventional politician; conventional party politicians are failing us. This is no time for business as usual. This is no time for conventional politicians. We are running out of time on a whole range of issues.

I’m tired of listening to climate deniers and delayers, and I bet you are, too. We live in the most beautiful place on Earth because it fuels us. We live here because we know how important the environment is, and we want to preserve it.

Already, I’ve won two hard-fought races for Eagle County commissioner. I have a record of passing landmark legislation for rural and resort Colorado by building and creating nearly a thousand units of affordable housing, expanding over 10,000 acres of open space, funding early child care programs and facilities, expanding mental health and addiction services, and stopping Denver from stealing our water.

Candidates and politicians have lost touch since I got elected in 2000. They don’t know how to relate to the problems of the people and translate it into getting laws passed. A lawmaker’s job is to write laws to outlaw the problems and criminals. That’s what I plan to do as a state senator.

It’s not acceptable that people feel the need to march in the streets all over the world because of injustice and modern-day lynchings. It’s not acceptable to have our children afraid to go to school, wondering if they will be gunned down. And it’s not acceptable that my daughter of 15 says she’ll never have kids because of the world she’s growing up in today.

If you are a registered Democrat or an unaffiliated voter who’s sick and tired of being sick and tired, then I would like to earn your vote. If you are someone who’s fighting for their children’s future or someone who’s lost their job, then I would like to earn your vote because we have so much in common.

Today, I live in Carbondale, but I’ve been creating programs in Summit County since the mid-1990s. SOS Outreach, formerly the Snowboard Outreach Society, has worked with families in need of after-school programs for more than 25 years. I started teaching snowboarding in 1992 and wanted to bring the mountain to the kids who couldn’t afford it. I ran snowboard competitions at Breckenridge and Keystone for years.

That same passion and commitment that drove me to start a charity for kids to get to the top of a mountain drives me today to flip Senate District 8 blue.

It’s become clear to me, and many Coloradans, that we lack leadership, and leaders speak truth to power. Leaders emerge during difficult times. This newspaper gave me 750 words to tell my story. My story is your story. I’m a fighter. I have hope. I believe in people working together for a better future for our children. 

I have a broad base of support, which is needed to win back District 8. I’m honored to be endorsed by environmental groups and local elected officials like Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence and School Board President Kate Rich Hudnut. Presidents and CEOs of the ski areas and manufactures served on the board of my charity for decades, working shoulder to shoulder with me on youth development.

If you vote for me, you will be voting for someone who never gives up and who won’t let you down. I promise. Let’s all fight the good fight, as they say, and get back to equality and justice for all. Are you with me?

Arn Menconi is a candidate for the Colorado Senate District 8 Democratic primary.

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