The number one job for Colorado's next Governor will be job creation and economic recovery. No doubt about it. The global economic recession has taken a terrible toll. We've lost too many jobs.
Amendments 60, 61, 101
Agriculture is a key industry for the future of Colorado. We will work to create new business opportunities for Colorado's farmers and ranchers, spur innovation and make our rural communities a great place to live and prosper. Strong rural communities, with schools, hospitals, restaurants, and businesses help create a sustainable long-term local economy that can attract a younger generation to continue the proud tradition of farming and ranching in Colorado.
Arts and Creative Enterprises
Hickenlooper for Colorado Values: Arts and creative enterprises are a clean and vital sector of Colorado's economy, providing jobs and enhancing our quality of life. The arts are an integral part of good economic development, workforce development and education in Colorado. We will broaden arts and creative enterprise opportunities throughout the State and make Colorado known as a home for creative entrepreneurs.
Conserving What is Special About Colorado: Our Land, Our Forests and Our Quality of Life.
Education needs to be about what is best for our kids and that means raising the level of their achievement in knowledge and skills necessary to be successful adults. We must continue our investment in building a 21st Century education system in Colorado. Without a strong education system, job creation and economic development cannot be sustained. Making Colorado synonymous with innovation has to include supporting great teachers, and engaging parents and local communities as partners to improve our schools.
Promoting Colorado's Energy Diversity in a Responsible, Sustainable Way.
As both a consumer and major producer of energy, Colorado is uniquely situated to develop an energy policy that will become a model for the country. Colorado's strengths are our great natural resources (wind, solar, gas, coal), combined with world class research institutions, such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and a business friendly environment. John's background as an entrepreneur and exploration geologist will help to foster the collaboration between our knowledge capital, entrepreneurial spirit and our abundant resource base to solidify our place as a world-class energy center.
Our Energy Policy incorporates the related goals and requirements of the State's environmental issues, its economic development and the cost to all consumers. It recognizes that energy production requires a viable water supply, which must be carefully utilized, and that energy demand must be reduced through conservation and increased efficiency.
Frances Wright: "Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it."
The goal of health care policy is to ensure access to health care, while reducing costs, and without sacrificing quality or patient safety. We have a unique opportunity to become a healthier state while at the same time reducing costs and increasing job opportunities. The explosive increases in medical costs have put a strain on Colorado families, businesses and the state budget. In 2008, health insurance premiums represented nearly 22 percent of median family income. In the past decade, costs grew at twice the rate of the average increase in wages; at this rate, the cost of family insurance will reach $27,000 or more in the next decade. This restrains job growth, reduces the discretionary incomes of our families and makes it increasingly challenging for our state to adequately fund other critical services. It also means that hundreds of thousands of Colorado families and children are unable to afford basic health services.
Visionary leadership to ensure the safety of our children and adults, and access to a safety net for all of Colorado.
Technology holds many promises of productivity that will advance Colorado’s economic recovery and provide us with a competitive edge for future growth. Where technology improves productivity, we can also do more to educate our kids, provide better health care, improve efficiency in services, and attract, retain and support businesses; all of which directly benefits the citizens of Colorado.
Non-Profits and Philanthropy
Nonprofit, faith-based and philanthropic sectors are an important component of a strong Colorado.
Public Safety and Crime
Public safety is a priority for every Coloradan. We can be tough on crime while also smart about spending taxpayer money. And we should expect results.
Seniors and Aging
Hickenlooper for Colorado Values: Visionary leadership to ensure that all Coloradans have the opportunity to age well, with dignity, and where supportive services are based on choice, individual preference, and the least restrictive environment, and where quality of life is optimized in all public policies.
Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Throughout my career on both sides of Colorado's great Continental Divide, I have been witness to and understand that open lands in our state are what make Colorado so spectacular, and are a large reason so many of us choose to live and visit the state.
As the chair of the transportation committee for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I know that our challenge will be to improve Colorado's transportation system to move people and goods more efficiently and safely. We recognize that land use and transportation are closely linked and like so many other competing priorities for scarce taxpayer dollars, we will need to work in ways that promote regional collaboration, innovation and efficiency.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the veterans who have honorably served us. We will fight to ensure they have the benefits promised to them when they first agreed to defend this country. We will focus on meeting the needs of Colorado's veterans, ending veteran homelessness, and preparing the National Guard to meet State emergencies.
Collaboration, Conservation and Capacity for the Future.
Water is central to the health of our economy, our environment, and our future. The way we use and manage our water remains one of the biggest challenges facing our state. The basic facts of water supply and demand are sobering. When it comes to water and our economy, we are one great state, not a loose confederation of regions. Across all issues, from water to jobs, a Governor has to be sensitive to the needs of each basin community. Colorado's governor has a special responsibility to see that the whole state benefits from our wise use of water resources.
Addressing Colorado's water issues will require innovative thinking and strong leadership. We need to understand that water is critically important to every part of the state. We must continue to develop processes that allow resolution of the many conflicts over water that exist across the state, bringing individuals, communities, businesses, organizations together to work out comprehensive solutions.