on October 21, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Q&A with Rachel Zenzinger: Democrat, State Senate District 19

Q&A with Rachel Zenzinger: Democrat, State Senate District 19

About Zenzinger: A former Arvada city council member, Zenzinger was appointed to the SD-19 chair in 2013. She served in the state Senate until defeated in the 2014 election by Laura Woods. Zenzinger has a background in education and community service, including volunteering on several boards and commissions, including the Arvada Community Food Bank, the Ralston House and the Arvada Arts Council. She has taught at the secondary and college level. She has a master’s in adult education.More information: [email protected]; www.RachelforColorado.comWhy should voters choose you for this office?In my previous experience as a member of the Colorado Senate, all eight of the bills that I carried/sponsored that got enacted into law received bipartisan support. I have proven repeatedly during my time on the Arvada City Council and in the Senate that I have collaborative abilities and I am able to represent the main sentiments and preferences of this community.Describe an accomplishment that best illustrates your effectiveness as a leader.The most recent example of most significant impact was the announcement (as reported in the media) that one of my bills, the Colorado School Counselor Corps grant program, helped keep almost 1,000 at-risk students in school and send more of them to college. The program allowed schools to lower their student-to-counselor ratio, the dropout rate decreased, and by keeping kids from dropping out, the program saved taxpayers more than $ 319 million.How can the two major parties better work together to ensure progress at the Capitol?The newly elected officials have to demonstrate immediate willingness to put aside whatever obligations they feel toward their respective parties, and just consider the best interests of ALL constituents and Colorado residents. This collaborative ability has been a hallmark of my political career.What can be done to ensure the metro area’s transportation system is able to keep up with the growing population?While the metro area probably has the most immediate transportation needs (due to population and heavy usage), we need to make sure that we consider the needs of the entire state as we allocate our limited financial resources. And we need to find creative ways to increase those resources. I am willing to look at public-private partnerships, tolls and even vehicle-miles-traveled fees.What issue deserves more attention during the 2017 session than it saw in 2016?I would like to see the legislature find a way to agree on the re-categorization of the hospital provider fee, so that the state could put those funds toward transportation and education needs. We also need to remain aggressive in our efforts to address the public schools’ “negative factor” and make sure that we provide quality education for all our children, regardless of zip code.

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