City or town of residence: Roxborough
Profession: Strategy consultant
Campaign website: www.peterson4colorado.com
What makes you the best choice for this office?
Partisan extremism has broken our political system. Neither of my opponents will turn the temperature down on our politics, because the parties that control them benefit from division and drama. I can transform politics in the Colorado Senate by winning a seat as an independent in this narrowly-divided chamber. My win would deny both sides majority status. Using this leverage, I will promote compromise, which is an essential ingredient to solving real problems.
What can the Legislature do to ease the strain of rising housing prices on Colorado residents?
The Legislature cannot overpower the market forces that contribute to the house price challenge; it should instead ensure that parties to the process of development bear the full cost of their actions and decisions. Growth is a good thing, but the companies and developers that benefit from our population boom should pay their fair share to improve our state infrastructure, including our housing supply. This will not solve the problem entirely, but it will help.
What can be done to ensure the state's transportation system will be able to accommodate continued population growth?
In the near term, roads are our main transportation system, so more money should be allocated to this essential government function, even if that means cutting cost from other areas of the state budget. Longer term — 10-20 years out — we should invest in mass transportation solutions when and where they are economically viable.
What two issues demand more attention in the upcoming Legislative session than they received in the previous one, and why?
Gerrymandering — if amendments Y and Z (redistricting committees) fail, we must demand fair district legislation that creates competition toward the center of our politics. Special-interest influence: Both major parties are controlled by special interests. This is the root cause of many of Colorado's biggest political challenges. We need laws that make it harder for special interests to control our legislators and we must demand more transparency about special interest money influencing our politicians.
If elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?
My term would be a success if I get Democrats and Republicans to work together again in the state Senate, broker a deal to fix our roads without raising taxes and, improve teacher evaluations and pay the best teachers substantially more.
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