By José A. Morales
As November 6th rapidly approaches, many Coloradoans are feeling the pressure to vote in this midterm election. National polls have shown that the 2018 midterms may see a surge in voters, specifically in young voters. As students of Front Range Community College, it falls on our shoulders to ensure we do our democratic duty and vote this November 6th. While there are a formidable amount of amendments and propositions on the ballot, one of the most important items we will be voting for is the governor of Colorado. While there are four candidates, the great majority of the attention, and debates, have centered around Democratic candidate Jared Polis and Republican candidate Walker Stapleton. In order to make an educated decision we should examine their policies in three critical areas that affect us as students in Larimer county: education, healthcare, and civil rights.
Education When it comes to education, both candidates favor pay raises for teachers and extra funding for schools. Polis believes in supporting funding for full day pre-school and kindergarten while wanting to “re-design and rebuild” college curricula in order to prepare for real life-scenarios in today’s economy. Stapleton would prefer school administrations to take a funding cut, pay teachers more, and favors school choice through charter schools; he also supports a sales “tax holiday” for back to school shopping, which would make purchases of school supplies tax free.
"It will bankrupt Colorado and drive families and businesses out of our state"
Healthcare The candidates’ healthcare policies are a bit more divided. Walker Stapleton has famously voted to repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act), colloquially known as Obamacare. He also voted recently on tax cuts to wealthier constituents and corporations while voting for decreases in Medicare’s funding. From his website: “A government-run, single-payer health care program will result in higher taxes and less choices. It will bankrupt Colorado and drive families and businesses out of our state”
Conversely, Jared Polis is a firm believer of healthcare as a right, and has voted to keep the ACA and to funnel more money into Medicare by pursuing partnerships with nearby states. His mission statement reads: “I will build upon Gov. Hickenlooper’s work in advocating for comprehensive health care solutions at the regional and federal level and will fight for Medicare for All as the best solution to our rising health care costs.” This puts him in line with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who has been a champion of “Medicare for All” as a political statement.
“We cannot simply write President Trump’s vile immigration policies into law.”
Walker Stapleton has not made any sort of defining statement when it comes to his political stance concerning civil rights in Colorado. He does, however, support the “Muslim Ban,” and has stated that, while Roe vs Wade is “the law of the land,” he himself identifies as “pro-life.” When it comes to President Trump, somewhat ambiguously, Stapleton has vowed to hold his ground against him. Walker has stated, "I would support the president and the administration when they are advocating policies that would benefit Coloradoans... but when that’s not the case, I will stand up to the administration.”
Jared Polis, in contrast, is openly gay and favors same sex marriage in all states; he is also pro-choice. Polis believes that people who enter the country illegally, and are arrested for crimes, should be deported. He is also staunchly anti-Trump when it comes to immigration policies, according to his press release: “We cannot simply write President Trump’s vile immigration policies into law.”