Democrat David Ortiz is running to represent Colorado’s 38th house district, which encompasses parts of Littleton and the south Denver metro area. Ortiz faces Republican incumbent Rep. Richard Champion in the race. According to one legislative ranking group, the district leans Democratic in the 2020 election.
What motivates you to run for office?
The short answer is to empower others the way others have empowered me. Whether that’s through the example of their life like my grandfather who was an infantryman in WWII, my dad who was an Air Force Academy grad of ‘79, or my mother who migrated from Mexico when she was only 15 years old. It was those values around tenacity, selfless service, and the importance of the community that are the core of my values. What motivates me is my calculus teacher who taught me how to tie my first tie because my father was away at training and my English teacher that made me stay after school when she realized I didn’t know what a thesis sentence was. You better believe we have Mr. Kennedys and Mrs. Huttons out there going the extra mile for our kids. Resettling evacuees after Hurricane Katrina, the work I did at the Mayor’s Office for the City of Houston creating educational and economic exchanges, and the amazing brothers and sisters that I served with in our Armed Forces motivate me to run for office. It’s advocating and lobbying for my brother and sister veterans at our State Capitol. It’s the families, neighbors, and kids of House District 38 helping me fundraise, writing postcards, dropping off literature, texting, and calling voters. It is that call to serve, giving to and empowering a community and nation that has given me and my family so much. That is what motivates me to run for office.
What experience do you have that makes you qualified for the job?
I am a lifelong public servant. Resettling evacuees after Hurricane Katrina taught me that systematic changes and policy solutions are just as critical to impacting people’s lives as much or more than the temporary aid provided during a disaster. Working for the Mayor’s Office for the City of Houston creating economic and educational exchanges taught me how all levels of government can support our communities. Serving as a combat aviator taught me determination, sacrifice, and how to give back to my American family and my country. Surviving a catastrophic crash that left me paralyzed from the waist down taught me the healing power of community and the importance of access to quality and affordable healthcare. Advocating for veterans at the State Capitol taught me the power of listening and building cooperative coalitions. All of these experiences have taught me how important it is that we have competent leaders at every level of government. I am ready for the humbling responsibility and privilege of representing the people of House District 38.
What are your top three policy issues, and how would you address those issues if elected?
First, we have to deal with the current pandemic and resultant economic recession this has caused. We must carry our small businesses, working families, and entrepreneurs through this challenging time and facilitate a robust and speedy recovery after we are able to secure a vaccine and better treatments. The top three for me are making healthcare more affordable and accessible, fully funding and supporting our public education system, and combating climate change.
What key issues set you apart from your opponent? Where do you most closely align?
My entire life has been dedicated to the service of others. My belief is that as a patriot, public servant, and American it is my duty and personal responsibility to leave my country and my community better off than how I found it. It’s not just about me and what I can do for myself, it’s about us. I believe that we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I believe that through good governance we can create greater equity in opportunities for all regardless of socioeconomic level or what zip code you come from. Programs like that have trained and armed one of the most powerful militaries in the world. Programs like that helped me survive a catastrophic crash and empowered me to rebuild my life as a paraplegic that resulted from that service. Through good governance, you can make healthcare more affordable and attainable. Through good governance, we can protect our state, city, and national parks so we can enjoy the beauty of this state and nation for generations. Through good governance, you can support and create greater opportunities for working families, entrepreneurs, and small business owners.
If you could snap your fingers and make one law in Colorado, what would it be?
I would create a piece of legislation that makes the healthcare industry (hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmaceuticals) more transparent, would increase choices and competition, and would create a private option that competes with private insurance.
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