Since moving to Manitou Springs 25 years ago, Marc has been active in the community all over the Pikes Peak region. Over the past two decades, he has served as a leader and a member of more than a dozen county and regional entities working to improve:
- Local Transportation
- Public Health,
- Economic and Small Business Development,
- Urban Renewal
- Restorative Justice and
- Military Care
Throughout his tenure as a public servant, Marc has a strong history of working across the aisle to get things done. In the current political climate, we need someone with the experience to build coalitions and reach compromises in order to achieve the best possible outcome for all Coloradans.
While serving on the Pikes Peak Council of City Government’s, Marc was the ONLY democrat on the council. Not only did he work cooperatively with all council members- regardless of party affiliation- he was elected Council Chair by his peers in 2015.
So, he not only worked well with those across the aisle- he actually got them to vote him into leadership!
Our current administration is dead-set on rolling back environmental protections and denying the dangers of climate change. However, the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire and the resulting flash flooding are clear examples of how vulnerable we are to the effects of climate change.
Marc understands that Colorado’s land, water and air are our most important assets. Protecting our environment is essential for maintaining our quality of life and for supporting our thriving tourism industry. Furthermore, Colorado is a leader in all forms of energy production and we must continue to lead the nation in building the new energy economy. Every homeowner and business in Colorado should be able to purchase 100% of their energy from clean, renewable sources.
It is our moral responsibility to leave a clean and healthy environment for future generations.
By many measures, Colorado has the strongest and fastest growing economy of any state in the country, yet we are falling further and further behind in funding for education. Approximately one-half of the K-12 school districts in our state have been forced into four-day school weeks; Funding for higher education has been cut by 50% over the last 20 years; and Less than a third of Colorado high school graduates go on to earn 4 year college degrees.
The best thing the state legislature can do for public education is to address the continuous problems with funding. Educators are often burdened with using personal funds for classroom needs, and lack the resources to have sufficient time to plan, develop, and implement strategies to close achievement gaps for all students.
As a legislator I will advocate to re-focus the State budget on funding all levels of education, as well as a re-investment in vocational and apprenticeship training programs that will give young people the skills needed for the jobs of today and in the future. These programs should be available to high school upperclassmen and continue through community colleges and other higher education institutions.
Similarly, our thriving economy has not produced additional funding for transportation and infrastructure. Despite recent modest funding increases, the backlog of needed transportation and infrastructure improvements continues to grow. This backlog is currently estimated to be $ 9 billion.
Referendum C has allowed the state to retain and spend over $18.8 billion since the 2005-2006 fiscal year. Yet less than .5% of these Referendum C funds- a paltry $49 million- has been appropriated by the legislature for transportation and infrastructure projects.
As Mayor of Manitou Springs, I participated in the approval of approximately 1.5 billion dollars in public budgets, and was instrumental in increasing city reserve funds from $112,000 to around $1.9 million.
As a result, I have extensive experience in working to direct public funds to where they are needed most. As with education funding, I will fight to prioritize transportation and infrastructure in the state budget.
Economic and Small Business Development
Our community’s economy is built around small businesses. State and local leaders have focused their efforts on attracting huge companies like MCI, Intel and Amazon to Colorado by offering massive tax breaks and reduced water fees as incentives. However, these companies rarely stick around and add nothing to our economic sustainability.
We must focus our economic development efforts on assisting our small businesses by reducing regulatory hurdles and make access to capital easier and more affordable.
We can and must create a sustainable local economy where every working family can thrive.
We should all be proud that Colorado continues to lead the nation in addressing the health care crisis. We expanded Medicaid before the adoption of the ACA and created an exchange that serves as a model for other states. Over 94% of Coloradans have health insurance today, yet heath care and insurance costs continue to skyrocket with seemingly no end in sight.
We need a Colorado public option for health care needs now. A public option is the only way to insert competition into the marketplace and force private providers and insurers into competitive business practice.
All Coloradans should be able to purchase coverage through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) or one of the private plans offered to state employees. Only by increasing the pool of insured can we achieve the economy of scale necessary to drive down costs.