Colorado State Senate Candidates
State Senate District 9

Gil Armendariz

Paul Lundeen

State Senate District 11

Pete Lee

  • What are your qualifications for this position?

    I have lived, worked and raised my family in this community for 43 years. During that time, I worked for a large corporation and had my own law practice in which I helped small businesses, as well as working in the criminal justice system. Also, I have served on many local non-profit boards which has provided me with practical and personal insights into the challenges facing members of our community. Most importantly, I have represented central Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs in the State Legislature for eight years. I have worked across the aisle to improve education, promote renewable energy, support business, and reform the criminal and juvenile justice systems. I have successfully sponsored over ninety bills, notably innovative bills for restorative justice (which are a model for the nation), Colorado Crowdfunding to enable entrepreneurs to obtain capital for business expansion, job training programs, and justice reinvestment.

  • What are the two most pressing issues facing your district and how will you address them?

    Issues significantly impacting Senate District 11 are inequitable economic and educational opportunities. I have been addressing these issues and will continue to do so with innovative community-based approaches. Last session, I was the prime sponsor of HB17-1326, the justice reinvestment and crime prevention initiative (www.TransformingSafety.org ). It empowers local planning teams in the southeast Colorado Springs community to determine how to allocate $2 million per year for the next three years to improve economic opportunity, develop mentoring and apprenticeship programs to keep kids in school, reduce violence, prevent crime, and improve neighborhoods. Eleven non-profit organizations evaluated and recommended by community members and groups have received $1.3 million in grants in the first round of funding

  • What should the state's budget priorities be and how will you fund those priorities?

    My budget priorities are focused on the present and the future, so my priorities are: (1) education, including early childhood programs, K-12 and higher education; (2) healthcare, and (3) investments in infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and multi-modal transportation projects. I have been a consistent advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, proposing policy changes to more effectively spend state money to obtain improved outcomes for people in the justice system. Smart and effective spending is a budget priority for all programs.

  • What is the role of the state in the provision of affordable and universally designed housing?

    The issue of affordable housing is one that will require public/private partnerships involving cooperation among state and local government and the private sector. Addressing this issue is important as housing is a bedrock need for stable and thriving communities. The solution lies in having an adequate supply of affordable and universally designed housing units, loans for mortgages, and qualified buyers. In response to developers concerns, two years ago I supported legislation to resolve construction defect litigation issues which were asserted to be discouraging multi-family housing projects. Builders and developers can be further incentivized to offer more affordable and universally designed housing by the use of tax credits. To expand availability of loan funds, the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, which provides low interest loans for affordable housing, can have their lending authority and capital reserves expanded so more purchasers can qualify for loans.

  • Are you in favor of the Colorado legislature adopting legislation that gives businesses the right to refuse service of customers when such service conflicts with the business owner’s religious beliefs?

    No. This issue was decided by the Courts and Congress with the passage and enforcement of the Civil Rights Acts. Public accommodations, including retail establishments, housing and transportation, and any business which offers goods or services to the public, must do so without discrimination based upon race, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, handicap, veteran status or other characteristics.

  • What will you do to bolster systems and increase access to essential services for traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, including public transportation, health care, and job training programs?

    Throughout my terms in the legislature, I have sponsored and supported legislation to expand services in underserved communities. HB17-1326 described in question 2 is a primary example. I have also supported proposals to expand Medicaid, which has significantly reduced our uninsured population to approximately 6%, voted to require that transportation funding includes multi modal components such as buses, rather than just highway building, and sponsored several bills to create job training, apprentice and mentoring programs to enable youth to access the skilled trades.

  • What role does a vibrant and well-funded arts and cultural sector play in the overall vitality of our local/regional economy?

    The impact of arts and culture cannot be solely measured in economic terms – they uplift the human spirit, inspire participants and attendees, and heighten our quality of life. Those benefits are too intangible to measure. Nevertheless, COPPeR’s recent economic impact study established that arts and cultural activities pumped $153 million into the Pikes Peak region last year. Spending by scores of organizations, not to mention over $100 million spent by audiences on events, adds up to a significant economic impact. And arts and culture also employs over 5000 people, while generating $15.9 million in tax revenue.

  • What, if anything, should be done to increase access to voting for all eligible voters?

    I support increased automatic voter registration such as presently implemented with the issuance of driver’s licenses. Voter registration could also occur at other places where voters interact with state agencies such as at schools, public health centers and licensed day care facilities. I oppose measures that restrict access to voting such as photo ID requirements which disenfranchise older voters and people in communities of color.

  • Contact Info

    RepPete@gmail.com wwwPeteLeeColorado.com 719 460-2834 Education: Ohio Wesleyan Univ. BA 1970, Univ. of Akron School of Law, JD 1975, Wharton School, Univ of Pa. 1970-71 Occupation: Legislator, Small business owner, lawyer

Pat McIntire

Pat McIntire chose not to participate.