You’re about 40 years old. You and your spouse make close to $55,000 a year. About half of you are white, but the rest of you are either black, Latino or Asian. And you’re worried about how you’re going to hold onto what you’ve got.
As part of the shrinking middle class in Aurora, and the nation, both candidates for the 6th Congressional District would pretty much have your back on economics if you send them to Washington. But only one of the candidates would vote on most issues the same way you would, and that’s Andrew Romanoff.
Aurora has changed. Twenty-five years ago, the city stood firm behind conservative Sen. Bill Armstrong. Much of the town had some connection to the military. And most of Aurora had to drive somewhere else for work.
Now Aurora is bigger, younger, better educated, a little wealthier, and far more culturally and ethnically diverse. Every state legislator in the city is a Democrat. Aurora elected Barack Obama president. Twice. Aurora overwhelmingly agreed to end marijuana prohibition. Like most of the new West, Aurora is socially progressive leaning fiscally conservative.
When Coffman first went to Congress to represent a very different district, drawn farther south as a conservative stronghold, his votes, rhetoric and opinions played well to those constituents. But they’re gone. He cannot dismiss the fact that he once railed against any form of a path-to-citizenship as part of immigration reform. And although he has softened his stance, it’s aligned with where the GOP now stands on that issue. That’s not where the district stands. He cannot hide from the fact that he has been a strong ally of the anti-abortion movement, once supported so-called “personhood” measures, and has voted as a member of Congress for measures that pro-choice proponents find dangerous to women’s constitutional right to medical privacy. Coffman has repeatedly made it clear he supported the so-called “Hobby Lobby” Supreme Court decision, allowing employers to impose their religious convictions on employee health-care plans. Coffman cannot hide from statements and votes supporting an effort to deny dignity to gay members of the military who asked only to be open about their sexual orientation as they proudly served. Likewise, he has repeatedly supported the notion of marriage being a right exclusive to heterosexuals, denying dignity and the constitutional rights of gay Americans to marry whom they choose.
During the past year, Coffman has worked hard to deflect attention from those issues, saying much of these are state matters, even though they regularly take up time and votes in Congress. Rather than be candid about it and campaign on his conservative politics, Coffman has worked hard to camouflage it. His voting record and work in Congress are nothing to be ashamed of, especially on military matters, it just doesn’t mirror the politics of the district.
As the next Congress tries, again, to take up the matters of health care, immigration, Medicare, equal pay, federal spending, student aid, new energy development and the limitation of corporate greed and influence, Andrew Romanoff’s record and goals reflect what the district wants and needs. He offers a path forward that makes sense for all of Aurora.
No more gridlock. It’s time to send representatives to Washington who represent who we are, and what we want. The majority of Aurora voters want government out of our personal lives. We want affordable college and skills training. We want to create a path to citizenship for almost all hard-working illegal immigrants and create a system that allows others to come here for work when there are jobs and go home when there aren’t. We like the changes made to health-insurance laws, but we want more changes so the insurance is affordable. We want to know that Congress will protect everyone’s civil rights and not erode them. We want a Congress that doesn’t discriminate against anyone, or impose the religious views of some on everyone. We want Congress to quit denying the facts about global climate change and act now to deal with it.
Romanoff is a forthright leader who wants what his district wants, and we need to send him to Congress to make it happen.