We need a public bank in Colorado.
A public bank is not a new idea. Ben Franklin worked to create the first public bank in North America in 1729. North Dakota has had one for 95 years. Recently the Michigan legislature voted to create a public bank.
The mission of a public bank is to serve the public versus paying private investors like Wall Street banks do.
The State Treasurer typically deposits billions of dollars of our tax and fee money in multinational banks, which pay a small return on our investment, usually about 1.3%. In turn, these banks loan money to those outside the state and the U.S.
With a public bank, we would put that money to work for the people of Colorado. It would be a mechanism to help our communities, not add to the wealth of corporations.
A public bank would not compete with local banks. It could partner with local banks to make loans more affordable for small businesses and students, be a mechanism to fund infrastructure investments at lower rates, and allow our marijuana industry to have a place to bank.
Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) Needs to be solvent
From 2000 to today, PERA went from being fully funded to a $32-billion deficit.
Currently, three-fourths or 75% of the PERA Board are plan members who are beneficiaries. I have done research that shows the best-performing retirement plan boards have fewer plan beneficiaries and more members with backgrounds in finance and economics.
We have delayed teacher pay raises in exchange for retirement benefits. We need to deliver on the benefits promised teachers and other State employees, but also work to raise teacher pay to match neighboring states like Wyoming. In Wyoming, the average starting teacher's salary is $11,000 higher than here in Colorado.
We must ensure that any changes to the Board are not political. I would not want to leave it up to a Republican Governor to appoint new Board members. New Board members can be chosen from a list of county treasurers and city auditors.
The Board needs guidance from a savvy and involved Treasurer with a mission to manage funds better; keep a healthy, growing balance; and manage our money with an eye to keeping a commitment to PERA plan members.
Health Care for All
I know what it’s like to go without health insurance. It is no small thing.
Our for-profit health care system costs more than those in every developed country in the world and has worse outcomes. We have lower life expectancies and higher infant and maternal mortalities.
In 2016, we spent $3.3 trillion, $10,348 per person, on health care; and health care spending accounted for 18% of our gross domestic product (GDP) – more than anywhere else in the developed world -- and our health care system still does not cover everyone.
We can do better than allowing a health care system to rob families with huge premiums, surprise medical bills, and the threat of bankruptcy. About 60% of all bankruptcies are due to high medical bills.
I believe that a just and decent society should provide health care for everyone
I believe in putting my efforts where my heart is. I was a supporter of ColoradoCare (universal health care) during the last election cycle in Colorado.
Qualified, Experienced, Independent
I have a background in finance and economics, including an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate degree from MIT in management and finance. I have been a Chief Financial Officer, worked in corporate finance, and managed my own business in Denver.
This is my first run for public office, but I am not just running for any office just for the sake of holding office. I am running for the office where I can bring my expertise to bear in serving the public and helping to make Colorado’s economy strong and vibrant. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to fix your teeth, so why hire someone for a finance job who has no experience in finance and economics?
I do not take contributions from corporate or special interest PACs, so you can be sure I will work on behalf of the people of Colorado and not for corporations or special interest groups. We need a consumer advocate who can call out government agencies when they are wasting our money and advise Coloradans on the financial sustainability of statewide ballot initiatives. As an establishment outsider, I am well positioned to do that.
Most of our state’s money is currently invested in large Wall Street banks, mostly Wells Fargo. I don’t take money from the interests that want our state to use a company that finances undesirable and environmentally disruptive projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline, creates fraudulent accounts, and most recently had it’s credit downgraded. I will divest our money from Wells Fargo and other big Wall Street entities.
I have the best chance of winning against the Republicans. All of the Republican primary candidates have experience in business, finance, or both. The Democratic candidate should, too, if we expect to win in November. Plus, my experience owning a small business and living without health insurance gives me a much better chance of connecting with unaffiliated voters, and not being an insider will resonate with people who are disappointed in the status quo - as they should be.