Donovan: Bringing a spirit of service to the Senate (column) | VailDaily.com

Donovan: Bringing a spirit of service to the Senate (column)

Kerry Donovan
Valley Voices

Editor's note: Per the Vail Daily's election guidelines, each candidate running to represent constituents in the newspaper's distribution area has been given the option to submit one column to present his or her election platform.

My grandfather was career Army. He trained at Camp Hale near Leadville, fought in World War II and returned to Colorado to work on the Wilderness Act. He taught me that freedom is worth fighting for, that justice should be afforded to everyone, that it's a patriotic duty to stand up for what you think is right and that our natural world needs protecting.

When I wasn't trying to keep up with my grandfather, I saw my parents selflessly serve their community and work tirelessly to start a business to support my brothers and me. I have an incredible family who taught me to pay it forward through public service. It was remarkable to watch them shape our community's future from our dining room table.

This spirit of service is the reason I originally ran to represent you in the state Senate. Serving this state that I love, and representing communities across the district that each are distinctively great, has been the honor of my lifetime and I hope to earn your support to serve you again.

From celebrating Public Lands Day in Poncha Springs, to touring West Elk Mine and from skijoring in Leadville to meeting with students at Western Colorado University — the past four years are studded with memories I will cherish.

I've been proud to give a commencement speech to my former students in Vail and to plant trees on Slumgullion Pass above Lake City. And I've helped register voters at Aspen's Farmer's Market and heard concerns about stagnant wages from our brothers and sisters in labor in Buena Vista. These experiences have proven to me that we are better together and have much more in common than political rhetoric would have us believe.

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My first week on the job, I got a call from a woman who was dying. Paperwork and county boundaries were preventing her from returning home to pass away. The office stopped everything we were doing and started sending emails and making phones calls. Within 24 hours, we had her headed home.

The thought that laws in our state can turn someone's dying days into a bureaucratic nightmare is unacceptable to me, and I believe it's unacceptable to the vast majority of Coloradans, no matter their party affiliation or political leanings. This is the type of work that I strive to do in service of the people of Senate District 5.

But not all days are filled with victories. What motivates me to knock on one more door or make one more call are the challenges and problems we haven't solved. We still have so much to do and so many shared values to protect and defend.

I'll continue to defend our public lands and make sure they aren't sold off to the deep pockets of special interests. I will not rest until Coloradans are able to afford health care without it straining their budget, and we need to support our teachers and invest in our kids while working to deploy economy-boosting resources for rural Colorado, such as broadband and infrastructure projects.

I humbly ask for your vote this fall as we work together on the future of our state and our communities. Your vote matters. I will work hard to elevate your voice, and together, we will protect the Colorado we love and build a future we can all believe in.

Democrat Kerry Donovan is a candidate for Colorado Senate District 5. Learn more at https://www.donovanforsd5.com.