Ortiz racing in the annual World TEAM Adventure Challenge in Eagle, CO.

Ortiz racing in the annual World TEAM Adventure Challenge in Eagle, CO.

 

I AM, We Are…

We all have mottos or mantras that we use to guide or motivate us. One that’s always guided my life of service has been:

I am because we are, we are because I am

It recognizes how the community shapes and defines the individual, while also acknowledging how the individual shapes and defines a community. My community has shaped me into a person of gratitude and pride and, because of that, a person dedicated to service.

Running for the Colorado State House of Representatives in HD38 is another evolution of that service.

From working with evacuees escaping super storm Katrina, when our country first began to reckon with the effects of climate change, to creating economic and academic opportunities in Houston through my work at the Mayor's Office of International Affairs and Development to flying helicopters in service to this great nation in the US Army.

That service did not stop after I barely survived a helicopter crash while deployed to Afghanistan, which left me a paraplegic. I advocated and pushed for improved care for all service members suffering from a Spinal Cord Injury/illness. If I was going to go through this, I would make it better for all that came after me.

I served as legislative liaison during the 2016 and 2017 Colorado Legislative session. My work included getting a higher education bill passed that mandated public Colorado higher ed institutions grant meaningful credit toward a degree instead of a token 3 hours of a useless elective. Service members and veterans are now getting upwards of 20-30 hours of credits toward a degree of study, ensuring them better education opportunities. I also campaigned for ballot measures and assisted with the formation of legislation during the 2018 session.

I continue to serve on the Board of Directors for Adaptive Adventures making sports and outdoor activities accessible for those living with disabilities and I continue to advocate for veterans at the state and federal level through my leadership and work at VFW Post 1.

I am, We are…

Why do I want for the Colorado State House representing HD 38?

Because I love Colorado. My rehab at Craig hospital, living near the Rocky Mountains, and the adaptive sports opportunities here in our state, from downhill skiing to mountain biking and cross-country skiing, gave me my life back.

Because I am lucky to live in HD38. I love the open spaces and trails in our community. Our very own Arapahoe Community College gave me my first shot as an intern when I was reentering the workforce as a paraplegic. It was foundational in the future legislative work that I have been able to accomplish.

Because I know I can earn the support of Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans to beat Susan Beckman. Her leadership has been completely uninspiring. She has not led the charge on one creative or meaningful piece of legislation and she has stifled the voice of dissent and views that differ from her own.

Because together within the community, I will continue to build coalitions, empower HD38, and get meaningful legislation passed to solve problems and create opportunities for HD38 and all Coloradans.

I am, We are…

Thank you and I look forward to earning your vote to represent HD38.