David has a record of fighting for equality of opportunity…
David has been fortunate to have had a tremendous impact on better policy, nonprofit work, our military, and his community. He already has a track record of delivering results and is ready to take that record to the Colorado House of Representatives.
David has never stopped serving his community or country. Below you will find overviews of the bills he has worked on as an advocate at the Capitol.
HB17-1004: COLLEGE CREDIT FOR MILITARY EDUCATION AND TRAINING
This bill mandated that Colorado Public Higher Education Institutions grant meaningful credit for demonstrated learning derived from military education and training. Service members now receive 20-30 hours of meaningful credit toward a degree instead of 3 hours of meaningless elective credit like Physical Education.
HB17-1346: LAND SALE TO FT LOGAN CEMETERY
Approved the sale of 15 acres of land by the state of Colorado to the US Dept of Veteran Affairs to expand the life of Ft Logan National Cemetery.
SB17-207: STRENGTHEN COLORADO BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CRISIS SYSTEM
Clarified the role of behavioral/mental health crisis response system. Helped end the use of jails and correctional facilities for individuals placed on emergency mental health holds if not charged with a crime.
SB17-245: TENANCIES ONE MONTH TO ONE YEAR NOTICE
Increased notices for termination of tenancies of one to six months from seven days to 21 days.
HB18-1060: INCOME TAX DEDUCTION FOR MILITARY RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Average retirement age for service members that endure multiple combat deployments, training, and years away from loved ones is 42. Service members continue onto a new career once they retire from the military. In order to attract that skilled and disciplined workforce to Colorado and also to have access to alternate sources of revenue to include but not limited to: income taxes on new career, property taxes, tax on partner’s income, and the GI Bill (which accounts for $11 billion nation wide according to a 2018 VA report).
The bill allows an individual who is under 55 years of age and whose military retirement benefits are less than $40,000 to claim a deduction retirement benefits or $10,000, whichever is less. (for 2021 and 2022).
David understands the budget process in Colorado having influenced it firsthand. In the 2017 legislative session he helped secure:
$450,000 for peer mentor liaisons and peer mentors for Veteran’s Treatment Courts
$15.3 million in housing for those that suffer from substance abuse issues
$300,000 additional funding for County Veteran Service Officers
David has taken his advocacy not just to the Capitol, but directly to the people of Colorado.
In 2016 he worked diligently on Amendment 72 which would have raised taxes on tobacco products to help:
To prevent youth from smoking
Fund veteran health and wellness programs
Fund health research in Colorado
Fund mental health programs
Fund smoking cessation programs for youth and adults
Big tobacco spent $17 million against Amendment 72 compared to $2 million from grassroots organizers. The initiative was lost by 7 points, but David gained the experience of seeing how big money can interfere with smart policy.
In 2018, David helped pass Proposition 111 which placed tighter limits on the payday loan industry by reducing annual interest rates to 36% and eliminating all other finance charges and fees associated with payday lending.
David has been an active member of the nonprofit and charitable community, with a particular emphasis on veterans programs and adaptive sports. Below you’ll find an overview of his nonprofit leadership.
VFW POST 1 – PROGRAM DIRECTOR AND SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
VFW Post 1 is the FIRST POST founded in the basement of the Colorado State Capitol in 1899. Located in the Santa Fe Art District, we shifted focus from a bar model to a Veteran Service Organization that is program focused. Our most successful program is the Veteran Arts Council, which allows veteran artists to sell their work. Last year our artists sold over $30,000 worth of their artwork. David launched a new and successful program in 2018, Veteran Legislative Advocacy Group. VFW Post 1 has set legislative priorities that solve problems, hosted legislative forums attended by federal and state legislators, and working with community partners to promote the strengths of and solve systemic problem in the veteran community. We also have amazing community partnerships around health and wellness which include: Come Back Yoga, Healing Warriors, and Native Wellness.
PARALYZED VETERANS OF AMERICA – FIELD ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBER
As a member of PVA’s FAC, David as part of a team of doctors, nurses, and architects will inspect Spinal Cord Injury Units at VA’s across the country in order to support VA’s that are implementing best practices and make recommendations when there are deficiencies. The PVA FAC works constructively in partnership with VA staff in order to improve and maintain the highest standard of care for those suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries/Illnesses.
ADAPTIVE ADVENTURES – BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEMBER
Founded in 1999 by two individuals living with a disability, Adaptive Adventures is an adaptive sports program whose mission is to provide progressive outdoor sports opportunities to improve quality of life for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities and their families. As the highest leadership body of the organization and to satisfy its fiduciary responsibilities, the board is responsible for mission, vision, strategic and organizational challenges, fundraising, and resource development.