Reflecting on the past and imagining the future

Dan Pabon, State Representative

North and West Denver Friends and Neighbors:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Representative in our State Capitol for the past six years. Together, we have worked to make our community a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.

I want to address the extremely poor decision that resulted in my pleading guilty to driving under the influence. I’m sorry for what I did and what I said that night. I know there is no excuse for the poor judgment that created this situation. I’ve spent many hours reflecting on that evening.  After having gone through counseling and therapy, I have a much better understanding of how driving under the influence affects every single one of us. If you’d like to hear more about this, please go to: www.pabonforcolorado.com/apology.

This experience has caused me to reflect on my desire and ability to serve our community. My commitment to serve our community at the State Capitol remains as steadfast as ever. I remain committed to increasing the minimum wage, protecting women’s health care decisions, providing affordable housing, and good school options. My desire coupled with my six years of success as a State Representative passing significant pieces of legislation – Keep Jobs in Colorado Act, all-mail voting, and the WORK Act – gives our district significant momentum.

As a dad of young kids, I’ve got a stake in the success of Denver’s public schools. After Amendment 64 passed, Denver voters were promised that $ 40 million of taxes would go to our schools. Yet DPS hasn’t received a dime since legalized marijuana passed in 2012. I’m working to ensure the 40% of kids who don’t have access to a technology learning devices, get one, paid for courtesy of marijuana tax money.

Along with great schools, we must continue working to keep our community affordable. Good schools can’t exist without good neighborhoods. Our community is experiencing some of the greatest housing demand in the state, which is affecting the character of our neighborhoods.  Those of us who have lived here our entire lives know the specialness of our community, and many of our friends and neighbors who have lived here for most of their lives, are being forced out. Rents are skyrocketing and those forced to buy, can’t. As a result, many homes that have been lived in for generations are scraped and replaced with large box-topped structures. New replacement housing is priced upwards of a half million or more, meaning that middle-class families in our neighborhood are being priced out. Increasing our minimum wage and investing in affordable housing projects are two of the many ways we can address our housing issues. If wages increase, more folks can afford to live here. If there is housing stock that remains available at an affordable price, that will also help. 

Finally, strolling down our sidewalks or taking a walk through our local park should be a regular, uneventful occurrence. But I have seen more injuries suffered at the hands of our dilapidated sidewalks and have seen neighbors choose the unsafe street over the sidewalk because a stroller or walker or jogger could suffer a much worse fate. Likewise, our parkland is starting to become crowded with the number of new folks here. We need to expand our parks and recreation access to keep up with our growth.

I hope I have the opportunity to continue to serve you as your State Representative. If you have any other ideas or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 303.378.8658 or pabonforcolorado@gmail.com.

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