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OPINION

Letter to the editor

Staff Writer
LA Junta Tribune
Carlos Lopez

I’m Carlos Lopez and I am honored to be a candidate for Colorado State Senate District #35. I was raised here in Southern Colorado and couldn’t imagine calling anywhere else home. I served on the Trinidad City Council for past four years and during that time we made some significant strides in improving the quality of life of my hometown.

I want to do that same thing for the larger region and for you. For too long those of us in Southern Colorado have been ignored at the state capitol. We are passed over by the larger metro regions.

This has to change. I have the experience and know how to work with politically diverse points of view, finding common ground and getting things done.

We need a reinvestment in the infrastructure of Southern Colorado. The most important part of our infrastructure are our citizens…you and I. We need to fight tooth and nail to make sure that Southern Colorado gets its fair share of funds and resources from the state government and that we are not left behind.

Too many of our young people are leaving their hometowns and never returning. They are forced to do this because we don’t have the educational and job opportunities here. I want to work to bring in two year trade programs to our local colleges that focus on good paying jobs. Trade programs that provide high demand skills and wages for graduates that do not leave them drowning in student debt and help the community at large with much needed skilled workers.

We must improve our rural healthcare system. Even though I was raised in Trinidad and am Southern Colorado through and through, I wasn’t born in Colorado. Why? Because Trinidad didn’t have a maternity ward. Guess what? 41 years later we still don’t and this is unacceptable. We have mothers delivering on the side of the road while in transit to hospitals 80 plus miles away. Our parents and grandparents are living out their golden years in substandard retirement housing. I’m going to fight to force the State Government to realize Colorado is more than just Denver and Boulder.

We need to explore new options and practices that will help our farmers and ranchers stay on their land for generations to come. I’m tired of hearing that the only option people have is selling their water rights and moving away. I want to work with the State and Ag departments to develop grants for farmers and ranchers to explore alternate methods for our changing environment while exploring alternate energies that can be produced on large tracts of land. We are blessed with unlimited solar and wind in our region … lets put it to use and sell the Front Range our power instead of our water.

Most importantly we have to get better broadband and internet access to our towns and communities or we won’t be able to compete. The internet is no longer a toy or a luxury but is essential to everyday life no matter where you live. The FCC is doing little to expand connectivity so it’s up to Colorado to make sure her citizens have access to this vital service, and I intend to see that rural Colorado is part of that.

Lastly, when we begin our recovery from Covid-19 I want to make sure that Southern and Rural Colorado are not left out of programs that will help us recover. Our friends and neighbors needed help before the pandemic and they are going to need more afterward. We cannot let Denver hoard all the money and resources. I would be honored to have your vote. I want to stand up for Southern and Rural Colorado and I hope you will stand up with me a make your voice heard.

Please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @Lopez4Colorado

Respectfully,

Carlos R. Lopez: Preserving our way of life while preparing for the future.