Q&A with James Rashad Coleman, candidate for Senate District 33

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Party: Democrat

Residence: Denver

Campaign website: www.colemanforcolorado.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I have been representing my constituents in House District 7 for the last four years. Running for Senate District 33 will afford me the opportunity to continue to serve my community throughout the Denver-metro area. As the only Democrat on the ballot for this seat, I hope voters will take a moment to learn about who I am and why I am running for SD 33.

If you're elected, which one single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

When elected to the state senate, I intend to pass policy that audits and evaluates the effectiveness of the Department of Corrections. In my district alone, we spend $25 million on recidivism which represents a 50% failure in successfully preparing individuals to succeed once released from prison. Half of the individuals released from prison return within three-to-six months of release, and by focusing on eliminating recidivism through greater reentry programs, we can save and repurpose millions of dollars in the state to benefit business, education and many other areas of importance.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

After my first term as state senator, success looks like increased state funding to meet the needs of all Coloradans, eliminating recidivism in the Department of Corrections, providing internship access to all middle-and-high school and college students and investing millions of dollars into minority-owned businesses.

Where do you stand on calls to defund the police?

It's important to have law enforcement who are truly here to protect and serve, especially in emergency situations where lives are being threatened. There is a balance, but that balance between community and traditional policing begins in having conversations to understand the best of both worlds.

What measure or measures will you push for in the new year to make strides toward economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?

We need to continue to support our small businesses and make sure we reopen our state safely and by following CDC guidelines. Government should pass policy and invest resources in businesses to be effective in providing a service, taking care of their labor force and sustaining businesses for future economic success.

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