Ashley for Colorado Candidate for House District 9 in Southeast Denver

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I will fight forward for Southeast Denver

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Updates

Be The Change You Wish To See.

I am proud to announce the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado. I spent four years as the Senior Policy and Political Director for the organization, where I worked every day to protect and work on pro-active policies around reproductive health care and education.


“We are excited to support Ashley in the upcoming election. PPVC endorses candidates who trust individuals to make their own health care decisions, including decisions about abortion care. No one has stood stronger for reproductive rights in our state. Ashley will prioritize health care access and reproductive justice for all Coloradans, especially those most marginalized by our health care system. She will continue to be a champion for the people of HD9 and all our communities,” said Sarah Taylor-Nanista, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado.


"I am so proud to be endorsed by the organization that provides and fights for women's health care every single day. Planned Parenthood is vital to so many of our communities, and has helped tens of thousands of Coloradans be able to take care of their own health and futures. I will fight for reproductive rights, health, and education, alongside Planned Parenthood in the Colorado legislature," said Ashley Wheeland.




This week's events:




Also Every Week Join me to chat or help with postcards!

Thursday Mornings

Sojourners Coffee 

1501 S Holly 

8:30 - 10:00neighborhood! Sign up here to be part of team Ashley.

My Endorsements from Colorado Leaders

In my career in advocacy and policy I have worked with these leaders who now support me for HD9:

Former Senator and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

Former Colorado Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald

Former Colorado Senate President John Morse

Former Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst

Former State Senator Betty Boyd State

Senator Irene Aguilar

State Senator Rachel Zenzinger

State Representative Jessie Danielson

State Representative Susan Lontine

State Representative Brittany Pettersen

State Representative Jeff Bridges

State Representative Daneya Esgar

State Representative Matt Gray

State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet

State Representative Dominique Jackson

State Representative Faith Winter

State Representative Edie Hooton

State Representative Dylan Roberts

State Representative Chris Kennedy

State Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp

State Representative Joann Ginal

State Representative Janet Buckner 

State Representative Leslie Herod

Northglenn City Council Member Jenny Willford


Organizational Support

Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado

#VoteProChoice

Colorado BlueFlower Action Fund 

Moms Demand Action Candidate of Distinction

Colorado Ceasefire


Community Leader Supporters

Mark Thrun, Colorado LGBTQ Advocate and Doctor

Karla Garcia Gonzales, Colorado Reproductive Justice Advocate

Dusty Gurule, Reproductive Justice Advocate

Jean Richards, HD9 Resident 

Kristen Seidel, HD9 Resident and Community Leader

Jessica Zender, Colorado Community Leader 

Peg Perl, HD9 resident and Colorado Community Leader

Jose Silva, Colorado Education Activist

Courtney Gray, Colorado Transgender Rights Activist

Lindsay Zaback, Colorado Diaper Bank Coordinator

Sue Brown, Colorado Environmental Community Leader

Raana Simmons, Colorado Women's  Rights Advocate

Steve Sherick, Doctor and Colorado Community Leader

Katie Farnan, Community Leader 

Dana Miller, Community Leader 

Michele Lawonn, HD9 Resident

Bruce Adams, HD9 Resident

Anna Crawford, Colorado Reproductive Justice Advocate

Katie Mills, Colorado Reproductive Justice Advocate

Kayla McCarnes, HD9 Resident

Ann Meisel, HD9 Resident 

Sarah Parady, Civil Rights Lawyer

Tony Massaro, Environmental Activist 

Ann Sarsen, HD9 Resident 

Colin Averill, Colorado Community Activist

Daniel Gonzales, Colorado Voting Rights Activist

Colorado Reverend Laura Rossbert

Gail DeVore, Colorado Health Care Advocate and HD9 Resident

Amanda Henderson, Pastor and Colorado Community Leader

Leah and Rachel Pryor-Lease, HD9 Residents

Adam Fox, Colorado Health Care Advocate

Jill Wildenberg, Colorado Community Leader 

Halisi Vinson, HD9 Resident and Colorado Community Leader 

Dede dePercin, Colorado Non-profit Leader

Brooke Baxa, HD9 Resident, Community Activist, Digital Strategist

Courtney Knapp, Colorado Community Activist

Joyce Lisbin, Colorado Health Educator

Leo Kattari, Health Equity Advocate

Erin Bennett, Community Leader and Activist

Laura Reinsch, Colorado Community Activist

Toni Panetta, Health Policy Activist

Iman Jodeh, Colorado Community Advocate

Sarah Taylor-Nanista, Reproductive Rights Advocate








My Platform

Health Care

I support universal health care - not based on profits. I have worked for seven years in health care policy, as an attorney. As a representative I will be a leader on moving our state forward to ensure universal health care for every person.  I support policy to create a public option for Coloradans to get health care coverage.



Education

I am the product of Colorado's public schools. I went to neighborhood schools all over our state. I will fight for equity for all kids in our schools, and fight for our teachers to get the pay and respect they deserve. I will work towards dismantling the constraints TABOR puts on our education systems. 


I will also work to make higher education and technical education opportunities accessible. It has become harder and harder for many of Colorado's people to pursue the careers they want and deserve.



Economy

While some in Colorado are prospering,  others continue to face economic hardships that impact their families. The costs of everyday expenses in Colorado continue to rise putting many families in a place where they cannot plan for their futures. I have, and will continue to fight for policies to help them, including paid family leave,  living wages, the benefits families need, and for policies to ensure retirement security for more Coloradans.


I believe we can invest and make it so all Colorado families can thrive.

Environment

I love Colorado. Many weekends you will find my dog Ruthie and I out hiking in our beautiful parks. 


I will fight for our environment, including protections of our public lands and less use of fuels and substances that hurt our environment. I will work on and support policies that instead use energy resources that protect our health and state's beauty - renewable energy sources. I believe we need strong state regulations for oil and gas excavation, and that local communities should be able to decide if they will permit drilling and fracking.  

Campaign Finance

Our campaign finance systems are broken and corporate interests have too much power in politics. I will work on reforms to our state  campaign finance rules that ensure the people of Colorado are heard, not drowned out by special interests.  I do not accept corporate PAC money. Furthermore, more than 80% of my donors are from Colorado. I am proud to have strong support from the HD9 community as well.

Criminal Justice Reform

I believe we need a justice system that works for all of our communities. I support policies and proposals to ensure all of our communities, law enforcement agencies, the courts and our government bodies, including the legislature and Executive agencies are working together. We need to ensure all voices are heard, and that those who enforce laws are trained appropriately. As a State Representative I will listen, I will help bring people together, and I will support policies that ensure fair and equitable treatment for all.

Homelessness

I support policies to help our homeless, not criminalize them. As an advocate with experience in working with communities and coalitions, I would support a stakeholder process to determine the best policies to reduce homelessness for the communities across our state. I believe we need policies to provide access to mental health care, veterans' care, substance abuse treatment, homes first policies and more.

Gun Safety

The issue I heard most about when knocking on thousands of doors in HD9 - was the need for gun safety laws. I support a ban on military-style weapons.  I support removing loopholes and improved systems for universal background checks. I do not believe that teachers should be armed.  I believe it makes sense to require gun owners to meet training and licensing standards. We require this for many less-dangerous activities. 

Reproductive Rights

I am also an advocate for reproductive rights and reproductive health care. I will follow the women who fought for our rights, as well as work with communities of color who often continue to face insurmountable barriers to reproductive health care, on policies to ensure all people can choose when and if to start a family.

TABOR

Part of the challenge for our state and the needs of our communities, including health care and education, is funding because of our state's constitutional limits on the budget, like the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. I will work on policies to overcome these challenges as well as a repeal of some portions of TABOR. I support the commitment to a balanced budget. That said, the ‘ratcheting effect” contained in TABOR makes it impossible to use additional tax revenue to address the many needs of our State, such as education, healthcare, homelessness and highways to name but a few.  I recognize the need to address the inherent conflicts between TABOR, Amendment 23 and the Gallagher Amendment.  

My General Policy-Making Philosophy

I will work for equity and listen to all communities. I have been working in policy change for over a decade, and have learned it is important to do a stakeholder process, research all of the impacts of a policy change, be willing to learn, and to keep fighting forward for equity. 














Please feel free to email to discuss any policy. Email: ashleyforcolorado@gmail.com

About Ashley

A Coloradan

Ashley Wheeland was born in Colorado and grew up in the beautiful communities of Montrose, Trinidad, and the Denver metro area. Ashley attended public schools in Colorado throughout her childhood. 


For college, Ashley attended Colorado State University, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and American government. Ashley finished her studies at the University of Denver, getting her Juris Doctorate and passing the Colorado Bar Exam.


As a Colorado kid who went to public schools, Ashley prioritizes public education and believes every Colorado child should have equal access to a great education. 


Ashley will focus on policies that protect and improve the state’s health care systems, public schools, and economic rights, so that all Colorado families can thrive in the state’s growing economy.

The Advocate

To learn more about Ashley’s advocacy work, read this article, published by Among the Colors as part of their Inspired Women Series


Ashley has spent her career fighting for Coloradans and their rights. From working for Senator Ken Salazar on health care, education, and civil-rights issues in the United States Senate, to her work in Colorado’s advocacy community, Ashley has been a voice for all working Coloradans. 


Ashley has worked on and supported passage of important health care policies, including the creation of Colorado’s health care marketplace, Connect4Health Colorado, and expansion of Medicaid. Combined, these programs have helped 600,000 more Coloradans get health care coverage. 


For the past four years, Ashley has also worked to support LGBTQ Coloradans and their rights to marriage and health care, as well as on reproductive rights and health care policy. Specifically, Ashley has worked for leaders in Colorado’s policy and advocacy communities, including the American Lung Association, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, One Colorado, the state’s leading LGBTQ advocacy organization, and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. 


Ashley is a health care policy wonk and advocate, and will bring that knowledge to the Capitol. 


Image: Denver Post

    

Giving Back

In everything she does, Ashley works for our communities. For example, she is a volunteer board member for the Women’s Lobby of Colorado (WLC), an advocacy organization with the mission of fighting for gender equity at the Colorado Capitol. In her WLC volunteer role, Ashley advocates for important policies Coloradans need, including paid family leave, pay equity, environmental protections, and protections against sexual assault and domestic violence.


Ashley has also taught Colorado seniors, college students, and fellow advocates about the importance of policymaking and health systems—empowering them to speak up on the issues that impact their lives. In the Colorado House of Representatives, she will work with her constituents to do the same.


The picture of Ashley (left, in a quickly homemade shirt) at the airport protest following the Trump administration’s racist ban on refugees and immigrants. She joined hundreds of Coloradans in support of refugees and immigrants to protest the rule.