Endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, Senator Aguilar & Leader Ken Salazar
Sign up to help elect Ashley Wheeland to Colorado House District 9
Check out this great video
I am proud to announce the endorsement of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado and national reproductive rights leader and author Cecile Richards (formerly the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America). I spent four years as the Senior Policy and Political Director for PPVC, 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.
1) All ballots are due June 26 by 7pm
3) If mailing use 2 stamps and mail by June 20th to be safe
4) Unaffiliated voters will receive TWO ballots, but can ONLY VOTE WITH ONE. Destroy the ballot you do not vote
5) The sooner you vote the sooner you are taken off everybody's call and knock list (but still take the time to research your choices and vote for who you believe in)
Other Opportunities to help:
I have signed the Colorado Democratic Party's Clean Campaign Pledge. I support the pledge and the ethics it promotes, and have been abiding by it every single day of this campaign.
This promise includes:
Former Senator and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Cecile Richards, National Reproductive Rights Leader and Author
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
State Senator Irene Aguilar
State Senator Rachel Zenzinger
State Senator Kerry Donovan
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
Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado
Colorado BlueFlower Action Fund
Moms Demand Action Candidate of Distinction
SARAH (Sexual and Reproductive Advocates in Healthcare)
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 and retired teacher
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
M. Radhika Nath, HD9 Resident
Scott Harpin, HD9 Resident
Krista and Mark Overly, HD9 Residents
Frank and Jenny Nate Cornelia, HD9 Residents
Jon Cefkin, HD9 Resident and teacher
Sharon O'Hara, HD9 Resident and Health Care Advocate
Adria Pearson, HD9 Resident and Psychologist
I support universal health care that is 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.
Policies I support include creation of a Medicaid buy-in option for more low income Coloradans, legislation to respond to marketplace inflations because of federal actions (or inactions), investments in health navigation and medical home models, prescription drug transparency and negotiation programs, health care service cost transparency, and much more. I also support creation of a national program for health care coverage, but believe it must be carefully created with all stakeholder input, including the disability community.
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.
I have worked to support our schools and students, including support of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, which gathers data from youth about their behaviors - to help schools and the state respond to the needs of all of our youth (including our LGBTQ youth). An education policy I would like to work on immediately are improvements to our health education and comprehensive sex education across the state. I believe our young people need accurate information about their own health to lead safe, supportive and happy lives.
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.
As a caretaker of my mother who has serious health challenges since a car accident, I know all to well the economic barriers people face when caring for loved ones. This is one reason I have testified year after year in support of the bill to create a paid family leave insurance program. I waited to go to work when my mom needed me, to my own economic detriment, and I think every family should be able to do that without such impacts.
I have also been supportive of workers' rights throughout my career, standing beside those who have fought for collective bargaining in their workplaces. I have testified in support of bills to ensure protections of employees' rights and benefits, and against those that undermine them. I have and will support policies that make it so all Colorado families can thrive.
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.
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, and have rejected several offers of it. Furthermore, more than 80% of my donors are from Colorado. I am also proud to have strong support from the HD9 community.
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 about and with the communities they are serving. 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.
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.
The issue I hear most when knocking doors in HD9 - is 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.
I am a long-time 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.
My passion around this includes working in it. As the Senior Policy and Political Director for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains I fought against legislation to undermine access to safe and legal abortion, as well as worked on policies to help Coloradans have the options, which include education and choice of birth control, to reduce unintended pregnancies.
My record as a champion working on policies in support of reproductive health care, education and rights, and against attacks on them, is why Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, #VoteProChoice and SARAH (Sexual and Reproductive Advocates in Healthcare) have endorsed me.
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.
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: email@example.com
As a policy attorney I have worked on legislation to create new health care coverage options for folks who are uninsured or underinsured. I advocated and represented consumers on the passage of legislation to create Colorado's health care marketplace Connect for Health Colorado, as well served as the co-chair of the advisory group that provided consumer input for the individual options. I also advocated for legislation to expand Medicaid to low-income adults. As a result of the work of health care advocates like myself, more than half a million more Coloradans have health coverage. This means the rate of uninsured in our state went from 17% to 7%.
As an advocate and representative of the Women's Lobby of Colorado, I have testified and advocated for Colorado's creation of a paid family leave insurance program. The legislation Colorado's legislature has been considering would create a program employees' pay into so that when they need to take time off work to care for a loved one, they can. This legislation has not yet passed in our state, but I will advocate for it in the Colorado legislature.
I have been an advocate for equal pay throughout my advocacy career, helping prepare research and testimony in support of bills to address pay disparities. Sadly my own law school, DU law, had a group of women professors file a claim for discrimination in pay with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In support of them, I authored a letter to the school in which 1,700 people signed. I delivered the letter to DU leadership, with a group of women leaders and fellow DU graduates. After years of fighting the women who brought the claim finally won and settled their claim with the school. I have and believe we can lift up and advocate for equity policies in our government, and in our Colorado institutions.
As the Policy Director for Planned Parenthood in Colorado I advocated and authored legislation to increase access to birth control for Coloradans. I advocated for funding for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, which provides low income women around the state access to long acting and reversible contraception like IUDs and implants. I was one of the authors of legislation to require insurers to allow women to pick up to a year of their birth control at once. Both of these policies have resulted in making women's lives easier and preventing unintended pregnancies.
I worked on legislation to protect women's access to abortion care, while ensuring they are protected from those who would cause them to lose their pregnancies. I worked on legislation, that is now law, to create criminal and civil penalties for those who cause a woman to lose her pregnancy though a criminal or negligent act - for example drunk driving.
This year I supported and advocated for legislation to ensure victims' of sexual assault or harassment have protections in Colorado. One of the bills became law. It requires that there is a determination of evidence hearing in civil cases where survivors bring a case for damages against their perpetrator. Prior to this law, survivors often chose not to seek damages for their assaults because of the attacks they would face in court.
My passion is fighting for rights. I have worked with the LGBTQ community to defeat policies that would allow discrimination using religion as a reason. As the health policy director at One Colorado I advocated for equality in our health care systems, marriage equality and transgender rights in our state. I have worked with our Civil Rights Division on important issues, including transgender rights. Colorado's anti-discmrination law is extremely important as federal protections are being undermined, especially for LGBTQ communities and women. I advocated, including testified, for legislation last session to reauthorize and fund the Colorado Civil Rights Division. We must protect our state civil rights laws, especially at a time when they are being undermined at the Federal Level.
I was born in Colorado and grew up in the beautiful communities of Montrose, Trinidad, and the Denver metro area. I attended neighborhood public schools in Colorado throughout my childhood.
For college, I attended Colorado State University, where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and American government. I finished my studies at the University of Denver, getting my Juris Doctorate and passing the Colorado Bar Exam.
As a Colorado kid who went to public schools, I prioritize public education and believe every Colorado child should have equal access to a great education.
I 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.
To learn more about my advocacy work, read this article, published by Among the Colors as part of their Inspired Women Series
I have spent my 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 my work in Colorado’s advocacy community, I has been a voice for all working Coloradans.
I have 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 500,000 more Coloradans get health care coverage.
For the past four years, I have 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, I have 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.
I am a health care policy wonk and advocate, and will bring that knowledge to the Capitol.
Image: Denver Post
In everything I do, I am working for our communities. For example, for the past three years I have volunteered as a 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. Today, I am the Interim Executive Director of WLC. In my role with WLC, I advocate for important policies Colorado women and families need, including paid family leave, pay equity, environmental protections, and protections against sexual assault and domestic violence.
I have also taught Colorado seniors, international visitors, 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, I will work with all of my constituents to do the same.
The picture of me (left, in a quickly homemade shirt) at the airport protest following the Trump administration’s racist ban on refugees and immigrants. I joined hundreds of Coloradans in support of refugees and immigrants to protest the rule.
It means a lot when a supporter and friend works so hard to help you get elected, including creating this awesome video. Thank you Gail!