I have a political button that has been sitting on my desk since I ran for office in 2010. The pink button asks the question: "Who needs more WOMEN in government?" and answers it with "Colorado."
Although it was given to me by a local man, it was certainly the theme of that election year. If all of the Democratic women running for Colorado's Senate had been elected, the Senate today would be controlled by Democratic women. Not just Democrats, but Democrats with girl parts.
At the time State Sen. Morgan Carroll headed the efforts to elect more Democratic Senators. I first met her while attending a training session for candidates. She later reviewed my campaign plan. Even later she drove to Grand Junction with two young staffers to spend the day knocking on doors with me.
Morgan Carroll is a beautiful woman, tall with fiery red hair and a winning smile that can light up your day. She is smart and ambitious. I'd like to introduce her to all of you because this is her last term in the Senate, where she holds a leadership role. There is no doubt in my mind that she is going to stay in the political arena, the only thing I don't know is which office she will run for when she is term-limited out of her current job. My guess is that it will be for a statewide position. Rumors in Denver are that she will run either for secretary of state or governor. I'm hoping that she goes after Gov. Frackenlooper's job in a primary.
I'm pretty tired of a governor that is walking around talking about how safe fracking fluid is just because once upon a time he worked as a geologist in the industry. Drinking CleanStim is hardly the same as drinking the toxic cocktail that is actually used by the industry in fracking wells in Colorado. Although the governor has had to walk back on that outrageous claim, he did a lot of damage when he testified in Washington that fracking is safe. It could possibly be made safe, but so long as we have the potential for industrial accidents in the wilderness, we need to proceed with caution.
Morgan Carroll knows all of this. Last year she tried to introduce a bill that would ban fracking on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal site in Aurora, her district. Once upon a time there were chemical weapons, stored in rusting underground barrels at that site. According to a friend of mine, who attended National Guard exercises at Buckley, the water at the site usually had a sheen, reflecting the level of pollution. I don't know how well all of that has been cleaned up, but if it had CDPHE looking for a cheap solution as they did at Rocky Flats, it is likely that the ground is still full of toxins which would be disturbed and enhanced by the addition of fracking fluids. Would you want to drink water that ran off of the site?
This year she entered a bill that is even more important to women in Colorado. The bill would sever the rights of the father if the pregnancy was the result of a rape. I can't even imagine the horrors of a rape victim, who decided to keep the child conceived during a brutal attack, only to be sentenced to a lifetime of court battles, keeping the child safe while fostering a court-ordered "relationship" with the criminal rapist. While I don't think the father should be let off the hook financially, he should not have any access to either the mother or the child. Perfect example of why Colorado needs more women in government - the men running the show didn't think of this bill, Morgan Carroll did.
As the Majority Leader in the Senate, Carroll already has the influence and contacts to make things happen. At her website she says, "I am philosophically committed to a progressive populist approach to representing ordinary citizens over and above any and all special interests. I believe in advocating for people's interests over large corporations or large government. I believe in protecting the Constitution." I believe in Morgan Carroll.
Claudette Konola is a political and environmental activist living downstream from a mysterious release of hydrocarbons and upstream from uranium mill tailings. She can be reached at email@example.com.