Housing a hot topic in gubernatorial candidate Lynne’s Glenwood visit
Post Independent correspondent
Gubernatorial candidate Donna Lynne, Colorado’s current lieutenant governor and chief operating officer, hit the road on a four-day, 64-county tour targeting such red-hot local topics as health care, good paying jobs and affordable housing.
Lynne held a town hall at Glenwood Springs’ Morgridge Commons on Monday, where she outlined her three-pronged attack on health care, jobs and housing.
The dominant topic by a landslide at this and other town hall meetings, including one in Carbondale on Sunday: affordable housing.
“Housing is a crisis in this state,” Lynne stressed. “We must look at low-income housing credits, give more incentives to builders, and make land more affordable for housing projects. It’s not just about the cost of construction,” she added. “It’s also about the cost of the land.”
She continued, “Cost of housing and lack of inventory is hard for Colorado families all over the state. We must take a critical look at economic issues that pose very real challenges for Coloradans.”
In the past 10 years, Colorado has seen significant population growth resulting in inventory that has not kept pace with population growth. Add to that, skyrocketing housing prices. And, with Colorado’s median home price at $361,000, up 9.1 percent from 2016, Lynne has her work cut out for her.
But the feisty mother of three, who has climbed all of the “14ers,” remains undaunted. “I will create a housing department,” she explained. “Because housing impacts our quality of life.”
“Housing affects the day-to-day reality of people who live here,” Lynne concluded. “Wages have flatlined. For public sector jobs, I would advocate loan forgiveness for college. And I would pledge housing vouchers, a safety net for the most vulnerable people.”
The East Coast transplant recalls Nov. 22, 1963, as one of the most traumatic events in her life.
“It was John Kennedy’s assassination. There was turmoil in the United States at that time — civil rights, women’s rights,” Lynne said. She is one of several Democratic candidates vying for the party’s nomination to run in the November general election to replace Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term limited.
Lynne earned her B.A. in economics and political science at the University of New Hampshire. From there, for 20 years, she served as deputy commissioner in New York’s Office of Labor Relations, then on to president of Kaiser Permanente for the Colorado region. The Colorado State Capitol followed.
Lynne was appointed to her dual role by Hickenlooper on March 23, 2016, and has thrown her hat in the ring in the crowded 2018 gubernatorial primary race.
Lynne has been dubbed Hickenlooper’s “GSDG” — his “Get Stuff Done Girl.” And so, logically the governor is one of Donna Lynne’s biggest champions.
“She’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with some pretty talented people,” Hickenlooper points out. “I do think she is a remarkably talented person — she would be a great governor.”
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Home values in western Garfield County are way up, according to tax assessors. That will contribute to a higher tax bill next year.