Author: David Sedbrook

18th School Shooting of 2018 claims 17 lives – When will it end?

17 American children were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida yesterday. America has become numb to these tragedies, and it brought up memories for me of 1999. I was born in Congressional District 1 and on a spring day in 1999 I was walking through the halls of my high school when a friend walked up to me and asked, “Did you hear about the shooting at Columbine High School?” I had been in class all day and I remember I was focused on a history exam coming up later in the day so I didn’t engage the conversation further until I walked into my next class and I saw my English teacher, Ms. Simons, sobbing in front of the class. Her face red and distorted with pain and anguish, but she pushed to words out and that day would be forever seared into my mind. Fifteen people died at Columbine in 1999, and nearly 20 years later our children are still not safe to go to school. So far in 2018, there have been 18 shootings at America’s schools. This is happening at a time when 64% of Americans support stricter gun laws, according to an October 2017 Politico poll.  However, GOP currently controls the House and the Senate, and they clearly align themselves with gun lobbyists who do not want to see any...

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Stop the Gerrymandering!

I was pleased to see that the Supreme Court struck a major blow against the gerrymandering of congressional districts. However, much still needs to be done to stop the divisive politics of illegally disenfranchising communities. We can start here in Colorado! To recap, the Supreme Court has declined to overturn a ruling from a Pennsylvania court that required the redrawing of at least four congressional districts because of blatant and illegal gerrymandering by the GOP. Republicans had hoped the Supreme Court would keep the current maps — where Republicans hold 12 of 18 seats in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, following a challenge from Democrats, ruled that the Republican-drawn maps of congressional districts in the 2018 primary and general elections “clearly, plainly, and palpably violates the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” The Pennsylvania districts were obviously drawn to limit the voices of many communities. This decision, most likely, is a big step in the Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives. But, all partisan congratulations and self-interest aside, the need to stop this nefarious perversion of our political process needs to stop! Gerrymandering disenfranchises voters, dilutes the voice and the will of the people, makes a mockery of the idea of “free and fair elections”, and is a direct assault on the concept of representative government. It is a perversion of everything America stands for. I would...

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The I-70 Expansion and Democrats for the Gubernatorial nomination

One of the most shocking things to come out of last week’s gubernatorial forum is that every Democratic candidate for Governor supports the currently planned expansion of I-70. I didn’t expect the majority of the candidates to oppose the I-70 expansion, but I did expect at least one Democrat to challenge some of the specifics of the project.  I have spent years looking at the planned “ditch” and I still cannot understand how this makes any sense. Whether it is: • The outlandish cost – over $2 BILLION for barely 2 miles of road; • The fact that all additional lanes are going to be designated as High Occupancy Vehicle – the so-called Lexus Lanes that you have to pay to drive on; • The fact that there is a clear and obvious alternative that has not been fully and adequately investigated – expanding I-270, the whole project is a boondoggle of epic proportions. All of these concerns were validated and explained in detail in a White Paper developed by the American Planning Association (the country’s premier professional organization for Urban Planners) on October 15, 2014. This group specifically noted that the Denver Regional Council of Governments has used outdated model projections to validate the need for this project. What angers me most about the project is how it is being built on the backs of some of our most distressed neighborhoods...

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Campaign Finance Reform in Denver and Beyond

This past Saturday I attended the meeting of the Denver Democratic Party Central Committee. During that meeting, the Party overwhelming voted to endorse the Democracy for the People initiative on this November’s ballot. This initiative will bring significant campaign finance reform to Denver’s municipal elections. Some of the things this initiative will do include: • Require full disclosure of outside spending groups and Super PACS who have previously been able to    funnel “dark money” into Denver campaigns;• Ban corporations from contributing directly to Denver municipal campaigns, as they are banned in  Colorado state elections and in Congressional elections;• Lower Denver’s high campaign contribution limits to be in keeping with Colorado’s more reasonable  statewide contribution limits;• Initiate publicly funded elections by providing matching funds for small-dollar donations of $50  and under to candidates who voluntarily reject special interest money, empowering voters across  the socioeconomic spectrum. I am, obviously, very supportive of ANYTHING that gets big-money interests out of our political system so I applaud the Denver Dems for being leaders on this issue. However, this is not enough and I still believe the real issue in our elections continues to be the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, which effectively ruled that corporations were “people” and had the same rights to give money in elections. This is why I am the first, and the only...

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Why we need a Single-Payer Healthcare Plan

The intersection of health insurance and capitalism is producing a “market failure” for the American people. Why would a profitable insurance company ever insure the elderly or sick? The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) guaranteed insurance to everyone, but it still adhered to a free-market plan; it was a positive step, but it isn’t the answer to solve America’s healthcare conundrum. Today, competition has dwindled and the cost of health insurance is skyrocketing. The GOP is pointing to the failures of Obamacare, but its origins are found in a conservative think-tank. Many who believe in free-market healthcare claim that rather than looking at healthcare as a right, we should look at it as a commodity. The thought is that the market will incentivize competition, which will eventually lessen the cost of healthcare. Proponents of healthcare as a commodity routinely point to the decreasing cost of Lasik Eye Surgery as an example of how healthcare could work with less regulation and more incentives for competition. However, it is an oversimplification to compare Lasik Eye Surgery to a comprehensive healthcare system for the entire United States. The Affordable Care Act has also shown how unbridled capitalism cannot guarantee the production of competition. In fact, history tells us that predatory capitalism can lead to monopolies and the collapse of competition. Obamacare was a step in the right direction, but it’s time for the United States...

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