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 the 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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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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“It’s still the Economy Stupid”

It was James Carville, a campaign strategist for Bill Clinton in 1992, who first said, “It’s the economy stupid”. This inadvertently became a campaign slogan in 1992 even though Carville made the comment in private. Those words have never been truer than they are today. President Clinton was able to build a thriving economy in the 1990’s, but only for those who were educated and able to enter into a booming Internet industry; other communities were left behind. Today our economy works in the same way. Globalization, the advancement of technology, corrupting money in politics, and supply-side economics have created an economy that works for the few. Congressional District 1 is currently experiencing a time of prosperity, but trickle-down economics has failed us and led to stagnant wages and a decline in opportunity across America. Within Congressional District 1 we have seen an increase in gentrification, an escalation in the cost of housing, a broken healthcare system, and growing dissidence. The system is broken. Donald Trump played an old political trick on America by stoking racism and bigotry to explain the economic oppression of communities across America. The truth is our issue is a top-down problem as opposed to an issue between working people. There is certainly racism, bigotry, and sexism in our society, but the economic oppressions handed down from a broken system are the greatest problem facing...

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Gentrification and the Political Issues it exposes

Talks of gentrification and its effects on communities swept through the city of Denver last week. Mayor Michael B. Hancock had a panel discussion that was streamed on Facebook Thursday night, and then hundreds attended a gentrification summit at the AME Church in Denver. People understand that in a capitalistic society we need growth and development, but they wish to see respect for the existing culture and history of our communities from city builders. It’s true that basic property laws in America inform us that we cannot dictate to a person what to do with their property. If a person purchased a home for $15,000 decades ago and now they have the ability to sell the house for $350,000 then we cannot stand in the way of such a transaction. However, we must concern ourselves with members of our community who are losing their homes because of gentrification. There is also resentment in Denver because of a spree of development, which seemingly lacks any regard for our present communities, and a vision for the future. Many who are angry at gentrification in Denver place blame squarely on the Mayor’s desk at the City and County building, but the issue is much bigger than this. Stagnant wages, failing school systems, unaffordable healthcare, and housing are all adding to the problem of gentrification. The core of this problem is that the...

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Hope for 2018

2017 was a year of upheaval. A year when Barack Obama walked out of the Oval Office for the last time, and a new President entered the White House by redirecting the anger of economic disillusionment into racism and bigotry. 2017 illuminated the corruptions inside our political system, and how those corruptions have poisoned and stolen our government from the people. A dark suspicion consumed the White House in 2017 as Special Counsel Mueller and his team investigate the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. 2017 was a year of old wounds being exposed as white supremacists walked American streets proudly with Nazi flags, and the #MeToo movement shined a light on the continued struggle for women in America. President Trump ordered a ban on people coming from nations to protect us from terrorism even though Saudi Arabia, the nation where 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers came from, was not on his list. Donald Trump rescinded DACA and continued to call for a wall on our southern border. He used an old political tool to scapegoat those crossing the border as if they are stealing jobs from citizens and bringing crime with them. President Trump criticized football players for exercising their right to kneel during the National Anthem to bring awareness to police brutality in the African-American community. Hurricanes gashed through Texas, Florida, and Puerto...

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