Q&A with state Rep. Daniel Kagan

Democrat aims for 'consensus at the Capitol'


State Rep. Daniel Kagan, a Democrat who lives in Cherry Hills Village, represents District 3 in the Colorado House of Representatives. District 3 includes Sheridan, Englewood, Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills as well as portions of Littleton and unincorporated Arapahoe County.

Kagan has represented the district since he was appointed in 2009 following the resignation of Anne McGihon. He won election in 2010, and re-election in 2012 and 2014. An attorney by trade, Kagan was born and raised in England, the son of Holocaust survivors who met in a Nazi concentration camp. He moved to the United States in 1975 and became a U.S. citizen in 1984. Kagan earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from George Washington University in 1984, and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1987; he was admitted to the bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1989.

Prior to the Jan. 13 start of the 2016 Legislative session, Kagan took some time to answer the following questions.

What will be the biggest issues facing the Legislature during the 2016 session?

Ensuring the benefits of the economic recovery reach all Colorado, not only the big corporations and wealthier citizens, but all hard-working, law-abiding Coloradans. Many of us are not feeling the recovery yet, and it's partly because of policies tilted toward the well-connected and powerful interests. Our priorities must shift toward giving everyone a fair shot at economic security.

We must ease the pressure on Coloradans to go into huge debt to pay for college, and find ways to better fund and improve our public schools, as the economy grows; Coloradans deserve access to a good education without going broke.

As people from across the country flock to our great state (showing impeccable judgment!), we have to grow our stock of housing that working Coloradans can afford.

These are among our most pressing issues, and we do have solutions, if we can find the political will to act on them.

What are your goals for the session?

I aim to continue to be the legislator who, as I have in the past, finds consensus at the Capitol, so we can not only talk about the challenges that face us, but make concrete improvements. In my own bills, I'm hopeful that we'll act to better serve veterans returning home from the battlefront, alleviate the pain of crippling student loan debt, reduce the error-rate in the criminal justice system, reduce waste and misuse of taxpayers' money, and more. But beyond the bills that I personally will introduce, I want to use my energy and experience to help good ideas, from wherever they come, to be enacted into law. Election-year political calculations should never overwhelm good policy ideas, and my goal is to make sure they don't.

Colorado and your district will be best served if the Legislature...

...puts aside partisan bickering and political posturing, and focuses on what we can do at the state government level to make Colorado an even better place to live, work and raise a family.


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