Q&A Colorado Senate District 27 - Tom Kim

Posted 10/25/22

My campaign website is:  www.tomkimforcolorado.com

My short bio follows below.  I founded my consulting firm, r2 advisors llc, in 2004.  

Mr. Kim is a business advisor who …

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Q&A Colorado Senate District 27 - Tom Kim

Posted

Name: Tom Kim

Websitewww.tomkimforcolorado.com

Biography: Mr. Kim is a business adviser who works with underperforming businesses.  Throughout his career, Mr. Kim has worked with mid-market businesses that are facing important transitions, both financial and operational.  Mr. Kim and his colleagues develop and implement strategies for effecting change in urgent situations.  These situations range from mild to severe and include services such as performance improvement, restructuring and turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, and bankruptcy.  Mr. Kim brings his background in operations, finance and accounting, mergers and acquisitions, out-of-court workouts, and bankruptcy to his consulting practice.  Education: JD/MBA (1988, Santa Clara University) and BS, Economics (1984, University of Utah).

When it comes to funding school districts and paying teachers in Colorado — How do you think we stack up on a national level? What do you think should be done at the state level to address the problems teachers and schools are facing?

I think the basic issue is that teacher pay is not the focus, and the state must send a clear message that this is unacceptable. Colorado’s and Cherry Creek’s performance results are unacceptable.  Proficiency scores in math, reading, and writing are at less than 50%.  That is a failing grade.  Since 2000, Colorado’s student population has increased by 25% and teachers by 36%.  But the number of principals has grown by 73% and administrative staff by 132%.  The system is out of balance.  We have two children in public school and understand the issues firsthand. 

 Mental health continues to be a problem in Colorado and nationwide — What should be done at the state level to address the youth mental health crisis and to continue increasing help for adults?

There is a mental health crisis that is not being addressed. The rate of youth suicide spiked during the pandemic. The homeless population continues to increase, many of which have unaddressed mental issues. Violent crime and homicides are the highest they have been in decades. We need to provide resources to those who are struggling with mental health early on. We can no longer wait until it is too late.

 Inflation, gas prices and the economy continue to be an issue in 2022 — Families are paying extra for everything. What can and should be done in Colorado to help families?

Reduce the size and scope of the state government. When the state increases spending, it must raise revenue by increasing taxes and fees.  This forces businesses to raise the cost of goods and services. Coupled with the pandemic shutdown and the supply chain debacle, inflation is raging virtually unchecked.  Meanwhile, wages have been stagnant, forcing our fellow citizens to make do with less.  The best thing the government could have done was cut taxes, cut spending, and remove burdensome regulations on businesses to give them an opportunity to grow, hire more employees, and raise wages.

 If elected, can you work on a bipartisan level to pass bills and address the needs of the Colorado population as a whole and not just live along party lines? Give examples of where you could compromise.

I think we can find agreement on public safety. I know that the vast majority of my constituents are very worried about increasing criminal activity.  I think that it is beyond debate that Colorado leads the nation in auto thefts.  I believe that all members of the state Legislature can be persuaded to address the current state of lawlessness for the well-being of all citizens of our state. 

 Housing affordability and homelessness have become a state and nationwide issue. What can be done at the state level to address the growing problem?

 The cause of high housing costs in Colorado is complex.  The factors include local and state regulations, permitting, utility requirements for infrastructure and the legal liability environment.  I would try to continue the litigation reform effort, actively addressed most recently in 2017.  We all have an interest in making Colorado more attractive for developers to provide more housing units that can compete for buyers.  When the supply is increased housing prices will decrease.  As for homelessness, that will take a more robust solution that starts with addressing mental health and addiction.

 Crime is quickly becoming a major concern in Colorado. With Colorado ranking first in the nation for car thefts, and major crimes on the rise, what do state lawmakers need to do to help fix the problems?

My family and I volunteer with the Arapahoe Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol. We see the issues more closely than many.  Politicizing law enforcement has made it more difficult for police officers to do their job and has led to an increase in crime. Violent crime and homicides are the highest they have been in decades. We need to give law enforcement the resources they need do their job. Criminals need to be held accountable and victims need justice. Communities need to be more involved to keep law enforcement accountable.

 Public trust in government, elections and public health are at an all-time low — What should state and federal lawmakers be doing differently to change public perception?

Faith in our system of government is how we function as a society and what has kept us free. We are a bottom-up government with a system of checks and balances. It is imperative we reestablish that trust. Our system is not perfect, but it is much better than the rest of the world. One thing we have done well is learn from past mistakes and make improvements. Right now, I think we are trying to do too much. We need to increase transparency and keep government simple.

 Water rights and water availability are becoming an issue for counties and local municipalities — What can the state do to create a strategic plan that works for all?

I think engaging all the stakeholders in meaningful discussion of the issues and opportunities is the best way to find solutions.  Water might be our scarcest natural resource and we must be able and effective stewards of our natural resources.  The state Legislature should make water a priority and take a leadership role in the discussion of the issues and potential solutions.

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