Q&A with Carrie Warren-Gully, candidate for Arapahoe County commissioner, District 1

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Party: Democrat

Residence: Centennial

Campaign website: carrie4commissioner.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I met my husband at Englewood High School. We raised our three boys here. I'm the best choice for Arapahoe County commissioner because I understand our values — and how to collaborate and solve problems. My opponent is extreme and divisive. Her voting record of (defending) sexual-orientation conversion therapy … supporting big-box stores ahead of our local small businesses, voting for a constitutional convention to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and not supporting our public health and economic recovery by wearing masks is not who we are in Arapahoe County. It's time for change.

If you're elected, what single issue will be at the top of your agenda?

Serving on the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education, I have seen firsthand how this pandemic has impacted all segments of our community. To recover economically, families need a stable environment for their children while at work. With 13 municipalities, nine school districts and hundreds of nonprofit organizations, Arapahoe County needs leadership that is forward-thinking. Economic recovery is going to take us all coming together to solve the issues, and as county commissioner, I will be working in partnership with our federal, state and local entities to work together to lift up working families, small local business and vulnerable populations.

If you're elected, what must you accomplish in order for you to consider your term a success?

I value leaving our community better than we found it. My focus will be to restore community voice — having a voice at the table shouldn't depend on the neighborhood you live in! My top issues: 1) As a small business owner, I will champion our local economy and businesses ahead of big-box stores. 2) Bringing long-term smart growth solutions to our county — while respecting the character of our neighborhoods. 3) Continue funding for our vulnerable populations and address the physical and mental health needs of our community. 4) Protecting open spaces and trails in Arapahoe County.

As Arapahoe County and the entire metro area continue to grow in population, what can the county do to ensure housing is more affordable?

As more people move to Arapahoe County, we need to ensure that people across our county can afford to live here. Affordable and accessible housing needs to be available for young professionals, working families, seniors transitioning into homes that afford them the ability to live independently and neighbors that need accessible housing for all abilities. As county commissioner, I will develop a long-term strategic land-use plan that outlines our desire for affordable housing that links to our transportation corridors.

What can the county do to address the ongoing problem of homelessness and ensure that camps aren't merely moved from place to place?

There are many programs offered through Arapahoe County and many nonprofit organizations working on the issue of homelessness; however, they are working independently and finding it difficult to work in a collaborative manner. Arapahoe should adopt a “collaborative management program” committee that would bring these groups together so they are reducing duplicative programs and are reaching out together to those most in need. We need to address mental health issues, substance abuse, and our basic human needs of food and housing so that families and individuals can avoid homelessness.

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