Q&A with Tom Sullivan, candidate for state House District 37

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Party: Democrat

Residence: Centennial

Campaign website: Sullivanforcolorado.com

What makes you the best choice for this office?

I have been doing the work to advocate for gun violence prevention legislation since 2013. Since then, I've testified at the local, state and federal level and have become intimately familiar with the political process. In my first term as state representative, I was able to pass the Extreme Risk Protection Orders (“red flag” law) to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves or others. I have built a strong coalition at the Capitol and in HD37 and look forward to continuing unfinished business next session. 

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

Gun violence prevention continues to be my top priority. While we made great steps with ERPO, there is still much work to do including passing legislation on safe storage and accountability for lost and stolen firearms. 

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

The 2020 session was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were not able to run all the bills we had hoped to get passed last year. I hope to introduce legislation on day one of the 2021 session: bills to require safe storage of firearms in homes with children and to require accountability for lost and stolen firearms. For this to truly be a success, though, we will need to pass these bills with bipartisan support that reflects the level of bipartisan public support these commonsense measures have in Colorado. 

Given the pandemic's effect on tax revenue, which aspect of the state budget are you most concerned about having possible cuts next year?

We cannot afford to make cuts to our social programs and safety nets. We cannot balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable populations including seniors, veterans, disabled members of our community and others who rely on social services. We must ensure that these programs, including health care and mental health services, remain fully funded as we recover from impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the Denver metro area's population continues to grow, what should the state House's top priority be regarding affordable housing?

In my district, I continue to see new housing developments of five-bedroom houses with four-car garages. As the Denver metro area's population continues to grow, we should be focusing development on homes that are attainable for first-time buyers. This means developing on smaller lots with smaller homes that are actually affordable to someone hoping to become a homeowner. Additionally, as we build multi-family developments, we need to ensure that there is access to reliable public transportation, as lack of parking continues to be an issue. 

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