U.S. House, CO-07
I was born in Colorado and have lived in Jefferson County nearly my entire life. I came from a working-class family — my dad was a construction contractor and my mom was a hairdresser. We were a regular middle-class family, but all of that changed when my mom injured her back when I was just 6 years old. Like far too many Americans, she was prescribed a dangerous amount of opioids – leading to an addiction to prescription pills, alcohol, and, ultimately, heroin.
Even though I faced significant challenges at home, I was one of the lucky ones. I had access to great public schools and teachers that believed in me. Because of the investments this community made in me, I was given a chance to earn a good life. I became the first in my family to graduate from both high school and college, and I went on to serve in the Colorado legislature for 10 years — fighting for families like mine.