CPA asked candidates to answer questions that our members had on how they were planning to address some of the most pressing issues in our communities. Below are Renée Millard-Chacon ‘s answers.
- Hate crimes against members of the AAPI community are on the rise, in large part to misinformation and rhetoric related to COVID-19. This mirrors a broader increase in hate crimes against marginalized communities as a whole. As a member of the city council, what steps will you take to address and curb these trends?
My steps addressing hate crimes will be deeply embedded in education and accountability to disproportionately impacted communities (DIC) that have been erased from teaching their narratives that feed miseducation and prejudice, and provide legitimate protection. Teaching aspects of critical race thinking and transformative education to highlight cultural erasure and systemic violence to DIC is also crucial.
- How would you hold corporate polluters accountable for violating community health and safety regulations?
Accountability also means the need to recognize the importance of community health and safety benefits are just as valid as economic benefits for future generations and eventually recognizing the rights of nature to also live and thrive with a better quality of life not just based on socioeconomic privileges.
Who are the main polluters in your area?
Suncor, and fracking companies in and around Adams County.
What do you believe a just transition to renewable energy should look like in your city? And, what steps would you take to ensure that workers and communities of color are prioritized and centered in a transition to a green economy?
A just transition has restorative justice for disproportionately impacted communities harmed by forms of predatory industries providing the reparations to stolen assets, wealth, resources, and community safety and health. Communities of color know where systems and industries have preyed on them and should be the first to change that the system is not broken but was working as designed to create sacrifice zones and DIC and can be reimagined for communities self determination and self sufficiency also equitable analysis given priority.
Do you believe that there should be a reduction in the amount and type of chemicals that corporate polluters are putting in our air and water? If elected What actions will you take to set better health and safety standards in your city?
Yes I do because industries need to realize the rights of nature to live and thrive in order to even provide those resources for current and future generations. Culturally connected DIC communities also realize there needs to be a balance of also knowing how to be sustainable with community necessities also being met to a better quality of life by having a healthy biosphere. If elected I would introduce boundaries and barriers to industries that are creating public endangerment and provide monetary and political accountability. I would utilize practices of restorative justice in addressing the lack of health care, affordable housing, and community monitoring and modeling to create asset development and long term sustainability to working with our biosphere in the reality we find ourselves in and holding the responsibility of stewardship all people and industries should hold if using any natural sources of life.
- What do you believe the minimum wage should be and why?
The minimum wage should hold current socio economic rebalancing to today’s current markets and rates. Also address equality starts with economic independence to give communities starting with DIC the chance for real equitable change.
2. If elected to the City Council would you support an ordinance that increases the City’s minimum wage without leaving out tipped workers?
Yes I would support, tipped workers make less than the minimum wage and deserve economic justice too.
3. Would you support shifting city-wide tax breaks toward locally owned businesses rather than larger corporations?
Yes, especially after COVID and the lack of economic protections small businesses have had compared to large corporations, this is the only way they can survive and be sustainable long term.
4. What approach would you take to city-wide economic development incentives?
I would also take a restorative approach to see where communities have been targeted and marginalized to not have asset building and economic sustainability from their own self determination.
5. Do you support efforts to increase the Child Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credits that support many families in your city? Do you believe that all families that pay taxes should have access to these tax credits, regardless of immigration status, without exceptions?
Yes, it takes more money to be poor and to not provide any economic privileges to those most at risk to extra expenses for family, healthy, and safety benefits to also be met is forms of systemic violence to those that need the assistance most.
6. What are your thoughts on TABOR? If elected, how would you use your platform to fight against the restrictions placed on city budgets by TABOR?
TABOR does not account for population growth and community and is supposed to give any revenue received to taxpayers in a way commerce city has not ever accounted for in the interests of the community.
- Most immigrants facing deportation are unable to access legal representation. Will you support the creation of a Legal Defense Fund that uses private and city dollars to support those who can’t afford an attorney for their deportation cases?
Yes immigrants deserve legal representation because they are refugees in an already disproportionately impacted way that deserves humanitarian, governmental, and societal support and assistance.
2. As an organization, we believe that our community should be able to fight their deportation cases at home with their families and in community rather than behind bars/in cages. Do you agree with us on this? Why?
Yes because no one should have to be treated as less than human in order to immigrate or live on stolen indigenous lands.
3. Will you work to hold for-profit detention facilities accountable for the wellbeing of the people in their care?
Yes because they should not be criminalizing refugees at their weakest point and should not be an authority utilizing a failed prison industrial complex that instead requires social and community aid workers.
4. Will you work with us to end private prisons, and put a stop to the funding of facilities like the Aurora GEO Immigration Detention Facility?
Yes, our prison industrial complex is a failed system that holds no importance on restorative justice measures to actually heal individuals or communities. They should not be the lead in receiving any immigrant community while they criminalize and demoralize with no accountability to the systemic harm it is currently causing those with little to no legal representation.
5. Will you support or champion an ordinance to stop the coordination between the city (staff, police, resources) with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in order to ensure everyone in the city regardless of status is safe?
Yes, authorities are not social and community workers and are often not trained to handle the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of immigrants and all disproportionately impacted communities. We don’t need to reform, we need to reimagine a whole system with better health and safety access to be restorative now.
- What is your strategy to win?
Restorative justice addresses our weakest DIC first and uplifts all communities for the sake of health, safety, and the ability to thrive just as much as an economic benefits.
2. Why did you decide to run for office and what will your top 3 priorities be if elected to council?
Community monitoring from our own self determination, community modeling where systems continue to fail DIC, and accountable protections to not allow systems or industries to be predatory again. I am running because as an indigenous Womxn from these homelands we have had this and many forms of erasure, but resilience to reimagine something new from colonial or capitalistic systemic violence.
3. Will you commit to meeting with our sister organization, Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA) quarterly to discuss policy and strategies on our issues of racial, climate, economic and immigrant justice?
Yes, not one of us is a savior, we all can help to save ourselves, we need to collaborate in a safe and effective way now.
4. What steps will you take to actively involve the community in governing?
We need policy counsels that can influence the safety and protections of DIC. That starts with transformative education because we all have been miseducated, and need involvement where communities have not been respected for the levels of trauma they have endured and have the right to address and support for their communal and personal health and safety.
5. Why are you seeking CPA’s endorsement?
I look forward to working with all organizations that hold communities as the priority for structural development in society with health, safety, and restorative justice and key points to educate, advocate, and change our American systems that have been harmful and not truly equitable to us all.
CPA pidió a los candidatos que respondieran las preguntas que nuestros miembros tenían sobre cómo planeaban abordar algunos de los problemas más urgentes en nuestras comunidades. A continuación se encuentran las respuestas de Renée Millard-Chacon.