Having grown up I have lived a version of the classic American Dream. The child of immigrants, I have been blessed to achieve my childhood goal of becoming a doctor. I grew up with great opportunities. The opportunity for my parents to come to a country where they could provide a better life for my two brothers, my sister and me. The opportunity to go to safe, quality schools that prepared me to go to college and on to medical school. The opportunity to feel free and accepted in a country where I rarely felt judged because of the color of my skin or my unusual name. But slowly, I see these opportunities disappearing for the children I care for. I see daily the difficult conditions that many of the children I care for live through. My patients face poverty. They face family turmoil as their parents struggle to provide for them in a state that is becoming unaffordable. While many of them have access to the health care I provide through programs like Medicaid and CHIP, their families and I worry constantly that these programs will be slashed. While education has always been the key to the American dream doors are being locked for these children as public education is weakened through budget cuts and teaching to tests.
I serve as a State Representative to ensure that others have access to an American Dream that seems to be fading. I want to protect the opportunities I grew up with so that they are available for the children I take care of today and in the future. I want to protect the middle class my parents worked so hard to become a part of but is being chipped away at every day through policies that protect the rich at the expense of the working class. While Colorado has grown tremendously in my lifetime we need to ensure that everyone is lifted up as our state matures rather than enriching some communities at the expense of others. We need to acknowledge the impact that immigrants have had in the amazing growth of this state and ensure that they can live in a state where their safety is not constantly under fire. Education should continue to be the way to gain opportunity in this country rather than becoming another point of division between the haves and have nots. Most importantly, from the perspective of a physician, we need to keep our community healthy by ensuring that everyone has access to quality healthcare because such access is a right, not a privilege.
Colorado has been the perfect home to me and I want to ensure that whatever happens at the federal level this state is a haven for the children and families that call it home now.