Greg Lopez delivers his State of the State 2022
Being the Governor of Colorado means being the Governor of ALL Colorado, not just the nine most populated counties in the urban corridor. Our united goal must be focused on creating a state where anyone can achieve their Colorado American Dream. This begins with our most basic needs, like food, energy, education, and the right to work, live and play all while having our human rights and our Constitutional rights remain intact. –Greg Lopez
Parker, CO – As the next Governor of Colorado, it is my responsibility to inform you that Colorado is in a crisis.
This is a conversation we can no longer avoid. A difficult conversation that may be unpleasant to hear, but to avoid it is no longer an option. For our health, our safety, and our future as a state, we must face these difficult truths now.
Gas prices are up, home prices are up, food prices are up, wages are stagnated, healthcare is redefined, small businesses are closing, school curriculum is floundering, homelessness is skyrocketing and so is crime. Colorado forests and now suburbs are burning every year because forest and grassland mitigation are not priorities.
The state of Colorado is legislatively, executively, and literally burning into the ashes of the once idyllic destination which charmed so many people, both native to this state and from all parts of the country and the world, who could not imagine calling anywhere else home.
For those of you who may disagree with me, I ask that you respectfully do so. I welcome all discussions and different points of view but let us stop with the name-calling and labeling that seems to ambush any legitimate debate on the issues facing the People of Colorado.
The issues we face as a state are not Unaffiliated, Republican or Democrat issues, they are people issues. Our state has lost its ability to fulfill the vision of a prosperous and safe Colorado, a place we can live, work, go to school, explore, and thrive?
The voice and face of our state recently outlined his commitment to Moving Colorado Forward, what you didn’t hear were the numerous crises that were allowed to manifest under his leadership. It is the same old, late-night, rerun state show - a state where the government creates problems and then claims to have the solution to the problems they created. And to move forward with the solution, they require more of our hard-earned money and beg for money from the federal government.
Over the last three years, bad, misguided policies and laws have failed the people of the state and have been steadily eroding our quality of life. Governor Polis is accountable for his failure in protecting the economic well-being of Colorado families and the devastating long lasting negative impacts his executive orders had on entire communities, industries, and our environment. He wants you to believe that the pandemic and the virus is the “boogie-man” and if you don’t comply, it will get you.
Let me be clear, he is not alone on this, the elected leaders from both sides of the aisle also share the blame. The legislature showed fear of and servitude to the executive branch by not exercising their constitutional duty and stopping the onslaught of executive orders destroying the well-being of Colorado. The silence was deafening, and the people will not easily forget how they were abandoned.
As you start the new legislative session, I ask that each side not waste valuable time blaming each other for what is not being done and to unite and work to help improve the quality of life for all of us. The finger pointing, the constant bickering and fighting is not statesmanship, and it needs to stop.
I encourage you to take back your legislative responsibilities and duties from the Governor and pass legislation that will prohibit both current and future governors from abusing the emergency powers of the Governor’s office. Be bold and courageous and redefine the proper use and intent of the “safety clause” placed on bills passed into law so that it is not abused and perverted.
The people of Colorado yearn for a state where the Governor is actively promoting, protecting, and preserving the various economies and the different ways of life that make Colorado a special place to live and raise a family. Action speaks louder than words and the people will not forget the suffering and hardship they were forced to endure due to the executive actions declared by the Governor.
Being the Governor of Colorado means being the Governor of ALL Colorado, not just the nine most populated counties in the urban corridor. Our united goal must be focused on creating a state where anyone can achieve their Colorado American Dream. This begins with our most basic needs, like food, energy, education, and the right to work, live and play all while having our human rights and our Constitutional rights remain intact.
I call on the media to stop promoting the Moral Panic that divides us. Stop encouraging the small vocal minority who support the cancel culture movement. These individuals use terms like “hate speech” “terrorist parents” and “for the better good” claiming it is to unite us, but its true purpose is to divide us.
Rebuilding our communities, our families and our state will take all of us coming together under the banner of “We the People”. Let us together stop the overreaching, heavy hand top-down form of government that exists today. Let us empower the people to do what is best for their communities and families and tell the government to stay out of our lives so that we can live the best Colorado life that we can.
I will remind you that the Colorado Dream is about ALL of us, not just some of us.
It is time for the people to stop bowing down to the government and for the government to start bowing down to the people. I have seen what happens to small businesses and families when they bow down to the government and it is not a pretty sight.
Our so-called growing economy is only benefitting a small few, only those who sit at the very top of the economic spectrum. It benefits the rich, the elite politicians with all the power while the poor and middle-class are ignored and forgotten.
With the stroke of a pen, over 600,000 small businesses were shut down overnight and 40% of those small businesses will never open again. Colorado families lost their fortunes, their dreams, and their economic vitality because of a “boogie-man” that the Governor fears, and no one can see.
Our God given rights should remind us that it is against human nature to think that someone sitting underneath a gold dome knows what is best for every family and individual living in the state. Almost everything the government touches, it ruins.
What began as a legitimate precaution of an unknown threat, COVID 19 quickly became a control mechanism to pick winners and losers. It will go down in history as the most unmerciful devastating blow to the poor and the hardworking middle-class.
Vaccine mandates, masks and social distancing have been scientifically proven to be ineffective in preventing the spread of the virus. Vaccinated people are still testing positive for the virus and having to be hospitalized. Vaccinated or unvaccinated neither option protects you from getting the virus.
If the mask stops the virus from spreading the virus, then science would dictate that after one use the mask becomes a biohazard item and must be destroyed. Funny how that is not happening. We must not allow others to use COVID19 as an excuse for stealing our God given rights and freedoms.
As Americans, where do we look for solutions? We seek solutions within ourselves and within our communities, not government. It is time that we re-embrace the undisputed truth that mankind has the capacity to self-govern. Let each one of us do our part by working on strengthening our immune system. Let us allow the doctors to do their part by allowing them to prescribe medication that is scientifically proven to reduce or eliminate symptoms caused by the virus just like the vaccine.
People should be free to live their daily lives regardless of their vaccination status absent of mandates and restrictions.
Small business, the heart and soul of every community, suffered and lost more than Corporate America due to the state shutdown and the misguided policies surrounding the virus.
As I travel the state and speak with small business owners, I hear their stories about the numerous sleepless nights they have endured due to the overwhelming restrictions and mandates that both the Governor and the Department of Public Health and Environment imposed on them. Being told that they had to operate with limited capacity caused many to use all their savings to stay open or simply go out of business.
Many closed and will never open again, others still struggle to this very day, and it will be years before they fully recover. Hundreds upon hundreds of businesses, dreams, livelihoods swept away with the stroke of a pen. Most of which will never be fully restored.
Today over 400,000 small businesses are struggling to survive and thrive, while others have been forced to close their doors forever. The poor and middle-class families are being harmed the most with the rising gas prices, the rising home and escalating food costs.
We must focus on rebuilding our communities ensuring that we live in a state where small businesses in every community are thriving and hiring. Communities where main street is once again a destination place for families to shop and see their friends and neighbors. A state where vaccine passports, social distancing, self-quarantine, and masks are no longer a daily way of life but rather a thing of the past.
It is time we make Colorado – Colorado Again!
The over 400 executive orders and misguided policies indiscriminately damaged families in rural, urban, and suburban Colorado by crushing small business and allowing vaccine mandates to stand. Segregation has raised its ugly head again. It's no longer White vs Black today it is about the Vaccinated vs Unvaccinated. Segregation has always been and will always be wrong no matter what form it takes.
Corporate America, health care facilities and the government have doubled down on requiring employees, patients, and small businesses to provide proof of vaccination or risk losing their ability to provide for their families. This is not what America is about, this type of behavior is what third world countries do to control the masses.
The men and women on the frontlines of this pandemic were once held up as heroes and now those who chose not to submit to a vaccine are now being called zeroes and being fired from their jobs. Over the last two years you have seen politicians give updates claiming how their actions are saving lives, when we know that is not true. The only people that save lives are the heroic health care providers such as nurses and doctors.
COVID19 is no longer a health issue, it has become a political issue. COVID19 as a pandemic was and is over. It is time to accept the undisputed “science of math” that demonstrates that only a thousandth of one percent of the entire population of Colorado has died from the virus. Which means 99.99 percent of the population are alive and well. We must return to living our best Colorado life again.
Since the spring of 2020, the quality of education of our most precious asset, our children, has been severely lacking. The teachers were asked to do something they were never trained to do and that was to teach remotely.
Both the teachers and students were forced to endure unprecedented learning conditions and parents were told to trust the government experts when they said that their children’s educational advancement would not be jeopardized.
This new approach revealed something previously overlooked by parents and that, of course, is the floundering and failing curriculum forced on the children and youth of Colorado. A curriculum that promotes the social philosophy of America as evil and her values racist. Infusing Critical Race Theory in every subject and promoting sexual promiscuity. While ignoring the primary purpose of education in the basic standards of literacy and math proficiency.
In Colorado 61% or 6 out of 10 fourth graders are below proficient in reading and 56% or 5 out of 10 fourth graders are below proficient in math. It is clear, the Colorado Public School System is failing our children.
School closures also created a wave of mental illness and trauma for students who crave socialization but were forced into isolation. High school seniors who were never allowed to walk in graduation ceremonies can never get that opportunity back. Students lost more than just a few days in the classroom.
Ill-conceived slogans like “Alone Together” were supposed to magically overcome the very basic and vital needs of community for children, but youth mental suffering increased anyway, suicide spiked and demand for teen mental health service is now at an all-time high. Children’s Hospital has declared a crisis in kids attempting suicide and other forms of major mental health issues.
I stand before you and tell you that it is wrong to circumvent the will and beliefs of parents to teach a philosophy contradictory to ours to our children. Control over a child’s curriculum belongs with the parent or guardian of the child. Public school boards who must consider the will of the parents and shift to meet their needs and wants.
Charter schools that specialize in various industries or trades promise to create a diverse workforce that will stimulate and enrich our economy. Vouchers promise to further this diversity in education and skill set. If managed correctly, as a rising tide lifts all boats, the improvement and promotion of more schools and programs raises the bar for our schools, our teachers and most importantly our students.
In the 2018 November election, Proposition 112 “Setback Requirements for Oil and Gas Development” requiring a minimum distance of 2,500 -foot setback from occupied buildings failed when 55.12% of Colorado voters said no.
Today under the administrative policy of the Governor, the minimum setback is 2,000 – minimum setback between new wells and occupied buildings. Colorado families that depend on the energy industries face a dismal future due to the unnecessary restrictions and guidelines placed on oil and gas. When the government turns a deaf ear to the voice of the people, it is time for change to occur.
We all understand the need for and importance of finding ways to power our cars and heat our homes that do not overtax our planet. Practically, this is not achievable, just yet.
One of Colorado’s greatest traits is our ability to innovate and invent. We have some of the best minds in technology and energy right here in this state. Colorado will be on the cutting edge, but we must sustain ourselves on the road to energy independence and then on to energy innovation.
Policies that drive out industries that offer the only practical and affordable technologies and resources available today creates an artificial hardship on Coloradans, already burdened with one of the highest costs of living in the country.
New technologies are coming and some of them show incredible promise, both for cost and our environment, but a premature leap forward on cleaner and more renewable energy will only lead to unnecessary hardships on our most vulnerable residents and the loss of thousands of jobs.
Crime is rampant and has reached epidemic proportions over the last couple of years. One of the contributing factors to the increase in crime is a direct result of Senate Bill 20-127. The sole purpose of this bill is to handcuff law enforcement and embolden those individuals that chose to commit crimes and destroy property.
Being a police officer is no longer considered an honorable profession but rather a job that needs to be eliminated and disparaged. Criminals are treated like victims of society and are encouraged to disrespect the property of others. This is causing crime to thrive and expand into suburban neighborhoods. For the first time ever, neighborhoods are facing fighting crime alone due to the lack of officers patrolling the neighborhood streets.
Mothers are afraid to take their kids to the park after work due to the numerous crimes occurring in their once safe neighborhoods. Once safe neighborhoods are no longer safe. Places like bike trails that used to be enjoyed by families are now lined with tents of homeless people and crime.
Families live in fear because a small number of individuals believe that the neighborhood streets are safer when we defund the police.
Community Policing is the last resort and will require every day law abiding citizens to step in harm’s way just to keep their kids safe without the fear of crime. This program is the last act of desperation to protect their families from this criminal element. Should society fail to recognize the importance of reinstating law and order in our streets which is the sole mission of law enforcement our children will no longer be able to go outside and play in their neighborhoods.
Homelessness is rising and state regulations are preventing the non-profits organizations and the faith-based community from helping our brothers and sisters who are homeless to find a better life. This is neither fair nor compassionate. We will never eradicate homelessness as a society, but we can minimize it by allowing non-profit organizations and other institutions to help them. The vast majority of the homeless are lost souls that have been rejected by family or society.
I call on the faith-based community to step out into the streets once again and help the poor, the meek and the homeless. It is through your hard work without the interference of the government that will bring hope and peace to these lost souls.
I know that love and compassion exist in the hearts of the people of Colorado. If we all gave a few dollars or a few hours, we could help change the lives of the homeless. We came together for the fires, let’s come together for the homeless. It’s time for government to stand aside and let the citizens take care of their own.
There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. To every one of my neighbors in Colorado, to every citizen, I say this. I am one of you, I share your vision, a dream of a future in our home state where we responsibly steward our resources and revolutionize industries. Where we fulfill the immediate needs of our citizens and find practical solutions to the problems we face and always believe in a brighter tomorrow.
We live in a world we allow to exist. If we don’t like the world we find ourselves in, we do whatever it takes to change it.
We can show the rest of our great nation how it’s done. We have one shot on this blue marble. Why not Colorado? Why not 2022? Let us now be dreamers together and never again “alone together.” The time has come for us to listen together, to live together, build together and to thrive together.
So here we are in 2022, a little worse off than we have been in the past, for some people more than a little. But we are still in a place where we can change course to a new Colorado day, where we are all more prosperous, happier, better prepared to serve our great purpose in our great narrative in our greatest state. I want to earn the right to call every Coloradan my neighbor. I want to understand and serve the needs of all our communities. I am one of you, for all of us. I am ready for the task of leading Colorado out of this dark tunnel. We can achieve the Colorado American Dream together.
And in closing let me leave you with a sentiment expressed by Thomas Jefferson during our nation’s founding that resonates today.
“Let us move forward with a firm reliance on divine providence to fulfill our mutual destiny to thrive and prosper together as the greatest state in our union.