top of page
Tina Mueh headshot
Tina Mueh for House District 10 logo

As the campaign has progressed, and I’ve had rich conversations with so many experts and passionate advocates about different issues, my views have evolved and sharpened (which is of course how it should work with candidates and elected officials).

On the Issues

Champion Great Public Schools for All

Classroom.jpg

I support real change in the form of full and equitable school funding in our state. I oppose any effort that diverts funding from public schools. I oppose waivers that allow charter schools to operate in a way that increases the burden on public neighborhood schools.

Advance Comprehensive Public Safety Policy

Safe public spaces.jpg

Support and respect the role of law enforcement in assuring citizen and community safety. Keep public amenities and spaces accessible and safe for everyone. Common sense legislation around controlled substances Firearms legislation must be part of our core duty to protect public safety.

Unwavering Defense of Reproductive Health & Justice

ReproRights.jpg

There’s always more to do in the effort to increase access to the full array of reproductive health services for all Coloradans.

Promote Affordability for Workers & Families

Affordable Housing 2.jpg

Improved standard of living through collective bargaining and retirement security Creating more affordable housing Smart, thoughtful infill as opposed to sprawl, local control as opposed to top-down mandates Treatment-focused, data-driven approach to homelessness

Protect Colorado's Climate & Environment

environment.jpg

The U.S. needs an all-out focus on conversion to clean energy akin to our nation’s highway project of the 50s. I am saddened by the very low, 17% recycling rate in the state of Colorado. Climate justice means adopting policies and practices, individually and as a society, that move us away from thoughtless extraction, consumption, and pollution, and toward a cleaner environment and more stable global climate.

Champion Great Public Schools for All

Classroom.jpg

There are wonderful and dedicated educators everywhere.  I, and so many of us, owe our careers, our livelihoods, our opportunities to the stellar educations we received in neighborhood public schools.  Public education in the U.S. is only “broken” in that it’s underfunded.  Neighborhood public schools are a cornerstone of our democracy, providing the tools for every U.S. student to succeed and be ready to participate meaningfully in our society.

University-based teacher education programs are the best way to foster and maintain high standards and professionalism in our education workforce.  Educator pedagogy and practice can be improved through investment in professional development and training.

I oppose any effort that diverts funding from public schools.  I oppose the waivers that allow charter schools to operate in a way that increases the burden on public neighborhood schools.

I think many people don’t know that the phrase “education reform” is charged. Ideas about such reform often include the idea of paying teachers, evaluating them, and licensing them according to the standardized test scores of their students even though low test scores are tied to poverty and a host of societal ills, many of which are out of teacher control no matter how dedicated they are to their students.  And I strongly oppose any education reform efforts toward vouchers or privatization of public schools. I’m no fan of that kind of education reform, but I have always been firmly committed to improving public education.

I support real change in the form of full and equitable school funding in our state, such that our professional educators are respected and well compensated.  I support community schools where communities wrap their arms around their neighborhood schools to provide an array of services to students and families.  I support families having options within our public schools about which schools best fit the needs of their children. I support increasing Career and Tech Ed opportunities, including programs like Pathways 2 Teaching that encourage more students of color to pursue careers as educators.  I’m excited about high school concurrent enrollment courses in partnership with higher education and new ideas about high school end goals like seals of biliteracy and industry certifications. To continue all of these great steps forward, we need to take a serious look at improving the dismal education funding situation in our state, including for higher education.  Furthering the education funding strides taken by our legislature in 2023 would be a step toward real education reform.

Promote Affordability for Workers & Families

Affordable Housing 2.jpg

I’ve known a lot of Boulder teachers over the years who couldn’t afford living here, and I think it’s a nice idea to have our middle-income teachers, nurses, firefighters, etc., be able to live in the communities where they work.  Affordability is a critical issue for far too many Coloradans, and as a state we must devote our best ideas and resources to the many dimensions within our broader problem.  Here are a few of those dimensions: 

  • Improved standard of living

Low and middle income Colorado residents need good unions!  Collective bargaining for all workers is a proven way to increase income and shift people from one income level to the next, allowing individuals and families to better deal with a high cost of living.  Additionally, retirement security for Colorado workers, especially those in the public sector, is important so that aging residents can continue to afford to live in their Colorado communities.
 

  • Affordable housing

Housing is such a basic human need that it shouldn’t be completely at the whim of the market; the cost of housing shouldn’t be determined by what the market will bear.  Incentives for landlords - perhaps very low-cost mortgages, etc. - to keep rents affordable for a certain number of years after purchasing a rental property could be part of the strategy.  I support looking at fair approaches to rent stabilization as well.  Municipalities should secure a certain percentage (perhaps 20%, which would more than double the amount in Boulder) of permanently affordable homes, a high percentage of which should be able to house families and seniors.  Colorado communities might be able to benefit from good ideas that came out of Boulder, like our Housing Legacy Program and increasing the number of other deed restricted properties, partially through the linkage fees and affordable housing support fees charged to developers.  Changes to occupancy limits seem a tempting way to increase affordability, but without stipulations requiring that affordability, it seems we’re increasing density and rental income for landlords without much community benefit.  I support the creation of ADUs as a workable, reasonable way to increase housing supply without dramatically changing the character of our neighborhoods.
 

  • Housing development

Population growth is almost certainly coming to Colorado, and it will take finding common ground to accommodate our new residents, families, employees, and students. It will be a balancing act, but I think many of us would like to protect open spaces and agricultural land, plus minimize air pollution and traffic congestion from lengthy commuting, as we grow.  I support smart, thoughtful infill as opposed to sprawl, and I support local control as opposed to top-down mandates with carrots and sticks.

I support the creation of new affordable housing units both locally and statewide, and I’m joined by the majority of Coloradans as evidenced by the recent passage of Colorado Prop 123 and Boulder County Issue 1B which both provide funds for affordable housing.  I support regional discussions among local communities in Colorado (especially along the Front Range) about thoughtfully increasing their housing supply in ways that enhance their communities and protect surrounding lands.  Not every community has the same carrying capacity (the number of people a community can support without degrading the local environment and quality of life), so a one-size-fits-all mandate isn’t reasonable.

The land use bill debated in our legislature during the 2023 session (SB 23-213) included some promising ideas, but attempting to force that policy through the legislature without authentically engaging all Colorado municipalities was dismissive of local control and community agency.  More work will be needed to meaningfully include all Coloradans in finding solutions to our shared housing affordability challenges.

 

I support smart infill instead of sprawl.  I like development that creates walkable neighborhoods and considers transportation access before planning the buildings.  I grew up in Colorado Springs where multiple housing developers display ads for newly built homes at every major intersection, where sections of the city are dying and blighted areas proliferate because it’s much cheaper to encroach on the shortgrass prairie to the east than it is to revitalize dilapidated parts of the city.  There are few constraints on development.  It's not a model to emulate.

Strangely, some in our local and state communities want to solve our housing affordability problem by trusting capitalism and “the market” to solve this for us.  They seek to deregulate development, making it easier and cheaper for developers to build here and encouraging density.  The theory seems to be if you increase the supply of housing, the price will drop.  In cities of finite proportions, interested in preserving surrounding open space and agricultural land, that won’t be the case.  Without affordability policies in place, developers will maximize profit on each unit built, and more people who can afford the new costly units will move here.  The people being priced out - our teachers, baristas, firefighters, retail workers, etc. - will still have no place to live and will continue to commute in from surrounding areas, exacerbating traffic issues and pushing us farther from carbon-neutrality goals.  Essentially, I believe that governments shouldn’t enact policies that create windfalls without exacting commensurate public good from those who profit.  If Boulder and Colorado are going to promote development and increase density, then we better get affordability and truly walkable neighborhoods with integrated services out of the deal.

I believe we need to welcome new residents, and if we do it right, we can house more people while maintaining more of the Colorado character that drew so many of us here.

  • Homelessness

HD10 is a compassionate community where we accept that there will always be prodigal sons, there will always be neighbors who are unhoused and need help.  There are Colorado communities that haven’t wanted to devote resources to that, but that’s untenable.  Boulder rightly devotes a lot of energy and resources to the challenge of homelessness, but for these efforts to yield better outcomes and longer-term results for individuals, the focus here and throughout our state for individuals experiencing homelessness should shift toward substance abuse treatment and mental health intervention instead of only prioritizing housing.

I support a tiered sheltering/treatment system whereby those unhoused individuals experiencing substance use crises can first access an acute care facility, and later progress into housing that promotes further stabilization and ultimately longer-term transitional sober housing.  This treatment continuum would not only save lives and give people an opportunity to flourish, but it also creates a pipeline into more permanent housing.

 

Access to mental health resources, or alternative placements for those experiencing both homelessness and acute mental health challenges, are also critical components for this system (and for all of us really since lack of access to mental health services in our state is increasingly problematic in general).

 

And we can't forget that, increasingly, people who don't have substance abuse or mental health issues are also becoming homeless. This includes people who can't afford the high price of rent, and those who experience life events like the end of a relationship or losing a job.

 

But Boulder and Denver can’t be islands in this.  We can’t accept that the homelessness solution in surrounding counties is, “Transport the homeless to where they can get services since we’re not that interested in using our resources to create services here.”  We should fund this at the state level to ensure equity and the participation of every county in implementing components of a treatment-focussed, data-driven approach. Again, every community in Colorado must take a bit of the responsibility for their own unhoused residents so that Boulder and similar communities aren’t stretched thin in an attempt to take care of everyone.

Advance Comprehensive Public Safety Policy

Safe public spaces.jpg
  • Law enforcement

The first duty of government is to protect citizens from harm.  I support and respect the role of law enforcement in assuring citizen and community safety, and I also support the right of all citizens to be safe from inappropriate and illegal acts perpetrated by law enforcement individuals and institutions. 

   

  • Safe public spaces

I support policies that prioritize public safety, and especially the safety of our kids.  As a long-time educator and mother of a Boulder High freshman, I supported Boulder’s Safe Zones for Kids initiative.  There were those who suggested that Safe Zones was an anti-homeless proposition, but in reality, it was the most modest of asks: can we agree that no tents or propane tanks (markers of keeping house in a quasi-permanent way) should be allowed where people walk or where there are concentrations of children?  I think we need to go further to keep public amenities and spaces accessible and safe for everyone, and this is by no means just a Boulder issue.  Coloradans and visitors love using our public spaces, and state laws should enable local communities to ensure people feel safe and comfortable in them.  Unlawful camping and criminal activity in our public spaces pose a danger to unhoused people as well as to the general public, and we must do more to address it for the safety of everyone. 

 

  • Regulation and penalties for illegal substances

As a middle school teacher who observed first hand the trickle-down effect of recent drug legalization on our teens, I support common sense legislation around controlled substances. I support better regulation of high-potency THC, maintaining penalties for illegal fentanyl (and other drugs) possession and especially distribution, and other policies related to the protection of children and all of us.

 

I do believe that people of color are disproportionately punished for drug-related crimes, but the solution to that problem should be accomplished through sentencing guidelines, drug courts, professional development for law enforcement, and other strategies that seek to humanize historically draconian responses to these crimes.  The solutions shouldn’t involve decriminalizing poisons that can have immediate and long-term dire effects.

 

  • Firearm safety

Our Boulder community still reels from the horrific 2021 mass shooting at King Soopers, and we’ve all followed the massive Colorado and national tragedies such as Columbine, the Aurora Theater, Sandy Hook, Club Q, Las Vegas, and too many more to mention.  Firearms legislation must be part of our core duty to protect public safety.

 

While I want to see major reductions in gun violence, and I do support a ban on assault-style weapons, I don’t want to ban all guns. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article II, Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution spell out rights to bear arms, and Colorado is a state full of people who responsibly and legally own firearms for hunting, sport, or self-defense.

 

I support legislation that expands on the background check initiative state voters passed in the wake of Columbine and related laws enacted thereafter.  Background checks have been proven to block firearms sales to people who shouldn’t be able to buy dangerous weapons. There were 5,358 sales denied due to background checks in 2023 alone!

 

And because it’s fairly common that somebody knew in advance of an act of violence that the perpetrator was a threat to public safety, I’m thankful for Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO or “red flag”) law so that courts can order temporary removal of weapons from a person deemed a threat to public safety. The law has been used several hundred times since it passed in 2019, and it’s another example of legislation that is geared toward addressing specific threats and not gun ownership in general. 

 

I applaud the series of public safety bills our legislature passed after King Soopers: allowing local governments to pass firearms laws that are stricter than state law, requiring safe weapons storage, enhancing protections for domestic violence victims, and establishing a state Office of Gun Violence Protection.  I look to the EveryTown for Gun Safety data-driven playbook for further legislation to reduce gun violence.

Protect Colorado's Climate & Environment

environment.jpg

Earth has (unofficially, but truly) entered a new epoch on the geologic timeline dubbed the “Anthropocene” (credit: atmospheric chemist, Paul Crutzen, 2000) - a time when human activity is significantly impacting global climate and environment.  We are at a critical point as average yearly temperatures rise, the predictable patterns of deep ocean currents shift, and climate change is felt in the form of dramatic floods and fires in our own local community.  We must address this crisis at every level of government.

  • Toward a clean energy economy

As a scientist, I love thinking about climate issues, and particularly about clean energy.

 

I‘d like to support Colorado’s participation in Community Choice Energy (communities having options about how they source their electricity) to reach Colorado’s climate goals.  Embracing CCE, fighting for community choice power across the state of Colorado, will help Boulder achieve the 100% renewable/carbon neutrality objectives of the Boulder Muni project while also allowing other Colorado communities to do the same.

 

Renewable energy sources are limitless and developing these on a large scale is imperative to reduce our climate and environmental impacts.  “Green'' energy opportunities should be available to all communities, and subsidizing this availability through tax incentives and other programs is a benefit to everyone.  The Inflation Reduction Act opened the door to research, innovation, and mass infrastructure projects, but the U.S. needs an all-out focus on conversion to clean energy akin to our nation’s highway project of the 50s.

 

My favorite potential transportation fuel is hydrogen, but only hydrogen produced through electrolysis (“green” hydrogen) as opposed to steam reforming to drive hydrogen off of fossil fuels at high temperatures.  There are problems associated with adding hydrogen to transportation fuels (i.e. high combustion temps cause the formation of NOx species in ambient air), but there is no such difficulty with hydrogen fuel cells in which the combustion is at a much lower temperature, and the only waste is water.

 

Electric cars are a nice interim solution because at least they eliminate the non-point-source pollution associated with millions of vehicles burning fossil fuels, but we are currently still dependent on electricity that is still largely produced by fossil fuel combustion.

 

I’m hopeful about battery storage technology advancements that will allow us to store energy even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

 

Electrifying homes, incentivizing the use of heat pumps, geo exchange units, solar hot water and photovoltaic systems, etc. should be priorities, and making all of these things available to our most vulnerable populations will again be a benefit to all of us.  I don’t support forcing people to electrify their existing residences at great personal effort and expense (especially since such mandates often overestimate the ability of our electrical grid to keep pace with the new demand), but I do support big subsidies and generous grants for Coloradans wishing to go that route.  Electrification requirements for new builds might be more reasonable, but again, the grid will have to expand rapidly.

 

The transition to a new clean energy economy is progressing more quickly than many expected and at a pace driven by industry, energy markets, and thoughtful environmental regulation.  The current skills of workers in the fossil fuel industry will dovetail with skills required for exciting new clean energy jobs, and training in the new technologies should be provided to these workers.  New clean energy jobs should preferentially go to those displaced workers from the fossil fuel industry, and our trade unionists are well-qualified to help members with the transition and acquisition of new skills.

 

I’ve enjoyed many years of teaching my middle school students about energy use, the changing ratio of renewable to non-renewable sources, jobs in the energy sector, and the effects of different energy sources on our climate and environment.  I will be delighted to engage in these conversations in the legislature.

  • Enhanced recycling

I am saddened by the very low, 17% recycling rate in the state of Colorado.  Habitat destruction, pollution, and inefficient use of energy are all hallmarks of our insatiable need for extraction of more and more natural resources - our throw-away, convenience-is-everything culture.  The state’s 2022
Producer Responsibility bill (HB 22-1355) was a very positive step, but we need to follow up in the years to come to make sure it produces significantly better recycling rates.

 

We need to make recycling of glass and aluminum mandatory because these materials can be recycled infinitely, greatly reducing the need for new material extraction.  We need to hold manufacturers accountable for the amount and type of waste they produce, the amount of waste they send to landfills instead of recycling, and the amount of packaging they create that shifts the burden of ethical disposal to the consumer.  We need laws that require sellers to provide a way that consumers can responsibly dispose of used electronics.  We need to incentivize the creation of more recycling facilities in our state, and we need to provide comprehensive curbside service in all municipalities even if it’s difficult and expensive.

 

  • Ensuring climate justice

Climate justice means moving away from the attitude that people, or countries like the U.S., with money and power can burn fossil fuels without concern for the effect of their actions on everybody else in the world.  Climate justice, and I’ll say climate responsibility and morality, means that a country like the U.S. with the technological resources and know-how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease fossil fuel use, and move toward 100% renewable energy, has a moral obligation to do that.

Within our own country and state, climate justice means recognizing and owning the fact that our unchecked use of fossil fuel is already having dire effects on our citizens with limited resources to deal with wildfires and climate-change-driven catastrophes as well as temperature extremes like we’ve seen in recent summers.  It means paying attention to the negative health outcomes suffered by lower-income and minority communities who don’t put up as much of a fight as more affluent communities when oil and gas refining or extraction happens in their backyard.

The Inflation Reduction Act can help, and I’d like to see Colorado partner with the federal government to meet our climate needs - maybe implementing tiered tax credits whereby lower-income families would receive more tax credits and higher subsidies for energy efficient home improvements.

 

Climate justice means adopting policies and practices, individually and as a society, that move us away from thoughtless extraction, consumption, and pollution, and toward a cleaner environment and more stable global climate.

Unwavering Defense of Reproductive Health & Justice

ReproRights.jpg

As a former board member and previous political action chair of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, I’ve worked pretty directly for over a decade on abortion access and all that entails, especially for women living in poverty and women of color who have always had a harder time accessing abortion care and reproductive health care in general.

 

PPRM knew for years that the recent Dobbs decision was coming, and I was in conversations about how to prepare for that for several years.  I celebrate the tenacious state legislators who passed the 2022 Reproductive Health Equity Act just in the nick of time, guaranteeing every Coloradan the right to make reproductive health care decisions free from government interference.  I also applaud the trio of bills passed during the 2023 legislative session to further bolster abortion rights and gender-affirming care.  I’m excited about this year’s Initiative 89 to enshrine abortion and insurance coverage for abortion in our Colorado constitution.

 

And I recognize that there’s always more to do in the effort to increase access to the full array of reproductive health services for all Coloradans. This might go without saying, but I don’t support any limits, based on pregnancy duration or anything else, on a person’s right to an abortion.

bottom of page