PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNANCE

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My philosophy of government and governing draws inspiration from Catholic social teaching that contains a rich treasure of ideas that emphasize advancing the common good, promoting human dignity, and protecting human rights. My first entrepreneurial endeavor in Colorado Springs was a new church start.  Subsequently I started two small businesses, and eventually transitioned into public service.  My leadership continually focused on discerning the common good among the many competing interests, needs, and demands of the communities I served. Consequently my seven governing values include:

1.     Life and Dignity of Everyone – All humans have inherent dignity and deserve respect. I’m committed to the belief that all humans are created in the image and likeness of God, thus possess truth, beauty, and goodness.  My approach to public service, therefore, concerns the well-being of each person in every dimension: economic, political, social, and ecological. The flourishing of the human person represents the ultimate goal of politics—not party loyalty. Our institutions must work to benefit the human person in all its beauty and diversity.

2.     Rights and Responsibilities – The promotion of life and dignity is possible only by recognizing human rights, such as those enshrined in the United States Constitution. Human rights emerge from the simple fact, that we are "endowed by our Creator.” In unison, our individual rights are connected to our shared responsibility to respect the rights of others. Thus my approach to public service and civic order is to ensure human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.

3.     Community and Participation – As the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, humans are by nature social beings, and how we live together affects civic order and the quality of life of all residents. Jesus’ command to "love thy neighbor" is a critical part of upholding strong communities. Democracy is a participatory sport, not a spectator sport, hence I believe everyone has a right and duty to participate in community and decisions that affect their quality of life.

4.     Common Good – In pursuit of a more perfect union and the blessings of life, liberty, and justice for all, policies, decisions, and actions must benefit of the maximum number of Colorado Springs residents. My approach to public service is to work towards the good of ALL citizens as opposed to expanding the personal gains of individuals and the neighborhoods and school districts in which they reside. As mayor, I will be devoted to serving the citizens of Colorado Springs – regardless of party affiliation, race, creed, gender, sexual identity, age, or status.

5.     Role of Government – The institution of city government is an instrument of grace to advance the common good, elevate human dignity, protect human rights, and promote public safety for all. Government is sometimes necessary, but it should not interfere where it is not needed. Solutions to city problems should be developed and employed as much as possible at the most local level. As mayor, I will work in partnership with residents, families, local businesses, churches, and non-profit organizations to champion local interests while minimizing reliance on government. When it’s needed, city government must intervene with involvement scaling up gradually.

6.     Care for God’s Creation – The well-being of our community is closely linked to the health of our natural home. We must, therefore, serve as good stewards and preserve Earth’s God-given ecological inheritance out of respect for past, present, and future generations. This is especially true for those of us that call the Pikes Peak region home. As Katherine Lee Bates recognized when she visited the top of Pikes Peak and penned the words to “America the Beautiful,” our landscape is truly majestic, our climate is enviable, and it is upon us to preserve it.

7.     City Flourishing – It’s all about city flourishing, that is, the thriving and blossoming of Colorado Springs in all areas and sectors regarding the economic, political, social, ecological health in every single neighborhood.  The inspiration is to “love where you live” by taking practical steps to know and care for your neighbors. Cities thrive when its neighborhoods thrive.

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