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New HD 12 Rep. Kyle Brown focuses on climate change, fire recovery, affordable housing

Rep. Kyle Brown was selected to take over the vacant seat left by House District 12 Rep. Tracey Bernett.
During a Zoom meeting on Saturday, a Boulder County Democratic committee selected Kyle Brown to fill the House District 12 seat after Rep. Tracy Bernett resigned earlier this month.

Less than 48 hours after Kyle Brown was selected to become the new representative of House District 12, he went to work at the Colorado State Capitol on Monday — a turnover he said he was prepared for.

“Our district has been without representation at the state House for the last 20 days — one-sixth of the entire legislative session,” Brown said. “I have worked with the legislature for the last 10 years and have vast experience at the federal, state and local levels, and I am ready on day one to hit the ground running.”

The Boulder County Democratic Party spent more than three hours conducting the online voting session on Saturday to select the district’s new representative, as court proceedings continue for the district’s former Rep. Tracey Bernett, who resigned Jan. 8 after she was accused of falsifying her home address so she could run for reelection. 

Fifty-one members of the party’s vacancy committee submitted their selections, and Brown won with 80.39% of the votes. Distant runners-up were former U.S. Rep. David Skaggs (13.73%) and Superior Board of Trustees Member Jenn Kaaoush (3.92%).

“I am so excited to get to work for this district and our community,” Brown said. “I will work every day to make good on the faith you have put on me.” 

House District 12 includes Louisville, Lafayette, Niwot and Superior.

Brown, a Louisville City Council member and Colorado Division of Insurance deputy commissioner, has served as a policy director for former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. 

In Saturday’s voting session, Boulder County Assessor Cynthia Braddock said Brown has “crafted legislative solutions to the toughest policy problems.”

Brown designed and implemented Colorado’s Public Option Program, which involved the enrollment of roughly 35,000 people into the government’s alternative health insurance plans.

“Health care is a basic human right, and I will fight for Medicare for all,” he said during Saturday’s voting session.

Brown grew up in Colorado, and attended elementary and middle school in Louisville, and high school in Boulder. He has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a PhD in genetics from Harvard University.

Brown said he plans to sponsor legislation to lower greenhouse gas emissions, support electric vehicle infrastructure and expand building electrification.

“I will continue to fight for environmental justice for all Coloradans — keeping toxic pesticides and dangerous fracking away from our kids and families,” he said.

Another top priority for Brown is continuing his work to help local communities recover from the Marshall fire.

“I will advocate for state resources to aid families, and to rebuild our infrastructure,” Brown said. “I will reform homeowners’ insurance so that everyone can get the coverage that they need.”

Braddock, who nominated Brown for House District 12, said he has dedicated countless hours to helping fire victims.

“I have seen him fight for our community,” Braddock said. “In the wake of the Marshall fire, he’s worked to restore basic services and to provide financial relief so everyone can return home.”

Brown said he’s also going to focus on affordable housing.

“We’re not going to be able to build our way out of the affordable housing crisis,” he said. “It’s going to take reasonable government intervention and regulations — holding developers accountable,” he said. “I will fight to protect renters from rent gouging, and I will work to get local governments the tools they need to address the housing crisis.”

As a Louisville City Council member, Brown worked to pass gun legislation such as prohibitions on open carry and assault weapons.

He has also advocated to increase teachers’ salaries and to end the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a provision that requires tax revenue increases to be tied to population and inflation increases.

“Brown has worked in state government since the passage of TABOR and have seen its terrible effects on our ability to provide the services Coloradans need to thrive,” read a news release announcing Brown’s candidacy for House District 12. “Brown (knows) that Colorado’s roads, schools, housing, and health care all suffer because of this terrible part of our constitution.”

Amber Fisher

About the Author: Amber Fisher

I'm thrilled to be an assistant editor with the Longmont Leader after spending the past decade reporting for news outlets across North America. When I'm not writing, you can find me snowboarding, reading fiction and running (poorly).
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