My Story: Family, Community, Education and Leadership
Representative Crisanta Duran is a proud native of Colorado. Rep. Duran's family has owned a ranch just West of Trinidad going back six generations. Rep. Duran credits her parents for instilling the importance of public service in her from a very early age - to making a difference by encouraging economic opportunity and access to the American dream.
Rep. Duran graduated from Arvada West High School with honors and was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the University of Denver, where she earned a double major degree in Public Policy and Spanish. After graduating from the University of Denver, Rep. Duran began her study of law at the University of Colorado. While there, she was honored to be elected as President of the Student Bar Association, as well as President of the Latino Law Student Association. She now works as an attorney with Smith, Shellenberger & Salazar in Westminster, Colorado.
As a Legislator, Rep. Duran has served on the Judiciary, Finance, State Veterans & Military Affairs and Joint Council committees at the State Legislature. Rep. Duran is currently a member of the Joint Budget Committee which is charged with balancing Colorado's budget every year. Next session, she will serve as Chair of the Appropriations Committee.
Rep. Duran was recently recognized in a Denver Post article titled, "Women Who Broke Political Barriers," and received The Denver Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" Award."
In her first term, Rep. Duran has successfully reached across the aisle to pass legislation to connect the jobless with training to work for a Colorado employer or start a business; change the name of Metropolitan State University of Denver; encourage parent involvement in K-12 education; and create government efficiency in the areas of affordable housing, childcare regulations and higher education.
This past session, Rep. Duran worked to:
- Balance Colorado's budget by investing in economic development, job creation and protecting our state's most vulnerable - seniors, children and the developmentally disabled - with bipartisan support. The budget also increased Colorado's rainy day fund and paid off loans and debt obligations.
- Pass the Colorado Careers Act that will invest almost 4 million dollars into workforce development to give Coloradans tools to succeed and the ability to find stable employment.
- Invest 4 million dollars into the Auraria Campus Library Renovation project.
- Extend Tax Credits for Electric and Natural Gas Vehicles to encourage access to affordable "green" technologies for all Coloradans. I also passed legislation to remove HOA barriers to electric car vehicle owners by requiring tenant access to an electric outlet or vehicle charging equipment. The bill allows the owner or tenant to be charged by their HOA for the costs associated with the equipment.
- Encourage access to Renewable Energy by increasing Colorado's standard and creating stability in the market for companies to invest in solar, wind and other clean energies in the rural areas of our state. Consumers can't be charged more than a 2% increase on their energy bills, which is estimated to be less than $2 per month.
- Invest almost 3 million dollars into Diversifying the Economies of Rural Colorado. The Department of Local Affairs will use these dollars to examine the economies of rural Colorado where there is high unemployment and a dependence on a single employer. Passed legislation that will allow Fort Lyon to be used as a homeless treatment center.
- Allow the Office of Economic Development to invest in Infrastructure Development for Creative Districts, like the Santa Fe Arts District or the River North Art District RINO.
Collect data through the Secretary of State's Office of minority, women, disabled and veteran owned Colorado businesses in an effort to utilize this information for Economic Business Planning.
- Develop the Quality Early Childhood Education Grant Program and invest 2 million dollars to increase access to affordable and quality childcare for Colorado families.
- Create a Comprehensive Sexuality Education Grant Program for school districts that wish to teach age-appropriate, evidence based and culturally sensitive curriculum. This effort will address Colorado's teenage pregnancy problem by encouraging abstinence but also ensuring that those young adults who choose to engage in sexual activity will know how to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease.
- Pass Colorado ASSET to allow undocumented students to receive in-state tuition to attend Colorado colleges and universities.
- Support Driver's Licenses for all Coloradans, including undocumented persons, to protect public safety.
- Give a Raise to State Employees who have not seen a pay increase for four years. Encourage public safety by passing a bill to examine the staffing levels of Correctional Officers and paying them a fair wage for overtime worked.