Guest column | Dylan Roberts: Thank you, voters

Dylan Roberts
Colorado Senator, District 8
Dylan Roberts
Dylan Roberts/Courtesy photo

To the voters of Colorado’s State Senate District 8: thank you.

Last month, tens of thousands of voters across Central and Northwest Colorado filled out their ballots with our state’s future in mind, and I am honored to have earned your trust to serve as your next state senator.

Whether or not you voted for me, thank you for your participation in our electoral process and for helping shape our government. I also thank my opponent, Matt Solomon, who ran a vigorous campaign in which we both traveled thousands of miles and attended countless events to share our views and answer your questions. 

One of the best parts about the campaign was the opportunity to meet and hear from people across the 10 counties of this district. At every town hall, candidate forum and door on which I knocked, I heard from you about the challenges you face, the ideas you have, and what makes Grand County a place where you are proud to live.

Further, I am convinced more now than ever that we all have so much more in common than what divides us. Unfortunately, elections can bring out sharp differences, distraction from the real issues and unending hyperbole on television, in our mailboxes and online — and it seems to get worse each election. Yet, in person, I know we can work together to find common ground and focus on solving problems. I know that because I’ve seen it happen firsthand here in our communities. That is why I see this job as being a voice for everyone, not just those who voted for me. I renew my pledge here to always put the needs of our region above politics. I know that not everyone will agree with me 100% of the time, but you can count on me to cast votes and introduce legislation with the needs of our communities at the forefront. Furthermore, I will always be available to you to explain my position and listen to your feedback. 

After hearing from so many of you on the campaign trail, I am energized to get to work to protect our way of life and offer solutions to the challenges Grand County faces. In anticipation of the upcoming legislative session, I have already been working with leaders across the district and my Republican and Democratic colleagues to draft bills that address our region’s unique needs. Among my top priorities for this upcoming legislative session are developing more workforce housing, revitalizing our rural economies and agriculture industry, lowering the cost of living for working families, championing our public education system, and protecting our water. 

I heard loud and clear that the cost of living in Grand County is unsustainable for many of our working families. With a dearth of affordable housing and the cost of basic goods increasing due to global inflation, too many families have had to make significant financial sacrifices to remain in our mountain towns. In my time as a state representative, I’ve had a relentless focus on lowering the cost of living, and I will not let up now. We secured over $500 million to build and maintain affordable housing, cut taxes for child care centers, and created more affordable health insurance options for individuals and small businesses — among many other efforts, which are starting to take effect now, to help you keep more of the money you earn. I will keep building off this work to ensure that working families across our region can afford to live and thrive here.

As we experience more droughts, wildfires and other effects of climate change, I will continue to prioritize protecting our precious water. We have already passed legislation to invest in our state’s water plan, mitigate drought by incentivizing turf lawn replacement and expand the in-stream flow program to protect our rivers and agriculture. Looking ahead, I plan to advocate that we invest even more in protecting our water and our water-delivery systems to ensure the Western Slope maintains an essential water supply in light of drought and out-of-state demands. 

On Jan. 9, 35 state senators and 65 State House representatives from across the state will convene at the Capitol for our 120-day session to introduce, debate and vote on bills. I am deeply humbled by the honor to serve you and the 10 counties of Senate District 8. Thank you for this privilege. 

Your ideas and feedback greatly inform my work as a legislator. Please reach out to me anytime at, on my cell at 970-846-3054 or join me at an upcoming town hall meeting online or in person.

Senator-elect Dylan Roberts currently serves Eagle and Routt counties in the Colorado State House. Starting Jan. 9, he will serve as state senator for Senate District 8, which comprises Clear Creek, Eagle, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties.

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