–by Judy Solano

Esteemed Members of the Vacancy Committee,

Angela and I met during my first legislative session in the Colorado House of Representatives.  She was concerned about too much testing in our schools, which was a primary reason I ran for office. Having been a 5th grade teacher for many years, I saw the frustration of my students and the siphoning off of resources, and I knew something had to be done.  When I first met Angela, I knew I had found a gem, the very person who truly understood the problem and could help.

A half hour into the conversation, we marched down to legislative services and drafted the Parents Choice bill. What has always impressed me most, is that Angela doesn’t rely on a title, an institution, or an invitation to solve the problems that impact us all.

In 2012, The Republicans killed our Preschool Bill. The bill would have reduced Colorado testing to the minimal federal requirements and redirected $7 million dollars to help three thousand children on the waiting list for the Colorado Preschool Program. Once it was assigned to the “kill committee” Angela invited preschools to attend the Committee hearing.  I’ll never forget the little children in the oversized seats watching as the Republican majority voted “no” on preschool and “yes” to more testing.

Angela went on after my term expired to author the “Resolution to End No Child Left Behind.” She astounded the entire legislature by bringing together the far right with the far left recruiting Greg Brophy and Morgan Carroll as the bill sponsors. Angela didn’t stop there either. She and a team of volunteers mailed the Resolution to the Education Chairs in all fifty states, ultimately empowering each state to assert their rights in the management of their public schools.

Angela works tirelessly for the common good. The most important thing you should know is that through all these years and countless hours, Angela was never paid. There was never any personal compensation or return on investment, most people just assumed that she was a paid lobbyist.

Angela lives the promise of democracy. She is a brilliant strategist and a concerned citizen, who for the past fourteen years I have known her, has never given up or lost sight of the true purpose of government and the pursuit of fair, equitable, and inclusive policies.

In speaking of Angela, my colleague Don Perl had these words to share, “Angela brings with her a contagion. . . a light that brings out the light in others. . .who may not have even recognized it in themselves.”

On January 5th, please appoint Angela Engel as your Senator. If she can accomplish this much from the outside, just imagine what she can accomplish from inside those Colorado Capital walls.

Most sincerely,
Judy Solano 

Retired Public School Teacher
Former State Representative
Vice Chair of Education Committee