AliceMarie Slaven-Emond, family nurse practitioner at Delta Health and Wellness Center, is running for Colorado House of Representatives District 54 against incumbent Rep. Matt Soper. She is a Denver native (and has lived in Delta for a total of eight years) and has a background in teaching, healthcare and community organizations. She has also been a foster parent and has experience in social services.
Slaven-Emond received her BS at Colorado State University, her BSN at Montana State University and her MSN in Primary Care at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Before that, she was heavily involved in government and civics during high school, regularly reading and reporting on politics.
Slaven-Emond hopes that she can provide more opportunities for more people to speak their minds and discuss issues without fear of retaliation. With a background growing up in Denver and volunteer work abroad, Slaven-Emond said she has an appreciation for diversity and hopes to cultivate respectful conversations.
“You’re allowed your thoughts, I am allowed mine, and we don’t have to agree, but we do have to respect each other’s opportunity to speak their mind,” Slaven-Emond said. “I don’t believe people have been given enough opportunity to speak what they are really concerned about. I think there’s a lot of hidden frustration.”
Throughout her campaign, Slaven-Emond said that she focuses on gathering the opinions and thoughts of constituents in order to better understand their experiences. She believes the Western Slope should send strong voices that can negotiate with the majority in order to ensure access to resources for rural communities.
“I want to know what they think. I can put out there what I’m concerned about and how I think it might be, but I need to know what the people here think,” she said. “I think that’s where I come from. I’m a good mediator, I try to listen, I really want people’s input — pro or con. All I want is respect when we disagree.”
One of Slaven-Emond’s priorities is to extend Medicaid access throughout the recovery period following the COVID-19 pandemic. She also hopes to focus on economic recovery for small businesses and families who were impacted by the shutdown.
“Whatever changes we have to make to get through COVID, we suspend some things for approximately two years,” Slaven-Emond said. “We’ve got some decisions to make, and it’s not going to be an easy one. I think the people of Western Colorado have an opportunity to be heard if they want to be.”
Continuing her efforts on expanding healthcare access, Slaven-Emond aims to bring healthcare to more of the community, including more widespread acceptance of Tricare.
“If we spent seven percent less on our defense budget, we could provide everybody in the United States with a baseline of healthcare,” Slaven-Emond said. “I’ve been working with the American Nurses Association on healthcare reform since 1991, literally being in Washington, D.C. at our Congress. We’ve put a lot of work into that and I have not let that go.”
She also hopes to support agriculture in Colorado, especially in rural areas where agriculture plays a vital role in the region’s economy.
“Those are things that have to be protected. We need to protect Colorado agriculture in that I want to know where your beef is coming from… if it’s coming from some other source than the United States, I think it needs to be marked,” Slaven-Emond said. “Agricultural trademarks that are on our Colorado produce and our Colorado products need to be protected and appreciated.”
She also expressed a deep concern for the quality of water in Colorado — especially in regard to ensuring high quality of agricultural water — and improved status for farmworkers and their families.
“Insurance for our crops is critical; that is one of those things that will always be critical,” Slaven-Emond said. She further explained the need for crop protection and research through the extension. “We need to look at the ecology of farming so that we can keep it a sustainable kind of occupation.”
In addition, Slaven-Emond wants to address a number of other issues, such as support for technical trades, funding for renewable energy research and handling the fiscal budget in Colorado’s two primary expenses (healthcare and education) amid budget cuts.
As Slaven-Emond continues her campaign, she encourages constituents to share their thoughts and hopes to continue to see expanded perspectives.
“One of the main things is that I listen, and I listen to all sides of the story. There has to be some conclusion brought together as a total, as a whole,” she said. “We go back to: what is just and fair for the populace?”