Democratic Colorado State Senator Rhonda Fields speaks during an election watch party in 2022, in downtown Denver. Credit-AP Photo

Senator Rhonda Fields is not your typical everyday politician. She is both a humane listener and a courageous advocate. The politician from Colorado who currently represents District 28 in the Colorado Senate is energetic, full of life and ideas, and passionate about her calling to serve. Senator Fields chairs the Health and Human Services Committee and has been a champion of victims’ rights, including women’s rights, veterans’ issues, solutions to homelessness, and quality public education including early child education. During the last legislative session, she passed over 30 bills focused on an array of issues including public safety, social equity, and access to behavioral health services.


Sen. Rhonda Fields announced she would run for Arapahoe County Commissioner in District 5 and recently emerged as the candidate to represent the Democratic Party in the elections that would be held later in the year.

Tolulope Omotunde of Afrik Digest International Magazine had an insightful chat with her recently, and despite her very busy schedule, she took the time to answer all our questions. She radiated warmth, poise, and an acute knowledge of the issues that her potential constituents are facing and shared her ideas on how to tackle them. Enjoy the interview.



AfrikDigest: Congratulations on emerging as the candidate to represent the Democratic party for the Arapahoe Council seat elections coming up later in the year. How are you feeling about it?

Senator Fields: Thank You. I’m feeling excited and honored to have the opportunity to represent the Democratic party in the Arapahoe Council seat elections. I’m ready to work hard and advocate for the needs of our community.

AfrikDigest: Can you outline your top priorities if elected?

Senator Fields:  Absolutely! My top priorities if elected to the Arapahoe Council seat would include community engagement and empowerment. I aim to foster stronger connections within the community by actively engaging with residents, local businesses, and organizations. I intend to empower community members to voice their concerns and participate in decision-making processes. These are essential for a thriving and inclusive community.

I also believe in creating a level playing field where everyone has access to quality education, healthcare, employment opportunities, and affordable housing. I will work to address systemic inequalities and ensure that all residents have the chance to succeed and thrive.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents is paramount. I will support initiatives that prioritize public safety, mental health services, and community policing efforts, aimed at building trust and collaboration between law enforcement and the community.

I will advocate for policies that promote economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship while also addressing income inequality and economic disparities. Supporting small businesses, attracting new investments, and diversifying our economy will be key focus areas. These priorities reflect my dedication to fostering a vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

AfrikDigest: How do you plan to address the homeless situation in our community?

Senator Fields: Addressing homelessness in Aurora requires a multifaceted approach involving various stakeholders and strategies that has to start by addressing the root causes. I will be working to address the root causes of homelessness, such as poverty, lack of affordable healthcare, unemployment, and systemic issues like discrimination and housing inequality. We also need to start looking at increasing the availability of affordable housing through partnerships with developers, incentivizing affordable housing projects, and allocating funding for subsidized housing initiatives. There’s also a need to develop long-term sustainable solutions by investing in affordable housing infrastructure, strengthening social support systems, and fostering economic opportunities for vulnerable populations.

Senator Fields with some members of the community.

AfrikDigest:  How do you plan to work across party lines to achieve your goals?

Senator Fields: Over the course of my political career, I have had to work with Republicans on numerous occasions and yes I know it can be a tough road to walk sometimes. The key for me is to identify common grounds. I’ll begin by finding issues or goals that both parties can agree on. This could involve areas such as infrastructure, education, or healthcare where there may be shared interests despite differing ideologies. Also, by building relationships. It helps to foster open communication and develop relationships with individuals from different political parties. Building trust and understanding between representatives can make it easier to collaborate on shared objectives.

Also, practicing active listening to understand the perspectives and concerns of those from different political backgrounds. Acknowledging differing viewpoints can help find compromises and solutions that address the needs of all parties involved. While not also forgetting that compromise is often necessary in politics to achieve progress. Be open to making concessions and finding a middle ground to move forward on important issues.

AfrikDigest:  Your stance on gun control is well known, how do you intend to ensure that Arapahoe County remains safe from any form of gun violence?

Senator Fields: Yeah, you see, in a country as great as ours, no child should be afraid to go to school or walk around their neighborhood. No spouse should be afraid to come home at night. No American should be afraid to go to work or their place of worship. And no human being should be afraid to go to a shopping mall, baseball field, nightclub, movie theater, concert, or college campus. I believe we can reduce gun violence while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners. I believe we should expand and strengthen background checks for those who want to purchase a firearm – because it shouldn’t be easier to get a gun than a driver’s license. We should ensure that guns don’t fall into the hands of terrorists (whether they be domestic or foreign), domestic abusers, other violent criminals, or those who have shown signs of danger toward themselves or others. And we need to start treating gun violence as the deadly public health crisis it is.

We also need to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve as they can help identify and address potential threats before they escalate. It’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to preventing gun violence, and a combination of strategies tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of Arapahoe County will be necessary. Collaboration between policymakers, law enforcement, community organizations, and residents will also be essential in implementing and sustaining effective prevention efforts.

Senator Fields poses for a photo with veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Credit-Facebook

AfrikDigest:  It’s been in the news recently that officials in Aurora, Colorado, have halted financial assistance for migrants, blaming the state and federal government for a lack of funding. Will you be doing anything to help push for more funding or are you satisfied with the stance of the State and Federal government?

Senator Fields: Honestly, I think we should be doing and can do more for migrants. That’s why a recent bill was passed where we allocated substantial funds to schools so we can cater to these New Americans educationally. We have a duty to do our best to ensure that those who come into our communities are taken care of. So yes, I think we can do more.


AfrikDigest:  What concrete steps will you take to promote equality and justice for all members of your constituency?

Senator Fields: I will be looking at advocacy, education, and policy reforms, that is, working to identify and address systemic inequalities within existing policies and regulations. I will advocate for changes that promote fairness and equal opportunities for all members of the community, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Community engagement is also crucial as this will help foster dialogue and collaboration among diverse groups within the constituency. Create opportunities for meaningful engagement, such as town hall meetings, forums, rallies, and advisory councils, to ensure that a wide range of perspectives are considered in our decision-making processes.

AfrikDigest: Over the years, the Aurora Police Department has been accused of having a pattern of racial bias and excessive force, what are your plans to keep the APD in line?

Senator Fields: Thanks for this question. The Aurora Police Department falls under the purview of the Attorney-General and yes the APD indeed has a long-standing history of gross misconduct, racial bias, and high-handedness. We all saw what happened with George Floyd and even Elijah McClain. Incidents like that should never happen to anyone at all. People need to start holding the APD leadership accountable. Ensure that the department leadership is held accountable for addressing issues of racial bias and excessive force within the department, including holding supervisors responsible for the actions of their subordinates. There also needs to be a review and revision of the use of force policies to prioritize de-escalation tactics and minimize the use of lethal force, particularly in interactions with minority communities. I also believe retaining a more diverse police force that reflects the demographics of the community it serves will help. Diversity within the department can help improve cultural understanding and reduce instances of racial bias.

AfrikDigest: What is your opinion on the current state of the nation’s economy?

Senator Fields: Personally, I think our nation’s economy is strong and doing well. President Biden has really done a lot in ensuring that Americans have a shot at decent living. I remember during the Covid-19 pandemic, things went crazy. I bought a crate of eggs for about eight dollars or so, today it’s back to its original normal price. Although, there are still a lot of people who are still feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of people never returned to their jobs, some just couldn’t cope with the wages on offer any longer while a lot of people aren’t satisfied with their present working conditions. All of that is understandable. When you hear of things going on in other places, I still think our economy is doing well.

Senator Fields with Ms. Carolyn Boller and members of her entourage when they visited the Colorado Senate Capitol early this year. Credit-Facebook

AfrikDigest: What measures will you take to ensure transparency and accountability in your administration?

Senator Fields: Ensuring transparency and accountability in administration is crucial for fostering trust and integrity. There will be open access to information. Make relevant information easily accessible to the public through online portals, annual reports, and public disclosures. This includes budgets, expenditures, contracts, and policy decisions. Providing regular updates and reports on the progress and outcomes of various initiatives and projects undertaken by the administration. This could include quarterly or annual reports detailing achievements, challenges, and future plans. Also, I will engage the public in decision-making processes through consultations, town hall meetings, and public forums. This allows citizens to voice their opinions and concerns, leading to more informed and inclusive decision-making.

AfrikDigest: How do you plan to engage with constituents and incorporate their feedback into your decision-making process?

Senator Fields: I will engage my constituents by hosting regular town hall meetings where constituents can voice their concerns, ask questions, and provide feedback on various issues. Actively engaging with constituents on social media platforms to listen to their opinions, answer questions, and address concerns. Attending community events and gatherings, rallies, places of worship, etc to connect with constituents and hear their feedback in a more informal setting. Incorporating constituent feedback into the decision-making process is key for me. Inputs received will have to be analyzed to identify common themes or concerns and consider them alongside other factors such as expert opinions, legal considerations, and budget constraints. It’s important to communicate to constituents how their feedback has been considered and what actions have been taken as a result.

AfrikDigest: What immediate policy change do you think our community needs, and how would you initiate it?

Senator Fields: I believe Aurora could benefit from implementing a comprehensive affordable housing policy to address housing affordability issues. This could involve collaborating with developers to allocate a certain percentage of new developments to affordable housing units, offering incentives for affordable housing construction, and establishing rent control measures. Initiating this would require convening stakeholders, conducting research, drafting policy proposals, and gaining public support through outreach and education campaigns.

Senators Rhonda Fields (far right) with other Democratic Senators and Gov Jared Polis at the signing of a bill into law that requires landlords to accept recent screening reports from applicants without charging an application fee.

AfrikDigest: Who has had the greatest influence on your political career?

Senator Fields:  Hmm… I would say God mainly because I have always tried to live a life of transparency and selflessness.

AfrikDigest: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your time in public service?

Senator Fields: One of the key lessons I have learned from my time in public service is the importance of empathy and understanding the diverse needs of the community. Effective public service requires listening to constituents, understanding their concerns, and working collaboratively to address them. Additionally, integrity, transparency, and accountability are fundamental principles that public servants should always strive to uphold to maintain public trust and confidence.

AfrikDigest: How do you plan to inspire the younger generations to get involved in politics?

Senator Fields: Inspiring younger generations to get involved in politics requires a multifaceted approach that engages them in meaningful ways and demonstrates the importance of their participation. The younger generation these days tends to get carried away with a lot of trivial things and one of the things I always tell people is to always have a strong bench. A bench in the sense of, people who you groom in critical matters. For example, young people should be able to know what it takes to pass a bill, the process involved in even bringing a bill into play, and all that sort of thing. We need to make them see that these are things that affect their lives and future and hence, they should take serious interest in it. Also creating platforms specifically tailored to young people, such as youth councils, forums, and town halls, where they can voice their concerns, and discuss issues that matter to them while proposing solutions that can help inspire them to start getting involved.


AfrikDigest: How do you balance your political career with your personal life?

Senator Fields: (long laugh)… Honestly, I don’t have a personal life anymore. I have been in politics for a long time, it’s like the time’s not even enough for me to do all that I want to do. Balancing a political career with a personal life can be challenging due to the demands of the job. It often includes long hours, frequent travel, and constant public scrutiny. But I have been grateful for my family because they have been my support system. Having a strong support system has made it easier for me to navigate the challenges of balancing a political career with my personal life, and they have been absolutely amazing all the way.


AfrikDigest: Senator Fields, it’s been a pleasure having this interview with you and I wish you all the best in the forthcoming elections.

Senator Fields: Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure as well answering your questions. Thank you once again.

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