My name is Zach Neumann and I’m a candidate for Colorado’s State Senate.

For me, this race is about one thing: ensuring that Colorado remains the dynamic and welcoming place it’s been for generations.

We are at a unique moment in our history – one that requires courage, unity, and new ideas. The rhetoric that has divided our country threatens what makes Colorado so special: the fact that anyone, from anywhere, can succeed here.

This is personal for me. I believe in strong and welcoming communities because, without them, my journey to Colorado wouldn’t have been possible. When I moved to Denver in my late twenties, I came alone. Other than a few coworkers, I didn’t have any friends or family in town. I chose to call Colorado home because I wanted to live in a growing and vibrant city that was open to people from around the world. I had faith that in a place like Denver I would be able to find opportunities and build a life.

That faith was justified. The Mile High City gave me more than a place to live. It gave me the chance to be a part of something bigger – a community that works together, doesn’t play favorites, and cares more about who you are than where you’re from.

I saw this spirit in action when I helped to launch CareerWise Colorado, a statewide youth apprenticeship program for high school students. Educators, business leaders, and community members from across Colorado shared their time and their resources to make the program a reality and asked for nothing in return.

I saw it again when some friends and I started Tortuga Agricultural Technologies, a small technology business in 2016. We barely got off the ground. When we did, it was because people were kind enough to take a risk and support us, give us their advice, and mentor us.

But my story isn’t unique. For hundreds of years, people like me have come to Colorado in search of opportunity and a fresh start. The ability to come to this state, join a community, and build a life has always set it apart.

And yet today, that Colorado way is under attack. That’s why I want to work with my neighbors and represent our community in the State Senate. This is our moment to step up and affirm, together, what kind of place we want our state to be.

For me, that’s rooted in a few simple ideas:

We value all Coloradans. We have to protect the rights of everyone in this state, regardless of their birthplace, gender, sexual orientation, or the color of their skin. And every kid from every zip code deserves an equal opportunity.

We welcome immigrants. And whether they’re from Texas, Eritrea, Central America, or anywhere else, they make our communities more vibrant and more prosperous.

We support entrepreneurship, technology, and new ideas. With the relentless pace of automation, we need to spur innovation to ensure that the jobs of tomorrow are created here in Colorado. We also need an education system that will equip our kids with the skills they need to compete without putting them deep into debt.

We believe that our natural spaces are both beautiful and economically valuable. We’re going to have to fight back against the devastating effects of climate change to protect our parks, our mountains, our communities, and our civilization.

Over the next 18 months, I’ll be out every day in neighborhoods across the 32nd District, knocking on doors, listening to voters, and working with our neighbors. I want to have real conversations, outside the echo chamber of social media, about who we are and where we’re going in Colorado.

I will work hard to earn your vote. I hope you’ll join me.