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Maternal and Child Health Advocate Running for Colorado State Senate

Hosting the annual ‘Big Latch On‘ with the Pikes Peak Breastfeeding Coalition

Back in high school, I heard a story about someone close to me being “unable” to give birth and needing major surgery to have her baby. She was healthy, and so was the pregnancy and the baby, but the doctor told her she was too “small”. Her whole story left me afraid for my own experience one day.

In college I stumbled across a book about maternity care and it opened my eyes to the travesty that is our healthcare system. The utter lack of respect for the normative course of healthy childbirth, and its participants, was leading to trauma, unnecessary interventions, and increasing risks to the mother and baby – not to mention, costly.

I’ve been working, for over a decade now, at the grassroots level with my birth-worker community to inform parents, maternity care providers, and the public about how the odds are stacked against them, and how to avoid unnecessary risk and trauma.

But I’ve become frustrated with the lack of action from the top, and so have my friends and colleagues. The lack of policy focused on protecting our most vulnerable; protecting our liberties, our choices, and our freedom – to choose where and with whom we give birth, to be free of trauma, to live.

There are simple ways that we could be saving lives, improving the mental and physical health of mothers and babies (and ultimately, our entire population), and saving a whole heck of a lot of money.

Training local Health Workers and Home Visitors as Breastfeeding Peer Counselors

Expanding access to midwives and doulas, for example, would save lives, improve experiences and outcomes, and save BIG on cost. Evidence shows that investing in home-visiting programs for postpartum and early childhood leads to better outcomes and cost-savings for individuals (as well as economies) across the life-span.

We won’t wait anymore.

It’s time to take this fight to the top.

I’m running for our Colorado State Senate and I need your support!

My race will take lots of teamwork to win. My opponent has more connections (he’s been voting against progress in the State Legislature for more than a decade already), and he knows more folks with lots of money. He votes against healthcare, votes in favor of companies that pollute and against protecting our communities, and he is far removed from what it takes to raise a family in Colorado today.

Please follow my campaign, make a $10 donation to show your support, and share this with a friend.

We’ll win this for families, together!

Peer Counselors, home-visitors, and community health workers save lives AND money!

About me:

I’ve been a birth doula (providing emotional, physical, and informational support to a birthing person/family), and provided postpartum support to families as an Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I’ve served in Early Head Start and Head Start as a home-visitor and Parent Educator, and I’ve worked with children on the Autism Spectrum providing in-home and clinic-based ABA services. I have a Master’s Degree in Public Health, worked in state-wide hospital quality improvement, and directed multi-state public health programs.

Preparing for Coronavirus: What I Want My Community to Know

I began college with the plan to study pathogens and eventually become a Virologist; The Hot Zone (a book about Ebola) was one of my all-time favorites in high school and college.

I’ve been reading up on Coronavirus, and thinking about my family, community, and my State, and I want to share some things I’ve learned, resources, and things you can do.


It’s concerning to me that some folks, including our President, are saying the Flu is a bigger issue than Coronavirus because more people have died of the flu.

That’s because the Flu is already wide-spread here, Coronavirus has only begun.

Let’s look at where this could go. And then what we need to do.

Flu fatality rate = .1%
Coronavirus fatality rate = 2-4% (early estimation)

This means that when 10,000 people get the flu, 10 people die.
BUT, when 10,000 people get Coronavirus, 200-400 may die.

What is MOST concerning to me about this whole discussion is that our flu statistics actually indicate we aren’t very good at preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses in the United States.
We see 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually from the flu.

Imagine, then, if we have this many people every year getting, being hospitalized by, and dying of the flu, these numbers will be worse *when* it’s Coronavirus.

We need to be serious about this.
We can start right now by implementing better practices which decrease the spread of illnesses like Coronavirus and the Flu.


What to Do:

HUMIDIFY – I’m starting with this one because I think it is the least-well known and has significant potential to decrease the spread of respiratory and airborne illness here in Colorado. Humidify your home, worksite, classroom, business – this will help decrease the transmission of airborne pathogens. Research

WASH YOUR HANDS – Make it a religious practice. When you arrive home, get to the office, use the restroom, wipe your nose with your hand… etc

CARRY SANITZER – Hand sanitizer does not replace washing your hands, but helps when you touch the Subway rail, or run into Target. Use it between hand-washing opportunities.

COUGH/SNEEZE INTO YOUR ELBOW – Or a tissue, just not your hand. Teach children to do the same.

STAY HOME WHEN SICK – Seriously. Stay home.


I also want to get everyone thinking about, preparing for, and using a very effective public health measure to stop the exponential spread of a pathogen – Quarantine.
Quarantines really work. We should use them; we should heed them.

Stay home if you are sick. Stay home if others are sick. Order groceries for pick-up, or ask a friend to drop groceries at your door, work from home/allow employees to work from home, and generally limit public contact.

Quarantine can also come from the Government and in these cases, it is incumbent upon our public health professionals, government representatives, and local officials to share frequent and transparent information about the purpose and procedures being used to keep the public safe.

Keeping people isolated and separated, often in our own homes, is a very effective way to stop the public spread of an illness. We need to consider that we may be instructed to stay in our homes for a period of days, and that businesses, schools, and public events could be cancelled for a period of time. You can prepare for this similar to how we prepare for weathering out a big storm.

I like this article by NPR for personal preparation.

Preparedness is waaay cooler than panic, and the steps to prepare are simple, start taking them a few at a time.

Wishing you all the best of health,
~Randi


p.s. I’m running for Colorado State Senate and there aren’t enough Legislators with a background in public health and emergency preparedness. If that concerns you too, please donate $5-$25 to help me reach more voters and elect a Senator that values prevention and your health.  


More Coronavirus Resources:

Women are the Revolution

Photo credit: Emerge Colorado

It’s obvious that the voices at the policy table have been mostly men; often *only* men.
And though ‘free labor’ from women enabled this system — our voices, our experiences and knowledge, have been utterly absent from governance and the distribution of resources.

But there’s a way to change this system. A simple strategy to overturn the status quo.

Imagine a woman in your life that you look up to.
The one that organizes holidays and family gatherings.
Empathizes with those who need to be heard the most.
She’s strong, courageous, and fierce.

Imagine saying….
“Madam President”
“Congresswoman”
“SHE represents me”

Imagine her on City Council – how much more organized and family-centered our communities and cities would be…

Imagine having a majority of State Legislatures, City Councils, and School Boards with a majority of women.

We’ve never had that.

We’ve never had the perspectives, experiences, and knowledge of women LEADING our country.  
A room of *only* women creating policy, protecting children and communities, and planning for the future.
That hasn’t been done.

Elect women.
We will all be better off for it.

And the research agrees.
When women lead, more people benefit.
When women lead, all of our ships rise. 

And if you are a woman who is interested in running for office, do it.
Local positions like School Boards, City Councils, County Commissioners, and State Legislatures need YOU!

Volunteer for female candidates. Donate. Canvass. Donate.
Talk. About. Politics.  
Tell your friends to vote. Remind your neighbors to vote.

And then,  VOTE FOR EVERY WOMAN ON THE BALLOT.

::Boom::
Revolution.

I’m in, are you?

Randi’s Campaign – November Newsletter

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS – A Newsletter from a People-Powered Campaign

Donate to Randi and support her campaign for Colorado State Senate!


Protecting Colorado

Coloradans share a love for beautiful scenery and the great outdoors. Like you, I value the incredible opportunities our landscape provides to our happiness and the economy. I believe that our lives and communities will be better if we protect our land and invest in our infrastructure. Growing up in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, I came to know Colorado as the most beautiful and healthy state in the nation – as your Senator, I will keep it that way.

Help me keep Colorado beautiful and healthy! Donate Below!
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/randiforcolorado


An Interesting Read…

Women who run for office face more barriers than their male counterparts, one of those is having a harder time fundraising! You can help us achieve equal representation by donating to female candidates.

Find out more:
https://www.bustle.com/p/fundraising-as-a-woman-candidate-often-takes-more-work-than-men-but-it-pays-off-13041244


Help Us Reach 1,000 Donors!


Every month we would like to recognize every-day people who have donated and continue to donate to the campaign. A special thanks this month to:

Alysha S.

Paul A.

Chelsea L.

Bradley K.

Sandy M.

Adonis M.


Where’s Randi?

– Colorado Springs Food Rescue Fundraiser
Goat Patch Brewing Company – November 26th
Event is 5:00pm-9:00pm, Randi will be there 7:00pm-9:00pm.
https://www.facebook.com/events/522258898336951/

 Colorado Springs Youth Climate Strike
Colorado Springs City Hall – December 6th
From 9:30am – 11:30am
https://www.facebook.com/events/1897481583731356/

– NAACP Colorado Springs – Annual Meeting: Policing The Police
Silver Key Senior Services – December 8th
From 3:00pm – 5:00pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/1406187166223546/


Randi’s Campaign- October Newsletter

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS – A Newsletter from a People-Powered Campaign

“I’m so glad to see a woman of education, integrity, and experience running for office. Far too often I’ve found politicians to be disconnected and unconcerned with that which is important to me and my military family, but Randi is what I’d never dare to imagine- representation in government.” 

– Heather Z.  (SD10 Resident)


Where’s Randi?

We know that one of the most frustrating things about politics is that we never actually get to meet who we elect. So every month we would like to let you know about a couple events Randi will definitely be at, here is where Randi’s going to be this month!

13th Annual Legislative Town Hall for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
https://m.facebook.com/events/385245548845509/permalink/413974605972603/
– Join Randi as she gathers with The Resource Exchange and other local leaders about what can be done to help the developmentally and intellectually disabled.

District 11 School Board Candidate Forum 
https://m.facebook.com/events/698680520615745/
– Come and see Randi as she helps the D-11 Community decide what future is best for our children!

Check out Randi in Voyage Magazine!
http://voyagedenver.com/interview/life-work-randi-mccallian/
– Voyage Magazine is highlighting Colorado Springs’ most empowering and influential women. Check out the article and get to know Randi!


One of my Values: Strong Families

I believe Colorado’s families are its most important institution and key to our prosperity. Quality education, affordable childcare, and much-needed family leave are the foundations for a strong family. Our children have the right to reach their potential, to follow their path, and grow up with opportunity. It is our responsibility to protect their future!

I am a mother of two young children and I have served to support and strengthen families for over 10 years. I respect the dedication and hard work that parents, caregivers, and educators devote to helping children thrive. I value your right to a strong family and I believe your government should protect that right.


IT’S TIME TO VOTE!

“Yes” vote on Prop CC means that together we will invest $88 million in K-12 Schools, Higher Education, and Transportation Infrastructure.

“Your vote matters.” This is something we tell our kids when we first start teaching them about our great democracy. It turns out that this is something we all need to hear. In 2016 only 61% of people who are able to vote actually voted. How can we have a government represent our values if only 61% of the nation takes part in our political process? We can’t.

Have you received your ballot yet? You should have. Make sure to turn it in by Nov. 5 of 2019.


Every month we would like to recognize every-day people who are making a difference in Randi’s campaign. 

A special thanks this month to:

The El Paso County Colorado Progressive Veterans is a non-profit organization, focused on the many ways that they can help our Veterans, Active Duty Military, and their families. By giving a voice to veterans in El Paso County, this organization has provided homelessness solutions, free trained support dogs and many more resources for local veterans.


Want a sticker? Get some free swag! We’ll mail you one for donating!

Donate securely at ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/randiforcolorado


Help us grow our Grassroots!

Please consider helping in any and every way that calls you 🙂

This movement will take ALL of us!


DONATE!

We need every person who supports this campaign to join as a donor! Our goal is over 1,500 supporters by election day 2020 – this means we need YOU!

October 2019 – Thank you to our amazing 110 unique donors!

Ask a friend or family member to donate $10 and help us make history with a HUGE base of supporters!


SOCIAL MEDIA: #RandiforCO

Follow me (@RandiforCO) on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Like and share posts!

Invite 2 friends to follow me on social media

Leave an amazing review on Facebook 🙂

Share a picture with #RandiforCO – take a picture with me, or post on of your campaign sticker! (Donate $5+ and I’ll mail you a sticker!)

VOLUNTEER:

We need your support! Help with:

  • Fundraising
  • Submitting endorsement applications (and finding them)
  • Community outreach (sharing information about Randi with the community)
  • Strategic organizing for 2020 field operations
  • Organizing and hosting events (i.e houseparties)
  • Canvassing, texting, calling …. stayed tuned! Please let Randi know you want to help with voter outreach – we plan to begin doing them early 2020!

CRAFTING! A few things the campaign needs:

  • “Photo frame” for the campaign! (a large size to fit 2-3 people for a picture)
  • Posters for parades, pictures, rallies

More fun ideas: Paint a rock, sidewalk chalk (send us a picture of your artwork), design a coloring sheet for the campaign … the possibilities are endless! Help us spread the word about the campaign in new and creative ways. Name recognition is what counts… so pair my name with precious kitten videos, (or maybe a goat-yoga video for the campaign!?!), and let’s WIN this! 😉

ENDORSEMENTS!

If you own a small business, hold an elected or appointed position, serve as a leader in your community, represent a group or non-profit, or are otherwise interested, please consider endorsing Randi for Senator of CO-SD10!
We would use your photo (or your logo) and make an announcement on social media, as well as listing you/your business on the campaign website. Send me an email at RandiforColorado@gmail.com

More Resources:


Other ideas!? Let me know! Send me a message or email.


Thank you for all your support and for believing in a stronger democracy for ourselves and our children!

Randi’s Campaign – First Newsletter!

For those who missed our first e-newsletter, here it is! Please send us your email here to receive our next one.

PUTTING DOWN ROOTS – A Newsletter from a People-Powered Campaign

“I’m so glad to see a woman of education, integrity, and experience running for office. Far too often I’ve found politicians to be disconnected and unconcerned with that which is important to me and my military family, but Randi is what I’d never dare to imagine- representation in government.” 

– Heather Z.  (SD10 Resident)


Where’s Randi?

We know that one of the most frustrating things about politicians is that we never actually get to meet them. So every month we would like to let you know about a couple events Randi will definitely be at, here is where Randi’s going to be this month!

Colorado Springs Climate Strike – Friday, September 20th
https://www.facebook.com/events/421180445271971/ 
– Come and join Randi at the Colorado Springs City Hall from 10am-1pm as she stands with Colorado against our greatest threat, climate change. 

Inside Out Youth Breakfast – Thursday, October 3rd
https://m.facebook.com/events/623873904777083/
– Enjoy breakfast with Randi from 7am-8:30am as she joins Inside Out to discuss the most important issues facing our youth. 


Get to Know Randi

I am running for office to represent our district and a progressive future for Colorado; one in which we support all families, protect our beautiful land, and become leaders in renewable energy. 

For over a decade, I have supported families as a birth and postpartum doula, behavioral therapist for children with Autism, Early Head Start Home-Visitor, and an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). My work experience includes positions with a state-wide perinatal health collaborative and as the Director of a 3-year, multi-state, maternal and child health program.

Serving hundreds of families, and my own challenging journey as a parent myself, have given me a strong understanding of the supports we need to help families thrive. Safe and respectful maternity care, paid leave policies, quality and affordable childcare… these are not our hurdles to face alone. I care deeply about protecting our environment and ensuring our children have a more stable economy as they enter increasingly unstable times.


Every month we’d like to recognize every-day people who are making a difference in Randi’s campaign. Special thanks to:

  • Brenda K.
  • Candace M.
  • Jessica S.
  • Tim D.
  • Christina S.
  • Lisa C.

HELP US REACH 100!

We need 11 new donors by September 30!

Share this newsletter and let’s grow our people-powered network!

~Randi McCallian, your candidate for SD10

Colorado’s ERPO: Addressing a Public Health Crisis

Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) HB19-1177 has been portrayed as a controversial bill, but after listening to the experts who crafted the bill, I feel more confident advocating for this common-sense gun legislation that will take us past simply thoughts and prayers.

The Colorado Springs Dems hosted an information session and discussion with Katie March, the Colorado House of Representatives Senior Advisor to the Majority Leader, presenting for Representative Alec Garnett (who wrote and sponsored the bill), and Dr. Erik Wallace, University of Colorado School of Medicine, who presented on public health data about gun-related violence and death.

Here’s some information I learned about the ERPO:

  • The only people who can submit an ERPO are household/family members or law enforcement.
  • Throughout the ERPO, the burden of proof is on the Petitioner (the person submitting the claim) – NOT on the Respondent (the person who the claim is filed against). The only time the burden of proof is on the Respondent, is if they want to demonstrate they are no longer a risk to themselves or others before the natural end of the ERPO (364 days).
  • Fourteen states (and D.C.) have enacted bipartisan ERPO laws, they are relatively new, so data is still limited.

“In a recent statewide survey, 87% of Coloradans support ERPOs, including 78% of Trump voters.” (Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, 2019)

So there’s that!

Shockingly, most gun deaths are overwhelmingly suicides, and Colorado has a SERIOUS problem.

  • In Colorado, 76% of gun deaths are suicides; compared to 60% nationally.
  • A gun is used in half of all suicide attempts.
  • Making a suicide attempt with a gun has an 85% chance of ending the person’s life, whereas attempting to take one’s life using pills is around 2% effective.
  • The argument that ‘people should be allowed to commit suicide if they want to’ isn’t supported by the data… only one in ten survivors of a suicide attempt will take their life (or attempt to) in the future.

An ERPO can help. This law (signed by Governor Polis on 04/12/19) is a valid attempt to save lives in a Constitutional and data-informed manner. I look forward to seeing more data and models to help us move forward in making even better decisions in the future.

BUT, this presentation also made it shockingly clear how much we need to address our access to high-quality, affordable healthcare – including, and especially, mental health. We need to address systemic issues that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and despair, and enact legislation that will ease economic suffering. We can work to ensure everyone has a stable home, people are paid a living wage, and our public education and family support systems are robust and extensive. Investing in Coloradans will invigorate the economy and create healthier and stronger citizens.

As a candidate for Colorado’s Senate District 10, in the heart of Colorado Springs, I stand with you to ensure that we push Colorado’s politics in the direction of supporting public health and well-being. I will stand for our families, for the future of our children, and for the health of this beautiful state. Let’s move Colorado forward together!

In solidarity,

~Randi

Many thanks to the C Springs Dems and Moms Demand Action for the wonderful event!

Please support this grassroots campaign with a donation! Every donor counts!

Images of the handouts from the event are below.