Sonya will be one of the first two LGBTQ Latinas elected to the Colorado State House
I have lived in Boulder County for over twenty years. I am part of the “Hispano”, Hispanic families from the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado whose roots in our state go back hundreds of years. That’s where my unique middle name, Jaquez (pronounced haw-kez), comes from. I spent every summer of my childhood on my grandparents and family ranch. My family taught me the value of giving back to each other, and as the oldest of five, I learned to be a leader. Whether it was as a girl scout as a young girl, or as the first out lesbian of the Colorado DNC National delegation, I have always tried to serve my community and give voice to those who need to be heard.
I met my wife Allison in Boulder. She has also found a way to help those in need in her job as hospice nurse. Together we live on a small farm off Oxford Road in Longmont that reminds me of my summers in San Luis. Unfortunately our dream home is under threat by something many families in our community are facing. Last year we received a letter from the oil and gas company Crestone Peak Resources stating their intent to put a massive, multi-well production pad 500 feet from our home. We were forced to sell our minerals due to an antiquated Colorado law called Forced Pooling. We were told there was nothing we could do. Instead of moving or just accepting our fate, we organized. I helped lead a coalition of neighbors and together we petitioned the state regulatory agency, pitched in to hire a lawyer, and won a temporary moratorium to protect our land. Unfortunately this is only a temporary solution, and if we do not act soon I will have to look out my window every morning and wonder if the massive drilling near my house will end up harming my family’s health and safety. This is personal for me, my neighbors, and all of us.
I graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy. I am a licensed pharmacist and own a small business which consults on clinical trials. I am also the former Medicaid Pharmacy Director for Colorado Access. While there I worked on programs which had great impact on working families and children. I am especially proud of my work helping establish the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) which has helped tens of thousands of children gain access to healthcare providers, prescription drugs, vaccines, and mental health treatment.
In addition to my career in healthcare I also have served in leadership positions on numerous nonprofits and volunteer organizations. I served for seven years on the Boulder County Board of Health. While on the Board we voted for the first Boulder County fracking moratorium which kept oil and gas out of Boulder County for five years. After the 2013 flood we helped fund housing assistance for families impacted by the 2013 floods and animal assistance for abandoned pets. I am the former president of Boulder Pride, now Out Boulder, and have been a lifelong LGBT activist. While a crisis page volunteer I served 24 hour shifts for the Colorado Anti Violence Project.