Rhonda Fields has represented House District 42 in Aurora since 2010. On Jan. 7, 2014, she was appointed by Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino as Speaker Pro Tempore. She is chairwoman of the House Local Government Committee and a member of the Education Committee and the Health, Insurance & Environment Committee.
In the 2014 session Rep. Fields sponsored legislation creating adult literacy and education to programs to help more Coloradans learn the skills they need to find a job. She also sponsored a bill to increase the number of minority teachers in K-12 classrooms across the state and led the effort to pass legislation making cyberbullying a crime.
During the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Fields garnered national attention for her sponsorship of bills to make it harder for criminals and domestic violence offenders to get guns and to reduce the chances of another massacre like the Aurora movie theater shooting, which happened in her district in 2012. She also successfully sponsored important legislation expanding job training and getting more Coloradans back to work; cracking down on stoned drivers; and establishing a statewide notification system for victims when their perpetrators are released from prison.
In her first term she successfully sponsored 16 bills, a huge number for a Democrat in a Republican-controlled chamber. Included were bills that: close a loophole that made it advantageous for a motorist to leave the scene of a traffic accident; allow developmentally disabled adults to give court testimony outside the courtroom, in settings where they feel more comfortable; and require public colleges and universities to develop policies to determine academic credit for a student’s prior learning.
Rep. Fields is the founder of the Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund, a nonprofit established in memory of her son, Javad Fields, and his fiancée, Vivian Wolfe. The two CSU graduates were murdered on June 20, 2005, less than a week before Javad was scheduled to testify as a key witness in the murder of his best friend.
That tragedy set in motion Rhonda Fields’ public service career, beginning in 2007 when Gov. Bill Ritter appointed her to the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
She also serves on numerous boards, including the Safe 2 Tell Advisory Board and Voices of Victims. Rep. Fields’ professional affiliations include Women in Government, the National Federation of Women Legislators, the Colorado Black Caucus, the National Council of Negro Women, the Urban League of Denver, the NAACP, Black Women for Political Action and Alpha Kappa Alpha, a sorority of African-American college-educated women.
Rep. Fields received the 2011 “Rising Star Award” of the Colorado Democratic Party, the 2011 Leadership for Healthy Communities Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wilma Webb 2011 Co-Legislator of the Year presented by African American Voices, the 2011 Black Women for Political Action Award, the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce President’s Courage Award.