Beth McCann’s extensive prosecutorial and managerial experience, proven leadership, and community perspective make her a natural choice for Denver’s next District Attorney.
Beth served as a deputy and chief deputy district attorney here in Denver for many years, trying all levels of criminal cases. She also served as the Deputy Attorney General in charge of Civil Litigation and Employment Law in the Colorado Attorney General’s office, supervising 33 trial lawyers. She was Denver’s first female Manager of Safety in the early 1990s under Mayor Wellington Webb. She started the Safe City Program to help kids stay out of gangs, drugs and violence, which contributed to reducing juvenile crime by 20 percent here in Denver.
Beth is completing her fourth term representing House District 8 in east-central Denver, where she has been a leader in healthcare and criminal justice reform throughout her legislative career. She currently sits on the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and serves on the Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System Task Force.
In her legislative role, Rep. McCann sponsored landmark legislation to strengthen Colorado’s human trafficking laws and assist vulnerable young people who are subjected to this devastating activity. She also sponsored and passed a law to provide due process for kids facing charges in the adult criminal justice system. Other important laws she sponsored provided funding for survivors of domestic violence and made a person’s fourth DUI conviction a class four felony.
This past session, she sponsored and passed a law to prohibit the use of isolation cells for juveniles in jails or prisons, unless it is an emergency, and then for only four hours at a time. She also passed a law to provide for more rehabilitation in the parole system.
Beth stood up to the powerful gun lobby to pass important legislation to require universal background checks for gun purchases and to keep guns away from convicted domestic violence abusers and other dangerous individuals.
Beth sponsored a bill to require insurance companies in the individual market in Colorado to offer at least one child-only health insurance policy without regard to pre-existing conditions. This allows families who do not have health insurance through an employer, or who cannot afford individual policies, to at least have insurance for their children even if they have serious health needs. She also sponsored legislation that prohibits gender bias in health insurance premiums, and requires health insurance companies in the individual and small group markets to offer maternity and contraceptive coverage through these policies.
Beth is a founder and former president of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. She served as first Vice-President of the Denver Bar Association and on the board of governors of the Colorado Bar Association. Rep. McCann also served on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s transition team as a member of his public safety committee and on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s search committee for a new chief of police.
She has been active in community and nonprofit organizations, including serving as chairwoman of the long-range planning committee for the Denver Botanic Gardens. She served as the the chairwoman of the Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program which distributes grant money throughout the state to programs that work with youth to keep them from getting into violence and crime and was a board member of the Denver Legal Aid Foundation. She was chairwoman of the Safety and Security Committee at Denver East High School and spent several years coaching East’s Constitutional Scholars team. She also served on the Judicial Selection Committee to recommend judges for the Colorado Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
Beth earned her law degree at Georgetown University Law School. She graduated magna cum laude from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, with a B.A. in American studies. She and her husband, Christopher, have two children — a son, Chris, who graduated from East High School in 2007, and a daughter, Lizzy, a 2010 East grad. Both graduated from Amherst College in Amherst, MA.