Growing up in Denver, my childhood was spent like most kids of my generation, mostly without adult supervision, playing with my neighborhood friends from sun up to sundown. We were a tapestry of our community with diverse family structures, religions, ethnicities, and skin colors. Despite the challenges we may have been facing in our individual lives, we were free for those hours while riding our bikes as far as we could go. That world changed when my family could no longer afford the high cost of living in Denver and in middle school we had to move to Wheat Ridge. But every time I visited our grandparent’s house on Leyden Street, I was “home”. Denver is a part of who I am.
Never scared to share my voice and opinions, advocacy has always been a part of who I am. My first organized action was walking a picket line in 5th grade with my teachers and that laid the foundation for a life committed to fighting for justice in every form. As I gained more life experiences, my understanding of rights and justice expanded, and my participation in advocacy and activism expanded. I was unable to ignore the impact policy was having on our community. Like so many of you, I wanted to change this and started volunteering in my community. My entire perspective changed when I started a family. The future, my children’s future, became the motivation behind everything I would do moving forward.
Like most struggling families, I put my time and energy into ensuring my family had food on the table and we kept a roof over their heads; it was never a guarantee. I dropped out of college and got a job at Anschutz Medical Center in the thoracic oncology clinic. Even with this incredible opportunity for my family, and two incomes, we lived paycheck to paycheck. Eventually, I became a single mom, and our struggles became even more difficult to overcome.
So, I did what parents do. I worked numerous jobs and rebuilt my life. I realized I was stronger and more capable than I thought. That newfound drive led me to reinvest my energy into the issues that could plant seeds of change in our communities. I found my way back to Denver, attending and organizing rallies supporting planned parenthood, immigrant rights, universal healthcare, and many human rights and environmental issues. I volunteered for ballot initiatives and progressive candidates. Eventually I started running grassroots, community centered campaigns. I knew there could be more for my family and my community. After many years of working hard and making difficult sacrifices, my family and I were able to purchase our first home and are proud to once again be living in the city I came from. And that is why I am running for Denver City Council in District 2. Our city, our families, and our communities deserve to have the opportunities promised in the American dream. Together I know we can build a future for ourselves, our children, and beyond.
This campaign is built for the community by the community. Join our movement and spread the seeds of change with me.