Colorado WFP Endorses Slate for Municipal and School Board Races

DENVER — The Colorado Working Families Party (CO-WFP) has endorsed its first slate of candidates ahead of the November 2019 election [full list at bottom]. With these endorsements in municipal and school board races, CO-WFP seeks to lift up progressive voices at the local level. Candidates were endorsed in Arvada, Aurora, Commerce City, Edgewater, Englewood, Greeley, Lakewood, Thornton, and Westminster.  Additional endorsements in areas around the state are expected to be made in coming weeks.

“We are proud to endorse these boldly progressive municipal & school board candidates, as we know that they will bring much-needed change to local communities across our state,” said CO-WFP State Director Carlos Valverde. “Too often, we see well-moneyed corporate interests like the oil & gas industry, big developers,  and Wall Street-backed education privatizers buy the future of our state with their obscene spending in municipal & school board races. WFP is combatting this head-on by organizing support for these critical local races.”

CO-WFP endorsed a bold slate of candidates in Aurora municipal races, who aim to wrest control of city government away from the regressive anti-immigrant & anti-worker forces which currently control it. CO-WFP fundamentally believes that it is time for Aurora’s government to better reflect the people of one of the most vibrantly diverse municipalities in Colorado, and the organization aims to build on its support of several successful progressive Council candidates there in 2017 to flip the majority of the City Council from conservative to progressive.

“I am running because I believe that Aurora’s city council should work for our city’s working families and not for out-of-state developers, real-estate speculators, and extractive industry,” said endorsed Aurora City Council candidate Juan Marcano. “My vision for change is aligned with that of the Working Families Party. My intent is to put working people and planet over profit, and democratize workplaces through fostering the growth of worker-owned businesses and making Aurora the most worker-friendly city in the state.  I look forward to working with WFP to make Aurora the gold standard for dignity in the state of Colorado.”

Colorado Working Families Party also endorsed a bold slate of candidates for the Denver School Board who will stand up for students and educators. As has been reported in the Washington Post, Wall Street backed AstroTurf organizations like DFER and SFER, which aim to privatize schools and bust teachers’ unions, have historically spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in these races in order to advance their efforts to deform public education and further enrich their Wall Street friends. CO-WFP aims to build on the success of 2017 endorsee School Board member Dr. Carrie Olson, who demonstrated that a strong grassroots campaign can defeat this well-moneyed corporate assault on students and educators, and will work to flip the majority of the Denver School Board from one which puts corporate special interests first to one which puts students & educators first.

“I have experienced first-hand how hard it is to navigate the “choice” system,” said Denver School Board candidate Tay Anderson. “I understand what it means to have to choose between lunch or a bus ticket. I want to ensure that all students have a thriving neighborhood school and that all educators are paid a living wage. Working Families Party is fighting for those historically forgotten. It means a lot to me to have the endorsement of a fierce and strategic ally like WFP.”

Colorado Working Families Party is also proud to support strong candidates in Commerce City municipal elections, who also must face down large corporate interests in a city which contains the state’s largest oil refinery and other heavy industry. For far too long these corporations have dominated city politics, denying residents a true voice in their government. Alongside allies like the Denver Area Labor Federation and Conservation Colorado, CO-WFP will work to elect bold voices that will put the well-being of communities ahead of the desires of corporations in Commerce City.

“While many working families in my community are forced to work two or three jobs to make ends meet, big corporations have found the pot of gold at the end of the taxpayer rainbow in Commerce City,” said endorsed Commerce City Council candidate Luz (Lucy) Molina. “The Working Families Party supports candidates who will co-govern with the community rather than wealthy corporations and special interests. I am proud to stand with WFP to bring the people’s voice to city hall.”

The full list of endorsements includes: Harriet Hall for Arvada Mayor; Juan Marcano for Aurora City Council Ward 4; Alison Coombs for Aurora City Council Ward 5; Bryan Lindstrom for Aurora City Council Ward 6; Martha Lugo and Leanne Wheeler for Aurora City Council At-Large; Omar Montgomery for Aurora Mayor; Luz (Lucy) Molina for Commerce City Council At-Large; Steve Douglas for Commerce City Mayor; Radhika Nath for Denver School Board District 1; Brad Laurvick for Denver School Board District 5; Tay Anderson for Denver School Board At-Large; Michal Rosenoer for Edgewater City Council At-Large; John Stone for Englewood City Councilmember At-Large; Tommy Butler for Greeley City Council Ward 1; Joan Chavez-Lee for JeffCo School Board RE-1; Stephanie Schooley for JeffCo School Board RE-3;  Kyra deGruy for Lakewood City Council Ward 1; Henry Hollender for Lakewood City Council Ward 3; Dana Gutwein for Lakewood City Council Ward 5; Julia Marvin for Thornton City Council Ward 2; Jessica Troy for Thornton City Council Ward 3; Sheela Mahnke and Anita Seitz for Westminster City Council At-Large; and a Yes position on Proposition CC.

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Established about two years ago, Colorado Working Families Party is already a force in state politics. In 2017, CO-WFP supported bold winning progressives like Aurora City Councilmember Crystal Murillo and Denver School Board member Dr. Carrie Olson. In 2018, a class of Working Families Party candidates who are more progressive and more representative of the state’s population and interests were elected to the state legislature, including State Senators Robert Rodriguez, Julie Gonzales, and Faith Winter. And in the spring of 2019, CO-WFP candidates swept Denver City Council elections, with Councilmembers Candi CdeBaca and Chris Hinds ousting sitting incumbents. CO-WFP is building a core of progressive leaders with solid skills to both run for public office and to effectively support candidates.

Nationally, the Working Families Party is a grassroots progressive political party that fights to make our country work for the many, not just the wealthy few. WFP recruits, trains and elects the next generation of progressive leaders to office — and then works with those leaders to win meaningful policy changes that make a difference in the lives of working families.