It is our privilege to represent and advocate on behalf of some of the hardest working, diverse, and engaged Coloradans in the state. As representatives of the Colorado Education Association, the Service Employees International Union, and the Colorado AFL-CIO, we know firsthand the commitment and tenacity of our members.
Our members provide healthcare and education, build and maintain vital infrastructure, and work the essential jobs that keep our state running. They stood on the frontlines of the pandemic to keep our communities operating, many times risking their health and the health of their families. They kept working to power our economic recovery.
And now they are dedicated to ensuring that their voices are heard by Colorado lawmakers.
That’s why our members have come together to form the Colorado Labor Electoral Action Project, to amplify the voices of working people in our state and ensure that our elected leaders keep their promises to Colorado families. By working together, we can get real results, and we believe the recent Democratic primaries show just that.
Three out of four candidates that were backed by this powerful organization in the primaries won their Demacratic Party races for the state House of Representatives: Jenny Wilford in District 34 in Adams County; Mandy Lindsay in District 42 in Aurora; and Elizabeth Velasco in District 57 in Glenwood Springs.
These are candidates who support policies that value workers and their families — policies we’ve fought for and won, such as those that support a living wage for all Coloradans, paid sick days, paid family and medical leave to stay home to care for themselves or a loved one, and basic benefits and protections in the workplace.
These are initiatives that a majority of Coloradans support and that our hundreds of thousands of members across Colorado have fought hard to achieve and won.
These candidates are also willing to tackle the challenges Colorado workers are facing today that our state has so far failed to adequately address:
- The affordable housing crisis has impacted every corner of Colorado, making it increasingly difficult for workers to live and raise families in the very communities they serve.
- Colorado also lacks policies that make employee scheduling stable, fair and transparent to allow hourly, part-time, and shift workers to better manage their personal lives outside of work to care for themselves and their families.
- And while we have seen expansions for some workers to collectively bargain, too many Colorado workers are still unable to join with their co-workers in unions without fear of employer retaliation.
We know that the candidates we endorsed will champion these critical issues facing workers in our state.
While the primaries mark an important win, we aren’t done. This moment is the result of decades of frustration from working people whose needs have been ignored, and who are now coming together as a unified, effective political movement. The primaries are only the beginning of our work to elect lawmakers who are willing to fight alongside us to improve the lives of working people and make our communities stronger.
☀ MORE IN OPINION
This fall, the Colorado Labor Electoral Action Project will be working collectively in the 2022 general election to elect candidates who will not just stand with working people, but who will be active in pushing policies that benefit our members and the communities they serve. It’s time to put people over corporations and elect candidates who are committed to fighting to make the lives of everyday Coloradans better. In 2022 and beyond, our work continues.
The Colorado Labor Electoral Action Project has unified the voices of hundreds of thousands of working people that are tired of words and ready for action – and they are ready to work together to elect better representatives that will deliver real wins for working people in our state.
We are proud to work for the Coloradans that make our state work. Whether it’s your child’s teacher or your grandparent’s caretaker, the airport worker loading your luggage, the janitor keeping your office building clean, or the construction worker that builds our bridges and tunnels, union members are essential people in your community. They are your neighbors, your friends and perhaps most importantly they are voters. They are a powerful constituency that has already achieved major victories, but is striving to do more.
Colorado labor members are unified and powerful. They organize, they vote, and they win.
Josette Jaramillo, of Pueblo, is president of the Colorado AFL-CIO. Amie Baca-Oehlert, of Thorton, is president of the Colorado Education Association. Stephanie Felix-Sowy, of Greely, president of SEIU Local 105.
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