The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by our guest columnists do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of this publication.
Resident of Pueblo, Colorado
I’ve grown up in Pueblo, Colorado all of my life. My grandpa, Nicholas Rodriguez really shaped me to become the person I am today. He was a social worker and was heavily involved in advocating for health care rights for everyone. Growing up he would make us practice the speeches that he would write for other Mexican-Americans running for office. He taught me that politics is something that affects everyone, no matter where they come from. My grandma, Molly Martinez, was the first woman to walk the prison yard by herself as a guard at Arkansas Valley Correctional, and she taught me the great power and resilience of being a Latina woman. She also taught me to be the woman I am today—one who cares for not only my family but also my community.
I grew up with 5 other siblings, raised by teen parents, in poverty. Though my parents were young they were devoted to working and supporting myself and my brothers and sisters. We were surrounded by love. The phrase, “It takes a village” was really how I was raised. Even though my family and I struggled growing up, smushed into a 2 bedroom house, we had each other.
Now, I am a single mother raising two children – with my own village. My devoted selfless parents, siblings , ex-in laws and neighbors are my community and my village. We are a family that sticks together no matter what.
But there was a time when I was really struggling. However, I was able to use Pueblo’s public services to help me and my family survive. Without help from the government here in Pueblo, I wouldn’t be able to feed my children or give them a safe place to live.
When I saw what was happening with the George Flloyd protests, I knew I had to get involved with the Pueblo community fighting for justice. We live in a world where black people are 6 times more likely to be killed by police and black and brown people are dying from covid-19 at much higher rates. Right now, half of Colorado is burning – with no end in sight.
Climate change is here and now. Police brutality is something we must address as a nation. COVID-19 is killing my community.
That is why I am voting for Diane Mitsch Bush for Congress and Daneya Esgar for House District 46 and working with CIRC Action Fund and the I Am America 2020 civic engagement campaign who is working in coalition with SEIU and iAmerica to get the vote out.
Diane has had years of experience advocating for Coloradans. She will work with Republicans and Democrats across the aisle, working to protect our water and wildlife habitats and bring opportunity to our communities. We need someone in Congress who will address the climate crisis happening right here in Colorado. I want my children to be able to travel to every corner of Colorado and see the beautiful place we live in. Diane will also keep families together and fight back against Trump’s cruel immigration policies.
Daneya Esgar is a true champion for her community. I actually grew up knowing her when she was my Resident Advisor for a program I did where low income students could stay on a college campus for a summer. She was my role model and watching her political career thrive is so inspiring to me. She has worked to improve healthcare for all Coloradans and make Pueblo a welcoming place for all, no matter who they love.
I am voting for these two women not for me but for my young children who deserve a community that respects their land, rights and well-being. I am voting for their future.
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