Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign welcomed the endorsement of some of Colorado’s most prominent progressive legislators and grassroots community leaders. Colorado, which will send 79 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in June, holds its caucus on March 1st. (Look up where your precinct is by using your address at this link.)
The endorsing delegation held a press conference on the Capitol steps on yesterday. Despite the short notice (~15 hours), more than 100 Sanders supporters turned out in the 30-degree weather to cheer them on. The speakers included State Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton), State Senator Michael Merrifield (D-Colorado Springs), State Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), former State Senator Linda Powers, and former Colorado Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll. They were joined by Julie Gonzales, a civil rights and immigration activist who works with Meyer Law Firm, and Ken Schauer, an officer of IBEW #113, which recently endorsed Sanders.
“Prior to being here, my fellow Democrats asked me to stay on the sidelines,” Rep. Joseph Salazar, who also co-chairs the Latino Caucus, told the crowd. “I couldn’t do that, because I believe that people want better from their elected representatives.” Salazar went on to say to a roaring crowd, “I simply reject the politician who has stopped listening to the underserved, who has stopped listening to those who struggle, and who has stopped listening to those who have dreams and visions for a better future. That kind of politician is not the public servant we see in Sen. Bernie Sanders.”
The speeches were a mixture of hope and cries for justice.
Julie Gonzales, a well-known immigrant rights activist, said that she was tired of politicians telling her to stop asking for so much. “I am going to trust the guy who has dedicated his life to building a future that we can all believe in.”
Rep. Jonathan Singer stressed that Sanders was the people’s candidate, regardless of the party politics. “Bernie Sanders is the choice because he is not the Party favorite. He is not the political favorite — he is the people’s favorite.”
“We are honored to receive the support of Colorado’s leading progressive voices,” says Dulce Saenz, Sanders’ Colorado state director. “They are some of Colorado’s most influential leaders, and we are so proud to have their support.”
Terrance Carroll, who was the first African-American Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, joked that he had “woken up in the middle of the night” and realized that he had “caught the Bern.” He became serious when he said that after a long period of thought, he felt that Sen. Sanders was the “right person to lead this nation” who was on the “right side of the arc of the moral universe. This is election is about freedom,” Carroll told a cheering crowd.
All of the endorsers have committed to hitting the ground running in the lead-up to Super Tuesday, and they are hosting phone banks, canvasses, and caucus trainings across the state.
The List of Key Colorado Endorsements:
State Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton),
State Senator Michael Merrifield (D-Colorado Springs),
State Representative Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont)
Frmr. Colorado Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll
Sondra Young, civil rights leader
John Ford, Jefferson County teacher education leader
Martin J Wisniewski, Former Thornton City Council Member and Former Adams County Democratic Party Chair
Eric Montoya, Thornton City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem
Jacob Smith, Former Mayor of Golden
Linda Powers, former Colorado State Senator
Reverend Patrick Demmer, civil rights leader
Rudy Gonzales, civil rights leader
Bishop Jerry Demmer, civil rights leader
Rev. Reginald C. Holmes, civil rights leader
Howard Geller, environmentalist
Tehri Parker, environmentalist
Gianina Irlando, civil rights leader
Jose Barrera, radio personality and former veteran
Veronica Barela, civil rights leader
Estevan T. Flores, Ph.D.
John Edward Soto, environmentalist
Dallas Nicole Brown, civil rights leader
Robert Miles LeFebre, actor
Julie Gonzales, Meyer Law Office
IBEW Local 113 – Colorado Springs
JoAnn Fujioka, Jefferson County education leader and community activist
Hollis Hope, community activist
Kiera Hatton, environmentalist