2018 Candidates’ Forum

2018 Candidates’ Forum

Molina’s Gallery

930 8th Ave
Greeley, CO 80631
When: Wednesday, May 23, 5:00 PM

Congressional (CD4), Colorado state and local progressive candidates are invited to spend both social and formal time starting at 5:00 PM, with a cash bar, then having speeches and Q&A time ending around 8:00 PM. Surrogates of candidates are welcome to speak. We are proud that Northern Colorado Latino Foundation is co-hosting this event. Please go to their page to learn more about them:  http://www.northerncoloradolatinofoundation.com


Susie Velasquez for Weld Clerk and Recorder

 My name is Susie Velasquez and I decided to run for Clerk and Recorder because I love Weld County, but some things need to change and I am the choice for that  change. I grew up here and I am Weld County, just like you. I grew up in Milliken, a small farming town in Weld County. My dad worked at the sugar factory in Johnstown and my mom worked at the Milliken potato dock sorting potatoes.  I’m one of 11 children – my 8 brothers, 2 sisters and me. We worked fields in the summertime picking beans and cherries. They had a harder life being the eldest of the family but each one of us has our own story. My brothers served in the military –  Air Force, Army, Korean War and Vietnam War. They made a difficult but proud sacrifice serving our country.

I am a product of Weld County having graduated from high school and college in Weld County, and the only one in my family to graduate from college.  I graduated from Roosevelt High School in Johnstown, Aims Community College with a Liberal Arts degree, University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and the University of Denver Law School with a law degree.

I am a public servant.   I served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Colorado Attorney General and I now serve as the Weld County Public Trustee.  Because of this, I know how to run an office and manage employees. I’ve managed the Public Trustee office for the past 11 years. I have worked hard and I have the dedication and experience it takes to run a complex office like the Clerk and Recorder.  

I will work to bring efficiency and fairness to the Clerk and Recorder’s office by treating existing employees with the support and respect that they deserve.  Employees are the Clerk and Recorder’s greatest asset and if we don’t treat them that way, then we all suffer for it.

I will work for accountability and transparency in the redistricting process.  The Clerk and Recorder is responsible for working with the County Commissioners to redraw their own district boundary lines.  Right now that process is done behind closed doors with no input or comments from voters like you and me. I will be a strong advocate for complete transparency.  

I ask for your support because together we can be the choice for change in Weld County.  

Jena Griswold for Secretary of State

I grew up in a working-class family in Estes Park. I started working the summer after 7th grade and saw how many Colorado families struggled to make ends meet. That inspired me to be the first person in my family to attend a four-year college and then law school, because I wanted to help even the playing field for Coloradans. After law school, I practiced international anti-bribery law and worked to protect Coloradans’ voting rights as a voter protection attorney on President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. After that, I continued to serve the state as Director of the Colorado Governor’s DC Office, and then opened my own practice in Louisville.

Our country is at a turning point. I am running for Secretary of State to ensure our democracy remains strong. As Secretary of State, I plan to:

Stand up to President Trump and oppose any attempts to disenfranchise voters.

Increase voter participation by implementing automatic voter registration.

Bolster our election’s cybersecurity to stop cyberattacks from Russia and other countries.

Fight to get dark money out of our politics.

Support requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to get onto the ballot.

In the era of Trump, it is critical that we elect people who will stand up to protect our democracy. That is exactly what I will do as Secretary of State. I would be honored to earn your vote at State Assembly, and hope to work with you to ensure Colorado goes blue in 2018.

Phil Weiser for Attorney General

Phil Weiser is an innovative, effective leader who has dedicated his life to public service and teaching. He is a lifelong Democrat who has worked on behalf of Democratic candidates in Colorado for over 20 years. He is running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General because he is committed to defending our freedoms, fighting for opportunities for all, and protecting our land, air, and water.

Phil is optimistic about taking back our democracy in 2018. He learned this optimism and the importance of protecting our democracy from his family – immigrants who survived the Holocaust. He knows – just like many Coloradans that he’s talked to in his 64-county campaign tour of all Colorado counties- that we can do better – as a state and as a country.

Now more than ever, State AG’s are the last line of defense between our rights and the overreaching executive and dysfunctional legislative branches. The AG’s office is Colorado’s biggest law firm and requires a lot of knowledge and experience. Phil is the right person at the right time for this role. He is the right person because he knows all of the legal tools needed to be effective at both the state and national level–skills he gained clerking for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and working for Barack Obama in the White House. He also has experience leading litigation against corporate wrongdoers at the Department of Justice under two administrations (Clinton and Obama). But most importantly, he knows how to lead, inspire and manage lawyers–leadership he has demonstrated as Dean of University of Colorado Law School School, where he led that large organization effectively and recruited and mentored a diverse group of students and instructors.

After graduating law school, Phil worked in Denver for Judge Ebel on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then went to work at the United States Supreme Court, serving as a law clerk for Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He next served in President Clinton’s Department of Justice before coming back to Colorado to teach as a professor at the University of Colorado Law School.  At CU Law, Phil founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, litigated civil rights cases, co-chaired Governor Bill Ritter’s Innovation Council, and served on President Obama’s Transition Team, overseeing the Federal Trade Commission.

From 2009-11, Phil served in the Obama Administration as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation at the White House’s National Economic Council.  At the Justice Department, Phil oversaw complex antitrust investigations, worked to strengthen the review of anticompetitive mergers, and spearheaded an effort to promote competition in agriculture. At the White House, Phil spearheaded what became a bipartisan effort to increase access to wireless spectrum and enable the deployment of an interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety.

As the Dean of the University of Colorado Law School from 2011-16, Phil held tuition flat and more than doubled student scholarships, attracting more applicants than ever before (at a time when applications to law school fell nationwide).  He also took seriously the need to train the next generation of leaders of Colorado, helping students find jobs in a changing environment and actively supporting entrepreneurship on campus and in the community. Phil also emerged as a leader in the Colorado startup community, co-founding Startup Colorado and founding the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, to help grow Colorado’s economy.

Carl Erickson for Weld County Commissioner At Large

Carl Erickson, longtime resident of Weld County, Current Chair of Weld Air and Water, former Trainer and Interpreter/ Tutor, frequent contributor to local newspapers, has declared his candidacy for Weld County Commissioner At Large.

“I am pleased and honored to announce my candidacy for Weld County Commissioner At Large. During my term as Chair of Weld Air and Water, I have gained an understanding of the complexities of county, state and local governments including capabilities, limitations and need for meaningful government.

“In my candidacy, I see hope for a sustainable, positive future path for Weld County without the encumbrances of trivial pursuits.

“Most importantly, the primary role for a commissioner should be to be an advocate for the people of the county. There are many issues that will come before us in the next four years. They include transportation issues like roads, the ever-present water issue, balancing industrial growth with residential needs. In addition, we need to strengthen our infrastructure and to bring more accessible services to our vast county.

“Second, a commissioner should be a vital and accessible communications link between the people and the county government. In my role as a long-time customer service trainer, I am used to hearing from many sides. I am comfortable in hearing from residents and government. I listen to both their needs and strive to find a mutually acceptable beneficial outcome.

“Third, as commissioner, I can be a valued partner with county planning, by taking advantage of my experience, skills and perspectives, gained from my community activism.

“Fourth, because of this experience, I have “people skills” that can be used to bring people together toward common goals and unity.

“I firmly believe that each and every person in Weld County is here for a reason, that within the common voice of this County, there is an answer for each challenge that confronts us. Someone in this County has an answer to our ever present need for water resources, our need for better health services, our road maintenance requirements, our energy needs, our children’s services and our service for our senior population. It is my belief that the role of the government of this County is to seek out those voices that are expressing the solutions. It is the job of the Commissioners to find the voices that hold the answers. This means making the Commissioners as accessible as possible. Meetings should be held at a variety of times, at a variety of locations so that we can maximize the chance that solutions are found. Seeking out the resources, rather than waiting for them to present themselves.

“I look forward to a positive campaign, meeting residents, and tackling challenges.”

Gbenga Ajiboye for House District 48

Why I Am Running

As I have traveled across the country and the state of Colorado, I have learned that regardless of their political affiliation, financial status, ethnic background or race, all Americans have the same desire to live a happy, long and decent life in a safe community. But, the political climate has created an impression that these desires are not equally available to everyone.

I also noticed that as citizens, we no longer talk to each other, we talk at each other.  We need leaders that will listen to all sides and come up with common sense solutions to issues that will guarantee everyone their right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

I have been engaged in this conversation since I came to this country and I have decided to continue my quest for solutions by running for the Colorado State House of Representative, representing House District 48.

I want this government to be of the people, by the people and for the people.  I am asking that every voter in HD 48 evaluate all the issues before voting and am asking for your vote.  I know that this a huge responsibility.  As my background and experience show, I do not shy away from stepping up to face challenges head on.  I believe in people and I am sure as I travel the District visiting with you and listening to your concerns regarding the issues that face us all, I will earn your vote to be your representative.