by Chanel Ward
It was under the statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in Denver’s City Park, where Dr. Lisa Calderón formally announced her bid for Denver Mayor last week, and also where she greeted every single person that approached her before and after her moving speech.
“I stand before you as a native-born daughter of this city, a mother, a worker, a community leader, an educator, to formally declare my candidacy to become the first woman mayor of the great city of Denver,” said Calderón.
“As a long-time community activist, I challenged politicians but never considered myself one,” she said, while admitting, “running for public office is actually the last thing I wanted to do.”
She also offered insight into why she decided to enter the race for Mayor. “I spent my entire adult life in the service of others, it is precisely because I am not a politician but rather a public servant, and that is why I’ve decided to run for public office.”
“I spent my entire adult life in the service of others, it is precisely because I am not a politician but rather a public servant, and that is why I’ve decided to run for public office.”
Dr. Lisa Calderón
Calderón serves as a full-time faculty member at Regis University and is a Co-Chair on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Latino Forum, a grassroots organization that focuses on Latino issues across Colorado for nearly ten years.
Calderón spoke to El Semanario regarding the current political climate, both locally and nationally.
“It’s time for women to lead. We are inspired by so many races across this city,” she said, while pointing to the success of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic primary victor from the Bronx who shocked the Democratic Party in June with her primary win in New York.
“When you speak to our community and you’re coming from the heart; it’s an asset today and so younger women are also more politically aware and involved and optimistic,” said Calderón. “We have to be able to show that ‘yes you can do it’ and if I’m not able to step forward, how can I expect them to come forward?”
When asked why “It’s Time” now – the slogan of Calderón’s campaign – she explained that, “for months I would try to recruit other people to run, and I would try to convey the concerns that I had around our cultural spaces being preserved, affordable housing for our elders; I would get platitudes back, everyone cares about affordable housing, but they weren’t really hearing about our specific needs and our specific communities — particularly communities of color — and so after talking to a group of women it became evident that I was talking about myself.”
To support Calderón, visit her website at Lisa4DenverMayor.org and visit her Facebook page Lisa Calderón for Denver Mayor.
Chanel Ward is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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