Nearly 300 attended Working People’s Forum (on Race, Class, & Justice)

Every day, our union sisters and brothers work to create a better environment for working families in Colorado. Our days of hard work lead up to events like the one we held on Saturday, where we put hard hitting questions the people who want to lead our state.

We wanted to hear from these candidates what, specifically, they plan to do to address systemic issues that hold back the working families who take care of Colorado, who make our downtown buildings clean, and who keep us safe and on schedule at the Denver Airport.

This past Saturday, Local 105 members held the line and asked four Gubernatorial candidates questions about economic justice, systemic racism, white supremacy, and their commitment to the Working People’s Platform. 

Nearly 300 people attended the two-hour Forum emceed by Pastor Timothy Tyler and organized by Local 105, Colorado People’s Action, and the Colorado Working Families Party. Michael Johnston, Cary Kennedy, Lt. Governor Donna Lynne, and Congressman Jared Polis took the stage to directly answer questions from voters at a forum held at Shorter Community AME church in Denver.

During the event, home care members Brenda Lozada and Meredith Rowe told personal stories of what it means to care for others while making barely over minimum wage. Former airport worker Abraham Weldemeskel told his account of how he was fired for organizing a union. SEIU Board member Pat Johnson-Gibson asked the candidates how they plan to combat structural racism and Board member Mike Howard asked what they would say to a boss who’s trying to union-bust. The four Gubernatorial democratic candidates who participated in the panel heard stories directly from workers and were asked tough questions about their commitment to workers and working families, economic justice, racial justice, and co-governing with community members. 

Worker stories about low wages, tough working conditions, systemic racisim and discrimination, and lack of economic security dominated the forum. Candidates were asked about their support of policies that would address these issues. 

Prior to today’s forum the candidates were asked to sign on to the Working People’s Platform. The Working People’s Platform consists of seven tenets that lift up the goals and recognize the everyday struggles of working people in Colorado and our nation. The platform contains principles that support the development of an economy and a democracy that works for all Colorado families. Three of the four Democratic candidates running for Governor have signed on to the platform: Michael Johnston, Cary Kennedy, and Congressman Jared Polis.

You can watch the entire Working People’s Forum on our Facebook page by watching the Livestream of the event. You can also get a rundown of the stories, questions, and answers by following our Twitter hashtag: #WorkingPeoplesForum.

We’re thrilled so many Local 105 members attended the event and helped us start the dialogue with candidates about what SEIU members expect from our politicians and decision makers. We will have many more opportunities this election season to raise up the issues that most affect working families. If you want to help elect legislators who support the Working People’s Platform, or sign up as a supporter yourself, please visit WorkingPeoplesPlatform.org

And don’t forget: your primary ballots are arriving this week! 

Haven’t received your ballot yet? Check the address on file for your voter registration at GoVoteColorado.com. If you’re an unaffiliated voter and you receive multiple ballots, only return ONE to ensure your vote counts.