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Kara MasonKara MasonOctober 16, 20173min3540

If the Aurora Sentinel editorial board gets what it wants, all five of the Aurora City Council seats up for grabs will be filled with new, and mostly progressive, candidates. The newspaper endorsed all three of the candidates groomed by Emerge Colorado, the organization that prepares women Democrats to run for office.

Allison Hiltz, Nicole Johnston and Crystal Murillo caught the attention of many this year including the Sentinel’s, which wrote a piece highlighting the oddity in A-town politics.

The council is typically a mainstay for conservatives, despite races being nonpartisan. But Emerge Colorado delivered three alumnas to the election this year.

And so the tide may be turning. The Sentinel endorsement says:

“The new wave of city and school board candidates are arguably much more progressive than the have been previously, offering a distinct and contrasting change from past local elections. These two slates of candidates have pulled incumbent conservatives to the left, as well, something reflected in their newer positions on some past conservative touchstones.”

The weekly newspaper also endorsed Martha Lugo, a self-proclaimed progressive, and Tom Tobiassen, former chairman of the Regional Transportation District board.

In the Ward I race, the Sentinel chose Murillo, a 23-year-old University of Denver graduate who previously interned with House Speaker Crisanta Duran, over incumbent Sally Mounier for being, “consistent in showing she has the temerity, the experience and the wisdom to be steadfast in her demand that Aurora serve and protect all residents in her ward and the city, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or their documentation.”

Over in Ward II, the Sentinel endorsed Johnston over four other candidates, including former State Sen. Bob Hagedorn, but added that there really wasn’t a bad choice in the whole race.

Lugo picked up the Ward III endorsement over incumbent Marsha Berzins and three others. Hiltz, who at one point also interned for Duran, and Tobiassen picked up the at-large endorsements.

With 20 candidates, five seats and two incumbents in the race, one thing is for sure, writes the Sentinel:

“Change is guaranteed to come to Aurora as a new generation of Aurora City Council and Aurora Public Schools board candidates usher in new ideas and a drive to bring substantive progress.”


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningAugust 18, 20173min1290

The progressive Run for Something organization announced this week it's backing several Colorado candidates for municipal office, school boards and legislative seats. The national group, which aims to recruit and support "talented, passionate young people" — up to age 35 —  "who will advocate for progressive values" is getting behind dozens of Democratic candidates in 18 states in its initial round of endorsements, part of what organizers call an effort to build a bench in down-ballot races the traditional party apparatus often ignores.


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Adam McCoyAdam McCoyAugust 16, 20173min3830

Progressives are eyeing the seats of power at Aurora City Hall.

Colorado People’s Action — a progressive group, according to its website, centered on the climate, economic, immigrant and racial justice — have put their political weight behind four candidates for Aurora City Council, according to the Aurora Sentinel.

The group, which has offices in Denver and Aurora, recently endorsed four of 26 candidates vying for public office, promising to canvass neighborhoods in an effort to increase turnout.

The Sentinel’s Kara Mason rounded up the group’s endorsements — and took note of some on-the-job training its picks have been receiving:

In Ward I, the organization endorsed Crystal Murillo over incumbent Sally Mounier. In Ward II, where there are a total of seven candidates, CPA endorsed Nicole Johnston. Of the five candidates in Ward III, CPA endorsed political newcomer Martha Lugo. All three candidates — Murillo, Hiltz and Johnston — have been coached by Emerge Colorado, a six month program that trains Democratic women how to run an election campaign.

The group only endorsed one at-large candidate, Allison Hiltz, even though there are two at-large seats up for election.

Though the seats on the City Council are non-partisan, Aurora City Council is known for its conservative leanings. A Westword report in 2015 detailed Aurora as among the 10 most conservative cities in the country.

Though the candidates likely have an uphill battle, that’s not to say the red Aurora City Council won’t have a hint of blue come fall. New progressive political group Together for Colorado Springs had success pushing progressive candidates for local office last spring in that conservative stronghold.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJune 26, 20177min970

Former Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio and past Massachusetts lieutenant governor nominee Steve Kerrigan are launching a national political action committee aimed at strengthening state and local Democratic parties and candidates with an eye toward next year's elections. They're calling it the Stronger States PAC, and when it launches Monday it will be the only national organization of its kind, Palacio told Colorado Politics. 



Joey BunchJoey BunchApril 21, 20172min32
If you’re a Democrat, a woman and thinking about running for office,  Emerge Colorado has somewhere you should be Saturday: the Driscoll Ballroom at the University of Denver. The organization that recruits and trains women on the left to enter politics is holding an all-day training session. The timing is good for those who might jump into next […]

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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsSeptember 14, 20162min370

American women have had a lot to celebrate this summer. In June, The White House hosted the United State of Women Summit and 28 major companies signed their Equal Pay Pledge. In July, we saw the first female presidential nominee of a major party. In August, female athletes were the unquestionable breakout stars of Team USA. And two weeks ago, we celebrated Women’s Equality Day.


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsJuly 11, 20162min290

Editor:

Last month, a group of young women from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe participated in a media training initiative called #GirlsGovern, which culminated in interviews with female elected officials. Run by GlobalGirls Media, #GirlsGovern sought to empower, inform and engage girls in politics through journalism.

As the director of Emerge Colorado, an organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, I know the importance of engaging women in the political process early on. So, I decided to lend a hand to the #GirlsGovern initiative by arranging for the girls to meet and interview several Colorado women serving in office.

State House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran and state Sen. Linda Newell spoke to the girls about the importance of engagement and equal representation. Over lunch, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and state Sen. Beth Martinez-Humenik touched on the unique abilities that women bring to the table. Engaging in discussions like these can spark an initial interest in politics, which is the first step for young women to enter the pipeline and eventually run for office themselves.

Inspiring a future generation of female leaders is one of the many great things that women do when they’re elected. That’s why Emerge is working hard to change the face of leadership in Colorado. Eight of our alumnae won their primary races last month, including three women of color. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved, but until Colorado women are fairly represented, we’ll be on the front lines of this fight.

Jenny Willford

Executive director, Emerge Colorado

Denver


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsMay 17, 20163min380

2016 is shaping up to be a historic year for women in politics. Hillary Clinton is set to be the first woman to ever clinch the presidential nomination of a major party, and our country may see the first woman president come November. While we should all celebrate this momentous occasion, Sec. Clinton’s unique run for president shines a light on a major problem for women in American politics.