FAQ: Annual Dinner Naming History

The Annual Colorado Democratic Party Dinner is a gala celebration where old friends and new allies from across our state come together to celebrate our Democratic accomplishments in the prior year and kick off the work needed to elect Democrats across Colorado in the current year. For the first 84 years of the Colorado Democratic Party, our Annual Dinner had been called the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in honor of two of our early Presidents. Thomas Jefferson was our third President and the main author of the Declaration of Independence. Andrew Jackson was our seventh President and the victorious General in the War of 1812.

Some of our Colorado Democratic Party members voiced objections having these two accomplished Presidents as the namesakes for our Annual Dinner due to their slave owner heritage and treatment of our Native Americans. In 2016, a dinner renaming effort was initiated, but no clear winner emerged. Then in 2017, by overwhelming consensus, we renamed our Annual Gala Dinner to be the “Obama Dinner” after former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. In 2018, the dinner was the first annual “Obama Dinner”.

Why the Obama Dinner?

We are so proud to honor the historic contributions from the former first family by naming the Colorado Democratic Party’s Annual Dinner “the Obama Dinner”. In 2008, Colorado had the privilege of hosting the Democratic National Convention where Barack Obama won our party’s nomination and subsequent election as the 44th President of the United States of America. Since that time, both Michelle and Barack Obama have played a pivotal role in advancing our nation forward. Under President Obama’s leadership, we pulled our nation out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and started the longest period of private sector job growth in American history. That record of economic success, combined with landmark health care legislation, millions of jobs saved through the auto rescue, and important work on climate change, cemented President Obama’s legacy as a transformational leader of our country. As an inspirational role model, First Lady Michelle Obama’s focus on health and exercise programs helped reverse childhood obesity trends in the U.S., and her focus on helping military families stands as an inspiration to all Americans. The Obama legacy embodies the values we hold as Democrats, and we are beyond proud to have renamed our annual dinner after our former first family.