Volunteer of the Week

Every week we highlight one of our dedicated, outstanding volunteer from all corners of Colorado.

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Constance

Since July 2020, Constance Combs has volunteered for the Mesa County Democratic Party in the area of communications and volunteer recruitment - she manages newsletters for the Women's Group and Volunteer Committee. She moved to Grand Junction in 2019 after retiring in 2014 as a program analyst for refugee resettlement services in the private non-profit and DHHS government contract world. Constance began her feminist activism at the University of Arkansas as a mature student, serving on the Executive Committee for the annual Women's Conference and acquiring a B.A. in communications and Spanish. After her retirement in Phoenix, AZ, she was chosen as a Hillary Fellow in the 2016 Presidential Election and continues to support women entering into politics at all levels.

 

She is ever hopeful to have the ERA pass in her lifetime -- her first child was born the year before it first passed in 1972 -- and is serious about attempting to lessen the political divide in her community. Yet, she still has time for her garden-to-table exercise! Constance answers to "Mom" for two adult children and "Grammie" for three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren living in northwest Arkansas.

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Brad

Hi everyone!  My name is Bradley Kurtz, and I am the Co-Chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party, as well as a member of my county’s Executive Committee and the State Platform Committee.  My involvement began in 2016 when I became a volunteer for the Clinton-Kaine campaign.

 

In 2018, I served as an advisor to the Betty Field campaign for CD-5 and jointly as an intern during Jared Polis’ campaign for governor.  Most recently, I served as Liz Rosenbaum’s campaign manager during her 2020 campaign for HD-21 and have since filled a variety of advisory, management, and consulting positions throughout the local area.  In Colorado Springs, I am a Starbucks barista and a student through Arizona State University. In my spare time, I enjoy drinking coffee, discussing politics, exploring Colorado’s beautiful outdoors, and working on a few car projects.

 

I am involved with both my county and state parties because they are the vehicles of change that we need to continue to foster progressive and liberal policies with lasting change.  I am thrilled and honored to be involved and look forward to meeting and working with all of you on many campaign trails to come!

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Ruth

I’m the Colorado Young Democrats Vice President, the JeffCo Young Dems President, a Precinct Organizer, and Captain in HD 24. Recently I was re-elected for my second term as the Southwest Regional Director for the Young Democrats of America. It’s a lot of hats, but I wear them all for one goal, increased youth civic participation to create a better future for generations to come.

 

I am a graphic designer and illustrator and I help young democrats locally and nationally with graphic design and consulting on communications and fundraising. I’ve volunteered my time and skills to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

 

I do this for my daughter, her and her generation's future. I was pregnant with her when the tragedy at Sandy Hook took place and I knew I had to be involved. I started locally with city boards and commissions and became engaged with the Party in 2016. I fight for healthcare, better education, gun control and climate action.

 

We are the ones we have been waiting for and we all have a part to play in Democratic Party organizing.

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Freddie

Meet Freddie Jacquez, a longtime fighter for workers' rights, Democratic beliefs, and access to voting for the Latino community. Based out of the San Luis Valley, Freddie actually joined us for our Colorado Conversations virtual town hall focusing on racial justice (click here to check it out if you missed it!) and in fact, ever the musician, performed a song from the Chicano labor movement for the attendees.

 

A local author devoted a chapter to Freddie, and did a deep dive into his background and why he devotes his time to fighting for Democratic causes. Here's an excerpt:

 

The San Luis Valley is also one of the economically poorest rural communities in Colorado. As a rural community, it faces the same types of challenges and needs as any other Colorado community. However, it possesses fewer resources to meet those needs/challenges. Freddie says there is a relatively high rate of diabetes among its citizens, creating a need to educate people about the lifestyle changes that can prevent diabetes. Like the rest of the country, it also has its share of drug-related problems. More healthcare providers, including mental health professionals, are badly needed—except it can be tough recruiting professionals to rural communities. Salaries are generally lower and there aren’t the amenities that bigger communities offer.

 

But the Valley has its strengths as well. Among them is its educational system. Citing Adams State College as an example (now Adams State University), Freddie says it made a huge difference in his life. When he started college, Freddie encountered “big classrooms … with kids from all over the place.” His collegiate education provided the opportunity to learn from and with people who were not just local, but who came from different places and with “different mindsets, different philosophies.” Having access to an institution of higher learning gave “kids hope and the opportunity to accomplish” more than they might otherwise have including Freddie. The College Assistance Migrant Program helped make Freddie’s college education possible.

 

CLICK HERE to read the rest!

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Art

I am a former environmental engineering consultant who changed my career toward activism and the Democratic Party two years ago. I live part time in Boulder Colorado and my summers in Pentwater, Michigan where I support several environmental causes related to climate change and Great Lakes water quality. I got involved with supporting the Democratic party because of climate change impacts  and the critical need to protect the environment. I am very concerned about the climate and it is my generation that significantly impacted the current and future environmental condition. I needed to do something about it.

 

I knew that the Democratic Party needed to gain the presidency and senate to make real change in climate change policy. I started this climate change action by doing an environmental voting and policy analysis for all Republican House Representatives for the 2020 election (at the request of Karin Asensio); in addition I was asked to do a climate change policy analysis of Cory Gardner for the Senator Hickenlooper Campaign. I wrote several newspaper editorials and recommended position papers to the Hickenlooper Campaign.  For the Colorado Democratic Party,  I currently monitor Republican environmental issues in Colorado especially in District 3. I am supporting Democrat House Representative Judy Amabile on environmental issues facing Colorado and the nation. I have learned a lot about politics and the legislative mechanism on how to get things done. I am currently an environmental advocate and leader to the Climate Reality Project started by former Vice President Al Gore.

 

I encourage people to volunteer their time, especially experienced professionals, that have a lot of expertise to give the Democratic Party to make the planet better. It is not enough to complain about our current environmental and social challenges but it is important to actually do something about them. Retired people (such as myself) need to move onto another career phase or promote actions that actually help people and the environment. This action keeps us active, sharp and effective. I encourage anyone, especially those over 60, to get involved with the Democratic Party and process to make a real positive impact. We are running out of time to solve our climate problems.

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Tmo

My name is Tom (T-mo)  and I’m a volunteer-aholic! I’m currently managing the new CDP Tech Support System which I set up and configured during the 2020 Election. I am also serving on the Board of Animas Charter High School here in Durango. I have since 2009. I really enjoy, and get great satisfaction, working with people from all over the state, both candidates and counties. VAN is NOT and easy program to learn. Helping you all learn how to use it more efficiently, so you can spend less time on technology and more time campaigning and registering voters, is my way of helping Dems get elected.  I’m on my 3rd retirement 😊. I spent 30+ years in IT, including 13 at Microsoft.

 

My passion for volunteering began as a young boy following along with my Dad as he volunteered with our Church and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). I could see the way his face would light up as he worked with others to help these organizations be more successful. I’m not sure if Dad ever said this directly; but a mantra I carry with me, and have tried to pass on to my sons goes something like:

 

“… It is your responsibility to give back to the world, but never forget that it is also a privilege ...”

 

Although I volunteered, sporadically during my career years, it really began in earnest after I retired (the 1st time) in 2008 and moved to Durango. I began volunteering for the Obama Campaign here as a data entry volunteer, here in La Plata County. As I became more proficient in VAN, I ended up overseeing the data entry volunteers and then, usually starting around 10PM, began creating lists and cutting Turfs for the next day’s door knockers and phone callers. Finally, I’d get to leave around 1:30 AM. This was 7 days a week all of October until the election. Weird as it sounds, I really enjoyed those times. The energy in our office was incredibly contagious. I spent 6 years as Communications Chair for La Plata County Dems ,and then began volunteering with CDP last August providing VAN Tech support and helping counties and campaigns implement TextOut.

 

I guess the let down after the election, left me wanting to do more. I started back up again in January driving the implementation of your Help Desk software and now spend 2-4 hrs daily managing it and working support tickets, even doing a little training from time to time. It is certainly not glamorous, and may sound boring, maybe a little crazy to you, but as I mentioned before, it is what I can best do to help get our candidates elected. I take pride in and get great satisfaction  this.

 

I encourage all of you to engage with your respective County Parties and Candidates to find out how you can “give back” according to your particular skill set. No job is too small, or any less important that others. It’s all about community working together to help improve our environment, our heath care, and most importantly, the quality and equality of our lives and those of our families and neighbors.

 

Give it a try, I bet you will like it.

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Barb

Hi, I'm Barbara Niederhoff in Aurora, professional book indexer and 20-year Girl Scout volunteer. I began volunteering for Democrats in 2017, before I even got around to re-registering from "U," and I do everything from setting up chairs at events to handling data to running Zoom meetings. I'm the new party Chair in House District 40, and living proof that you CAN campaign successfully even with a combination of introversion and social anxiety.

 

Come meet me in person at Arapahoe County's Pat Schroeder event this Sept. 14: https://www.acdpdinner.org/

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Braeden

Hello friends and fellow volunteers!

 

My name is Braeden Miguel and I am a volunteer and Colorado Young Dems board member from Highlands Ranch and Douglas County! Environmental justice, education, and youth activation are big areas of focus for me and I tend to gravitate towards creative projects that look at how we can use technology, art, community, storytelling, and video to outreach and activate people into the movement! For example I am working on creating a community site to help organize young dems across the state and on a video series that helps demystify parts of the political process - More to hopefully share on those in the weeks and months ahead 🙂

 

I think a lot of my journey and passion comes from growing up and my family having the fortune to take family trips most years to new and different places. Seeing the ways we were similar and the beauty the world held led to a strong passion for wanting to preserve and fight for that beauty beginning even in high school. That continued into college as I got a degree in environmental studies and still to this day as I work at where I think my unique ideas and actions can help most. I am encouraged by all the awesome people who show up to fight for a better and just future and excited to see what we can make happen!

 

To follow what the Colorado Young Dems are up to you can find us on our Facebook page or you can join our members and allies list, regardless of age, at http://tiny.cc/CYDMembersandAllies

 

If interested in contacting me personally you can find me on Facebook and Instagram at BraedenMiguel

 

With Hope and Inspiration,

Braeden Miguel