By Karen Gutiérrez and Benjamin Neufeld
State Senator and congressional candidate Brittany Pettersen—accompanied by senior staff, and volunteers from the Democratic Party—opened a new field office recently in Arvada, Colorado.
The office will house the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) headquarters to assist with getting out the vote. Pettersen was greeted by numerous supporters, elected officials and Colorado Democratic Coordinated Campaign Director Ben Tobias.
“I am fired up – what a great turnout,” said Pettersen, to a round of applause. “I’m so excited to be your democratic nominee for Congress for CD7.”
“We need to step up and do what we need to do to protect our democracy.”
State Sen. Brittany Pettersen, CD7 Candidate
Pettersen announced her campaign to represent the 7th Congressional District on January 11, a day after Congressman Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, said he wouldn’t seek a ninth term in Congress.
Pettersen has garnered notable endorsements from across the state.
Pettersen has been a member of Colorado legislature for ten years. She was instrumental in passing legislation responding to the opioid epidemic and the state’s mental health crisis. Her legislative priorities also included promoting access to preschool for all children, funding for public schools, and equal pay for women. She was also a key sponsor the “red flag bill” that passed in 2019, allowing judges to temporarily seize firearms from those at risk to themselves or others.
“What a journey this has been, I am highly unlikely to be the democratic nominee for congress, but it was because I was given a shot to succeed. I grew up in Jefferson County, I never started getting involved because I wanted to run for office, I started getting involved because I knew that the candidates that we elect, make it or break it for regular people like me.”
Pettersen highlighted the importance of electing candidates who represent and understand the struggles of hard working people.
“So I grew up in south Jeffco in Littleton, and I was a high risk youth. I faced a lot of obstacles at home, but I had amazing schools and teachers that believed in me, so because of those community investments and as democratic values that we share in this room – that if you work hard and play by the rules you should have the opportunity to succeed. That’s why I was given a shot. I became the first in my family to graduate from high school and college.”
Pettersen also stressed the importance of voting in order to strengthen the Democrat’s ability to combat Republican’s corrupt and regressive political dealings. –i.e. attacks on policies like Roe v. Wade. “[Republicans] do not believe in people’s ability to make their own choices in their own lives,” Petterson said. “[They] believe that states should be able to strip away our rights, and that women and doctors should get up to life in prison if they choose to proceed with an abortion or medically necessary care.”
According to Petterson, these policies have already had a negative effect on many people’s lives. “We are hearing tragic stories across the nation [caused by Republican’s] detrimental policies,” she said. This effect she argued, is not in line with America’s democratic ideals. “This is not the world that most people want to live in.”
Despite the challenge and tense political climate, Petterson feels optimistic. “I’m feeling good,” she said. “Tides are changing, women are showing up and saying ‘you are not going to determine my life and strip away my rights.’” She continued, “I remind myself often that there are so many more of us than them. We just have to vote.”
Pettersen concluded the event by inviting attendees to support her
campaign and to spend time in their own lives encouraging others to vote. Reminding listeners of the stakes, she said, “We need to step up and do what we need to do to protect our democracy.”
For further information on Brittany Pettersen’s campaign visit brittanypettersen.com.
Karen Gutiérrez is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario. Benjamin Neufeld es un Reportera Independiente de The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.
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