• July 21st, 2024
  • Sunday, 06:46:38 AM

Democrats Outline Midterm Election Campaigns at Arapahoe County Fundraiser


Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario U.S. Senator Michael Bennet speaks at the 2022 Pat Schroeder Dinner, a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats. /Foto: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario El senador estadounidense Michael Bennet habla en la Cena Pat Schroeder 2022, una recaudación de fondos organizada por los demócratas del condado de Arapahoe.

 

Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Texas Congresswoman Veronica Escobar talks with El Semanario Publisher, Chris M. Frésquez at the 2022 Pat Schroeder Dinner, a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.

By Benjamin Neufeld

 

Democracy may no longer be at stake for the 2022 midterm elections, but it is certainly still at risk. On August 27, politicians and elected officials gathered at the 2022 Pat Schroeder Dinner, a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats, where they made clear that voting this year is just as important as it was in 2020.

 

Democrats currently control the presidency, the House, and the Senate. While the presidency is secure until 2024, the left risks losing control of the House and Senate—a troubling scenario considering the far-right skew of the Supreme Court. “This is what it feels like to live in a fragile democracy,” said Senator Michael Bennet during his speech at the event. He and other speakers emphasized the importance of retaining and strengthening Democratic control in the government’s legislative branch in order to repair the damage inflicted by Trump and other Republicans during the last six years. State level politicians, such as Governor Jared Polis, expressed similar sentiments–calling upon attendees to support Democrats up for election and reelection at state and local positions.

 

The hosts of the event intended, primarily, to secure donations from the guests in attendance. However, they also encouraged the audience to volunteer for democratic campaigns. They noted that democratic voter turnout tends to decline for midterm elections, and they stressed the importance of going to the polls.

 

The fundraiser took place at the Franciscan Event Center in Centennial. Individual tickets cost $225. Sponsorship packages ranged from $500 to $5,000. One Arapahoe County Democrat in attendance said he believes 2022 is an important election. He wanted to show and give support and “encourage people to be encouraged.”

 

Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold speaks at a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.

The lineup of speakers included Governor Jared Polis, Attorney General Phil Weiser, Secretary of State Jenna Griswold, Colorado Treasurer Dave Young, Colorado Board of Education At Large candidate Kathy Plomer, and U.S. Senator Michael Bennet during the Garden Reception. The dinner program featured remarks from Arapahoe County Democratic Party Chair Kristin Mallory Westerberg, U.S. Congressman Jason Crow (CO-6), and Texas Congresswoman Victoria Escobar. State representative David Ortíz (HD38) made closing remarks and called for donations.

 

Other notable guests included the event’s Adlai Stevenson Award winner and state representative for HD40, Naquetta Ricks; state representative for HD9, Emily Sirota; and Denver School Board At Large Vice President, Tay Anderson. Anderson said he was exploring options and, “supporting democrats in 2022.”

 

Griswold summed up the main sentiment of the evening during her speech, saying, “We have to organize to protect democracy…So much is on the line.” Citing the disturbing amount of election deniers in the state and country at-large, as well as the escalating republican attacks on voting rights, she made a case for her reelection campaign by positioning herself as a defender against those attacks. “We need a secretary of state who will protect the right to vote of every Republican, Democrat, and unaffiliated voter,” she said.

 

Kathy Plomer highlighted yet another threat to democracy from Republicans. She explained how conservatives seek to doctor K-12 educational curriculum in order to push students toward right-wing values. “We are talking about whether or not we should ban books; we are talking about whether or not we should teach both sides of the Holocaust,” she said in reference to topics which Republicans have forced into mainstream discourse. “This is ridiculous in 2022, and we cannot have it.” Plomer told guests that it is imperative that she and other Democrats control the school board to combat this threat.

 

Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Arapahoe County Clerk and County Recorder Joan López listens to speakers at the 2022 Pat Schroeder Dinner, a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.

During his speech, Michael Bennet spoke about his intent to implement policy which would draw those with extreme right-wing values back toward the left. He explained how, even before Trump, the mechanism of government had been broken. He experienced first-hand the Democrat’s inability to achieve any policy goals. “We [couldn’t] get anything done,” he said. This lack of action led to the worsening of an already skewed economy. This created a demoralized lower/middle class—a prime target for a big-talking, right-wing populist like Trump. “Donald Trump should never have been elected president of the United States. He was. He was because we have an economy that is so unfair in this country that people can’t see opportunity for their family,” said Bennet. “We can’t let that continue; we have to build an economy that works for everybody…But, in the meantime, we have to make sure we win these elections so we don’t go backwards to that chaos.”

 

The speakers repeatedly referenced the January 6 capitol riot as evidence for the threat against democracy. During her keynote address, Victoria Escobar recounted hiding from rioters with her House colleague, Jason Crow, who represents Arapahoe County as part of Colorado ‘s District 6. She praised his calm demeanor during the pressure of the moment, saying Congress needs his level-headed leadership for two more years.

 

The candidates made additional appeals for financial contributions based on their support for reproductive rights and climate policy. They celebrated the recent passage of their “historic” federal climate bill. However, they primarily staked their case upon their opposition to Republicans on these issues—highlighting recent Republicans pro-life victories and their apathy in regard to climate change.

 

Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Colorado Treasurer Dave Young speaks at a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.

 

Benjamin Neufeld is an Independent Reporter for The Weekly Issue/El Semanario.

 

 

For More Colorado News: ELSEMANARIO.US

 

Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser speaks at a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.
Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Colorado Governor Jared Polis speaks at a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.

 

Photo: Benjamin Neufeld for El Semanario Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown listens to speakers at the 2022 Pat Schroeder Dinner, a fundraiser hosted by Arapahoe County Democrats.