• February 3rd, 2023
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El Semanario Endorses Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold


 

Photo: Jena for Colorado Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

 It is with great pleasure that The Weekly Issue El Semanario endorses current Secretary of State Jena Griswold for another term, the 39th Secretary of State, the youngest person to be elected to this prestigious governmental position. Jena comes from a blue collar background, holding values that are consistent with working class constituents—hard work, commitment, and a deep understanding of issues that need to be addressed. She holds a B.A. in Politics and Spanish Literature from Whitman College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her impressive resume includes practicing international anti-corruption law. She has also worked as a voter protection attorney.

 

A vote for Jena represents a vote for the protection of American Democracy that is floundering as political warfare remains on the national radar screen. Jena knows that voting is a fundamental right for every adult citizen in a democracy and that it should remain as a guiding principle for protecting fundamental rights of American citizens. Her record includes oversight of five Colorado elections, with record breaking turnouts. She worked during the pandemic to ensure that everyone had access to the ballot box.

 

Several states throughout the nation have passed legislation that make it difficult for disenfranchised voters to access voting booths.  n her philosophy of democracy, Jena has worked arduously to stop voter suppression. Whether this entails either legal or illegal tactics by way of laws, administrative rules, or tactics preventing voters from registering to vote or voting, she vows to protect the vote of all Coloradoans. She realizes that access to the vote has spillover effects on everything from affordable education to children attending colleges and universities. As Griswold stated, “Voter suppression takes away power. We have stopped that in Colorado. We have strong elections.”

 

Jena’s history includes fighting to protect our constitutional rights through progressive legislation. She supported the passage of the Colorado Election Security Act that essentially “protects our elections from insider threats.” She also “increased the number of mail ballot drop boxes by over 50 percent, [launching] a system so every voter can track their ballot from when it was mailed to when it was counted.” Jena’s strategy in protecting the right to vote translates into working with Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  Jena works with all sectors of the political community—protecting election workers that are often threatened as the political process becomes imbalanced and illegal and questionable practices are used to prohibit free people in a free society to vote. Her successes included increased access to voting, multilingual ballots, and an increase in laws that protect voting privileges for all. She also pushed for laws that included felonies for compromising voting equipment, and keeping guns away from voting booths.

 

A vote for Jena represents a vote for the protection of American Democracy that is floundering as political warfare remains on the national radar screen.

 

For her meticulous work against increasing confidence in the voting, Jena received death threats. She responded by supporting a state bill “that provides her and other election workers with extra security.” The Colorado General Assembly also passed a related bill, “that protects state elections from security breaches and other dangers.”

 

The history of Latino voter suppression has a long drawn out history that includes gerrymandering through the manipulation of district boundaries, literacy tests, and English only ballots. And although many of these practices have been outlawed, Griswold is very cognizant of the continued challenges that people of color experience as they attempt to engage in elections. Throughout the nation, stories of intimidation and threats have invaded Latino communities. She has developed safeguards to address these issues.

 

Jena has also worked on protecting small businesses from bureaucratic red tape increasing confidence in voting in the process—knowing that America exists in an age of disparate economics, widening the gap between the haves and the have nots.  She has taken on dark money through intense efforts in shaping and lobbying for finance reform.  Fulfilling the American Dream should be an open-door process, not exclusively meant to fatten the pocket books of the wealthy. As she has been quoted as saying, “I prevented dark money from coming into the process. We shine light on dark money. Corporations need to follow the rules [so that the voices of the disenfranchised are not drowned out.”

 

Learn more about Jena Griswold here.

 

The Weekly Issue/El Semanario Editorial Board

 

 

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