Statement of Endorsement of Saira Rao for Congress
State Representative Joseph Salazar
Over the course of months and years, I have had the privilege/pain of seeing democratic electoral politics from behind the scenes. I’ve seen the kingmakers and gatekeepers hold our party back from reaching the progressive values we find in our own party platform. Now we are seeing the massive pushback from progressive candidates who are tired of status quo politics.
The status quo.
You know the status quo doesn’t work for many of us, right? People of color, women of color, white women, the disabled, LGBTQ family, Muslim community members, Labor etc. And we’ve seen status quo politics and politicians in our party for far too long. These same people make the excuse that because they are in the minority, they can’t get anything done in Congress.
Being in the minority?! Welcome to our freaking world! But, do you know what we do differently? We battle it out every day. Every. Single. Day. We don’t have a choice. We fight for every advancement we make – holding a very fragile line for our communities and our children.
Like you, I am tired of status quo politics and status quo politicians. I want to see someone who understands the world in a different way. Someone who knows the battles from a non-privileged perspective.
When Saira Rao sat down with me a few weeks back, I was excited that a woman of color was running for CD 1. But, it’s not just her knowledge on issues that impressed me. It was her ability to speak in a language that connects so many of us from disadvantaged communities. Language about communities of color; growing up surrounded by racism; overcoming stereotypes; fighting for success; maintaining success; and the frustration with elected officials who see our diverse communities as a monolith or view our issues as toxic.
Saira didn’t just complain, though! She had action behind her words. Her willingness to go to Congress, with all the odds stacked against her, and fight for us because… well… Saira knows that struggle happens whether or not you’re in power. What I saw and heard from Saira is what I want in every single congressperson.
Let’s face it. All the frustration we feel about our government just isn’t about Donald Trump. It’s also about a Congress that does very little for us. It’s about those politician who feel quite comfortable in safe seats. The marching, protesting, rallying also is about those individuals who can do so much more, but don’t or won’t.
The status quo is about comfort and privilege.
And because Saira knows that many of Denver’s communities neither have comfort nor privilege, because she is a wicked smart street fighter who has the guts and vision to shake things up and to better the lives of all people in CD 1, I am thrilled to endorse her candidacy for Congressional District 1!