DSA Elected Officials, March 2019
From a March 6, 2019 by DSA National Electoral Committee statement "DSA Elected Officials Support Teacher Power and Working People Everywhere."
Endorsing Democratic Socialists of America members included Julie Gonzales, Colorado State Senate.
The sixth of seven children, Julie was born on the San Carlos Apache reservation in Arizona and raised in the borderlands of south Texas. Her mom Gloria Gonzales, grew up on the family ranch in Gardner, Colorado and was an elementary school teacher. Her dad Mario Gonzales was a rancher and is now a medical cannabis producer in northern New Mexico.
Julie first fell in love with Denver in the late 1990s, during the summers between high school when she lived with her older brother John Gonzales. She took the new light rail to downtown Denver, where she worked multiple jobs to save money for college. In 2005, she graduated from Yale University and within a week of her graduation, moved to Denver. In 2008, she bought an affordable housing unit at 23rd and Clay Street in Jefferson Park, where she lives with her fiancé Ben Chavez.
In 2005, Julie organized a 58-member coalition of low-income families, unions, community organizations, and environmental activists that passed a community benefits agreement at the Gates Rubber Factory redevelopment to ensure that tax dollars were spent on affordable housing, a clean environment, and jobs that paid a living wage.
In 2006, she organized students at North, Lincoln, and Montbello High Schools to ensure that Denver Public Schools offered a college-preparatory education to all students while also ending the school-to-jail pipeline. In 2009, she co-founded the Colorado Latino Forum, a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to building the economic, educational, and political power of Latinos across Colorado, and in 2013 was elected to serve as the statewide board chair.
Over the past decade, Julie helped build an incredible movement to defend and advance immigrant rights across Colorado, and has been at the forefront of several key battles at the state legislature on immigration, including co-drafting the ASSET bill at the state legislature, which allowed Colorado undocumented students to attend college and pay in-state tuition, and the creation of immigrant drivers’ licenses. In 2017, Julie was a leader in a coalition that passed legislation to ensure that no Denver resources would be spent on immigration enforcement.
A lifelong progressive Democrat, Julie volunteered on her first campaign in 2003, and registered voters in eight different states in 2004. In 2016, Julie volunteered and caucused for Bernie Sanders, and then joined the Colorado Democratic Party as an organizer, where she served as Morgan Carroll’s persuasion field director during her CD6 Congressional campaign, engaged volunteers, and turned out voters in support of Hillary Clinton. In 2017, Julie was elected by HD5 to serve as a member of the Party’s Central Committee and Executive Committee.
Julie Gonzales Wins SD 34 Primary, Joins DSA, Denver DSA News, July 2018;
- Congratulations to our first state senator in Colorado! On June 26, Julie Gonzales and her team had a big win in the Democratic state primary for Senate District 34. Denver DSA is honored to have worked alongside Julie since endorsing her last year. Dozens of our members contributed by knocking doors, phone banking, creating a campaign ad, and more. Julie joined DSA shortly after her victory.
- Our endorsed candidate for State Treasurer, Bernard Douthit, also concluded an impressive campaign. We are excited to continue organizing with Bernie around popular issues like Medicare for All and public banking. In addition canvassing for Julie in the general this fall, the Electoral Committee is now looking into ballot initiatives for the 2019 citywide elections.
Julie Gonzales Receives Massive Support at Assembly
At the Denver County Democratic Assembly on March 24, Denver DSA-endorsed candidate Julie Gonzales vied for the support of nearly 500 delegates in Senate District 34. After being nominated by Noelie Quintero and Denver DSA’s very own Drew Layton, Julie delivered a rousing speech calling for affordable housing, increased funding for public education, and healthcare for all. Once the votes were tallied, Julie came out on top with a staggering 89% of the vote. However, she still has a long fight ahead of her. Three other candidates gathered enough signatures to appear on the primary ballot in June, ensuring the next 3 months will be the most critical for her campaign.