Representative Duran was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2012, and currently serves as Chair of the Joint Budget Committee and Chair of the Appropriations Committee.
BIO: I am a proud native of Colorado as my family has owned a ranch just West of Trinidad in this great state going back six generations. I credit my parents for instilling in me from a very early age the importance of public service, making a difference by speaking up against injustice, and of dignity and respect. As a labor leader, my father dedicated himself to fight for and improve the lives of those who need strong representation and leadership the most – the working class members of our communities. Likewise, my mother dedicated herself to assuring that there is affordable housing for struggling families throughout our state.
My community ties to HD 5 and Northwest Denver span the last twenty years. From the time I was eight years old, my family and I have attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 36th and Kalamath where I actively participated in many social and philanthropic activities throughout the years. Even while I attended Arvada West High School, I volunteered my time after school at Clinic Tepeyac, a non-profit health clinic that was across the street from my church that provides much needed services to those who cannot afford it otherwise. From an early age I saw and felt how unfair and unjust it is when someone works hard, often holding two and three jobs to make ends meet, but lacks access to quality healthcare.
I graduated from Arvada West High School with honors and was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the University of Denver, where I received a double major degree in Public Policy and Spanish. While studying at the university, I continued my community activities in HD 5 – I became an Executive Assistant at Family Star, a Montessori and Early Head Start Center on 22nd and Federal, and spoke regularly to North High School students about the importance of pursuing and obtaining a higher education, particularly given the alarming drop-out rates of Hispanic students in our community. These experiences, among many others, made me a staunch supporter of early childhood education initiatives. More than that it made me realize how critically important it is that our public schools be adequately staffed and funded so that students are prepared and ready to work and compete in the 21st century.
I went straight to the University of Colorado School of Law after graduating from the University of Denver. While there, I was honored to be elected by my peers as President of the Student Bar Association, as well as President of the Latino Law Student Association. In my last year of law school I was again honored to receive a fellowship to work for the Honorable Alex Martinez at the Colorado Supreme Court. I also worked in an Immigration Clinic program, and one of my fondest memories from law school is when I successfully argued and won a grant of asylum for an Ethiopian refugee. I earned my Juris Doctor degree at the age of 24.
After graduating from law school I went to work for the 21,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7. I was privileged to fight for better paying jobs and access to quality healthcare for thousands of working families across Colorado. When the infamous Swift u0026amp; Company ICE raids occurred in 2006, I assisted with the preparation of a Writ of Habeas Corpus to ensure immigrant workers detained in the raids received adequate legal representation.
All of these experiences have honed my leadership skills and emboldened my commitment to public service.I have served on the Board of Directors of LA RASA, Democrats Work, Voto Latino, and have held posts in Women for Obama and Latino Vote Steering Committees, Progressive Majority, and New Era Colorado. I also worked closely with the creators of a documentary about immigration reform called “Swift Justice,” which was released in 2008. I have proudly volunteered for the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association.
In 2004, I supported and assisted in Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s United States Senate campaign, and was proud to help send one of our own to Washington when he became the junior Senator from Colorado in January, 2005. In 2007, I was recognized as one of “Colorado’s Movers and Shakers” by the well respected publication, “The Statesman.” I served as Political Director for Senator Mark Udall’s 2008 United States Senate campaign, where I effectively organized women, diverse community members, labor, seniors, and the LGBTQ community to send another of our own to Washington.
In 2008, I was elected to serve as President of the Colorado Young Democrats, and was honored to serve as a Democratic National Convention Delegate. That year was one of the most exciting times ever, both for me and for our nation, and I channeled significant energy and effort to contribute to the election of President Barack Obama. I am proud that I supported the President from the very beginning of his candidacy by effectively organizing hundreds of volunteers into the campaign, welcoming out-of-town staff into my home, working the phones, and knocking on doors in low-income neighborhoods here in Colorado as well as in Houston and Philadelphia. On November 4, 2008, we made history and those efforts paid off. Now I am ready to focus my energies on the issues affecting both HD 5 and Colorado. Our work to lead our community and this great State forward has just begun.
I hope you’ll agree that my political, legal and life experiences make me uniquely qualified to serve in the state legislature as your HD 5 Representative.
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