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Representative Joe Salazar
Colorado House District 31
Salazar hopes to continue work for the disadvantaged
Joe Salazar, current House District 31 Representative, is campaigning for a second term representing Thornton and parts of unincorporated Adams County.
The Democrat grew up in Thornton, earning his K-12 education in the Adams 12 Five Star School District. Over the years he’s lived in just about every part of House District 31, learning the needs of his constituents. It wasn’t until January of 2011 that he decided to run for his first political office.
“The Republicans actually inspired me to run in the 2012 election after hearing about how they were trying to sneak through a provision that would have stripped funding away from low income and free and reduced students,” he said. “I was infuriated by that. I was just outraged, so I decided to run.”
Salazar has dedicated is adult life to supporting the low income and disadvantaged community. As a civil rights attorney, he considers himself a gatekeeper for those disadvantaged. He said Colorado will not be the greatest state until everyone is working together at the same time.
“Low income and middle income families are still struggling,” he said. “We need to get them on track by not only providing them a proper K-12 education but also helping them with higher education to make sure we are all part of the economic engine.”
Education is one of Salazar’s biggest focuses as a representative. He said with a large number of students in Adams County school districts, like Adams 12 and Mapleton, qualifying for free and reduced lunches, it’s important those students continue to get the support they need to be successful in school, including having the opportunity to attend higher education in an affordable manner.
“Last year I met with constituents to bring about a bill on higher education funding to help low and middle income people afford to send their kids to college,” Salazar said. “And it passed last year, which it positively impacting those low and middle income families, especially in Thornton.”
Although Salazar is proud of the legislation he sponsored and supported this past session, he says he still has unfinished business. If re-elected he plans on addressing criminal justice issues and economic spending. Until then, he’s knocking doors and making phone calls in an effort to connect with the Thornton community on a personal level.
“As representatives we don’t make a lot of money. We are getting paid $30,000 a year to have a 24/7 job, seven days a week, so we’re not doing this for fame, glory or riches,” he said. “We are doing this because we really want to help our neighbors and our community.”
Salazar is running against Republican Carol Beckler. For information on Salazar and his campaign, visit visit www.salazarforhd31.com.
Joe's "Baa Na'Godi" "Noticias" "News" - April 3, 2014
As many of you know, I have been a staunch opponent of SB93 - a bill that would allow oil and petroleum pipeline companies to condemn private land through the power of eminent domain. I have diligently worked to oppose this bill.
This morning on the House floor, the bill was laid over until May 9, 2014, which means that the bill is effectively killed.
While I know that some members of my own Democratic Caucus are upset with me for my efforts to oppose the bill, many members of both parties have thanked me for taking the strong lead in opposing the bill.
Bottom line, I do not believe that a for-profit company should have the awesome power of eminent domain to condemn a person's private property. Certainly, they have the right to negotiate leasing land from private property owners, but it must be done on as equal footing as possible with the landowner.
During testimony, many landowners discussed how oil and petroleum companies would use the threat of eminent domain to force landowners to accept lowball offers. We heard testimony about oil and petroleum companies placing pipelines within feet of houses and areas where children play; these companies refused to negotiate placement with landowners.
This type of irresponsible and heavy-handed behavior demonstrates to me that for-profit oil and petroleum pipeline companies are not mature enough to use the power of eminent domain in a cautious, humane, or responsible manner. Land equals wealth and, for many people, their land may be the only wealth they have.
I am happy I succeeded in my fight against SB93. I fought this battle for landowners in rural Colorado and in the Metro area. I thank many of you for your words of encouragement and support during this fight.
Joe Salazar - State Representative House District 31
When I was growing up, I would dream about what it would be like to be raised on the farm in Colorado’s San Luis Valley or on the ranch in northern New Mexico. My family has been farmers and ranchers there for numerous generations. But, my parents made the decision to raise my brother and me in Thornton because they wanted us to have every opportunity life could offer.
I was four-years-old when we moved to Thornton. At that time, there was hardly anything north of 120th Avenue, except for farmland. I am proud to say that I have grown up alongside the City of Thornton, attending Woodglenn Elementary, Northeast Junior High School , and graduating from Thornton High School in 1989.
Growing up in Thornton was the best thing my parents could have done for me. I went on to graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. I then became a civil rights and criminal investigator for the State of Colorado. In 2003, I graduated from the University of Denver with a law degree and started up my own firm where I fight for the unemployed and disadvantaged individuals against bad government. In sum, I have spent my whole adult life making sure that the rights of hard working Coloradans are protected.
Being raised in Thornton means knowing the virtues and values of a hard working community - where grinding out a living for our children is not only a necessity, but defines who we are as Coloradans. We care about our children’s future. We care about education. We care about our jobs.