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My story is the story of so many Denverites; I am the son of a single mother and grandson of a public school educator, and for most of my life, we lived off of government assistance. Growing up, I dreamed about becoming a public school educator, but that dream encountered a few bumps on the road; I have experienced being a kid in the system and also being homeless, but I didn’t let that stop me. I graduated from Manual High School and then became a unionized educator in Denver Public Schools.
Four years ago, our school district was at a turning point, and you elected me to help turn the page and bring new policies to the School Board, and now, four years later, I am proud to report we have accomplished everything that we set out to do.
In my first 50 days in office, we worked with Moms Demand Action to pass the first safe gun storage policy in Colorado. I worked with students from across the district to get our Board to endorse a measure to allow them to vote in our School Board elections, and we didn’t stop there; we worked with One Colorado and other district leaders and passed the most comprehensive LGBTQIA + inclusion policy in our district’s history. We took COVID-19 head-on and kept our system operational and our communities fed; we reunified Montbello and West High Schools, we implemented universal dyslexia screening, we ended period poverty in our district, we disrupted the school-to-prison pipeline, raised our minimum wage to $20.00 an hour. And the list goes on.
Over the last four years and more recently, I have realized that every student in Colorado should benefit from the progress that we’ve made in Denver Public Schools, and that is why today I am announcing I will not be seeking re-election to the Denver School Board this fall and that I am announcing my bid to be the next State Representative from House District 8.
Our current representative, Representative Herod, has served our community for the last seven years, leading on the issues that matter most to our communities, like police accountability, reproductive healthcare, and criminal justice reform; I am proud to have stood alongside her the entire way, because of her leadership and mentorship, I am ready to pick up the torch.
We need a State Representative who champions choice – in education and reproductive healthcare. We need a leader who is unafraid to stand up to the NRA and advocate for a ban on assault weapons. We need someone who will fight for affordable housing and work tirelessly to improve the lives and wages of workers across the state. We need a State Representative who has deep roots in this community. My algebra teacher told me, “You’ll never make it out of the hood.” She was right; I didn’t make it out because I stayed and wanted to give back, and now I want to serve my hood in the House of Representatives.
Let’s bring the hood to the HOUSE together!
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Announcement Video: https://
Auon’tai M. Anderson (He/Him)
President | Colorado Black Caucus of School Board Directors
Vice President | Board of Education, Denver Public Schools