Faith Winter, Candidate for Colorado Senate District 24
Which office are you running for and where?
Colorado State Senate, District 24
When is your election day?
Primary: Tuesday, June 26th, 2018
General: Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
Why did you decide to run for public office? Did someone encourage or inspire you? If so, who?
I, like many women, was originally invited to run for office. I would bring college students to the Capitol and train them to lobby on environmental issues. Through that work, I met Joan Fitz-Gerald, the first woman President of the Senate. One day, I asked her how she was so effective. She said, "We are only as good as the team we bring, and we need better people to run for office, and you should run." I was only 25 at the time, but her belief in me set me on my path. I ran and won City Council when I was 27 and have now been elected for 11 years. I try to pay that forward, and I have personally invited thousands of women to run for office.
What continues to keep me inspired are both my experiences and the experiences of my constituents. My state Senate race will be my 5th race.
My husband and I both worked two jobs to pay for our children’s daycare. After two challenging pregnancies, I passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. In the last two years, I have brought bills forward in the House to ensure equal pay for equal work and for paid family leave. Unfortunately, these measures were also defeated in the Senate.
This is why I am running for the Senate. It has become hard to pass common sense legislation that protects families, creates economic security, protects our environment, and ensures everyone can find a home. Even with bipartisan support, many of these measures never even get a chance for a vote. But I’m not going to give up. In the Senate, I will continue to work hard and stand up for all of us to ensure that everyone has a chance at success.
What did you do before you decided to run? Where did you go to school? Tell us a little about your resume.
I served as the National Field Director for The White House Project, I am the founding Executive Director of Emerge Colorado, and I am the current National Training Director for VoteRunLead, all of which work to engage women in the political process. I also was the Political Director for Conservation Colorado.
I also believe in giving back to my community. I started my career working at a homeless shelter. I am the former Chairwoman of the Adams County Housing Authority, and I currently serve on the board of The Butterfly Pavilion and on the advisory board of A Precious Child.
I graduated from the University of Redlands with an environmental management degree.
What are your top 3 key initiatives/policies?
1. There are only two countries in the entire world that don't offer paid family leave - the US and Papa New Guinea. No one should have to choose between taking care of a family member and keeping their job. Paid family leave is a top priority.
2. Climate change is real. This year, there have been more severe weather events than in any other time in modern history. We have had fires, mudslides, and hurricanes. These have taken lives and property, and put our first responders at an increased risk. Policies to address climate change are a top priority for me.
3. Affordable housing is my other key priority. I believe children should be more worried about the homework in their backpack then where they will sleep. We have a housing affordability crisis in our state - we need to take action now.
Tell us about a day in the life of your campaign or tell us your favorite story from the campaign trail.
I love door knocking and talking to voters. One time I knocked on a door of a woman that was about to lose her job because she was pregnant and couldn't lift heavy boxes anymore. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act had just gone into effect and I was able to give her information that she was going to take to her boss. She cried, hugged me, and thanked me for saving her job.
My other favorite moment is a woman who was homeless and gave me $5 for my campaign. She said “I believe that you care about people like me, and I know you are going to make a difference.”
What is the biggest challenge you face as a candidate? Are there challenges you face that are unique to you as a woman candidate?
The biggest challenge is fundraising. I have to spend a lot of time fundraising, time that I would prefer to spend talking with voters.
I do face challenges as a woman. When I knock doors, people will tell me I am a bad mom because I'm not home with my children. There is nothing so painful - especially because one of my driving motivations to work hard and make a difference is for my children and all the children in Colorado.
What can women do to help you?
1. If you live in the district, commit to caucus and vote for me.
2. Donate. Host a fundraiser.
3. Become a Social Media Influencer.
4. Volunteer. Help with postcards, phone banking, or canvassing.
Share a fun fact or two with us!
We just got a new dog, and our family decided to name him Queso. Growing up, I did competitive synchronized swimming.
Any additional thoughts?
Thank you for starting InvestHer and empowering and inspiring women!