THE HONORABLE DAFNA MICHAELSON JENET
Colorado House District 30
It is bright and early January 12th. The second day of the 71st General Assembly. I am sitting in a quietly buzzing chamber as the diligent and efficient House Chamber clerks and Sergeants prepare for a busy day. Prominently placed above the dais of the Speaker of the House is a stained-glass window depicting Barney L Ford, a former slave turned leader from Colorado. He serves to remind us that we are here to create a better life for all members of the Colorado community regardless of their race, religion, or class.
Yesterday, the first Latina Speaker of the House, Crisanta Duran reminded us of our purpose when she said “Anything is possible when everyone has a seat at the table.”
Yesterday 65 of us, representing every corner of our great state, took the oath of office in unison. We promised to work together to achieve a quality life for every Coloradan. In this moment, I felt the mantle of responsibility that I hold for each and every one of you in my heart and over my shoulder. Each vote that I take, bill that I introduce, town hall I lead is for you and with you. I thank you for your trust and faith in me and I look forward to you to joining me in this process.
Four people were with me yesterday from far away. My father and my step-mother, my childhood best friend, and my brother. They are not wealthy people. They had other obligations like children and work but they dropped everything and made sacrifices to be here. My mother could not be here because she is supporting my step-father as he mourns for his mother. My family has taught me that we sacrifice for family, that we sacrifice to support the community, that we stand up for the person who cannot stand up for themselves. Their commitment taught me and I hope always to honor them by serving you.
To the hundreds of people who knocked doors and made phone calls for me, and to the tens of thousands who voted for me, thank you for supporting my efforts. To those who did not vote for me, I work for you, please allow me to hear your concerns and work to fully represent all of our community. To Angelina Sandoval and Kim James, you steered this ship from beginning to end. You are both powerful and brilliant women and your impact in this world will be significant. I am so lucky to have had your support through this effort. And to my community of women, Emerge Colorado, Vote Run Lead, Women’s Campaign School at Yale, without you and your talented teams I would not have achieved this honor of serving. And to all the others who have taken my calls, met with me and my team members, provided guidance, brought your communities, thank you. You are my village and together we will work to be the voice and make sure, as our esteemed Speaker of the House guided us, that everyone has a seat at the table.
And now, let’s get to work.
The Honorable Dafna Michaelson Jenet
Colorado House District 30