Politic365

 
 


Politics

6:30pm February 29, 2012

Ulibarri: From “Reverse Lobbyist” to State Senator?

jessie

Politic365 had an opportunity to speak with Jessie Ulibarri, a 28-year old Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 21st Senate District. Although he is relatively young, Ulibarri has an impressive list of accomplishments as a non-profit advocate with ties to Colorado’s working class, Latino and LGBT communities.

Currently, he’s the youngest candidate in the Centennial state running for the state senate. And should he become the state senator for District 21, Ulibarri would be the first openly gay person to represent the district.

For the past ten years, Ulibarri has been involved in non-profit advocacy at different levels beginning as a college student. He describes his work over the years as a “reverse lobbyist:” he was helping to involve people who don’t have money to throw at the political process – like some of the special interests who hire teams of lobbyists. “I help people tell their stories at the Capitol,” explains Ulibarri.

Most recently, he was a Public Policy Director at the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Colorado, and prior to that, he worked as the State Director of the Mi Familia Vota fund, a civic engagement program to encourage Latinos to participate in the political process. Other notable service assignments include being a Founding Board Member of the Colorado Latino Forum and serving as a Commissioner on Colorado’s GLBT Commission.

Having an employment and volunteer history concentrated in the public policy and advocacy arena, Ulibarri felt that the time was right to move from advocacy to running for office.

Ulibarri described one particular incident that happened last year with members of the state house GOP who offered a proposal to balance the state budget by eliminating a free breakfast program for needy children. Ulibarri argued that this policy seemed counter-intuitive in the sense that denying young children the most important meal of the day would lessen the impact of teachers trying to prepare students for higher learning. The discontinuation of the free breakfast program prompted Ulibarri to do more than “just be an advocate” and so he started considering a run for office.

Two key policy areas that have been dominating the news in terms of the Latino and gay communities involve tuition (access) to higher education and civil unions. Given the continued debate in the public sphere over these two hot-button issues, Ulibarri offered some thoughts on how he might govern.

The Colorado ASSET Bill, which has been moving through the State Senate, would create a new level of tuition at state colleges and universities for undocumented students. The tuition level would be higher than resident tuition but would be lower than the rate for out-of-state students. This bill would give young adults who graduated from Colorado high schools the opportunity to more easily pursue post-secondary education.

“Growing up in this part of town (Senate District 21), many of the people I grew up with and went to church with were DREAMers. Some of them had higher GPAs than I did and did not go to college,” Ulibarri told Politic365.  “This was one of the first times that I witnessed injustice up close. When our first state level DREAM Act was introduced, I went to the State Capitol to testify on behalf of the DREAMers. Every year since 2003, I have been advocating for this, and this year, there is a good chance that it might pass. I would definitely support this as a State Senator.”

Civil union legislation has also been advancing in the Colorado State House, which would give gay couples the same protection that straight couples have. This current bill addresses parental rights, child support, medical decisions, end-of-life decisions, and estate issues.

In referring to the civil union bill, Ulibarri said, “My family and I have testified about this bill – I’m optimistic that it will pass this year, but if it doesn’t, I will support it next year, hopefully as a State Senator.”

Ulibarri has grown up and worked in the newly redrawn Senate District 21. Coming from a working class family with a humble beginning in a mobile home park to becoming the first in his family to graduate college, he reflects the values of working people he and his parents grew up with.



About the Author

Adriana Maestas
Adriana Maestas is the senior contributing editor of Politic365.com. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.




 
 

 
5440384453_67fef2d0ee_o

Trump: deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants

On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump offered some specifics about what his immigration policy would be after launching his presidential candidacy last month insisting that many undocumented Mexican immig...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
9171324118_e40fd1a828_b

New Report: Latinos are 4% of guests on Sunday shows

Media Matters released a new report this week showing that in the first 18 weeks of 2015, Latinos were four percent of guests on the English-language Sunday shows, which is a decline from 42 percent during the last few months o...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
#committedtocommunity-rnc-2016

GOP Looking to Prove It’s #CommittedToCommunity with New Outreach Effort

Earlier this week, the Republican National Committee launched a first of its kind effort to meet Black Americans (and would be voters) where they are by partnering with Radio One for #CommittedToCommunity: Engage, Empower, Upli...
by Politic365 Staff
0

 

Advertisement
 
TRG-001_Web-Scroll_0727_10

Shot Clock Ticking for Environmental Establishment: Show Me Your Diversity!

“The overall environmental movement is incredibly diverse. The mainstream environmental movement isn’t,” said Danielle Deane, Executive Director of Green 2.0, an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diver...
by Kristal High
0

 
 
17809592206_77f6bca011_k

Jeb Bush touts support for border security and path to legal status for undocumented

On Wednesday, at a campaign event in New Hampshire, Jeb Bush played up his border security plans when asked about the recent remarks GOP presidential hopeful and real estate mogul Donald Trump has been making about Mexican immi...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 




One Comment


  1. [...] Ulibarri: From “Reverse Lobbyist” to State Senator? February 29, 2012 | Politic365 had an opportunity to speak with Jessie Ulibarri, a 28-year old Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 21st Senate District. Although he is relatively young, Ulibarri has an impressive list of accomplishments as a non-profit advocate with ties to Colorado’s working class, Latino and LGBT communities. [...]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>