What do you want to do before turning 23? Jordan Sauers became the youngest elected official in Colorado at the young age of 23. Her age doesn’t stop her from making big changes in the community she grew up in and loves. Thanks to her education, mentors and the inspiration of other women leaders she became a first-generation Latina graduate in her family. Then she transferred her skills and experience into the elected role as Councilwoman of Northglenn, CO.
2014: Graduated from The University of Denver with B.A. in Sociology and Communication Studies
2014: Became Political Director for Congresswoman Diana DeGette
2015: Became Councilwoman of Northglenn, Colorado, City Council, Ward 1
2016: Began Masters Degree in Public Policy at The University of Denver
Q&A WITH POWERFUL WOMAN LEADER JORDAN SAUERS
Q:At College Magazine we’re working together with EMILY’s List, Emerge America, Human Rights Campaign, Higher Heights, She Should Run, Running Start, Victory Fund and IGNITE on an initiative to fight for equal representation in congress called “50 by 2050.” What are your thoughts on the goal of achieving 50% of women in Congress by 2050?
A: First, I want to thank all the fearless woman leaders who have decided to run whether seated or not. The impact they have on all of us is substantial and one more crack it the tallest glass ceiling. I would like to see 50 percent of women not only in Congress but serving as governors and state representatives and down. We need to be a representative democracy and how could we be that when only 19 percent of women are in Congress and in all United States history? Only 39 women have ever served as governor. Oh, [and] should I mention we have not had a female president? It is absurd, but as Secretary Clinton once said, “I have always believed that women are not victims; we are agents of change, we are drivers of progress, we are makers of peace. All we need is a fighting chance.” Cheers to the equity to come and all the amazing women to fill these seats.
Q: What inspired you to get involved in the political sphere and how did you prepare to run?
A: As cliché as it may sound, one thing I have always been certain of is my childhood dream of making an impact in the world. My life has taught me that when opportunity does not present itself, we must create it, no matter how big the fight. I wanted to teach others like me that regardless of their circumstances they can accomplish tremendous things in life. Throughout our history, talented leaders have emerged to help their community and I want to continue their legacy. I wanted to be a leader that could bring together diverse groups of people and inspire others to serve the country despite their obstacles.
Q: What issues are you most passionate about?
A: I am very passionate about issues that affect the working class, paycheck-to-paycheck families, and many [issues] I have experienced in my lifetime. Having gone to bed hungry or visiting food pantries in my childhood instilled a focal point to do my part in addressing hunger. Being the first in my family to go to college and now graduate school, education will always be at the root of my core values. Having been selected as a Daniels Fund Scholar was one of the greatest honors that provided me with opportunity that would not have existed before. I owe my life to Bill Daniels and the Daniels Fund, Linda Childears and Laura Steffen. This developed a deep passion to invest in my community as my community has invested in me.
Q: You’re Colorado’s youngest elected official. Has your age affected you in any way?
A: Age has always been just a number to me. As a young leader, I realized the importance of investment and my desire to solve the complex problems of the world. I wanted to be a change-maker today, not tomorrow. With the abundance of energy and passion I possess I found that because of my age I need to prove myself time and time again. The need to be over prepared is prevalent.
Q: At College Magazine, we’re the guide to the undergraduate experience. In what ways did your college experience at The University of Denver prepare you for your experiences in public service? What was your most inspirational class or who was your most inspirational professor?
A: The University of Denver changed my life by opening my world to opportunity. To walk around a campus and obtain an education at one of the most prestigious universities was more than I could have imagined. I was so blessed. In all honesty, it was the individuals that took a chance on me, acceptance and scholarship that allowed me to follow my passion of investment when it comes to public service. There was one woman that radiated inspiration during my tenure. Dr. Lisa Martinez was not only the first and only Latina professor I ever had the privilege of attending a class with, but she also taught one of the most riveting and life changing classes on the DU campus, Social Inequality. Through that quarter and beyond, she will always be of the most impactful mentors and role models in my life.
Q: Over the last few months in particular, we’ve seen more women running for office and getting involved in that process. How do you feel that will end up shaping the political sphere in this country?
A: “It is Friday, but Sunday is coming,” is one of the best lines that came out of the presidential election shortcoming of Secretary Clinton and that has instilled hope in many women taking the leap to run for office. All I can speak to is how prodigious and exciting it is to see the many capable women running and being elected. In Northglenn for example, the 2017 election brought three more amazing women to council, making us a body of eight women and one male.
HOW TO BE A POWERFUL WOMAN LEADER
Sauers urges women to stay determined. “That spirit is the same determination and grit that will carry you throughout many challenges. Ignite the fire and passion inside and take a chance,” Sauers said. “Take me for example, a young Latina first-generation college graduate, was elected at 23 years old. It is possible and today more than ever we are in need of leaders to respond to the tremendous challenges and historic opportunities facing the nation. Now and in the years ahead, we need those who can bring together diverse groups of people and inspire others to serve the country and their fellow Americans.”
HOW TO CONTACT JORDAN SAUERS
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