If there is anything good to come of a Trump presidency, it's that it's encouraged a surge of young people to run for offices like state legislatures, city councils and more. Adams County is no exception, and we are thrilled so many Young Dems are stepping up to run to represent us.
Leading up to the municipal elections on Nov. 7, we'll be profiling Young Dems running for city council seats in Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn and Aurora, giving you a chance to learn more about these remarkable people, their beliefs and their candidate platform.
Suzie Brundage, Candidate for Thornton City Council, Ward 4
What made you decide you wanted to run?
My childhood was not easy. Home wasn’t always safe, and we were in and out of poverty. The help I received from my community helped me persevere, and when it became time to choose a career, I chose a career that focused on helping others: social work. As a social worker, I have dedicated my life to helping others on a micro, one-on-one basis. I currently work in hospice and I spend my days supporting individuals with terminal illnesses. But after the last election, I realized that it was up to me to be the change I wish to see in the world. I decided it was time to use my skills and expertise to serve the community on a more macro level: through elected office.
How have your previous experiences, professionally and personally, made you the right candidate for this office?
My professional experiences as a social worker have fostered a deep understanding of how governmental policies affect individuals and families. As a social worker, I am also a trained communicator. I have the skills needed to meet people where they are, really hear what they need, and partner with them to achieve their goals. Through listening, I have been able to learn different points of view, as well as learn more about the needs of the community. Further, social workers are also trained collaborators, which will be an asset when working with other City Councilmembers, stakeholders, and governmental entities.
I also believe my personal experiences as a long-time resident of Thornton make me the right candidate. Thornton is my home. I grew up here, and I’ve chosen to raise my family here. I know the community intimately. Because of my long history with the community, I know it’s strengths, as well as the areas where there are room for improvement, and I will use this knowledge the strengthen our community
Has anything about your experience as a candidate surprised you?
I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support of the community. Family, long-time friends, and new friends have all been so supportive. From donating to door-knocking to just lending an ear when I need to talk to someone. We have an amazing community!
What are the most pressing issues facing your city and what will you do to address them?
Thornton is currently the sixth largest city in Colorado, and it’s still growing! The need for sustainable development is one of the most common concerns I hear at the doors. We have a real opportunity to build a city that works for everyone, and growth must be smart and balanced. This means ensuring that all residents have access to secure and affordable housing, a variety of employment options within the city, multiple types of economic development, outdoor spaces, and mobility options.
Running for office can be rewarding, but difficult. What keeps you going?
My daughter is my biggest motivator. After the last election, I realized it was up to me to create the kind of world that I believe she deserves. It’s also up to me to be a role model for her about what it means to be a strong, smart woman. When I’m tired, I think of her and why I’m running for office.
What’s your favorite thing about where you live?
Thornton is my home! I grew up here, and when it came time to plant my roots as an adult, I chose Thornton. To me, there is something so beautiful about raising my daughter in the same place I grew up. I love so many things about Thornton: the outdoor spaces, the access to amenities, and especially the sense of community. I am who I am because the people in this community took an interest in my well-being when I was a child, and then went out of their way to support me.
Who do you look up to politically and why?
In 2008, I was incredibly motivated and moved by the candidacy and election of Barack Obama. He has this genuine ability to connect with others, and he inspired me to work towards my ideals. I also absolutely love Elizabeth Warren. She is an intelligent, well-spoken, and strong woman! Finally, Bernie Sanders’ focus on economic inequality really resonates with me.
What was your first paid job?
I started babysitting at the age of 12, and throughout high school I worked in various daycares. Even from a young age, I enjoyed being around people and helping others.
What’s your favorite TV show that you tell people you watch, and what’s your favorite TV show that you watch in secret?
I love Parks and Rec, and I’m not afraid to tell people! It’s clever and SO funny! It’s my favorite TV show ever. My guilty pleasure is probably This is Us. I’m not guilty about watching it. But I’m somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I ugly cry every week when I watch it.
What songs do you listen to for getting hyped up?
Depends on the day, honestly. Lately, I want to belt out country music with the windows down. I have some great memories of singing the Dixie Chicks with my sister at 16 years old.
How can Young Dems help in your race?
I need help spreading the word about my candidacy! Young Dems can help me knock doors and make phone calls to voters in Ward 4.
What else should voters know about you?
I have a passion for helping others and bettering my community, and I am ready to work hard on city council to make sure we have a strong Thornton that works for everyone.