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.
Danielle Henry, Candidate for Northglenn City Council, Ward 2
What made you decide you wanted to run?
I have worked on state and federal policies for a long time. I was tired that true changes takes such a long time. I decided that I wanted to get involved on the local level because there is a lot we can do in Northglenn NOW to make real change.
How have your previous experiences, professionally and personally, made you the right candidate for this office?
As the daughter of a single mother I learned early on how important a strong community is. When I returned from college I was determined to give back. As a community organizer I helped nurses lobby for whistle blower protection. As a union organizer I advocate for workers who didn’t have a voice. Then in 2009 as our community was hit by the foreclosure crisis I became a District advocate for Congressman Jared Polis. As the District Advocate I organized housing fairs to help my neighbors renegotiate their loans with their banks and save their homes, I developed job hunter boot camps to help my neighbors who were looking for work for the first time in decades navigate the new job market, and finally I worked with local employers to connect them to qualified employees.
Has anything about your experience as a candidate surprised you?
The friendships I have made along the way. No matter the outcome of this election I have met so many people who have made me a better person.
What are the most pressing issues facing your city and what will you do to address them?
Like the rest of the metro area, Northglenn is seeing an increase in traffic and cost of housing. These issues are bigger than Northglenn so I would like to work the communities that surround Northglenn to address the larger problems. Northglenn is also unique because we are completely locked in. The only opportunities we have to bring change into our city are with redevelopment. The decisions the next city council makes will change Northglenn for a generation.
Running for office can be rewarding, but difficult. What keeps you going?
The people who I meet at the door that are excited that someone shares their vision for the city. Many residents have given up on our city and they are excited to see someone who wants to make a difference. Their excitement and hope for the city’s future keeps me energized. I don’t want to let them down.
What’s your favorite thing about where you live?
I think Northglenn is a hidden treasure. The homes are well built with large yards, we have wonderful parks and trails in every corner of our city. We also have a variety of small businesses that are unique and add to the character of the city. People are coming to Northglenn to start their families and their small businesses and you can see why.
Who do you look up to politically and why?
I want to avoid stating the obvious (my mother, Eva Henry, or my boss, Jared Polis) so I will say Frances Perkins. She was labor secretary for FDR and she drafted social security and was critical in the U.S. adopting a minimum wage and unemployment insurance. She had some really innovative policy ideas that helped working families. Her ability to build coalitions was critical to the passage of the New Deal.
What was your first paid job?
When I was 12 I had a baby sitting job where I was paid two dollars an hour for 50 hours a week (our neighbor who was a single mom). I used the money to help pay the phone bill.
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 haven’t watched much TV in the last 2 years, but I just finished The Leftovers and have managed to keep up with Walking Dead. Secretly, I almost always have some reality show on the in the back ground as I work in the evenings.
What songs do you listen to for getting hyped up?
Do NPR or Audio books count? (I know I’m not normal)
How can Young Dems help in your race?
Knock on doors with me! Canvassing is the best way to make a real difference in a campaign. You are actually delivering votes with every conversation.
What else should voters know about you?
I know my neighbors are busy. Some of them are working multiple jobs and raising families. So I won’t wait for you to come to me. When something impacts your neighborhood I will knock on your door to hear from you. I won’t wait for you stand up during a public hearing.