Soledad Sandoval Tafoya
U.S. House, CO-3
Who am I?
My name is Sol Sandoval and I am proudly running for Congress after being on the front lines of fighting for my community in Pueblo, CO for the past 20 years. I am the daughter of two immigrants who’ve worked their entire lives to make sure my brother and I had the kind of opportunities they never had. Now that I have two kids of my own, I’m running for office to show them that when our family and community need help, we have to do what it takes to make life better, just like my dad showed me when he took me to one of the first Justice for Janitors strikes when I was a girl. I graduated from CSU-Pueblo in 2008, and one of the first jobs I held was with Pueblo County Social Services, a job I held for 10 years. After seeing how my community was hurting, I wanted to start making change from the outside and quickly found another job with Together Colorado, a progressive faith-based organization, where I helped advocate for things like Paid Family Leave, regulating payday loans, and abolishing slavery from the Colorado Constitution. I currently work for a Colorado non-profit, the Colorado Trust, organizing for health equity in Pueblo County. To give you an example of the work I do, I recently organized a food distribution effort for the Pueblo neighborhood of Dog Patch, which is one of the worst food deserts in the region. After spending 10 years as a Pueblo County social worker, and another 6 years organizing my community, I can say with confidence that I know how people in my district are struggling to make ends meet. I’ve seen too many elders coming in for assistance, too many fundraisers for kids with cancer, and too many schools without the resources they need to stand on the sidelines, which is why I decided to run for Congress.
Colorado is the only state in the country whose constitution requires every tax increase to be approved at the ballot by the voters. This dynamic makes it nearly impossible to equitably fund healthcare, childcare, and education, which makes Colorado uniquely in need of Federal assistance. My district has been represented by a Republican for the past decade, which means for the past 10 years our representative in Congress has been completely unwilling to fight to improve the lives of the people living here–and it shows.
What I love about my home is how the people living here have always come together to take care of one another, even when their elected representatives don’t. We raise money for people’s medical procedures, we organize to protect our water from corporate interests, we form committees to apply for Federal grants, but we’ve been doing it with little to no help from our representative in D.C.. I’m running for Congress so we don’t have to do it alone anymore, I’m running because my community needs an advocate.
When I was a girl, I stood with my father on the Justice for Janitors picket line to demand respect and a better life for working people. As a Chicana indigenous woman, I inherited the fight for dignity and equality from the people who have come before me, and I will always honor their struggle with my actions and words. I’ve led my neighbors in the fight for Paid Family Leave, a higher minimum wage, and payday lending reform. And after George Floyd was murdered and tensions were at a fever pitch, I stepped up and organized community conversations with our local DA, Police Chief, and Sheriff.
But being an advocate for justice is more than words and actions, it’s about recognizing, dismantling, and replacing systems of oppression at play. My district encompasses some of the oldest settlements in the state–thousands of Chicano and Indigenous people can claim their heritage to this land from the time of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and before. Ever since the American government laid claim to this land, land and water rights have been under constant attack and stolen from the communities who shared these resources for generations. This district needs a Congressperson who understands our shared history and will work to restore the communal systems that predated the white supremacist policies that have since shaped our local landscape. Respecting and embracing the gente who’ve come before will help bring justice to all of us and the land we inhabit.