Colorado gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis is launching a digital ad on Labor Day that features union members touting the Democratic congressman’s pledge to build “an economy that works for everyone.”
In the 30-second spot, made available to Colorado Politics before its debut, a half dozen members of unions that have endorsed Polis describe a central issue in this year’s election — the cost of living has outpaced raises for many workers, even amid a booming economy and record low unemployment.
“I don’t mind working hard, and I’m proud of working hard,” says the ad, which cuts quickly between Polis supporters.
“If the economy is doing well, workers like us should do well too. You used to be able to retire with comfort and dignity. Colorado is booming, and it’s the special interests that are reaping the rewards. The bills keep going up, but our paychecks aren’t keeping up. We need an economy that works for everyone — so we all have an opportunity to get ahead,” the ad concludes.
Polis told Colorado Politics the ad articulates a central reason he’s running for governor.
“Everywhere I go in Colorado, I meet hardworking men and women who feel like they can’t get ahead despite our booming economy,” the candidate said in a statement. “Paychecks have barely budged, but putting your kid through preschool, paying off medical bills and finding a place to live have gotten more expensive than ever. I couldn’t be prouder to have the support of so many organizations representing working Coloradans. I’m in this fight to build a Colorado economy that works for everyone, not just the special interests and well connected.”
According to a spokesman for the Polis campaign, unions represented in the ad released Monday include the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Pipefitters, Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers and the Colorado Education Association, which endorsed Polis last month after siding with a Democratic opponent during the heated primary.
Republican Walker Stapleton, Polis’ opponent and a two-term state treasurer, likewise marked Labor Day with a message about Colorado’s workers.
“Today, we celebrate Coloradans who work hard every day to provide for themselves and their families,” Stapleton said in a statement provided by a spokesman. “As governor, I will put Colorado workers first and pursue policies that allow businesses to thrive and workers to have access to good, high-paying jobs.”
Polis is proposing several policies to help the state’s workers, including enacting paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for all residents, encouraging employee ownership and profit sharing, and allowing municipalities to raise their local minimum wage. He also vows to “protect and expand collective bargaining rights while actively opposing attacks on organized labor like so-called ‘right to work’ laws and paycheck deception.”
On his campaign website, Stapleton maintains that the surging economy masks workers who have jobs but are still under-employed, and uneven prosperity concentrated on the Front Range, leaving much of the state struggling.
“As Governor,” Stapleton says, “I will apply a strict cost-benefit analysis to any bill that crosses my desk, and will work actively with the legislature to promote common sense solutions that will create jobs and improve the lives of families across our state.