Carmen Medrano

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Carmen Medrano is the Executive Director at United for a New Economy.

Carmen is returning to Colorado after five years of serving in roles with the Faith in Action Network, including organizing with Colorado Dreamers to pass legislation allowing instate tuition for undocumented students, and leading a variety of civic engagement programs in six states. During her tenure she organized at a national level with Faith in Action’s Campaign for Citizenship, where she trained grassroots leaders to lead efforts across the country for passage of a comprehensive immigration bill. In the Fall of 2014, she brought her expertise and passion for social change to the Central Valley of California, where she most recently led the merger of five separate affiliate organizations into one powerhouse, that works to empower grassroots community leaders to address racial, economic, and health equity. Carmen was born in Mexico and came to Colorado at the age of 4, where she graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in Psychology.

Carmen’s leadership skills, organizing experience, commitment to economic justice and love for Colorado make her the perfect fit to lead UNE into our future.

Desiree Westlund Cindric

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Desiree Westlund Cindric is the Deputy Director at United for a New Economy.  She joined UNE in 2011 to build out UNE’s grassroots organizing capacity and forward UNE’s efforts to integrate organizing and policy into local power-building for justice.

Desiree came into community organizing work through immigrant justice solidarity and coalition building in Denver.  She worked previously as a labor organizer with SEIU and community organizer with Together Colorado. She led the coalition that won passage of the Wage Protection Act in Colorado in 2014 and is a founding member of Mile High Connects, a collaboration of more than 20 philanthropies and nonprofits dedicated to ensuring that all people benefit from the Denver region’s transportation expansion.

Desiree is now raising the 4th generation of her family to live in Adams county and has weekly dinners with all 4 generations under one roof. Desiree works for UNE to form part of a community that is fighting and resisting oppression, while also building the systems and change that we do want.

Favorite Quote: Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public- Cornell West

Victor Galvan

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Victor Galvan joins UNE as our first Political Field Director after 8 years at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. He led a robust voter integrated organizing program that targeted over 175,000 low propensity voters of color throughout Colorado. His door campaigns contacted over 75,000 of those voters to inform them of their rights to vote and how to make their voices heard on the issue that they care most deeply about.

Coupled with an organizing strategy, Victor organized those voters to engage their legislators even after elections and led to bi-partisan work on license legislation that increased access to driver’s license to undocumented Coloradans through improvements to SB13-251, the Road and Community Safety Act of 2013. During his tenure at CIRC he worked on campaigns that won passage of ASSET (instate tuition for undocumented students), Law Enforcement and Community Trust Act which did away with Colorado’s “Show me you papers” law, and expanded access to Colorado driver’s licenses for undocumented people.

Victor brings with him all of the passion and skill he has developed through his work in the immigrant rights movement both locally and nationally to UNE’s economic justice campaigns. Victor is dedicated to organizing voters year round to engage on the issue of economic justice through the lens of our most disenfranchised members of our community.

“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” -Assata Shakur

Karla Loaiza

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Karla Loaiza is the Community Organizer for our Aurora Chapter at United for a New Economy.

Karla has 14 years’ experience in grassroots community organizing with Together Colorado.  Karla has had well-rounded exposure to the power of relationships, strategical thinking and action-oriented skills and abilities related to grass roots organizing.

Most recently she was part of The Civic Canopy’s Team. Stewarding the SHARE Network, working closely with the steering committee, community partners and overall building the capacity of resident leaders related to Healthy Eating and Active Living  in North East Denver.

Along Karla’s life journey she has been inspired by many, one person in particular gave Karla a 360-life course correction that changed her life and the life of her 2 sons, with the introduction to grass roots organizing. It was her dear friend, mentor and seasoned organizer Patty Lawless, who saw in Karla what she didn’t see in herself many moons ago.

Now, Karla strives to inspire others to find their voice and activate their gifts and talents, through community organizing, like she was once inspired to do!

Favorite Quote; “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss

Iona Long Soldier

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Iona Long Soldier is the Community Organizer for the Commerce City Chapter at United for a New Economy. As an enrolled member of the Oglala, Lakota Nation and a member of the Black community, she blends traditional teachings and modern day civil rights practices to advocate for all groups of people, particularly underserved and tribal communities.

Iona possesses an enthusiastic passion for social justice, specifically advocating for reproductive rights and adequate access to healthcare for all people. Iona comes to UNE with eight years of organizing experience and a background as a Capacity Building Assistance Specialist at the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC).  She provided HIV/AIDS related trainings and developed guidelines and curriculum such as “Understanding Gender HIV Prevention Gender Toolkit” and “Developing Gender-Responsive HIV-Prevention Strategies for U.S. Women.”

As a former field organizer and canvasser, she is able to build real relationships in the community and provide the tools and skills necessary for people to organize their communities and contribute civically in their best interest. As a life-long Denver resident and current Commerce City resident, Iona has been affected by gentrification and has been actively working to keep our communities from being completely left behind.

Iona appreciates the opportunity to create a more profound impact on our community and is proud to represent United for A New Economy with kindness, compassion, and decorum befitting our communities.

Nicholas Marquez

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Nicholas Marquez is the Community Organizer for our Westminster Chapter at United for a New Economy. He was born and raised in Colorado. His family, both his mother’s and father’s side, have lived in Colorado for generations. It was his family’s lived struggles that have served as Nicholas’s primary motivation to vest efforts in fighting for social justice and to create meaningful change to enrich people’s lives. 

Nicholas efforts began with his academic studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he graduated as a double major in Chicano Studies and Spanish. In his senior year he received his initial opportunities in working towards those goals. He was first a legislative aide through the Capitol Fellowship Program with the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) and then as a Research Intern at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105. Within these fruitful experiences Nicholas learned of the graveness in building people power as a way to confront the political machine that contributes to the many barriers that hinder communities in achieving human rights and a more just society. 

Nicholas strongly believes that it is necessary to continue this work into the future in order to preserve the pride of our communities.   

Favorite quote: “ Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas.” – Emiliano Zapata

Lorrine Banzie

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Lorrine Banzie has been the Office Manager at UNE since 2015. Her role is to manage the day to day organizational operations; from admin and bookkeeping to human resources.

Lorrine’s passion for this work stems from her personal experience as an immigrant from Zimbabwe; she came to the United States in 2000 for a better life in the midst of her own country’s internal military conflict and the desire to protect her family. This experience has guided her to be a fighter, if you want a better life you have to go out and get it. Or in the words of her favorite South African, “It Always Seems impossible until it’s Done!”-Nelson Mandela. Lorrine became a naturalized citizen in 2016!

Prior to coming to UNE, Lorrine worked 5 years at Union Taxi. While there she fought for over two years for a union and won the fight for OPEIU local 30 in 2013.

Lorrine loves to travel, enjoys watching sports such as soccer, her favorite team is Manchester United, the Denver Broncos and Basketball.