Starting in 2002 as FRESC (Front Range Economic Strategy Center), the organization built power for working families by advocating for living wages, fair benefits and community benefits in municipal-level policy campaigns. The organization passed a number of Denver municipal ordinances and created the Campaign for Responsible Development, a national model for winning community benefits agreements in redevelopment projects, piloted at the Gates Rubber factory and Union Station.

Recognizing a need to create campaigns rooted in community organizing and grassroots leadership development to build permanent progressive power, the organization began engaging more in the community, revealing the deep roots of systemic racism in Colorado. Racial justice was centered in the work in 2014 and a membership program was implemented to build permanent organizing infrastructure in 2016. In 2017, the organization transformed into UNE to more directly address racial and economic inequalities.

UNE is a 501c3 organization governed by a Board of Directors with eight staff; all non-management staff members are represented by a union. Our home office is located in Commerce City with our work focusing on socially and economically marginalized residents in Adams County, especially Westminster, Commerce City and Aurora. Our members are primarily, low-income, people of color (POC) and immigrant people, who we activate and mobilize to take action on the priorities identified by UNE’s membership as a whole.