- Age: 46
- Occupation: Business Owner
- Years lived in Commerce City: 28
- Years lived in Colorado: 34
- Phone: 720-210-4163
- Website: mariagonzalez4mayor.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Candidate Documents: Candidate Affidavit | New Committee Registration | 1st Report of Contributions and Expenditures | 2nd Report of Contributions and Expenditures | Final Report of Contributions and Expenditures
Why are you running for Mayor?
I am running for Mayor for the City of Commerce City because I believe I can make a difference and move the community forward. I am a grassroots community leader and my passion and commitment is to make Commerce City a destination of a lifetime. I have earned the trust, respect and credibility of the community. I am honest, committed and a hard-working individual. I am also an immigrant, a woman and entrepreneur. I reflect many in our wonderful community.
My experience and background are fundamentally linked. In my early years, I worked in various departments of the City of Commerce City. I started in the Community Development Department where I gained firsthand knowledge of residents’ needs and government rules and regulations. My last position at the City was in the City Manager’s Department as the Community Relations Director. That position marked my lifetime commitment to support economic development and community outreach. In addition to the great experience, I was able to build strong lifetime relationships with many city employees. During my 10 years employed with the City, I developed community outreach efforts that helped to establish trust and safety of our residents, I was a part of tremendous housing growth and I supported the development of recycling efforts in the community. In addition to the work I have done in Commerce City, I have held many volunteer positions. In 2011, I founded Adelante Community Development, a nonprofit organization that supports, empowers and promotes local businesses. I maintain a community garden that offers FREE produce and gardening opportunities to residents. I am also a founder of the Commerce City Chamber of Commerce. I have been able to run a successful business for the past 12 years by making important decisions, having a business plan and understanding budgets.
What do you see as the three biggest opportunities for Commerce City?
I believe Commerce City is great place for many families. I believe our geographic location in Metro area; our economic base and our diverse population are the biggest opportunities for Commerce City.
Commerce City is uniquely positioned next to many of the major arteries of Denver and the Denver International Airport. We also are home to the second largest urban wildlife refuge and along the Sand Creek Greenway.
The industry base the Commerce City already has allows us the freedom to support residents and provide quality amenities.
The population of Commerce City is very diverse. I believe there are many untapped opportunities to bring our community together to celebrate and learn from one another.
What do you see as the three biggest challenges facing the city?
Commerce City is facing many challenges. However, the three biggest challenges currently are the lack of leadership, lack of community sense of belonging with the north and south division, and economic development opportunities.
Lack of Leadership
Current elected officials are not working as team players. There are many personal agendas and not listening to the community. The city administration is losing valuable employees and employees need to be valued and validated.
Lack of community sense of belonging
The clear division between the north range and historic city need to improve. We must invest in ways to unite our community.
Economic development opportunities
The economic development department must have the appropriate resources to continue the expansion and sustainability of current businesses as well as attracting new business opportunities.
What does a “Quality Community for a Lifetime” mean to you?
Quality Community for a Lifetime means to me that I am safe, happy and encouraged to belong to this community. However, this message needs to be felt by the entire community. For example, there is an obvious separation between the Historic City and the Northern Range because each are very unique. I feel as elected officials we must commit to listening and provide the support they need as they continue to grow. The City could improve and make stronger connection as one City. Out of the 28 years I have lived in Commerce City, five have been in the North Range and I can tell you by experience that both are unique and have strong ownerships and that it would take time and commitment to meet their unique needs. Like many, I hope to unite them and build a strong sense of belonging.
In Commerce City I have raised my family, I have worked for the City and opened my business. This is home and I want to assure our students have a place to learn, our parents have a place to work and our business a place to prosper.
What is your favorite aspect of the city?
My favorite place in Commerce City is Derby. I live and work there every day. I see this community as a jewel, and my hope is to make this a better place for all.
I thank you in advance and I look forward to working in the growth and development of our great City.