2018 Board Elections

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2018 Candidates: 

President– Leah Marvin-Riley

Vice President– Douglas Roper

Secretary– Macarena Villagomez-Tapia

Community Liaison– Justine Sandoval

Event Coordinator– Jillian Coffey

High School and College Coordinator– Tay Anderson

2018 Candidate Letters of Intent:


Dear DYD members old and new,

I am pleased to announce that I am running for re-election as President of DYD. I ran for DYD last year because I wanted to bring new young people into the fold. I wanted to help find a place for motivated, passionate, progressive people hoping to get involved in politics, no matter their previous involvement. I’m proud of the work we have done this year and what I have accomplished as President. I’m running again this year because I know there is still work to be done and I’m excited to continue to expand what we can accomplish.

As President, nothing makes me prouder than helping my friends and peers recognize their own power to make change on every level. If you live in Denver, you know how gentrification is affecting our city and the people who call it home. Whether you are a current student, former student, an aspiring student, or the parent of a student, you know that education and who represents you is critical. You also probably know that undocumented neighbors are facing harsher circumstances and face fear every day. These are issues that our city faces and DYD can be on the front lines of addressing them. Our Democratic platform says “cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.” This we know and believe, but how do we live these values?

DYD has been evolving for a number of years. This year, we made big strides towards the kind of organization that is truly needed in Denver. As DYD President this year, I have provided an opportunity for community members to come together to learn and take ownership of their communities. As a board and an organization, we focused on issues like gentrification by inviting members on a history of Denver walking tour and by hosting a panel of community activists in the curtis park neighborhood. We provided an opportunity for our members and members of the community to hear from the candidates in the Denver Public School Board race. We hosted Jeanette Vizguerra at our summer BBQ, who shared her story of working as an immigration rights activist and living in sanctuary. We heard from Crystal Murillo at our holiday party, recently elected as the youngest city council member to ever be elected to the Aurora City Council.

Before I became President I said many times that I wanted every DYD member to feel like they learned something and were making an impact when they attended a DYD event. From awkward ice breakers at our first happy hour (sorry not sorry), to our thoughtful keynote speakers, to our issue-based events, we have ensured active participation, interesting conversations, and self-reflection as to what it means to be a young progressive in this city at this moment.

You’ve already heard it over and over again, 2018 is a big year. Democrats consistently don’t vote in midterm elections and that’s when and why we lose. With so many crowded primaries, I hope to offer opportunities to hear from candidates so we can engage our members in the process so they can make informed and thoughtful decisions. After the primary, I will mobilize our membership and our peers to knock, call, and write for our Democratic candidates as intensely as possible.

We are a more progressive generation than any before us, and we know what it takes to move the dial in the right direction. This is why we need to continue to seize the opportunity to support elected officials and candidates who are progressive, inclusive, thoughtful, and reflective of their communities. We have a responsibility, as Denver Young Democrats, to carry our beliefs into action and to influence our local and state government.

With your help, we can prioritize our work and make a difference statewide. Thank you for your support.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about my plans for DYD, please reach out to me at [email protected]


Leah Marvin-Riley

Vice President

Dear Denver Young Democrats,

My name is Doug Roper and I am running for re-election as Vice President of DYD.

I am currently in my fourth year working for State Senator Andy Kerr in the Colorado General Assembly and also studying Political Science at CU Denver. At the State Capitol, I have been fighting for progressive policies and opposing a radical conservative agenda. This past summer I spent time fundraising for a Congressional primary campaign. Before that, I helped elect Matt Gray to the State House which expanded the Democratic majority in the Colorado House of Representatives.

This past year, I was elected as Vice President of DYD and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished as an organization. During the Democratic primaries, we worked to educate our members on issues that are not only important to them individually as Democrats, but also important to Denver as a whole. A few of the issues we focused on were Denver’s widespread gentrification and the hardships that undocumented immigrants face while seeking sanctuary from the threat of deportation by ICE. We ended the year with Crystal Murillo – the youngest person to be elected to city counsel in Aurora – sharing her story of how she was elected and showcased how young Democrats can win elected office.

2018 is a critical year for Democrats not just nationally, but right here in Colorado. While this session will be my last as a legislative aide at the State Capitol, as Vice President I will work to ensure that it is also the last year that the Republicans have the Senate majority. I know first hand how much Democrats need to take control of the Senate because I have spent the past four years working in the minority and watching great progressive bills die on a daily basis. In addition to the Senate, DYD will make sure that Colorado elects a Democratic Governor and Democratic candidates to statewide offices down the ballot. We will accomplish this by continuing our voter education and financially supporting progressive candidates in tough districts.

I first ran to be your Vice President because I wanted to be part of an organization that inspires change within the Democratic party – the type of change that brings more voices into the party and focuses our mission on helping those most vulnerable in our society. I believe we have started this process and with your support, I hope to continue these efforts in my role as Vice President.

Thank you for your consideration. 

-Douglas Roper


February 11th, 2018

Dear Denver Young Democrats:

Macarena Villagomez-Tapia

(720) 431-9442

[email protected]

I am thrilled to submit my letter of intent for the position of Secretary for the Denver Young Democrats. My past experiences interning for Colorado Senator, Michael Bennet, for the Colorado State House Speaker Duran, and my current position as assistant to the Deputy Consul at the General Consulate of Mexico in Denver, have all provided me with an in depth understanding of the responsibilities and the importance of being well prepared and the ability to be able to effectively communicate.

During my time as an intern for Senator Michael Bennet I was primarily assisting various Legislative Directors whom specialized in immigration and international affairs such as defense. While assisting them I often times created briefings on current and relative issues as well as completed research, and attended meetings on their behalf.

Under the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives I became very familiar with the planning of community outreach events. In addition, I was continuously following bills that were proposed during the session and completing research for bill proposals. One of the many tasks I was also responsible for was translating press releases in order to be able to communicate with the Spanish-speaking constituents.

For the short time I have been working at the Mexican Consulate in Denver, I have dramatically improved my Spanish and have had the privilege of learning the procedures of a foreign government and the importance of communication between foreign institutions. I have been involved in numerous events where important matters have been discussed involving important stakeholders, providing me with the ability to effectively communicate with stakeholders.

From time to time I have also been responsible for keeping up to date the Consulates social media pages and website. At the Consulate I am also responsible of communicating any major political changes occurring in the area to officials in Mexico.

The position as Secretary for the Denver Young Democrats is of great interest to me as I begin to shape my own political career. I strongly believe in the young people of Colorado, but I also believe that we still lack the participation of a lot of these young people. It would be an honor to serve as a DYD officer to enhance my own role as a Denver Young Democrat and to continue encouraging the young people of Denver to be active and engaged in the decisions that ultimately impact their lives.


Macarena Villagomez Tapia

Community Liaison

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Justine L. Sandoval and I am writing to advise of my intent to run for the position of Community Liaison of the Denver Young Democrats. Currently I serve as the High School and College Organizer and in that time my colleagues and I have worked diligently to make the organization more inclusive of the young democrats we represent.

I am running for the position of Community Liaison because I feel as a lifelong Democrat and Denverite I have a unique perspective on what the city has been through. I have seen this city change in so many ways. Some of it has been positive but there has also been a lot of negative impact on the community. Growing up in Denver and having worked on issues within the community my entire life, I feel I know the people of Denver on a personal level. They are my neighbors, my friends, my family and my peers.

As community liaison I feel that I can be our voice to the democratic party. The position is vague in description but I intend to make the position a direct line between the people and the party. As Denver changes and the Democratic party changes it is more important than ever that we have people representing us who actually represent the issues we are facing as a community. I have been on the ground doing work in this city my whole life.

I believe finding the solutions to the issues we are facing as a city and as a party starts with bringing as many voices as possible to the table. Now more than ever people want to participate in making meaningful and impactful change that helps everyone in the city. I want to be able to lift up your ideas and solutions to making Denver an inclusive place for all of us to live and have a place.

I feel my years of experience and work in the Denver community qualifies me for this position and I hope to earn your vote. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Justine L. Sandoval

Event Coordinator

Dear DYD,

I am excited to submit my interest in the Event Coordinator position for DYD. As someone who has been an organizer, I have the experience and skills necessary to plan, promote, and execute the frequent events held by the organization.

As the statewide field organizing specialist for Planned Parenthood I worked to engage a network of over 1,400 active volunteers from across the state. Starting in November of 2015, I worked at PP through some of the toughest times in our recent history. As the attacks, both physical and political began to make headlines it was my job to keep our volunteer and supporter based engaged and motivated both in our health centers and at the capitol. As an employee and organizer at Planned Parenthood I have experienced firsthand the critical need for democrats and liberals to come together and fight through the divisiveness on issues and remember that our community is what we’re here for.

Since moving to Colorado 5 years ago I have been working in progressive spaces. Starting with New Era Colorado in Boulder and Fort Collins in 2013, moving to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in 2015 and now in my new position at Siegel Public Affairs I have worked on a variety of issues with many different communities. I have been lucky to work at places where I get to mobilize communities around issues that I believe in.

In these contentious times I think it is important for us as young people to continue to push our party forward. It is crucial that we as an organization focus on not only discussing intersectionality and inclusion but truly live it.

I have seen DYD grow this year and I am excited to contribute to its continuing success. I believe DYD has the opportunity to move away from the social circles of already engaged Democrats and reach out to Young Dems who don’t feel welcome in the party.  It is important to continue to capitalize on the galvanization of our communities under Trump by continuing to bring more people into the conversation and working together to elevate the impact that young Democrats can have in Denver.

Thank you for your consideration for this position,

Jillian Coffey

High School and College Coordinator

Hello, I believe in the era of trump we need to organize at a high school and college level so that we can have a voice in our political system. That is why I am submitting my intent to serve as the College and High School Organizer for the Denver Young Democrats. As a former candidate for the Denver School Board and former chair of the Colorado High School Democrats. I believe this is the time that we as young people step up to lead not just our city but our country.

Thank you,

Tay M. Anderson

Finance Coordinator- No one has filed