Ep. 170: Saira Rao – Candidate for Colorado’s 1st Congressional District

Saira Rao is a Democrat candidate for Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. She and her husband Shiv live in Denver with their two children, Lila and Dar, and their dog, Hector. You can find her website, Saira Rao for Congress, here.

This is the first time on the podcast I’ve interviewed someone actively running for office, and because I’ve spent so much of my professional career working around in and around campaigns and the political machine, it occurred to me that not everyone has that same experience. So what’s it like to run for office?

We talk about it on the show, as well as the remarkably fast path from her Huffington Post article “I’m a Brown Woman Who’s Breaking Up With The Democratic Party” to a primary candidate for CD-1’s longtime incumbent Representative. It’s a fascinating journey and tremendous insight into the process of actually running for office.

You can find Saira’s platform and vision for leadership here. Most notable to me, and a primary focus of our conversation centers around getting money out of politics. From her platform:

Politicians who rely on corporate lobbyists and their PACs for political power aren’t working for us. We deserve a government that represents its constituents and a Party that leads on campaign finance reform.

Progressives should be leading with values, not following the money.

Saira Rao launched her campaign with a commitment to refuse dirty money, preferring to win with the support of individual donations. In Congress, Saira will work to overturn Citizens United, outlaw super PACs, and push for legislation that gives greater transparency in campaign finance.

You can find this episode available for download on iTunes, for streaming on Stitcher, or hosted always at the Jon of All Trades homepage.

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