Briefline

Colorado’s newest members of Congress cite affordability as a top concern

By: - January 3, 2023 3:48 pm

Democratic U.S. Reps.-elect Brittany Pettersen of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District and Yadira Caraveo of Colorado’s brand new 8th Congressional District, pictured here, held a joint news conference Tuesday morning ahead of swearing-in. (Quentin Young/Colorado Newsline)

Colorado sent two first-time members of the U.S. House of Representatives to serve in the 118th Congress, and they stepped foot into their offices for the first time Tuesday. 

Democratic U.S. Reps.-elect Brittany Pettersen of Colorado’s 7th Congressional District and Yadira Caraveo of Colorado’s brand new 8th Congressional District held a joint news conference Tuesday morning ahead of swearing-in. The representatives said while it will be a slow start with committee and staff assignments rolling out, they are excited to jump in on the floor and form relationships with their new colleagues on both sides of the aisle. 

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Caraveo said it’s an honor and privilege for her to serve as Colorado’s first Latina in Congress and to be the first person to represent the 8th District. She wants to tackle housing and health care affordability, which she said she saw families in her district struggle with regularly during her time as a pediatrician and state lawmaker.   

“It’s important to note that our party is united and ready to get to work, and we’ll see what happens on the other side,” Caraveo said.

Pettersen said her priorities as she gets started will include addressing the rising cost of living, housing affordability and water conservation, but much more of what she will be able to accomplish depends on her committee assignments. She said she requested to be part of either the transportation and infrastructure or education and labor committees. 

“We hope that people are not playing politics and that we can focus on getting things done for the country,” Pettersen said. 

Caraveo said Day One on the job has felt a bit surreal, but she and Pettersen both reiterated how honored they are to be a voice for their home districts in Congress. 

“I just feel so overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity and for the people that believed in me to get me here,” Pettersen said. “Having grown up in the district that I’m now representing … having the opportunity to fight for the families that continue to live there is such an honor and it is an overwhelming emotional experience.”

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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News. Toomer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian, with degrees in journalism and global studies.

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