AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) - Iman Jodeh is ready to make the American dream a reality for all. She's making history as the first Muslim lawmaker in the state of Colorado.
"Representing House District 41 in Aurora is really my dream," Jodeh told CBS4's Andrea Flores. "When I look around HD41, I see myself, and I see my community. Knowing that I can represent this beautiful tapestry of diversity means a lot to me."
Her roots in Aurora run deep.
"I have lived in Aurora for 35 years, almost my entire life. I'm the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and refugees, and small business owners and teachers. I went to Ponderosa Elementary, Prairie Middle School and Overland High School," she said. "Knowing that HD41 and Aurora is one of the most diverse places not only in America, but in Colorado, I think it's a true reflection of the face of the nation."
She hopes to bring that diverse perspective to the state capitol.
"I think this feeling that I'm having right now, in this moment, is very surreal, but at the same time, I recognize the awesome responsibility that it comes with," said Jodeh. "That I need to be a collaborator, that I need to reach across the aisle, that I need to listen and learn from my constituents, from experts, so that I am the most educated I can be when drafting or voting on legislation."
Jodeh understands the importance of representation at the local level.
"Six years of advocacy at the legislature has allowed me to advocate for all communities, whether that's women and families, immigrants and refugees, equal pay for equal work, or criminal justice reform," she said. "I think being a representative that is a practicing Muslim, that is an Arab American, brings a different lens to that representation, but for me, leaning on that track record of advocacy for all people is what I plan to continue at the legislature."
During the upcoming legislative session, Jodeh hopes to tackle issues that affect all Coloradans.
"Living in Colorado, there are issues that don't discriminate, like COVID-19, like affordable housing, like our climate crisis, like jobs and education," she said. "These are all things that are universal among the people of Colorado, and so for me, because of these lived experiences in each of these areas, those are the things I want to fight for, not only for HD41, but for the people of Colorado."
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