MARCANO: Aurora voters deserve to know political affiliation of city council candidates

The most common question I heard from voters while canvassing in 2019 was “What is your party affiliation?”  When I told Ward IV voters that I was a Democrat, the door was typically further opened (both literally and figuratively) as they asked questions about me, felt comfortable telling me about their struggles, and told me what they wanted to see change in their city.

They were energized to learn that someone was running to represent them who shared their values and were excited to learn about the impacts a more representative municipal government could have on their lives.  After several of these exchanges, I began introducing myself on doors as a “Juan Marcano, Democrat running for Ward IV on the Aurora City Council”, and I believe that transparency paid off regardless of the affiliation of the thousands of Ward IV residents I spoke with.

Aurora City Council Member Juan Marcano

Since late summer I have been spending my weekends knocking doors for the Democrats running for Aurora City Council, with a focus on Ward II as they don’t currently have a ward councilmember.  A repeat theme from Ward II residents is their perception that the Republican candidate in the race is trying to pass himself off as a Democrat.  One Ward II voter I spoke with went into detail about his interaction with the Republican candidate just a few days before.  He was upset to find out his affiliation and learn about his answers to the vacancy interview questions.  We had a half-hour long conversation about housing costs, food deserts, sustainable infrastructure and development policy, police reform, obstructionism, and his support for Dr. Ryan Ross in filling the Ward II vacancy.  Though unaffiliated, he agreed that partisan elections would add a much-needed layer of transparency to our elections.

Due to the design flaw in our current vacancy process that allows Ward II to go without a ward representative, and the lack of transparency in our current electoral process that allows candidates to hide their values from the ballot, I am bringing forward an ordinance in the coming weeks to put a question on the November 2022 ballot to make our races partisan. If approved by the voters, this charter amendment would accomplish two major goals.

  1. Increase voter information and turnout. It is no secret that Aurora’s off-year, “nonpartisan” races suffer from abysmally low turnout that yield results that are not reflective of the values the city decisively votes for during even-numbered years.  Jurisdictions that have switched from “nonpartisan” to partisan elections have seen increased voter turnout due to information being readily available on the ballot, which is a goal everyone should share regardless of affiliation.
  2. Respect the values voters selected. Partisan positions will allow us to use a similar kind of vacancy committee structure employed for state legislative positions to fill vacancies.  This means that the values selected by the voters will stay with the seat until the next election, and council would no longer get to choose who serves with them.  This is also a much cheaper alternative to special elections.

The purpose of this amendment is not to enshrine the two-party system that has contributed to extreme polarization in our country, but to shed sunlight on this existing dynamic that is currently hidden by farce of “nonpartisan” races. We deserve an electoral process that is transparent, encourages increased participation in the democratic process, and that protects the values chosen by voters in each election. This charter amendment will accomplish these goals and will deliver a more representative government for all Aurorans.

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10 months ago

I agree and Marcano should go ahead and proclaim himself a socialist/communist but he is too cowardly to do so.

10 months ago

I wonder if Juan, when he ran two years ago if he would have introduced himself to Ward IV residents as, Hi, I’m Juan Marcano, a card carrying Socialist, running for Ward IV, if he would have been elected? I think not.

I guarantee that I will do my best to let everyone in Ward IV know that, for his next election that he is less a “Democrat” and more a far left wing progressive, card carrying Socialist. The same goes for our socialist Council person in Ward V.

Juan wants to be known as a Democrat because a card carrying socialist doesn’t fit in the two party political realm in the USA. I get that and so does Juan and that is why he does everything he can to keep his socialist political tendencies as hidden as possible.

I believe Juan’s rant above is less about Republican vs. Democrat and more about the socialists sour grapes about not getting a socialist to replace Nicole Johnston. Focus on bullet point #2 in his tirade, above.

Dale G Nichols
Dale G Nichols
10 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Silly, socialists, to the limited extent that they exist, don’t issue cards to carry. Have you gone through CM Marcano’s wallet to see what he’s carrying? If so, you’re apparently a pickpocket and should be reported to the APD.

10 months ago

I previously had many negative comments about Juan Marcano and his self serving tirade in this letter.

The Sentinel censored all of my comments.

Juan Marcano is not much of a leader, politician nor a critical thinker but the Sentinel has his back.

My best guess is by the time Juan loses his next election, this newspaper will go bankrupt and I will do my best to facilitate both things to occur.

Isn’t it Unamerican to ask for comments then censor them?

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown
10 months ago

Democrats and Republicans who seek elected office both have honorable intentions from the start and actually believe their respective ideology. Unfortunately they are rendered wholly submissive by the wealthy donors. The candidates are merely puppets.

What we have is a duopolistic oligarchy with just the appearance of a democracy. It’s a duopoly for the sole benefit of the donors , corporate players (fox and CNN both) and the political consultants where there is big money in keeping the political battle limited to two choices only.

Nothing will change until we have three to five true parties. Both red and blue should be burned to the ground.