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Rosemary Rodriguez

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Rosemary Rodriguez
Rosemary Rodriguez.jpg
Denver Board of Education, District 2
Term ends
November 2017
Years in position 2
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Denver City Council
Denver Clerk and Recorder
Campaign website
Rosemary Rodriguez campaign logo
Rosemary Rodriguez currently represents District 2 on the Denver Board of Education in Colorado. She defeated fellow challenger Rosario C. de Baca on November 5, 2013.


Rodriguez served as the Denver Clerk and Recorder from 1997 to 2002. She later served on the Denver City Council from 2003 to 2007. Rodriguez was appointed to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and served from 2006 to 2008. She was involved in state-level campaign operations for President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign. Rodriguez has one child who attended district schools.[1]



See also: Denver Public Schools elections (2013)


Rodriguez sought election to the District 2 seat against fellow challenger Rosario C. de Baca.


Denver Public Schools, Four-year term, District 2, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRosemary Rodriguez 61.8% 9,305
     Nonpartisan Rosario C. de Baca 38.2% 5,743
Total Votes 15,048
Source: Denver County Clerk and Recorder, "Final Official Election Results," accessed December 13, 2013


Rodriguez reported $124,785.00 in contributions and $115,626.04 in expenditures to the Colorado Secretary of State, which left her campaign with $9,158.96 on hand.[2]


Rodriguez received the following endorsements during the 2013 campaign:[3]

  • Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
  • State Senator Lucia Guzman
  • Councilman Chris Nevitt
  • Former Representative Ruben Valdez
  • Former Mayor Wellington Webb
  • Rudy Gonzales

Campaign themes


Rodriguez's campaign website listed the following themes for the 2013 campaign:[4]

Achievement gap

"Even though we are making some progress across the board with our student’s performance, there is just not enough improvement coming from our low-income and minority students. We need to support policies that expect high achievement from our students and that help them reach academic success. Every child in DPS should have the opportunity to receive an education that will not only make him/her a candidate for our fine in-state colleges but also serve as a platform for them to be competitive candidates for our country’s elite Universities"


"Children perform best when they start their academic careers with a quality education at an early age. We need to find more ways to provide parents with programs that allow their kids to start engaging socially and that also promote crucial early childhood cognitive development. We only have one chance to provide our children with the tools that will help them succeed for the rest of their lives."

Family engagement

"In our community, family is everything, and that is why education needs to become a key part of the conversation at every family’s dinner table. We need to provide parents with the tools and know-how so they can decide what’s best for their kids’ futures. An open line of communication with parents is crucial to keeping them well-informed, giving them feedback on how they can better their kids’ education, and also provide feedback from parents for DPS about how we can become better educators."

School governance

"The success of any School District requires excellent leadership at all levels. If we want Principals and Teachers to be excellent leaders in their schools and classrooms, the School Board must lead by example. We need to take the politics out of the board and work together to get things done. Our kids deserve a quality education and their future should not suffer because of a Board’s inability to resolve policy differences in a constructive way."


"Teachers have the great responsibility of shaping the minds of students that will go on to become responsible and constructive members of society. This is why we need to give them all the support they need while at the same time creating a system of mutual accountability so that both the board and teachers can be held to standards that promote our ambitious educational goals."

School choice

"The ultimate goal of the District should be to prepare the kids of DPS for their academic and professional careers. There are traditional schools that are performing well but there are also traditional schools that are not performing up to par. It is up to the Board to be open to alternatives that ensure that every kid has the ability to attend a school where he/she will receive the education that provides them with the opportunity to succeed. Every student in district 2 should have access to high performing schools."

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbents Mary Seawell, Andrea Merida and Jeannie Kaplan did not seek re-election to the at-large, District 2 and District 3 seats, respectively. A three-way race for the at-large seat featured former Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien, Michael Kiley and Joan Poston. The District 2 race featured newcomers de Baca and Rosemary Rodriguez. Mike Johnson and Meg Schomp competed to replace Kaplan in District 3. Landri Taylor ran for re-election in District 4 against challenger Roger Kilgore.

Stances on Amendment 66

Colorado voters cast ballots on Amendment 66, a constitutional amendment that increases income taxes to support public education. The following table lists the publicly stated position of each Board of Education candidate on the amendment.

Stances on Amendment 66[5]
Candidate Stated position
Barbara O'Brien Support
Michael Kiley Support
Joan Poston Oppose
Rosario C. de Baca Support
Rosemary Rodriguez Support
Mike Johnson Support
Meg Schomp Support
Landri Taylor Support
Roger Kilgore Support

Conflict of interest concerns

Candidates for the at-large, District 3 and District 4 seats accused their opponents of conflicts of interest. At-large candidate Michael Kiley pointed out that the district has a $350,000 contract with Get Smart Schools, a non-profit organization headed by Barbara O'Brien. O'Brien countered that Kiley's employer, Kronos, provides software to the district. District 3 candidate Meg Schomp believed opponent Mike Johnson could not meet the board's ethical standards due to his work as a school finance consultant. Johnson pointed out that Schomp's husband is an attorney who has represented the district in past legal actions.[6]

District 4 candidate Roger Kilgore asked his opponent, incumbent Landri Taylor, to resign due to a conflict-of-interest allegation. Kilgore noted that Taylor is the CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, which has a $142,962 contract with the district for after-school programs. Taylor criticized Kilgore's request and argued that the agreement occurred after Taylor was a board member. He also suggested that he would recuse himself if the board voted on issues related to agreements with the Urban League.[7]

School reform in Denver

The 2013 election has developed into a referendum on the reforms set in motion by Superintendent Tom Boasberg since his appointment in 2009. Boasberg has increased the district's emphasis on charter schools and closed poor-performing facilities. Opponents of Boasberg's reforms cite a persistent achievement gap between affluent and low-income student populations.[8]

The direction of the seven-member board could change significantly based on the results of this election. Three current members of the board are not seeking re-election. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) has endorsed at-large candidate Michael Kiley, District 2 candidate Rosario C. de Baca, District 3 candidate Meg Schomp and Roger Kilgore in District 4. These candidates want to slow down or halt development of charter schools in the district. Democrats for Education Reform, a non-profit organization supporting Boasberg's reforms, has endorsed at-large candidate Barbara O'Brien, District 2 candidate Rosemary Rodriguez, Mike Johnson in District 3 and District 4 incumbent Landri Taylor.[9] With clear divisions between these two slates of candidates, Denver voters are able to express their views on district policies at the ballot box.

About the district

See also: Denver Public Schools, Colorado
Denver Public Schools is located in Denver County, CO
Denver Public Schools serves students in Denver, the county seat of Denver County, Colorado. According to the 2010 US Census, Denver is home to 600,158 residents.[10]


Denver outperformed the rest of Colorado in higher education achievement while lagging behind state rates for median income and poverty in 2010. The average household income in Denver was $47,499 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Denver was 18.8% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 41.3% of Denver residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado.[10]

Racial Demographics, 2010[10]
Race Denver (%) Colorado (%)
White 68.9 81.3
Black or African American 10.2 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.4 1.1
Asian 3.4 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 4.1 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 31.8 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[11]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 164,196 50.5
Unaffiliated 103,119 31.7
Republican 53,385 16.4
Libertarian 2,880 0.9
Green 1,187 0.4
American Constitution 630 0.2

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[12] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Recent news

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