The Many Hats of Brenda Gutierrez

Brenda has worn the many hats of directly impacted member, community leader, and teammate  throughout her involvement in our community. She first heard of 9to5 when she lived in Denver Meadows Mobile Home Park. After fighting alongside her neighbors and the Colorado chapter for her home, she decided to become more involved by attending 9to5 Colorado member meetings and meetings for our Colorado Homes For All (COHFA) coalition.

In her leadership roles with 9to5, Brenda has passionately represented the mobile home owners and renter community. Brenda’s shared experience with displacement and fighting  in community against a landlord that valued profit over people have had a lasting impact on her advocacy.. “It’s not only us,” she says, reflecting on the realization that the same problems and systems that created suffering for her and her communities exist across Colorado and across the nation.

Last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brenda worked part time with 9to5 Colorado as a Digital Canvasser for our Rapid Response Care Fund. A change in pace from her experience working in construction and food service, she continued to build upon her leadership skills and center other directly impacted members of our community during this time of crisis.

Brenda’s own reflections on the past year are speckled with the ways that she herself has been directly impacted by the pandemic. As a single, working mother of four school-aged children, Brenda has had to adjust to different modes of schooling, from remote to in person and back to remote. As a worker, she was injured on the job without access to paid leave or even a kind word from her employer. As a renter, she has been forced by her landlord to make rent payments every month on time without savings or consideration for the economic predicament at hand.

It is her own experiences and her compassion that push her to continue to don new caps of leadership upon her head, take the knowledge gained from old lids, and continue to advocate for the rights of working women and their families. Brenda is not only committed to growing, learning, and advocating for herself, but also talking to friends, family, and neighbors about important justice issues – like immigration, racism, and housing- and how they directly impact their lives. She shows up to city council meetings, meets with community members to educate them about their rights, and encourages others to do the same.

“One voice can reach another voice and another voice… We don’t want to be silent on anything, because [if we do] we’re not going to be heard… so [we] keep on fighting and keep on raising our voices.”

Brenda is a mother, a worker, a renter, a leader, an advocate, a provider, a listener, a speaker, and a facilitator of dialogue. For all of these hats that she has worn on behalf of herself and her communities, we extend to her a 9to5 crown.

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