Rep. Ed Perlmutter visits Lakewood for final Government in the Grocery event

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 8/28/22

Racism and the economy were some of the issues brought up to U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) at his final Government in the Grocery event.

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Rep. Ed Perlmutter visits Lakewood for final Government in the Grocery event

Posted

Racism and the economy were some of the issues brought up to U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) at his final Government in the Grocery event Aug. 27 in Lakewood.

A community event he’s held since 2007, Government in the Grocery allows Perlmutter to meet with locals one-on-one at a table set up in grocery stores so people can suggest policy changes, ask for help or just air grievances.

“He tries to stay connected to the people,” said Buzzy Mann, waiting in line to speak with Perlmutter at the Safeway on Colfax & Garrison in Lakewood. “And I think he’s done a good job with that.”

Mann was one of a dozen or so people wanting to express their thoughts to the Congressman directly, Mann’s thoughts being on the economy. 

“It’s an opportunity to speak with the Congressman directly,” Dale Ozwald Jr., identifying as part Chicano and part Native American, said about the event. 

A native Denverite, Ozwald wanted to express his frustrations about the racial disparity he’s seen and felt since moving into Wheat Ridge. He said he's been harassed by police, and even harassed at the library. 

He’s surprised by where he’s experienced this racism, he said, referencing a major walkout in 1969 where hundreds of Chicano and Chicana students walked out of Denver’s West High School to protest racism. He hopes Perlmutter will, for a start, help increase accountability for hate crimes.

“There’s going to be some things we can still do,” said Perlmutter, who is retiring after this term, when asked what actions he could take with the time he has left as a Congressman. He referenced one person he’d already spoken with who wanted a tour of the White House and another with a family issue that crosses multiple states.

“A lot of times it’s that people just want to get stuff off their chest,” Perlmutter continued. He said events like Government in the Grocery let him stay in touch with people’s views and with topics changing over the years, from Iraq and Afghanistan to climate issues and the opioid epidemic. “Doesn’t mean I agree, but it gives me something to think about.”

This, I feel good about,” he continued. “I think me and my office have benefited from it.”

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