Name: Colleen Deacon
Office Sought: New York's 24th Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives
Colleen Deacon understands the struggles of Central New Yorkers because she has lived them herself, and has spent the last six years working with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to help people in our communities overcome the challenges they face.
Born and raised in Syracuse, Colleen and her siblings attended Syracuse public schools. When Colleen's father was laid off from his job, her mother went back to work full time to support their family. Her mother worked for many years helping people in our community to move from welfare to work - instilling in Colleen an appreciation for hard work, and a strong belief in giving those who are struggling a chance to succeed.
Colleen started working on her 16th birthday, in the dining hall of a local retirement home. Jobs in a bakery, a grocery store, and waiting tables followed. Along with student loans, those opportunities to work allowed Colleen to pay her way through Syracuse University.
But Colleen understands that sometimes, hard work alone isn't enough. Colleen was working as a waitress when she became pregnant with her son, Adrian - a job that provided no health insurance or maternity leave. With the help of Medicaid, food stamps and the WIC program, Colleen was able to keep herself and her baby healthy.
Colleen soon began working for Mayor Matt Driscoll and was quickly promoted to Press Secretary where she spent six years serving the City of Syracuse, before joining Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office as Regional Director for Central New York. For six years, Colleen served as a resource on federal issues for elected officials, businesses, manufacturers, not-for-profits, educational institutions, community groups, and individuals across Central New York. She took pride in connecting institutions here to funding opportunities and government agencies, working to solve problems and strengthen our region.
Colleen will bring the common-sense voice of a hard-working single mother to Washington. In Congress, she will continue her work to help Central New York's small businesses, veterans, seniors and families to cut through the red tape and make government work for them.
Colleen lives in Syracuse, one block from her parents, with her son Adrian and rescue dog Daisy. She is a member of All Saints parish and is the Vice President of the PTO at Edward Smith Elementary School. In her (limited) spare time, Colleen is an avid runner and roots for the Syracuse Orange.
Why she endorsed Voters First:
As someone who has seen first hand how the issues in front of Congress affect real people and real people's lives, Colleen wants to make sure that all people have a voice in Washington. Colleen is running a Voters First campaign because she knows how critical it is that everyone participates in the electoral process, and wants to push to increase turnout and voter participation not just across the 24th District of New York, but across the country. She will fight to increase access to the polls, and make it easier, not harder, for everyone to get out and vote.
How she is running a Voters First campaign:
Colleen's campaign has a strong emphasis on field, with volunteers and organizers out in the community every day, knocking on doors and making phone calls to talk to voters directly about the issues. Democracy works best when everyone participates. Colleen and her campaign are aiming to increase voter turnout not just in 2016 but in particular in 2018 as well, when presidential voters tend to stay home from the polls. She has had a strong field team on the ground across all four counties of the district since April 2016, and is currently making double the field contacts of the previous campaign in this district. She has a team of almost 50 dedicated high school and college interns and fellows working to help increase participation and turnout. Colleen is running one of the top five field programs in the country in 2016, and is committed to working up and down the ballot to ensure that voter turnout is stronger than ever in the 24th District.
Will you stand with Colleen? Click the buttons below to check out her website, sign up to volunteer, and donate to her campaign!