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Sunday September 22nd 2019

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That's what she said

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Jared Kaszuba, ‘I represent the working class’


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Candidate Jared Kaszuba made Boulder home about a decade ago. He's worked as a driver, courier and retail manager and is currently in the manufacturing industry. (photo courtesy Jared Kaszuba)

Candidate Jared Kaszuba made Boulder home about a decade ago. He’s worked as a driver, courier and retail manager and is currently in the manufacturing industry. (Photo courtesy Jared Kaszuba)

Jared Kaszuba came to Boulder to visit his brother.

Kaszuba, who grew up in Florida, ended up staying and has lived here for the past decade.

The 36-year-old has made the city home. He rents a residence in Martin Acres and has roommates. He rocked out at the Boulder Theater and other Boulder landmarks with his band, Wicked Skeleton—which recently broke up after the guitarist got accepted to Princeton University. He plays in a pool league on Tuesday nights and he’d eventually like to study media theory at the University of Colorado.

Kaszuba is running for City Council because he’s concerned about the direction the city is headed when it comes to rising rent for both residential and commercial spaces. He’s also heard complaints from business owners about the liquor board being overzealous.

“I’m not happy with the current city and if you can’t beat them, join them,” he says.

Kaszuba presently works at Wild Goose Canning, manufacturing beer canning lines for the craft beer industry. He’s done all kinds of working-class jobs, though, including working as a driver, courier and retail manager.

“I represent a demographic that is underrepresented or misrepresented completely and that’s those who rent and work in Boulder,” he says. “I’m working class. I’m not part of the wealthy elite.”

His campaign strategy has been less about signage and fundraising, he says, and more about hearing from people around Boulder. In his pursuit to understand what the people of Boulder want from their City Council representatives, he’s stopping by fire and police stations, visiting neighborhoods and listening to local business owners.

“I’m kind of taking a different approach,” he says.

Kaszuba says that many of his friends have had to move out of Boulder because of skyrocketing rent prices. He loves Boulder and wants to continue to call it home, but is concerned with the city growing at too fast a pace.

“I was drawn to Boulder,” he says. “It’s a pretty magnetic place. Waking up and seeing the flatirons every morning—it never gets old.”

Scott Mess, owner of Messyman Transportation in Boulder, a local car service, met Kaszuba five years ago. Kaszuba has been a driver for Mess’ company. Mess will be voting for Kaszuba.

“He’s naturally friendly and outgoing,” Mess says. “He can look at an issue and come up with his own opinion and he particularly resounds with the working class people of this community—those who live paycheck-to-paycheck or tip-to-tip. He knows what it takes to survive in a town that’s becoming more and more affluent.”

As a testament to Kaszuba’s character, Mess relays an incident in which Kaszuba intervened in a hate crime on University Hill about five years ago when a Nigerian CU student was being harassed. The Boulder Police Department gave Kaszuba an outstanding citizen award after he helped police identify the suspects, Zachary Harris and Joseph Coy, and then served as a witness in their trials.

“He’s somebody of character and integrity and will stand up for people with his actions,” says Mess.

Kaszuba in his free time enjoys playing music and was a bassist in his band, which he describes as being a “surfadelic metal band.” He also enjoys playing indoor soccer. He has a goal to travel to all 50 states—with just four left to cross off his list: North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii and Alaska.

Kaszuba has also volunteered with the humane society and Food Not Bombs, which distributes food to those in need.

 

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