Margaret Aiko Taniwaki
I retired in 2010 after being employed for 27 years as a Receptionist in the Denver Office of the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster.
I was able to attend college at an older age at CU Denver on the Auraria Campus with a double major in Education and Political Science. I reached my Junior year when lack of finances caused me to return to the work force (full and overtime) in order to support myself and my two children. I have continued to educate and inform myself over the years at the library and through volunteer and community work.
I have donated to several of Andrew Romanoff's campaigns, knowing him to be an effective legislator. While volunteering with mainly Japanese American organizations, I also work with many other groups on human rights and environmental issues. I have life-long friendships with Manual High School classmates of varied backgrounds. We called ourselves The Little United Nations in those pre-bussing days.
Mile High Chapter, Japanese American Citizens League; Nikkeijin Kai of Colorado; Japanese American Resource Center of Colorado; ACLU of Colorado, Nominating Committee; KGNU radio station 88.5 FM/1390 AM committees including Nominating, Strategic Planning, Volunteers and Conflict Resolution; Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition; Friends of Manual High School; Asian Roundtable of Colorado; Amache Historical Society II; Tsuru for Solidarity; self-motivated speakers bureau, giving talks on the WWII Japanese American incarceration to all age levels; neighborhood-watch type of group in Montclair where I have resided since 1967.
Since the 1960's, I have volunteered to serve with organizations that promote education, historical preservation, peace and human rights. I have actively supported groups involved in civil rights, Indigenous and immigrant rights, legislative and environmental issues. I served on a Denver Commission for Police reform that recommended the creation of a Civilian Review Board that led to some changes including more counseling in the area of mental health for the police force.
Serving on the Commission would allow me to take part in trying to ensure as equal representation as possible to all Coloradoans. Our state has already made great progress in the way in which representatives are voted upon, but there is always room for improvement. I believe that my years of support work and knowledge of community issues will be helpful as decisions are made affecting the lives of those who live in our state.
With almost all of the organizations on which I have served, consensus is the way we reach agreement. Everyone is heard, issues are discussed and consensus is reached before moving forward. One can "block" a decision or agree to stand aside, the principals by which the Quaker group, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), abides. I volunteered with the AFSC for more than a dozen years at the local, regional and national levels, practicing good governance along the way. I bring an open mind to every situation and always listen and learn before coming to a decision. The AFSC was one of the few entities that opposed the incarceration here in the US of those of Japanese ancestry during WWII.
My 27 years of employment as the Receptionist for the Denver office of the international law firm of Morrison & Foerster required logic, analytical skills, problem solving and quick thinking while handling clients as well as staff and attorneys. Each day brought opportunities to aid clients, connect people, problem solve and handle situations while maintaining confidentiality. Through decades of volunteer and support work, I've listened, learned and questioned in order to reach the best possible decision for all involved. Letter of recommendation have been sent to Jessica Shipley with the application to the Congressional Redistricting Commission.