Candi CdeBaca secured a city council seat earlier this month during a runoff election, unseating incumbent Albus Brooks – the city council president that many assumed would become a successor to city mayor Michael Hancock – in a surprise victory. CdeBaca, a Democratic Socialist, has repeatedly come under fire for various statements, including one that some believe suggests she supports communism.
In late March, CdeBaca attended a candidate forum for Denver’s City Council District 9.
“I don’t believe our current economic system actually works,” said CdeBaca during the forum. “Um, capitalism by design is extractive, and in order to generate profit in a capitalist system, something has to be exploited, that’s land, labor, or resources.”
“And I think that we’re in late phase capitalism and we know it doesn’t work, and we have to move into something new,” she continued. “And I believe in community ownership of land, labor, resources, and distribution of those resources.”
“And so, whatever that morphs into I think is what will serve community the best, and I’m excited to usher it in by any means necessary.”
CdeBaca did not clarify what she meant when she said, “By any means necessary.”
While CdeBaca didn’t refer to communism specifically in her statement, many believe that the comparison is legitimate, even though CdeBaca has previously tried to separate herself and her Democratic Socialist position from the term.
“Communism is when the government owns everything; socialism is when people have control of the distribution of ownership,” said CdeBaca. “People have more power.”
According to a report by the Daily Wire, “Encyclopedia Britannica defines communism as a ‘political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society.’”
Encyclopedia Britannica also notes that “Communism is thus a form of socialism—a higher and more advanced form, according to its advocates. Exactly how communism differs from socialism has long been a matter of debate, but the distinction rests largely on the communists’ adherence to the revolutionary socialism of Karl Marx.”
CdeBaca defeated Brooks, securing 52.4 percent of the vote to his 47.6 percent, becoming the first Democratic Socialist to land a council seat. Two other candidates unseated incumbents as well, including Amanda Sawyer in District 5 and Chris Hinds in District 10.