Polly Baca at the CPR studios on Friday, June 1.

Alex Scoville/CPR News

U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy was assassinated at a Los Angeles hotel 50 years ago. A young campaign staffer and Greeley native named Polly Baca was there. That day she had walked the precincts of Los Angeles to rally the Hispanic vote for the critical California Democratic presidential primary.

Baca, who went on to become a Colorado state senator, talked to Colorado Matters about her involvement in the 1968 campaign and how it shaped her own political career. Growing up in Greeley, she said, she and her friends were often discriminated against. "There were signs like 'No Mexicans Or Dogs Allowed,'' she said. "The senator represented a time and an opportunity for us to become full partners in this society."