Thursday, March 15, 2012

DENVER: As the Colorado General Assembly moves into the second half of this year’s legislative session, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, announced feedback from members on the session’s direction and priorities.

“Colorado progressives want the legislature to focus on making Colorado’s economy better, our families and children healthier, and stopping the bleeding of our public education system,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Joanne Kron. “The feedback we received from our mid-legislative session survey shows that defending the institutions that Colorado’s middle class depend on, and expanding access to economic security and opportunity for all Coloradans are the two keys to our state’s prosperous future.”

Here are a few of the many thoughtful suggestions received from ProgressNow Colorado members on the legislative session’s priorities:

Patricia in Sedalia:
“Protecting educational freedom including affordable higher education and expanding the training of Colorado students to meet the needs of 21st century jobs. Also continue to stand for and protect a women’s right to make decisions about her healthcare.”

Curt in Denver:
“I am a physician and professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. As you probably know, state support of higher education is pathetic.  It has not increased for decades. As a result, we have had to raise tuition for Colorado students and have increased class size to bring in a large number of out-of-state students who are paying much higher tuition. Colorado legislators should know that minimal state support means that the University of Colorado is quickly becoming a private university.”

Bruce in Loveland:
“Enabling the Affordable Care Act’s Colorado exchange option. Passing the gay rights legislation for civil unions. It’s a matter of justice, not morality. Government cannot legislate morality. Ensuring that fracking is truly safe for the groundwater!”

Lauri in Parker:
“The regulations for fracking natural gas should be up to the process of local city and counties. Make it known that if the oil companies would just do it the right and safe way, there would not be the issues against them that are being fought now.”

“Progressives in the Colorado legislature are fighting hard for legislation that will create Colorado jobs, such as the Hire Colorado Act and the Employement Opportunity Act,” said ProgressNow Colorado’s Kron. “In addition to these top priorities, the message for the legislature from the progressive grassroots is to remember that clean air and water, good schools, and civil rights for every one of our citizens are every bit as important to making Colorado the state vibrant and prosperous. From now until the legislature adjourns in May, our jobs is to ensure that none of these important goals are overlooked.”