I wanted to follow up with you after Amy’s email last week. There’s no question that the recent elections were tough for progressives across America, and the next two years in Washington are almost guaranteed to be less productive than any of us want or the country needs.

In Colorado, though, it could have been a lot worse–and there are lots of hopeful signs in the results of elections here.

First and foremost, having held the Governor’s Mansion, we know that the enormous progressive gains we’ve made in the last two years are now safe. The progressive victories we fought for–expanding renewable energy, health care reform, promoting high-tech industry, and education–are safe for another four years.

Just as important, progressives in Colorado held on in a “wave year” bigger than anyone expected, and preserved our majority in the Colorado House. Much like 2010, the right wing was able to take a one-seat majority in one chamber of the legislature, the Colorado Senate, by less than a thousand votes. But make no mistake: this is still a progressive state government, and there are many opportunities coming up in 2015 to make things better for everyone in Colorado. I’m very hopeful that there are conservatives in the new Senate we can work with to get things done.

As progressives, we can do better. In the coming years, we need to figure out how to take back important state government offices like secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general that the right has held even as the state has elected progressive governors and legislators. We need to hold our own elected leaders accountable, as we’ve had to do a few times in Gov. Hickenlooper’s first term. And we need to make sure that when we lead on a critical issue like gun safety, we are ready to defend our actions from the right wing.

Here at ProgressNow Colorado, we will be reflecting on what went right and what didn’t, and getting ready for what lies ahead. Please take a moment to reply to this email, and tell us what you think about the 2014 elections, and what lessons we should take from the last couple of years. We can’t respond to everyone, but I promise we will read what you have to say and consider it as we move forward.

Thanks again. It’s a privilege to be part of this great state’s civic life, and I assure you the work we do together–in election years and off years alike–to leave Colorado better makes a difference.


Alan Franklin

PS. We can’t do anything without your help–we never could. Make an investment in Colorado’s future with your donation.