This week, the 2018 session of the Colorado legislature comes to a close.
The political news headlines are almost always about the bad news and gridlock in Washington, D.C. In some years, our Colorado General Assembly stands in contrast to dysfunctional politics at the national level. Unfortunately, in 2018 we’ve seen repeated examples of partisan games trumping the people’s business at the Colorado state capitol. In the last few weeks, numerous key pieces of legislation including paid family leave, retirement savings, and giving local communities the power to institute a higher minimum wage were all killed by the Republican-controlled Colorado Senate.
The session isn’t quite over yet, and there’s still a chance to encourage Republicans to do the right thing on an important issue. A bipartisan bill to allow a judge to order a person in a mental health crisis to temporarily surrender their guns has passed the House and is headed for the Senate. The public overwhelmingly supports addressing mental health as a way to prevent gun violence. Action item #1 this week: call Senate President Kevin Grantham at 303-866-4877, and urge him to allow a fair vote on the “Red Flag” bill. Then look up your Senator here, and contact them to ask for a YES vote on House Bill 18-1436.
Once you helped take pass common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence, here are many more great ways to take action for the week of May 7:
Media Manipulation: This Is Your Brain on Bots and Trolls
Cambridge Analytica, Facebook; Sinclair, The Denver Post; Robert Mercer, algorithms, and artificial intelligence…. What is the end game? Control of our media and our minds. When we don’t know who to trust and everything seems like fake news, we are most ripe for manipulation. Join us as we define the crisis in news media and how it impacts each of us. Learn about their strategies, our vulnerabilities, and how we can protect ourselves. This is the first of three programs in a series that will include expert speakers and facilitated dialogue.
Where: Pikes Peak Library District-Penrose Library, 20 N Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs
When: Monday, May 7 at 5:30pm
No Bella Wells: Pack the Courthouse
On March 8, 2018, water protectors and concerned community members participated in a non-violent direct action (NVDA) in an effort to show their opposition to a large oil and gas project attempting to be completed near a school (the largest oil and gas project near a school in the country). Cullen Lobe was arrested as a result of this NVDA, choosing to boldly stand up for the children of Bella Romero, the South Platte River, the community of Greeley, and the earth. His selfless act is now being demonized by Extraction, the oil and gas company behind the 24-well pad and pipeline construction project slated to be completed not 650 feet from Bella Romero’s recreational field. He is not only facing two criminal charges, but he is the main target of a substantial lawsuit as well.
Where: Centennial Building, 915 10th Street, Greeley, CO
When: Tuesday, May 8 at 1:00pm
All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities Film Screening
World Premiere of the film project All Mixed Up: Our Changing Racial Identities. AMU is a short film that examines the experience of multiracial Americans and their families through a series of interviews. This project is intended to be the start of many more conversations about how we think about race. Following the film there will be a Q&A session with the project creators and some of the participants. This screening will be in honor of the late Dr. Gregory Diggs who provided the creative spark that launched this project last spring.
Where: Sie FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
When: Wednesday, May 9 at 7:00pm
Center for Nonprofit Excellence: Board Roles and Responsibilities
This workshop deep dives into the critical roles board members play at nonprofit organizations. We’ll share stories from the field and our experience working with and serving on boards for over 30 years.
Where: El Pomar Foundation – Penrose House, 1661 Mesa Ave, Colorado Springs
When: Thursday, May 10 at 9:00am
Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver 2018 Public Policy Forum
In this time of immense change in higher education, states will play a critical role in educational innovation to help students pursue and attain equitable educational opportunities. Through engaging leading researchers, policy makers, students, nonprofit leaders, and administrators, this timely and relevant Public Policy Forum will focus on strengthening a research and policy agenda that elevates equity in the modern era of public policy for education.
Where: Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, 1999 E Evans Ave, Denver
When: May 10, 2018 – May 11, 2018
Bias Awareness Training
We all carry bias in how we see people and the world. If we don’t know these blind spots, it can affect our decisions. Join us for this important work with Denver educator and author, Bill DeLaCruz.
Where: Highlands United Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola St, Denver
When: Saturday, May 12 at 9:00am
CBWPA, NAACP, Colorado Black Leadership Caucus: Governors’ Forum
CBWPA, NAACP Denver and Aurora Chapters, along with Colorado Black Leadership Caucus are hosting the Gubernatorial forum on issues facing the African American community in Colorado on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Who will lead us? Help us make the decision and don’t forget to invite your friends/CBWPA members!
Where: New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Blvd, Denver
When: Saturday, May 12 at 11:00am
How would $30,000 make Cole a better community?
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget.Through community gatherings, people brainstorm ideas that will have a positive impact. Those ideas are then turned into project proposals. The community then gets to vote on the project that will get funded. The difference with Cole Has a Soul is that the funds for the winning project come from a grant, not for tax dollars. This process has been lead by The Cole has a Soul Steering Committee who have been designing a PB process anchored in Cole and supported by participants who live, work or attend school there. On May 12th we will be holding an idea collection event with food, fun, and an interactive, self-guided tour that allows you to learn about PB and share your ideas along the way. Come for 20 min or stay the whole time!
Where: St. Charles Rec Center, 3777 Lafayette St, Denver
When: Saturday, May 12 at 11:30am
NARAL Colorado Annual Gala and Auction
Save the date for our 36th Annual Gala & Auction – May 12 at the Hilton Denver City Center! Our theme this year is, “Nevertheless, We Persist” because we know that’s what it will take to protect reproductive rights. That we can’t, and won’t, ever stop fighting to protect access to abortion, contraception, paid family leave and the full range of reproductive health care options and services for all Coloradans.
Where: Hilton Denver City Center, 1701 California St, Denver
When: Saturday, May 12 at 5:30pm
Second Annual Moms/Rockies Fundraiser
Take a Mom to the Rockies! A portion of each ticket will benefit Moms Demand Action-Colorado.
Where: Coors Field, 2001 Blake St, Denver
When: Saturday, May 12 at 6:00pm
Thanks as always for everything you do to fight back, this week and every week.