Colorado Week in Review: 1/13/17

Colorado Week in Review: 1/6/2017

NEXT TUESDAY–Tell Cory Gardner: Don’t Pull The Plug

This week, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado and his right-wing allies in the U.S. Senate began the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Gardner doesn’t have a plan to replace Obamacare, and over 20 million Americans who depend on the health coverage they’ve obtained through the law could lose access.

Join us on Tuesday, January 10th at 12pm as we rally against Congress’ hasty repeal effort outside Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver and Greeley offices. We will be delivering signatures from this petition to Gardner’s office, which urges Colorado’s congressional leaders not to gamble with our health care and throw the health system into turmoil. If you haven’t signed it, please do so now!

Gardner’s Denver office:
1125 17th Street, Suite 525
Denver, CO 80202
Click here to RSVP

Gardner’s Greeley office:
801 8th Street, Suite 140A
Greeley, CO 80631
Click here to RSVP

For years, Cory Gardner has promised to repeal Obamacare on the campaign trail without explaining what that really means. Here in Colorado, over a hundred thousand people could lose their private health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, with thousands more poor and sick Coloradans losing Medicaid coverage.

If Gardner succeeds in repealing Obamacare, he’s going to hurt real people. If the tax credits that make health coverage affordable and the Medicaid expansion are repealed, Americans will lose health coverage and not get it back. Millions of Americans and thousands of Coloradans will suffer. It is not an exaggeration: real people will lose their lives.

The Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, but extending health coverage to millions more Americans has been a huge success. We can’t let short-sighted politics erase the historic gains we’ve made. We have to stand up and fight for every American who has gained coverage and otherwise benefited from Obamacare–and make Cory Gardner understand that he will pay a terrible price for hurting the very citizens he swore to protect.

Thanks very much for your timely support. See you Tuesday.

Colorado Week in Review: 12/16/16

Colorado Week in Review: 12/9/16

Support Planned Parenthood: and say NO to anti-choice pretenders

First of all, thanks to everyone who has pledged their support to ProgressNow Colorado Education for Colorado Gives Day next Tuesday, December 6th! We’re grateful for your help as we fight for progressive solutions to the challenges our state faces.

Today, I want to talk to you about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains–another critical progressive voice in Colorado that needs your support. Planned Parenthood is also participating in Colorado Gives Day, and we at ProgressNow Colorado Education urge you to donate in support of their work as well.

Because sadly, there are other groups participating in Colorado Gives Day who aren’t there to help women in need. Groups that work to deceive women, and take away the choices they have over their own health and lives. So-called “crisis pregnancy centers” like Colorado’s deceptively-named “Pregnancy Resource Connection” openly boast of their mission to deceive women looking for help from Planned Parenthood, and mislead women about their options.

It is more important now than ever that we stand up for Planned Parenthood and fight back against these anti-choice pretenders. We know that abortion rights are in greater danger today than at any time since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision–a decision the next President has vowed to see overturned.

In Colorado, the way to do that right now is to schedule a Colorado Gives Day donation to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. In the coming months, the fight to protect abortion rights will rage like nothing we’ve seen in a generation–and Planned Parenthood has to be ready for it.

Thanks for everything you do to stand for our shared progressive values and the organizations that fight for them. Your support matters more than ever today.

Act before it’s too late for overtime pay!

Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas “temporarily” blocked President Barack Obama’s new overtime rules, which would have given millions of the hardest-working Americans a fairer deal for the long hours they put in. Preventing the new overtime rule from taking effect means the next President avoids the blame for taking millions of dollars in earnings away from American workers who need it most.

It’s a terrible swindle just in time to get buried by a long holiday weekend.

We’re running out of time to fix this before President Obama leaves office. This misguided ruling must be reversed now. Sign our petition: tell the Obama administration’s Labor Department to immediately appeal to a higher court and fight to the last day they’re in office.

The rules governing overtime pay for millions of salaried American workers haven’t been updated in 40 years. That’s the reason workers making as little as $24,000 a year can be exempted from overtime laws. The new rules would have put money into the pockets of over four million middle class working Americans starting December 1st.

Now it’s not going to happen, and we have to speak out. Salaried workers making between $25,000 and $50,000 per year are the heart of our economy–the next aspiring middle class, young families and professionals, made up of Americans of every ethnicity and background. If we can’t protect the American Dream for these hardworking Americans putting in 60, 70 or more hours per week thanklessly, what kind of country are we going to leave to the next generation?

Help us send the message right now that our fellow Americans deserve better. Tell President Obama’s Labor Department to do whatever it takes to implement the new overtime pay rule.

Thank you for taking action on this critical issue.

What you can do

capitolLast week’s election was a disaster for America. Today, millions of Americans from all walks of life are rightfully afraid for the future, for their families, and for their safety, and wondering how the country they love could have made such a terrible choice.

Here in Colorado, things went a little differently. Colorado rejected Donald Trump, and sent Michael Bennet back to Washington to fight for our values. Colorado grew a progressive majority in the Colorado House of Representatives, and passed a ballot measure to raise the wage for thousands of our state’s workers to $12 an hour. We also passed funding for our schools in many local districts, and created a new compassionate option for the terminally ill to ease their suffering.

Progressive ideas won in Colorado on Tuesday night. In an election that has left many of us questioning our nation’s most basic values, Colorado voters reaffirmed what it means to be Americans. In Colorado, we understand that when our neighbor is successful, so are we. When we invest in education, social justice, public health, and the environment, we all lead better and more prosperous lives. When we respect our differences instead of letting them divide us, we are all stronger.

What comes next? We have to stand together for what we believe in no matter what the politicians in Washington do. Colorado can be a model for fixing the problems America faces. Sign up now for rapid-response alerts to help us respond.

Once you’ve signed up for action alerts, connect with local organizations working on issues important to you. In Colorado, we have a wealth of strong public policy and advocacy groups working every day to solve problems our community faces, protect our rights, and build a prosperous future. Donate, join their lists, volunteer; we’ve got to start now if we’re going to fight back against what the newly emboldened right-wing in Washington is going to try to do to us:

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Melissa’s Story

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

ProgressNow Colorado Education, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, scored a viral hit with a new video ad highlighting the story of a Colorado single mom who “can’t survive on $8.31 an hour.” The video has been viewed over 60,000 times in less than 48 hours on social media.

“Everyone in Colorado needs to hear Melissa’s story,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “But the truth is that thousands of Colorado families deserve better for the hard work they do every day. They deserve to be able to feed their family and pay their bills. No one who works hard in Colorado should live in poverty. We need a wage in Colorado that Melissa can count on to feed and shelter her children.”

“Hard-working Coloradans earning minimum wage are not just kids working summer jobs, they are real people trying to support real families,” said Silverii. “Colorado has acted to raise the minimum wage before, but it hasn’t kept pace with increases in the cost of living. We know that low-wage workers who get a raise plow that money right back into the economy, which benefits us all. But most importantly, families are better able to afford the necessities of life they work so hard to provide.”

“Telling the stories of families like Melissa’s will help Coloradans understand that the talking points pushed by pundits and the special interests who want to keep wages low hurt real people who work hard every day,” said Silverii. “Colorado can’t get by on $8.31 an hour.”

ProgressNow Colorado Board Votes To Oppose Amendment 71

After studying the details of Amendment 71, the “Raise the Bar” statewide ballot measure that would make constitutional amendment ballot initiatives substantially harder to qualify, the ProgressNow Colorado Board of Directors has voted to oppose the measure. ProgressNow Colorado’s opposition to Amendment 71 comes after numerous nonpartisan public policy groups have announced their opposition in recent days.

“Having struggled with the consequences of the misguided 1992 TABOR Amendment for decades, we share the frustration of those who say our state’s constitution is too easy to change,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Unfortunately, Amendment 71 goes too far to restrict the basic rights of Coloradans to enact, modify and repeal laws through statewide ballot measures. The goal may be worthy, but the measure as written is simply overkill.”

“Having worked in the Colorado legislature for years, I know firsthand that referred measures from the legislature to voters solve problems–sometimes urgent problems,” said Silverii. “Holding referred measures to the higher ‘majority-plus’ bar Amendment 71 demands for citizen-initiated measures creates yet another impediment to our lawmakers doing their jobs.”

“Above all, making it harder to qualify measures for the Colorado ballot without effective campaign finance reform will not reduce the attempts by special interests to modify the constitution,” said Silverii. “All it does is raise the price tag to qualify, ensuring that only the wealthy and well-connected can afford to participate in the initiative process, rigging the system for big special interests and against ordinary Coloradans.”

“We may agree there’s a problem with irresponsible permanent changes to Colorado’s constitution,” said Silverii, “but Amendment 71 is not the solution.”

ProgressNow Colorado Opposes Amendment 69, Calls For Nationwide Health Reform

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: From NARAL Pro Choice Colorado’s Karen Middleton, we’re watching for coverage of today’s presser:

I am here today to restate our opposition and to make it perfectly clear that without comprehensive women’s health care, including insurance coverage for abortion care, this measure will not serve women and families in Colorado and is not in fact, universal.

In 1984, Colorado voters passed a constitutional ballot measure that explicitly bans any public funds to be used for abortion care…

Because Colorado Care would be subject to Section 50 as a “political subdivision” of the state, Colorado Care would be prohibited from providing coverage for any abortion services to women except when continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the pregnant woman.

This means that presently insured women – more than 550,000 women of childbearing age in Colorado – who, today, have insurance coverage for abortion services as part of their contracted benefits today, will lose access to abortion coverage benefits if Amendment 69 passes. This is not an abstract figure. It includes me, many of my staff, NARAL supporters and average Coloradans.

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In the wake of studies from NARAL Pro Choice Colorado and the Colorado Health Institute revealing significant unintended consequences that could result from the passage of Amendment 69, the Board of Directors of ProgressNow Colorado voted to oppose the ballot measure despite broad agreement with the ColoradoCare campaign’s stated goals.

“The first thing I want is to acknowledge the goals and passion of the supporters of Amendment 69,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded access to healthcare for millions of Americans, we know more work is needed to ensure every American is affordably covered. Too many people remain uninsured and underinsured. As a result, far too many people in this country die prematurely from preventable and treatable conditions.”

“The truth is, nothing would make progressives in Colorado happier than taking a bold step toward single-payer health care,” Silverii said. “But there are real policy problems with Amendment 69 that its supporters did not anticipate. When our trusted partners on the issue of protecting reproductive choice tell us that a measure could create serious roadblocks for women who need abortions, we have to take that seriously. When one of the state’s leading health care research organizations tells us this is a plan that doesn’t work fiscally, we have to take that seriously.”

“While we agree with supporters of Amendment 69 that more reform is needed, there is so much good news on health care in Colorado we need to be talking about,” said Silverii. “Thanks to Obamacare via the state’s visionary Medicaid expansion and the launch of Connect for Health Colorado, we have cut the uninsured rate in our state in half. Instead of abandoning the progress we’ve made in Colorado in recent years, we need to focus on protecting the gains we’ve already made–and building on that progress instead of starting from scratch.”

“Amendment 69 is a well-intentioned but flawed proposal,” Silverii said. “Let’s move forward in 2017 with reform on a national level, and let the success we’ve already enjoyed in Colorado be a model to be proud of.”

Who gets to be on Colorado political television?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

ProgressNow Colorado is always interested in the voices that speak for us. Those voices most commonly are the ones elected to represent us, but they can also include those in the media. In this case, we took a look at the media and at political punditry in Colorado in a project we are calling the Colorado Pundit Project.

The project outlines the results of the project and what we found after documenting all of the appearances on Colorado television and radio by political pundits over the last couple of years as well as looking at their demographics.

The study examines the demographics of pundits appearing on Colorado political media through the lenses of race, gender, age, political party, highest level of education attained, and occupation.

Even we were surprised by the results. Check out the full infographic below to see what we found.

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