From top left to lower right: ProgressNow Colorado executive director Sara Loflin, Dani Newsum of Cobalt, Claudia Perez of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, Bianka Emerson of Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Jessica Goad of Conservation Colorado, Amy Raaz of the Latina Initiative outside the Colorado Supreme Court on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
DENVER: On a snowy morning in downtown Denver last week, Colorado women in leadership roles in progressive advocacy, reproductive rights, immigrant rights, and climate activism joined together at the Colorado State Supreme Court to hold DA John Kellner accountable for his record and agenda inimical to the interests of Colorado women.
Watch video of Thursday’s press conference here.
“We are here to say no to John Kellner because of his appalling record when it comes to Colorado women,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Sara Loflin. “In Colorado, women value freedom, safety, and opportunities for a good life without the threat of leaders who cannot and will not protect them. John Kellner is unethical, unprepared, and does not value the freedom of women, our families and our future, making him unfit to serve as Colorado’s attorney general. Together with women from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, I stand here in solidarity with those who feel that if John Kellner were elected Attorney General, our freedoms would fundamentally be compromised.”
“The ability to control our reproductive lives is a fundamental human right,” said Dani Newsum, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the abortion rights and access organization Cobalt. “Our Attorney General’s race is the single most important race in determining whether or not the Reproductive Health Equity Act continues to be enforced in Colorado. When asked, ‘Do you support abortion rights?’ a simple yes or no question, John Kellner said ‘It’s too nuanced of a topic to give a yes or no answer.’ That answer is asinine and it is dangerous. We need to be very clear about what’s at stake. Abortion is health care. And abortion bans are harming health care access and outcomes for those who need it most.”
“Make no mistake, abortion access is on the line in every state across the country including Colorado,” said Claudia Perez of Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado. “With Roe decimated, the states are far too high to allow someone like John Kellner in a position of power to determine whether or not women in Colorado can access reproductive health care. Kellner has shown his true colors and intentions time and again by standing with candidates who openly oppose Colorado’s laws to protect abortion. The Colorado GOP has made it abundantly clear that banning abortion is a key feature of their platform. If they have their way, Coloradans would face the same obstacles to abortion care as people in Texas and Oklahoma.”
“Kellner claims to be the law and order candidate but the facts don’t line up with his record,” said Bianka Emerson of Colorado Black Women for Political Action. “Kellner did not support any efforts to secure more funds for peace officers, puts the blame on Mexican drug cartels, while also wanting to criminalize victims of fentanyl poisoning. Kellner says he would not have brought a lawsuit against the federal government when it illegally withheld $2.7 million in public safety funds, and remained silent on a legislative initiative to secure fentanyl anti-trafficking funds. That does not help our communities. Colorado women don’t believe for one minute that John Kellner would support our civil rights. As far as protecting Colorado’s civil rights are concerned, Kellner does not have relevant civil rights experience. Who is to believe that he would have brought any lawsuits to defend the civic rights of Coloradans?”
“John Kellner is the wrong choice for our environment, the wrong choice for families, and the wrong choice for us as women,” said Jessica Goad of Conservation Colorado. “John Kellner is shockingly silent on environmental issues, a mistake for anyone running for office here in Colorado especially to defend the rights for our air, land, and water. Kellner said that he would not have challenged the Trump administration’s vicious attacks on our air, land, and water. He’s not the right candidate for our families, for my child, and for all of our kids here today and our families here in Colorado.”
“John Kellner’s friends at the Republican Attorney General’s Association have engaged in vicious anti-immigrant campaigns in states around the country,” said Amy Raaz of the Latina Initiative. “During his campaign for Attorney General, John Kellner has joined the false chorus of Republican politicians demonizing immigrants for the very real opioid crisis affecting our communities, when research has shown that American citizens are responsible for most seizures of fentanyl on our Southern border. Kellner’s support for wide prosecutorial latitude to send children to prison for decades and even life flies in the face of criminal justice reforms we’ve fought for in Colorado.”
“Colorado Women value our safety and ability to live a good life,” said PNC’s Loflin, “yet women are often the targets and victims of gun violence that is preventable with common sense gun safety regulations. Kellner has failed to support common-sense gun safety laws like background checks, the limit on magazines in Colorado by 15 rounds, and has opposed the Red Flag law that keeps guns away from people who are proven to be dangerous. He was glib and disrespectful when he criticized the red flag law’s use by family members and suggested it would be used by those ‘who had a one-night stand.’ Although we have experienced mass shootings frequently in this state, he still opposes the assault weapons ban. Colorado women don’t want or need Kellner.”