Saving renters money and more ways to fight for progress this week (January 30)

One of the most important priorities in this year’s session of the Colorado General Assembly is bringing down the cost of housing for Colorado’s working families.

One of the many pieces of legislation lawmakers will consider this year is a bill to save prospective renters money when searching for a new rental home. Searching for a new place to live can be a frustrating and expensive process, made even worse by onerous application fees charged by landlords to cover the cost of background checks and income verification.

But what if there’s an easier way? There is, and it’s called a portable tenant screening report. Under legislation recently introduced in the Colorado House, renters would be able to obtain a screening report that multiple property owners can access instead of charging multiple application fees for duplicate work. It’s a simple change that would empower tenants in the application process.

Action item #1 this week: contact your state representative and urge them to vote YES on House Bill 23-1099, Portable Screening Report For Residential Leases.

Next up: In 2020, Colorado voters passed the FAMLI paid family and medical leave program to provide working people in Colorado access to wage replacement benefits. Legislation under consideration in the Colorado Senate this year as the FAMLI program goes online will clarify the language of FAMLI to ensure the benefit is fairly calculated at a rate based on past wages. Click here to contact members of the Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee and urge them to vote YES on Senate Bill 23-046.

And here are a few more ways to take action for the week of January 30th, 2023:


A Presentation on Boarding Schools for Indigenous Children

Jerilyn DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) of Toward Right Relationship will present a slide show about the history of boarding schools for Indigenous children. Refreshments and discussion.

When: Tuesday, January 31 at 3:30pm
Where: Saint Ambrose Episcopal Church, 7520 South Boulder Rd., Boulder

Click here to RSVP.


Conservation Colorado Jefferson County Legislative Kick-Off Event

JeffCo residents! Join Conservation Colorado, Senator Lisa Cutter, and Representative Sheila Lieder for our legislative kick-off event where Senator Cutter and Representative Lieder will be discussing their bills for the 2023 Legislative Session. There will also be time to mingle and get to know your legislators!

When: Wednesday, February 1 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


350 Denver’s Climate Leadership Workshop part 1

Save the date for our 2023 climate leadership workshop, scheduled for Saturday, 2/4 from 10:30 am – 4 pm at the Ross Hills University Library (4310 E Amherst Ave, Denver, CO 80222). Come learn about storytelling, movement building, and organizing in order for us to grow as activists and strengthen the Denver climate movement! Free lunch and great company will be provided as well. Click the link below to register for this training!

When: Saturday, February 4 at 10:30am
Where: Ross-University Hills Branch Library, 4310 E Amherst Ave., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Colorado Jewish Climate Summit

The climate crisis is the most critical issue facing our planet today. Join Jews from across Colorado for a day of study, inspiration, and community building. We will hear from community leaders, elected officials, and scientists as we learn how to advance bold climate action as individuals, communities, and voters. The summit will include educational seminars, opportunities for direct action, kids programming, and a joyous concert.

When: Sunday, February 5 at 10:30am
Where: Hebrew Educational Alliance, 3600 S Ivanhoe St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Save the date: Conservation Colorado Central Mountains Legislative Kickoff

Learn about the exciting environmental work happening during the 2023 legislative session with special guests, Representative Elizabeth Velasco and Senator Dylan Roberts.

When: Tuesday, February 7 at 6:00pm
Where: The Bluebird Cafe, 730 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs

Click here to RSVP.


Save the date: One Colorado LGBTQ+ Lobby Day

One way we can shape the future of equality in Colorado is by making sure our elected representatives hear from us, so mark your calendar and sign up to join us! Don’t worry if it’s your first time at Lobby Day, we’ll train you, feed you, and provide you with all the information you’ll need to feel comfortable. To ensure we are successful in creating Lobbying groups when we go to the Capitol, please provide your complete address when signing up. You might be asking: why? We want to ensure folks from the same House and Senate Districts can lobby their respective legislative representatives.

When: Monday, February 13, 2023 at 8:00am
Where: First Baptist Church of Denver, 1373 Grant St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Save the date: Together Colorado The Facility Film Screening

Join Together Colorado for a community screening of “The Facility” followed by a panel discussion. “The Facility” is a documentary short that tells the story of Aurora’s GEO ICE facility — a private immigrant detention center whose shadowy practices are obscured from advocates and lawmakers alike. This film is directed by Jeremy Flood, who specializes in cinematic documentary story-telling and has worked with political campaigns, unions and advocacy organizations to tell stories that move people to action. This documentary aims to bring a local perspective to the devastating consequences of our immigration policy, and offer a microcosm of what is being done to communities across this country.

When: Thursday, Febryary 16, 2023 at 6:00pm
Where: Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Thanks again! We’ll see you next week with more ways to take action.

Colorado Week in Review for January 29, 2023

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The fight for progress continues this week: January 23, 2023

It’s a new year with new challenges and opportunities. The Colorado General Assembly is back in session with a progressive supermajority and a powerful mandate from Colorado voters for bold progressive solutions to the problems faced by Colorado families and communities.

This weekend, what would have been the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing abortion rights for every American provided a somber reminder that the battle for basic rights isn’t over, and everything we value is only an election away from mortal danger. That’s why it’s so important to re-engage during this year’s legislative session, and do the work once again to reaffirm, protect, and build upon the gains we’ve made.

This fall will mark 20 years since the founding of ProgressNow Colorado, and in that time we’ve been privileged to help empower and mobilize Colorado progressives to directly engage in the legislative process to promote policy outcomes that promote equity, opportunity, and a high quality of life for everyone who calls this state home.

Action item #1 this week: The Colorado Senate’s top priority bill this year, Senate Bill 1, is part of a package of legislation to address the state’s unsustainable housing shortage by streamlining partnerships to develop state-owned land into affordable housing. It’s just the first step in a comprehensive strategy to develop innovative solutions to bring down the cost of housing for the large percentage of Coloradans who can barely afford to remain housed in today’s market.

If you have a story to tell about unaffordable housing in Colorado, especially for public servants and employees of critical economic engines like hospitality and tourism, this is a chance to help pass legislation to directly address the issue. Tomorrow, Tuesday January 24 at the Colorado State Capitol, the Senate Local Government & Housing Committee will host the first debate and public testimony on this important legislation.

What: Senate Bill 1 (Affordable Housing) Committee Hearing
Where: Colorado State Capitol, SCR 352 at 2:00pm


Here are a few more ways to take action for the week of January 23, 2023. Watch this space each week through the legislative session for events and action alerts from PNC and other leading progressive advocacy groups:


Colorado Water Plan Launch and Celebration

Colorado Water Conservation Board invites you to celebrate the launch of the 2023 Colorado Water Plan! Join CWCB for an evening gathering to celebrate the release of the 2023 Water Plan, as well as the partnerships, community, and hard work that helped bring the updated Water Plan to fruition. The celebration will include various speakers, recognition of basin and community water heroes, live music and more. Join us at Improper City from 5-9 PM — food trucks will be on site. Please RSVP in advance.

When: Tuesday, January 24 at 5:00pm
Where: Improper City, 3201 Walnut St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Women’s Lobby of Colorado: Legislative Session Kick-Off Social

Join our legislative kick-off social to meet other advocates for social time! This event is for organizational, individual and potential members!

When: Wednesday, January 25 at 5:30pm
Where: Bar Nun Denver, 1225 Logan St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


9to5 Colorado: Legislative Kickoff

Calling all community members – Join us on January 26th at 6:30pm for our Legislative Kickoff! We are gearing up for a packed legislative session and have the opportunity to move forward important policy for workers, renters, and mobile home owners. Learn about the bills we will advocate for and how to get involved with our campaigns!

When: Thursday, January 26 at 6:30pm

Click here to RSVP. 


A Conversation about Gang Violence, Gentrification and Activism in NE Denver

During the early 1990s, Northeast Denver was a hotbed of gang activity following the “Summer of Violence” in 1993. Today, Northeast Denver hosts a thriving Black community with Black-owned businesses, restaurants, and a nationally recognized research facility in the Blair-Caldwell Library. Yet gang and street violence continues to rise and impact the Black community, even while the Black population of the historic areas continues to fall. Come spend an evening in conversation with the producer (donnie l. betts), subject (Terrance Roberts), and director (Julian Rubinstein) as they discuss how capitalism and racism create oppressive systems—such as gang violence—that affect certain communities more than others. And to look at the urban development of this area. This evening includes a screening of the award-winning Denver documentary: “The Holly,” filmed by Julian Rubinstein during the reporting of his award-winning book of the same name.

When: Saturday, January 28 at 1:00pm
Where: History Colorado, 1200 N Broadway, Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Denver PDA & Colorado Fiscal Institute Presents!

Want to learn more about Colorado’s 2023 legislative session? Identify the racist roots of our tax policies? Delve into fiscal reform? The Colorado Fiscal Institute will provide us with an overview of these timely topics and more.

When: Saturday, January 28 at 2:00pm
Where: Denver Public Library – Virginia Village Branch, 1500 S Dahlia St., Denver

Click here to RSVP.


Save the date: Conservation Colorado Jefferson County Legislative Kick-Off Event

JeffCo residents! Join Conservation Colorado, Senator Lisa Cutter, and Representative Sheila Lieder for our legislative kick-off event where Senator Cutter and Representative Lieder will be discussing their bills for the 2023 Legislative Session. There will also be time to mingle and get to know your legislators!

When: Wednesday, February 1 at 6:00pm

Click here to RSVP.


With your help and support, we’ve reshaped Colorado over the past two decades into a place that lives and defends progressive values. Thanks for all you do and will continue to do, and we’ll see you next week with more ways to take action.

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Colorado Week in Review for January 22, 2023

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Colorado Week in Review for January 8, 2023

Our deliberately oversimplified glance at what’s happening in Colorado.

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Colorado Week in Review for December 18, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for December 11, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for December 4, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for November 27, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for November 20, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for November 13, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for November 6, 2022

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The importance of Colorado’s Secretary of State race

Coloradans have been consistently clear. We are tired of election deniers and conspiracy theorists.

Pam Anderson, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State, kicked off her campaign claiming she was not “that kind of Republican.” But as this year has progressed, Anderson has shown her true colors–defending election deniers like Lt. Governor Danny Moore, and refusing to call out conspiracy theorists she appears on stage with on the campaign trail.

Whether out of political convenience or cowardice, Pam Anderson has aligned herself with insurrectionists and election deniers. Anderson has refused to condemn or return the donations from campaign donors who believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. To placate extremists during her primary campaign, Anderson vaguely promised to conduct superfluous “audits” and other measures sought by election conspiracy theorists. As Jefferson County clerk, when presented with the option of securing JeffCo’s elections by modernizing voting equipment, Anderson instead chose to redecorate her offices. In addition, Anderson’s office mistakenly sent notices to thousands of voters falsely claiming their ballots had not been counted.

The good news is that we have a great Secretary of State already, Jena Griswold, who is unafraid to stand up to election deniers, and has spent the last four years ensuring safe and fair elections in Colorado. Griswold stood up to Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 elections at great personal risk.

As Joe Biden, said the other day, this is about our very democracy and its survival. Unfortunately, Pam Anderson has proven herself unwilling to make the honorable choice and reject the election deniers and insurrectionists.

There are just a few days left in this year’s elections, and the Colorado Secretary of State’s race is one of the most important on the ballot. If you haven’t already returned your ballot, take a moment right now to consult the Colorado Progressive Voters Guide and get it done today. Then check with JustVoteColorado.org to find your ballot drop box.

Thanks for helping progressives hold the line in Colorado all the way down your ballot.

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

TAKE ACTION NOW: Stop Barb Kirkmeyer’s Outright Lies

On Monday, ProgressNow Colorado called for a new ad released by Republican congressional candidate Barb Kirkmeyer to be removed from circulation for falsely claiming that her opponent and the Democratic majority in the Colorado legislature “legalized fentanyl.” [1]

There is absolutely no justification for Kirkmeyer’s claim that “Democrats legalized fentanyl.”

That simply never happened.

It’s not just misleading, or a difference of opinion, it’s a knowing and deliberate flat-out lie.

In a devastating Truth Test last night, 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark explained exactly how this ad is false, and how Kirkmeyer’s knowledge of the truth as a Colorado lawmaker elevates this incident from a merely false statement to a flat-out lie.

Local news outlets Colorado Newsline and the Colorado Times-Recorder have also picked up the story:

Next steps: With Kirkmeyer refusing to respond to press inquiries about this blatantly false ad even as it continues to run in heavy circulation, it’s up to us to take action. Take a moment right now to call all four of Denver’s major television stations and urge them to pull Kirkmeyer’s lies off the air immediately.

KDVR FOX 31/Channel 2: 303-595-3131
CBS4 Denver: 303-861-4444
9NEWS Denver: 303-871-9999
Denver7: 303-832-7777

When you call, remember to be respectful and as brief as possible with the employee you speak with. Responsible media outlets should immediately remove this ad from broadcast, and Barb Kirkmeyer owes the residents of the Eighth Congressional District an apology for brazenly lying about this gravely important subject. Kirkmeyer is the offender, not our local news stations, and this is a chance for these trusted media outlets to do the right thing and refuse to broadcast indefensibly false information.

We’d love to hear how your outreach goes! Please feel free to drop us a line and relay your experience–especially if you’re told the ad will stop running.

Thanks once again for defending the truth in these last few days before the crucial 2022 midterm elections. With your help, we can push back against the far right’s lies and misinformation successfully. Like Kirkmeyer herself, who supported Weld County seceding from the rest of Colorado in 2013, outrageously dishonest politics have no place in our state.

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

Colorado Women Gather To Say No To John Kellner


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.”

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Colorado Week in Review for October 30, 2022

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O’Dea, Anderson and Ganahl: reject the Big Lie once and for all

Republicans like Pam Anderson, Heidi Ganahl, and Joe O’Dea are still trying to fool Coloradans. While Heidi Ganahl says “Joe Biden is the President,” the Denver Post revealed this weekend that Ganahl ended an interview when asked about the 2020 Election and the Big Lie. [1] When faced with similar questions, Anderson (seeking the Secretary of State), said she didn’t want to “ostracize” potential supporters. [2]

Republicans who want to give a satisfactory answer to the overwhelming majority of Americans without upsetting the election deniers they need for votes in the upcoming election are very careful in the words they use to describe Joe Biden’s victory. Heidi Ganahl says “Joe Biden is the President,” but that terse answer sidesteps whether or not Ganahl thinks Biden is the legitimately elected President. Ganahl should have no problem saying that Joe Biden is the legitimately elected President of the United States, but those are words she has never once spoken: and the difference is crucial.

These candidates are even now attempting to play both sides of the issue for political gain, and it is time for Pam Anderson, Joe O’Dea, and Heidi Ganahl to state plainly that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president and disavow the dangerous right-wing and Republican conspiracy theorists–including Ganahl’s running mate Danny Moore.

Join us today. Sign our petition calling on O’Dea, Anderson and Ganahl to publicly disavow the 2020 election conspiracy theories once and for all and affirm that Joe Biden is the legitimately elected President of the United States.

Thanks for taking action. There’s nothing more important than trust in our election system.

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

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Colorado Week in Review for October 23, 2022

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Coloradans agree: Joe O’Dea must let the victims speak

Just over a week ago, ProgressNow Colorado launched our campaign calling on Joe O’Dea to release everyone who received settlement money attached to a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) from O’Dea’s company Concrete Express during the company’s long history of worker safety, fair pay, and discrimination cases so those victims can tell their stories.

The response to our petition campaign has been overwhelming. The story of O’Dea’s repeated worker safety violations and other violations of worker’s rights has resulted in an outpouring of similar discontent with “bad bosses” throughout the economy. Working people across Colorado are tired of out-of-touch rich bosses who don’t respect the workers who created their wealth.

Kay in Eagle writes, “This man is an example of the worst in business owners. He should not be permitted to frighten his employees.”

Karyn in Pine: “If you are so wonderful, why are you stopping victims from speaking out about their work experiences with you?”

Larry in Cotopaxi responds, “Seriously? Good to know this about you and your attempts to silence people who know about the conditions at your company. Let them speak so we can know who you really are, or is that what you are afraid of?”

Susan in Boulder asks, “I wonder what O’Dea is afraid of? The truth, perhaps? To erase any doubt he should allow his employees/former employees to speak. If he doesn’t release people from nondisclosure agreements then many will wonder why he’s so secretive and fearful. Could it be that he puts profits over people?”

If you haven’t already, add your voice to our petition demanding Joe O’Dea release victims of CEI workplace injury and discrimination to tell their stories. We’ll share your names and comments with the press and O’Dea’s campaign as we continue to press for accountability in these final weeks of the 2022 elections.

Thanks so much for your help to hold Joe O’Dea accountable this summer and fall. The polls say you’re making the difference we need.

Sincerely,

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

PS. For the latest polling of Colorado’s statewide top races, read today’s issue of the Mountaineer–a joint in-depth polling project brought to you by Global Strategy Group and ProgressNow Colorado.

PPS. Got your ballot? Consult with the PNC Colorado Progressive Voters Guide before you vote.

Colorado Week in Review for October 16, 2022

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Tell Joe O’Dea: let the victims speak

Last week, ProgressNow Colorado held a press conference in front of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in downtown Denver with a long list of cases from injured parties—more than 20 different parties—that have filed lawsuits against O’Dea’s company Concrete Express.

We’re calling on Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Joe O’Dea to release any victims and injured parties involved in litigation against O’Dea who are either under Non-Disclosure Agreements or are too scared to share their stories.

Sign our petition demanding that Joe O’Dea immediately release everyone who may be prohibited from talking publicly due to their NDAs and settlement agreements.

Joe O’Dea’s concrete company has been fined by the Department of Labor for repeated health and safety violations, including creating an unsafe working environment that led to a roof collapse injuring 13 of his employees. A former human resources employee at Concrete Express alleged that management at the company concluded that ‘old guys were a liability’ and that the company ‘need(ed) to get rid of these old sick people’ to bring down insurance costs. [1]

Joe O’Dea’s entire case for running for office is based on his concrete pouring business, where it’s clear now that O’Dea put profits over the health and safety of his employees. It gets worse: while mistreating his own employees, O’Dea received almost $3 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program funds to meet his payroll obligations during the pandemic. O’Dea never missed the chance to enrich himself, but injured and aging workers at Concrete Express got a raw deal.

Sign our petition demanding Joe O’Dea let CEI’s injured parties tell their stories.

When the stakes are this high the public has the right to full disclosure, and O’Dea should not be allowed to silence his critics.

Thank you for your help holding Joe O’Dea accountable.

Sara Loflin, Executive Director

Colorado Week in Review for October 9, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for October 2, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for September 25, 2022

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Colorado Week in Review for September 18, 2022

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