Blog: News Update – October 18, 2018
Dear Friend of CORCRC,
Is it safe to assume that if you are reading this newsletter that you care enough about this country and this state, that you will be voting?
This election demands our attention and our vote. We, the American public, have witnessed incredible events in the past year. The disgrace of hearing the president praising tyrants, slamming the press and blatantly ignoring facts in speeches and tweets are just some of the insulting attacks on the integrity of our nation. Seeing immigrant children sleeping in government cages filled us with shame and it is impossible to dismiss or minimize the pain felt by survivors of sexual assault and abuse throughout the Kavanaugh nomination proceedings.
Women’s response to being treated with disdain and disrespect is to run for office in greater numbers than ever before. Women have earned leadership roles in business, education, politics, and at home thanks to the #MeToo movement and decades of steadily improving the economic and legal status of women. Voting is required to keep this momentum energized. Look at the long arc of social change to hold on to optimism for this country’s future. Vote this election to continue to move this progress forward.
At the March for Black Women, a demonstrator wore the sign: Respect My Existence or Expect MyResistance. Though I asked for permission to photograph her, regrettably, I never got her name. Clearly she earned her role as a leader. Clearly her strong and salient response to inequity is a sign of health. Resistance against disrespectful behaviors and repressive laws can begin with elections and resistance to the erosion of rights must continue after elections (no matter what the outcome). We are obliged to stay informed, to monitor and participate in community affairs. Our vote is a vital, first step to improving the state and the nation.
This year’s ballot is long. Here is a review of some Amendments and Propositions. For more thorough information refer to your Blue Book – Online version available here.
Amendments and Propositions on the 2018 Colorado Ballot
Amendments change the Colorado Constitution and require 55% of the votes plus 1 to pass. Lettered amendments are referred measures from the Colorado General Assembly
Amendment V – Reduce minimum age for election to Colorado General Assembly from 25 to 21.
Amendment W – Reformat Ballot for Judicial Retention Elections to listing judges by type of court and having voters vote Yes or No by the judge’s name.
Amendment X – Redefine “Industrial Hemp” in Constitution to “have the same meaning as it is defined in federal law or as the term is defined in Colorado Statute”. This would allow the state legislature to react to changes in definition at the federal level. As a result, Colorado hemp growers will maintain compliance with federal policy and remain competitive with other states.
Amendment Y – Congressional Redistricting – Takes the duty to draw Congressional Districts away from the state legislature and creates an independent commission.
Amendment Z – Legislative Redistricting – Changes the existing legislative reapportionment commission charged with drawing State Senate and House Districts.
The process of creation and the operation, processes and criteria for selection of these two independent commissions in both proposals are virtually identical.
Commissions consist of 12 members, 4 affiliated with each of the state’s 2 largest political parties and 4 unaffiliated with any political party. They must be registered voters and voted in the last 2 General Elections. Certain persons are prohibited from selection including recent and current office holders, party leaders, party staff, and lobbyists.
Chief Justice appoints a judicial review panel of 3 recently retired CO Supreme Court or Court of Appeals judges to review applications and by lottery, narrow the applicant pool to 1050. After public hearings, the panel narrows the pool to 150 who best meet criteria. 6 commissioners are chosen by lottery, 2 each from the state’s largest and second largest political parties and 2 unaffiliated voters.
The majority and minority leaders in both CO Senate and House each submit a list of 10 names of people registered with one of the 2 major parties for possible appointment. The panel of judges then select one from each of the lists and 2 more unaffiliated persons from the original list. Each Congressional District must be represented and no more than 2 from a Congressional District. Other criteria require consideration of Colorado’s racial, ethnic, gender and geographic diversity. (1 residing west of Continental Divide).
The commission is staffed by employees of Colorado’s 2 nonpartisan state legal and research offices. Public hearings are required at several decision points, and a website must provide timely information to the public. The first draft of the maps is created by this non-partisan staff.
Criteria for districts include mathematical population equality, compliance with the Federal ”Voting Rights Act of 1965”, and as much as possible preserving whole communities of interest and whole political subdivisions, compactness and politically competitive.
The plan creation and approval process is outlined and all 3 plans created must be approved by the Colorado Supreme Court before the end of the redistricting year.
Amendment A – Abolish slavery in Colorado Removes language in the Constitution that currently allows slavery and involuntary servitude to be used as punishment for the conviction of a crime.
Numbered propositions were initiated by citizens
Amendment 73 Increases funding for preschool through 12th grade public education. Specifies minimum increase in base per pupil funding ($7,300) as well as categorical programs (Special Education – $120 million, Gifted and Talented Programs – $10 million, English Language Proficiency Programs – $20 million over FY 2018-2019).
Raises state income tax rate for taxpayers with taxable income over $150,000 and increases the state corporate income tax rate to provide additional education funding.
For property taxes levied by school districts, sets residential assessment rate at 7% and decreases nonresidential assessment rate to 24% for most properties.
Amendment 74 Requires a state or local government to compensation a property owner if a law or regulation reduces the fair market value of his or her property. Examples are environmental regulations or land use decisions. Allows property owners to sue the government agency.
Amendment 75 Campaign Finance Reform – If a candidate directs more than 1 million dollars to support his or her election, other candidates for same office can accept 5 times the currently authorized amount.
Propositions change Colorado Revised Statutes and require 50% plus 1 vote to pass
Proposition 109 “Fix Our Damn Roads” Without raising taxes or fees, requires the state to bond up to $3.5 billion dollars to be spent solely on road and bridge expansion, construction, maintenance and repair on specific statewide projects named in the ballot language. Borrowed money is TABOR exempt and cannot be shifted to other projects. Cannot be used for transit and must be repaid in 20 years. Limits the total repayment amount to $5.2 billion. The money effectively comes from other items in the state budget.
Proposition 110 Transportation Funding Increases sales and use tax from 2.91% to 3.52% for 20 years for Transportation Funding including transit and multimodal. Distributes the revenue as follows: 45% to the state, 40% to local governments, and 15% to multimodal transportation projects. Permits the state to borrow up to $6 billion and limit the repayment to $9.4 billion over 20 years.
Proposition 111 Maintenance Fees on Payday Loans Lower maximum finance charge for Payday Loans to an APR of 36%. In 2016 the average APR on payday loans was 129%. Expands what constitutes unfair or deceptive trade practices for payday lending by eliminating the current fee structure. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposition 112 Requires that all new oil and gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from occupied structures, water sources, and other areas designated as vulnerable. The measure does not apply to federal land (about 36% of the state landmass).
Proposition 301- (DENVER ONLY)) Provides support for mental health and addiction services.
Points of Interest:
History highlight: This NY Times article remembers the underground grassroots fight for access to safe abortion before it was legal. In 1969, the Jane Collective of Chicago saw the lack of access to safe abortion as key to the oppression of women and provided this essential health service.
CORCRC is Now Hiring!
CORCRC is now hiring an Executive Director.
To review the job description and details, please see our website or click below.
Art Cards designed by Daisy Patton that show four portraits of women who died having abortions before Roe v. Wade are now available at CORCRC events and can be ordered by mail. These cards declare that We Can’t Go Back and are to be sent to any person – especially elected officials- who questions the need to preserve reproductive rights. For ordering information go to: https://corcrc.org
November 16 – “In Our Own Words: Women, Religion and Choice”
Two nationally known authors will discuss their books and abortion rights from their faith perspective: Passionate and Pious:Passionate and Pious: Religious Media and Black Women’s Sexuality, Monique Moultrie and Trust Women: A Progressive Argument for Reproductive Justice, Rebecca Todd Peters. See full flyer below – click to get pdf version to print and share.
National RCRC and Iliff are co-hosts with CORCRC. The event is free.
Refreshments and wine served
Location: Iliff School of Theology
Registration required – ownwords.eventbrite.com
CORCRC’s Vice President, Savita Ginde, will be one of the 12-featured speakers at TEDxCherryCreekWomen 2018 on Friday, Nov. 30, from noon to 8:30 p.m. at the Infinity Park Event Center in Glendale. Early bird tickets are on sale now through Sept. 30 for $75 at tedxcherrycreek.com/tedxccw18.
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