Skip to content

coloradocare right stuff

October 23, 2015

 Write Stuff

I have very exciting news since my last newsletter a month ago:  Well over 100,000 supporters from all over Colorado have signed the petition to get ColoradoCare on the ballot, definitively eclipsing the 98,492 necessary signatures we need to succeed.  Thanks to the incredible work of nearly 600 volunteer petition carriers, ColoradoCare will make history when we deliver an ambulance full of petitions to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office this Friday, October 23rd.
If you don’t remember, ColoradoCare is a health care system I’ve been working on with Senator Irene Aguilar, Senator Jeanne Nicholson, T.R. Reid, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands upon thousands of supporters.  It builds on the progress the Affordable Care Act made in cutting Colorado’s uninsured from 800,000 to 400,000 by taking that number to 0 and covering all Coloradans.  It replaces premiums, deductibles, and co-pays with a standard payroll deduction — like “Medicare for All” — and saves about $5 billion compared to what Coloradans currently spend on health care.
If at all possible, you need to be there when we celebrate this historic moment in time Friday.  Colorado is poised to be the first state to offer all its residents a chance at universal health care.  
Like the territory of Wyoming leading the way in giving women the right to vote, like Massachusetts leading both the effort to set a minimum wage over 100 years ago and becoming the first state to legalize gay marriage just 11 years ago, so now Colorado is stepping up to take the lead on the effort to get universal health care at the state level, sparking a movement that will ultimately lead to a tipping point when the United States follows that lead — and the precedent of every other industrialized country on the planet — and makes universal health care available to all its residents.  It starts here — and it starts Friday!
To mark the momentous occasion, ColoradoCare is hosting celebrations, rallies, and press conferences in four cities across Colorado on Friday, October 23rd, immediately following our delivery of petitions to the Secretary of State’s Office.  Wherever you are, you need to be at one of these events Friday to share in the historic launching moment of the movement that will change the face of health care in Colorado and bring our state up to the standard of our highest values and ideals.  If you’re two or three hours away from one of our celebrations, get a friend or two to carpool with you and make sure you’re there as history is made.
One of the regrets of my life is that when I was an activist in college in the ’60s, I didn’t go to Selma when I had the chance to participate in the Civil Rights marches ,” said Ivan Miller, Executive Director of ColoradoCareYES.  “I don’t know what I ended up doing at home that day while they were marching for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  I won’t make that mistake Friday.  I’ll know where I was when Coloradans put universal health care on the ballot.  Friday is a day I’ll never forget.”
Here are the events planned for Friday, October 23rd:
  • 9:00 a.m. — Denver — deliver an ambulance full of petitions  to The Secretary of State’s office, at the 17th Avenue side of 1700 Broadway.
  • 9:30 a.m. — Denver — ColoradoCare rally and press conference at The Greek Amphitheater in Civic Center Park (1400 Bannock, by the City and County Building and across from the State Capitol) with speakers T.R. Reid (filmmaker and author of The Healing of America), Senator Irene Aguilar, Senator Jeanne Nicholson, Chip Bair (CEO of Beau Jo’s), music, and more.  (In the unlikely event of a torrential downpour, we’ll move a block away to the Denver Art Museum.)
  • 10:45 a.m. — Fort Collins — ColoradoCare rally and press conference at Oak Street Plaza, W. Oak St.  in Fort Collins, 80524, with speakers Senator John Kefalas, Representative Joann Ginal, Representative Jeni Arndt, music and more.  (In the unlikely event of a torrential downpour, we’ll move two blocks away to the Community of Christ Church, 220 E. Oak St.)
  • 2 p.m. — Colorado Springs — 1st Congregational Church, 20 E. Saint Vrain St. in Colorado Springs, 80903 with speakers Senator Irene Aguilar, Senator Jeanne Nicholson, music and more.
  • 3 p.m. — Grand Junction — ColoradoCare rally and press conference at Mesa County Public Library, 443 North 6th St. in Grand Junction, 81501, with speakersT.R. Reid, Ivan Miller (Executive Director of ColoradoCareYES), music, and more.
Click here to RSVP for any (or all!) of Friday’s events, and let me know if you’d like to join Front Range folks in a caravan to hit a double-header of rallies and press conferences in both Denver and Colorado Springs.  Our volunteers and  supporters achieved what everyone told us was impossible by getting universal health care on the ballot in Colorado.  Please stand with ColoradoCare Friday and let the world see the supporters who are making universal health care possible in Colorado.
I hope to see you Friday.  Rain or shine, it’s going to be a beautiful day for Colorado.  We’ve been waiting — and working — for years for this chance to celebrate, and it won’t be the same without you!

November Elections — School Board and Ballot Issues

I’d like to offer a few resources for the November election.  We were lucky enough to have a number of candidates and ballot issue spokespeople come to the House District 2 Democrats October meeting, and I have video of everyone who spoke regarding the November election.  I hope you find it helpful.

 I also have my own recommendations on some of the issues, and may add more on after we turn in theColoradoCare petitions Friday.  They’re often complicated issues, and I’m only offering brief reasoning here, but I’m happy to talk further with you if you’re interested.

 School Board Races

I am supporting the following:

  • Michael Kiley, District 5
  • Robert Speth, At-Large
  • Kristi Butkovich, District 1

We currently have a 6-1 divide on the school board, with six board members supporting “corporate reform,” which includes greater privatization of our education system and a move toward charter schools.  Arturo Jimenez has been the lone voice fighting for neighborhood schools, but he is term-limited.  We need voices like Arturo’s, and Michael Kiley is the best candidate I’ve seen capable of filling Arturo’s large shoes.  All three of these candidates align themselves with neighborhood schools, and we desperately need voices like theirs on Denver’s school board.

 Click here for videos of Michael Kiley, Robert Speth, Kristi Butkovich, and at-large incumbent Happy Haynes discussing their candidacies.

Proposition BB and Referred Question 2B — Marijuana Taxes

We’ve voted that we want legal recreational marijuana, and we’ve voted that we want it taxed.  Now we’re asked to vote again to affirm that we meant it when we said we wanted those things.  TABOR forces this question, due to more tax revenue than expected from marijuana sales that would go into education — mostly building schools.  I’m voting “YES” on both.  The third time should be the charm.

Click here for video of Senator Pat Steadman speaking in support of Proposition BB.

Referred Question 2A — Denver College Scholarships

This sales tax of 8 one-hundredths of one percent would provide scholarships to help make college affordable for financially deserving Denver students.  It’s the only tax under consideration that speaks to my values.  While other taxes help Denver profit one way or another, this tax is about helping our students gain the education they seek.  The opposition says it’s not Denver’s job to make college affordable, but if Denver can help, I’m for it.  It may have flaws, but it’s the only offering that puts my tax dollars where my values are, and I support it.

Click here for video of Allen Webb speaking in support of 2A and Councilwoman Mary Beth Sussman speaking in opposition to 2A.

Referred Question 2B — Western Stock Center

This question takes a tourism tax that would sunset in the not-too-distant future and makes it a permanent tax.  The tax would remain long after improvements to the Stock Center and the Convention Center are paid for, and I don’t like the idea of a blank check for Denver to keep taxing its citizens beyond a specific need.  Denver and a host of corporations bidding for big contracts will benefit from this tax, but corporate welfare is not one of my values.  I oppose it.

For video of Rep. Alec Garnett speaking in support of 2C and Thad Tecza speaking in opposition to 2C, please click here.


Stay tuned…

My apologies for an uncharacteristically short newsletter this month.  (Or should I say, “your welcome?”)  I’m eager to renew our ongoing conversations after Friday’s historic day of celebration for ColoradoCare.

 Thanks as always for your interest in the issues facing our community, and especially for engaging and acting on those that matter most to you.

 Take care, 



No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: