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Leader of Democracy 2021, the League of Women Voters of Colorado’s premier fundraising event, will be a free, virtual celebration Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 5 PM.

 

Viewers across Colorado will click a link and watch a celebrative hour featuring three barrier-breaking women honored as Leaders of Democracy, celebrating the League’s 101st birthday and highlighting LWVCO’s critical work. The event theme is For the Love of Democracy, For the Love of the League.

 

Honorees are Sen. Polly Baca, the first Latina elected to the Colorado Senate and a continuing advocate for Latinx and gender equality; Lauren Casteel, CEO, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, advocate for the rights of women and girls, and the first woman of color to lead three major Colorado foundations; and Elizabeth Piper Ensley (posthumous), Treasurer of the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association and advocate for African American and gender equity and suffrage. Ms. Ensley was instrumental in gaining the vote for Colorado women in 1893.

 

The event will also honor Jackson Moody, LWVCO’s 2020 Student Winner in Colorado’s National History Day competition. Mr. Moody produced a documentary about barrier-breaking physician Dr. Justina Ford, the first African American woman physician in Colorado.

 

This free, virtual online event is being professionally produced by Open Media, an innovative nonprofit dedicated to providing technical assistance to Colorado’s nonprofit community. Anne Trujillo, News Anchor, Denver’s Channel 7, will emcee the event. This free, virtual online event, developed due to COVID-19, provides the opportunity for people across Colorado to attend the celebration and to give a voluntary donation using an on-screen button.

 

There is no registration. LWVCO will simply send the viewing link to all on the mailing list before the event. Please RSVP to receive the link you'll use to join.



Youth Essay and Poster Contest Winners

Thank you to League members and supporters whose donations are funding contest prizes.The League of Women Voters of Montrose County, serving Montrose and Delta counties, (LWV) will be presenting awards to Alexandra (Alex) Waxler and Briar Cary, who wrote the winning essays for the LWV’S Essay and Poster Contest.  The contest, on the theme, Why It Is Important to Vote and What Voting Means to Me, was open to young people ages 16-21, highlighting the LWV’s emphasis on the importance of engaging young voters. 

The essay finalists will receive cash prizes in the amounts of $150.00 for first place and $125.00 for second place.  In addition, Briar Cary will be awarded $150 for the winning poster submission.  The prizes will be awarded on the steps of the Montrose County Court House, October 15, 2020 at 12:15 p.m.

Alex’s essay focused on the contrast between the freedom to vote in the United States compared to the manipulated “voting” in countries like North Korea and China.  She emphasizes that “Every voice deserves to be heard, especially in local elections.”
Briar’s essay notes that, “The United States is home to a diverse collective of people that hold a wide range of social, political, and economic statuses. Despite these differences, all votes are held at equal value.”

Alex is home-schooled; she will graduate this year and is now applying for colleges in Nebraska and Colorado.  Among her many activities, Alex leads a Sign Language Choir which uses American Sign Language to accompany current songs.  The choir regularly performs at the Montrose United Methodist Church and has recordings posted on Facebook and YouTube. Alex’s goal is to become a Special Education teacher.  As an 18-year-old, this is her first time to vote and she will complete her ballot and place it in the Drop Box at the Montrose County Court House.

Briar is a graduate of Montrose High School and is currently enrolled at California Polytechnic University at San Louis Obispo (Cal Poly), working on a degree in Industrial Engineering. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers at Cal Poly.  Briar has been a registered voter since 2017, and this will be the first time she will be voting in a presidential election.

This year, the LWV celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, by which American women won the right to vote. The LWV sponsored the contest to encourage young voters to register and exercise their right to vote.  The
 

LWV is grateful to the people who made the contest possible: members of the LWV and community supporters who contributed their time and funds.

For more information about how to register to vote see https://www.lwvmontrose.org  or Https://www.facebook.com/VoteMontrose

Vote by Alexandra Waxler          Voting Essay by Briar Cary 

        

 



The Voter

The periodic newsletter with information about the activities and people in the League of Women Voters of Montrose County
(monthly September through May).

December 2020 Voter

November 2020 Voter

October 2020 Voter

September 2020 Voter

August 2020 Voter

May 2020 Voter

April 2020 Voter

March 2020 Voter

February 2020 Voter

January 2020 Voter

2019 The Voter Archive
REPORT ON THE SPECIAL SESSION OF THE COLORADO LEGISLATURE
Andrea Wilkins, Legislative Liaison, League of Women Voters of Colorado
 
A special session of the 72nd General Assembly convened on Monday, November 30 and adjourned on Wednesday, December 2.  The General Assembly came together just over a month prior to the start of the 2021 session to address urgent needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic crisis.   Money to support the relief package was possible as a result of the state having more tax revenue than was initially expected.  

In total, 35 bills and resolutions were considered with 10 ultimately passing and awaiting signature by the Governor. These bills, totaling approximately $300 million in spending, will take effect upon his signature.  The majority of the measures that passed (seven) did so with bi-partisan support. 

Legislation was aimed at providing relief in eight key areas: 
• Small business aid
• Sales tax relief
• Child care support
• Housing and direct rental assistance
• Expansion of broadband access
• Food pantry assistance
• Utilities assistance
• Public health response

A summary of the bills follows below.

House Bill 1001 provides $20 million to create a broadband grant program for school districts to expand Internet access. Money must be distributed by Feb. 1.

House Bill 1002 authorizes $45 million in grants to child care centers through two programs. One provides support to existing providers who are struggling as a result of the pandemic to help with expenses and the other will support providers that are expanding or just beginning operations. The state must award grants by Feb. 28.

House Bill 1003
provides $5 million to food pantries.   The state must distribute the money by March 31.


House Bill 1004

allows restaurants and bars to deduct $70,000 of net sales from their taxes, retaining approximately $2,000 per month in sales tax revenue for each retailer, up to a limit of five sites. The bill allows the sales tax retention for November through February.



 
House Bill 1005 gives authority to counties and municipalities to cap fees that third-party food delivery companies charge to restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also prevents those companies from cutting the compensation or tips of employees to recover lost revenue and requires that customers be made aware of any fees imposed on restaurants.

House Bill 1006 insurance premium tax payments in order to make estimated tax payments more accurate. 

Senate Bill 1 provides $37 million to support small businesses with revenue of less than $2.5 million, $7.5 million to arts and cultural organizations, and $4 million to minority-owned businesses. Grants for small businesses are capped at $7,000.  Counties must disburse funds by Feb. 12.

Senate Bill 2 provides $54 million in emergency housing assistance, $1 million in legal eviction aid, and $5 million to individuals who are ineligible for other forms of relief, such as unemployment insurance, food assistance or the onetime $1,200 payment from the federal government.

Senate Bill 3 provides $5 million to Energy Outreach Colorado to help low income households pay energy bills. This money must be spent by June 30.

Senate Bill 4 transfers $100 million to the Controlled Maintenance Trust Fund for the governor to use for the Disaster Emergency Fund. The bill is intended to fill the gap left by the slow reimbursement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for costs the state has incurred.

Additional information on the bills that were passed, including legislator vote tallies, can be accessed here.

Information on bills that were considered but postponed indefinitely can be accessed here.

The LWVCO Legislative Action Committee will begin virtual meetings on a bi-weekly basis starting January 8, 2021.  The 2021 Session will convene on Wednesday, January 13.
 
If you're interested in joining the Legislative Action Committee, LWVCO's corps of trained volunteer lobbyists, please contact the LWVCO office at info@lwvcolorado.org.



Women's Equality Day


August 26, 1920 is the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th amendment (often referred to as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment) to the U.S. Constitution that in a mere 39 words empowered women with the right to vote and to run for office: "The right of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

Thank you, thank you, Suffragists!!! "Votes for Women" – Your 72-year struggle gave us a voice!

Getting the amendment passed was no easy matter:

Following the Civil War, during the Reconstruction era, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted, granting African American men the right to vote.  In 1890 Wyoming became the first state to grant women the right to vote, followed by Colorado in 1893.

In 1917, America entered World War I, and women aided the war effort in various capacities that helped break down most of the remaining opposition to woman suffrage. By 1918, while continuing to march during the Spanish Flu epidemic, women had acquired equal suffrage with men in 15 states, and both the Democratic and Republican parties openly endorsed female enfranchisement.

First introduced in congress in 1878, finally passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the amendment guaranteed the voices of American women would be heard by their local, state and national governments.

Colorado was the 22nd state to ratify on December 15, 1919. Unbelievably, the last nine states to ratify the amendment did so between 1941 and 1984! Our work is not complete.  Still today people who have the right to vote are often prevented from exercising it by the purging of voter rolls, requirement of voter-identification, gerrymandered voting districts, no early voting, few polling places, etc.

We should keep that in mind as we celebrate this historic anniversary!
Votes for Women