Whose voice do YOU want to hear on the train at DIA?
In many ways, Denver is a thriving city. US News and World Report lists Denver as the #3 Best Place to Live in the US. Our unemployment rate sits at 2.6 percent, which is 1.8 percent lower than the national average. We were recently announced as one of the winners of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge for our work to fight climate change at the local level.
However, Denver is dealing with some pretty significant challenges. For one thing, our air quality is terrible. The harsh reality for many Front Range residents is that Colorado not only flunked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard set in 2015, but the state never met the older, less-strict standard from 2008. Our growing population, and the cars that come with it, are making it harder and harder to meet the EPA standards. Poor air quality affects not only people with asthma and respiratory illnesses, but also children, whose lungs are still developing. Our poor air quality is just one of a variety of challenges that the next mayor will face in their position.
Local elections often get a lot less attention than those at the national level, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less important. Denver’s upcoming mayoral election will determine much more than whose voice plays on the airport train; it will determine how our city tackles issues such as climate change, air pollution and affordable housing.
How This Vote Works
Ok, now that we have laid out why to vote, we can discuss how to vote in the upcoming mayoral election. Denver is holding its general election for mayor on May 7, 2019. In Denver, all candidates are listed on the same ballot. In the event that a candidate does not receive over 50 percent of the votes, the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff election scheduled for June 4.
Voting in the general election is relatively simple. There are two ways to vote: 1) vote by mail – ballots will be mailed on April 15, or 2) vote in person at a voting center starting April 29.
Here are a list of important dates to keep in mind:
April 15: Ballots begin mailing to active voters
April 15: 22-day residency deadline
April 15: Drop-boxes open across the City
April 29: Vote Centers open
May 7: Election Day
Voting centers open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Ballots must be received by 7pm
June 4: Run-Off Election (if necessary)
Voting centers open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Ballots must be received by 7 p.m.
Here at The Alliance Center, we are deeply invested in the future of Denver. We believe that local government can be a powerful force in the fight against climate change and in creating an equitable and responsible economy. As a lead-up to the 2019 mayoral election, we are hosting a Mayoral Candidate Forum at The Alliance Center on March 21. Confirmed candidates include Michael Hancock, Lisa Calderón, Marcus Giavanni, Jamie Giellis, Ken Simpson and Penfield Tate. Our forum will focus specifically on sustainability-related issues, such as transportation, climate change, pollution and affordable housing. The event is already sold-out, but there are a limited number of scholarship tickets available, and we will be livestreaming the event. Click here to learn more.
Please get out and vote in the election on May 7. Our future is in our hands, and voting is one of the best ways to make your voice heard.
Why is a sustainability-focused nonprofit weighing in on the ballot measures up for a vote in 2018? Because our democracy, our environment, and our economy are at risk, and now is the time for us to stand up and fight for them.
In 2014, the last time we held a midterm in our country, only 36 percent of eligible American voters turned out to vote. That means 64 percent of voting Americans willingly silenced themselves. Look where that got us. Fortunately, since the 2016 election, a record number of women and minorities are running for office in 2018, hoping to change the demographics of our elected positions across the country. They cannot win with without your vote.
The health of our global, national, and local environments are at stake. President Trump pulled us out of the Paris Accords. We are the only country in the world to refuse to sign the accord that is designed to tackle climate change. Our storms are getting stronger, our global temperatures are rising, and our federal leadership is attempting to revive the failing coal industry. No one thinks coal is a solution for the future. Hurricane Florence illustrated this point perfectly. The hurricane crippled electricity and coal – but solar and wind were back online the next day. Fortunately, climate action didn’t stop when Trump pulled us out of the Paris Accords. Local and regional governments are taking the lead on greenhouse gas reductions, implementing ambitious and strategic emission reduction goals. Initiatives like Proposition 110 aim to increase our ability to manage more traffic on our roads while also providing low-emission transportation options like expanded public transportation and bike lanes.
Finally, let’s talk about our economy – our president’s plan to escalate economic protectionism, heightening political and trade tensions, and waning popular support for global economic integration all point toward a softening in the world economy after 2019. Businesses and our economy can be a force for good in the world, but in irresponsible hands, they can also undermine many environmental and democratic gains. Here in Colorado, we have one of the highest concentrations of B Corps (certified socially-responsible businesses) anywhere in the world. These companies are leading the way integrating profits, people, and the planet.
Back to the ballot measures up for a vote in Colorado in 2018. Many of these measures affect the future health of our environment, our economy, and our communities. Below is a brief description of a selection of ballot measures up for a vote this year as well as our stance on each of these measures. To learn about all of the 2018 ballot measures, please click here.
The good news – it is not too late to turn this ship around. Our democracy is only as strong as its citizens. It’s time to step up, raise your voice, and be counted.
Amendment Y – Independent Commission for Congressional Redistricting Amendment – Vote YES
Amendment Y establishes an independent commission for congressional redistricting in the state.
By voting yes, you support this amendment to create a 12-member commission responsible for approving district maps for Colorado’s congressional districts.
We think you should vote yes this amendment because a fair and democratic districting process (as opposed to gerrymandering) is a core component to our sustainable democracy.
Amendment Z – Independent Commission for State Legislative Redistricting Amendment – Vote YES
Amendment Z establishes an independent commission for state legislative redistricting.
By voting yes, you support this amendment to create a 12-member commission responsible for approving district maps for Colorado’s state House of Representatives and state Senate districts; establish qualifying criteria for members and restrictions on prior or current elected officials, candidates or lobbyists being members; and enact requirements for district maps.
We think you should vote yes on this amendment because the goal of redistricting should be to draw districts that fairly represent the interests of the communities in our state. Districts should not be drawn to advantage incumbents or to favor a political party. We argue that the best way to accomplish this goal in Colorado is through an independent commission process that is transparent, accessible to, and inclusive of, Colorado citizens.
Amendment 73 – Establish Income Tax Brackets and Raise Taxes for Education Initiative – Vote YES
Amendment 73 establishes income tax brackets and raises taxes for an education initiative.
By voting yes, you support the creation of a tax bracket system instead of a flat tax rate. Taxes would be raised for individuals making more than $150,000 per year, the corporate tax would also rise, and these taxes would go into the Quality Public Education Fund to fund public schools in Colorado.
We think you should vote yes on this amendment because it will raise $1.6 billion a year in additional revenue for Colorado’s public schools. Revenue will be deposited in the Quality Public Education Fund to increase the statewide base per-pupil funding for all students and increase spending for special education, preschool, English language proficiency, and gifted programs, among other things.
Amendment 74 – Compensation to Owners for Decreased Property Value Due to State Regulation Initiative – Vote NO
Amendment 74 requires that property owners be compensated for any reduction in property value caused by state laws or regulations.
By voting no, you do not support a measure that would charge taxpayers to compensate private property owners for virtually any decrease in the fair market value of their property traceable to any government law or regulation. While expanding property rights may sound good, this measure is incredibly broad and would have sweeping negative implications on local governments and communities across the state.
We think you should vote no on this measure because under this amendment taxpayers would have to pay large corporations and special interests to have reasonable rules requiring clean water or clean air, properly zoning industrial activity, or any other regulation they think is beneficial for their neighborhoods or communities.
Proposition 109 – “Fix Our Damn Roads” Transportation Bond Initiative- Vote NO
Proposition 109 authorizes bonds for transportation projects without raising taxes.
By voting yes, you support this initiative to authorize $3.5 billion in bonds to fund statewide transportation projects including bridge expansion, construction, maintenance, and repairs, and require that the state repay the debt from the general fund without raising taxes.
We think you should vote no on this measure because it does not identify where these funds will come from out of the current tax base and has the potential to take money away from public schools and other public services paid for by state tax dollars.
Proposition 110 – “Let’s Go Colorado” Transportation Bond and Sales Tax Increase Initiative – Vote YES
Proposition 110 authorizes bonds to pay for transportation projects and raises taxes to repay the debt
By voting yes, you support this initiative to authorize $6 billion in bonds to fund transportation projects, establish the Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes Citizen Oversight Committee, and raise the state sales tax rate by 0.62 percent from 2.9 percent (2018) to 3.52 percent for 20 years starting on January 1, 2019, through January 1, 2039.
We support voting yes on this measure because this it will provide a stable, on-going revenue source for transportation needs throughout the state and will reduce state-wide greenhouse gas reductions in the transportation sector through the inclusion of dedicated multimodal (walk, bike, public transit) dollars (the Multimodal Transportation Options Fund).
Proposition 111 Restricts the charges on payday loans to a yearly rate of 36 percent and eliminate all other finance charges and fees associated with payday lending.
By voting yes, you support this initiative to reduce the annual interest rate on payday loans to a yearly rate of 36 percent and eliminate all other finance charges and fees associated with payday lending.
We support voting yes on this measure because payday lenders trap Coloradans in outrageously high-cost debt. Triple-digit rates and multiple fees strip millions of dollars annually from the pockets of people across the state. Voting yes on this measure provides basic guardrails for low income families from being preyed upon by predatory lenders.
Proposition 112 – Minimum Distance Requirements for New Oil, Gas, and Fracking Projects Initiative- Vote YES
Proposition 112 Mandates that new oil and gas development projects, including fracking, be a minimum distance of 2,500 feet from occupied buildings and other areas designated as vulnerable.
By voting yes, you support this initiative to set new oil and gas development, including fracking operations, to be set at least 2,500 feet away from homes, schools, hospitals, playgrounds, permanent sports fields, amphitheaters, public parks, public open space, public and community drinking water sources, irrigation canals, reservoirs, lakes, rivers, perennial or intermittent streams, and creeks, and any additional vulnerable areas designated by the state or a local government.
We support voting yes on this measure because it works toward safer neighborhoods, schools, and communities in Colorado. By setting oil and gas operations a safe distance away from these areas, we can reduce air pollution that affects some of our most vulnerable populations, especially children.
https://www.thealliancecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/colorado_capitol_closeup.jpg32002400Ashley Lovell/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/TheAllianceCenterLogo_Horz_RGB_394_280-300x213.pngAshley Lovell2018-10-01 15:59:522018-10-01 15:59:52Use Your Voice and Vote
In May, The Alliance Center was honored to celebrate the Best for Colorado Awards with B Lab and the Best for Colorado partners. It was a thrill to spend the evening with an amazing group of leaders who are using their forces for good – harnessing the power of business to not only be the best in Colorado but also to be the best FOR Colorado.
Here at The Alliance Center, we connect people to inspire impact. We drive collaborative solutions to create a sustainable future – a future where our communities are inclusive, our democracy is strong, our economy thrives and our planet is healthy. We know that this beautiful vision can only be accomplished through collaboration, especially with the private sector.
We actively work to create a sustainable and inclusive world through our building, using it as an incubator of green building innovation, piloting and testing cutting-edge technology and ideas to reduce greenhouse gases, while enhancing the human experience, and the wellness of community that it serves. We do this through our 50 tenant organizations that are leaders in the sustainability movement in Colorado.
We do this through our impact programming that convenes government, nonprofit, academia and for profit stakeholders to drive collaborative solutions for the largest problems we face in our economy, our environment and our communities. But, a sustainable future is not possible without leadership and innovations from private sector. Colorado has one of the highest percentages of B Corp certified businesses in the country. We are already leading the way.
This is why The Alliance Center is thrilled to announce that we are closely with B Lab to transfer Best for Colorado over to the Alliance Center as the new Program Lead.
We can’t wait to harness the power and passion of the community of Colorado B Corp leaders and Best for Colorado participants, and together with B Local, B Lab and many other partners, continue to help companies deepen and measure their impact. We see this evolution of the Best for Colorado program as an incredible opportunity to play a more central role in creating a thriving regional economy that honors community, respects nature, and engages others in this powerful movement.
We each play a role in moving this important work forward, individually, and collectively. In addition to our roles as employees, business owners or leaders in the community, we each also harness individual power to align our daily choices with our values. Each of us votes multiple times everyday with our dollars. We the people have the purchasing power to drive a galvanizing movement. Ready to vote wisely with your dollars? Check out these resources:
DoneGood: Think Amazon for values-driven companies.
When the power of the people voting with their dollars is paired with the inspirational leadership we are seeing from our B Corp and Best for Colorado communities, this movement will be unstoppable! But only if we fully engage, inspire others to step up and make it possible for even more to join.
We at The Alliance Center are incredibly excited to lead this program and begin working to diligently transform the business paradigm, fully embracing the true power we hold and harnessing that power to be the best for Colorado, and the best for the world.
Written by Brenna Simmons-St. Onge, The Alliance Center Executive Director
https://www.thealliancecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/best-for-co-square.jpg320320Moira Wiedenman/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/TheAllianceCenterLogo_Horz_RGB_394_280-300x213.pngMoira Wiedenman2018-07-02 13:40:462018-08-14 09:26:10The Alliance Center to head Best for Colorado program