On Thursday, January 18, Colorado Common Cause members met at our state Capitol for a crash course in citizen advocacy.
Members learned how a bill becomes a law from someone well versed in the topic: Senator Linda Newell, who served in the Colorado Legislature for eight years. Our Executive Director Elena Nunez explained our work to protect voting rights and limit the influence of money in politics at the Capitol during legislative session. Members learned how to connect these often-wonky policy issues to their own lives, families, and communities – and how to communicate these stories with elected officials.
After receiving an overview of the Colorado legislature, members observed the daily work of their elected representatives. We were lucky enough to gain access to the Senate floor (thanks to Senator Todd for arranging this!) and learned where the term “lobbyist” originates after witnessing the chaos of the Colorado House of Representatives’ lobby. Members called out their senators and representatives for one-on-one meetings, and got first-hand experiencing lobbying for legislation.
Members advocated for two bills:
- House Bill 1033 would give employees the option to take leave to participate in an election at any time that Voter Service & Polling Centers (VSPCs) are open – not just on Election Day, as current law stipulates. It would also expand the election activities a voter can engage in during their leave to include registering to vote, obtaining a ballot, or obtaining identification or other documents required to vote or register to vote.
- Senate Bill 75 would establish contribution limits for candidates running for school board. There are currently no such contribution limits for candidates running for school board in the state of Colorado—which has contributed to an influx of money into these elections from special interests.
Thanks to our active, thoughtful, engaged members who joined us - and to Senator Linda Newell for sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience at the Capitol. Pictures of the day are available on our Facebook page. We look forward to holding our next Lobby Day in 2019!
Office: Colorado Common Cause