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Colorado House District 38 Democrats

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Blue Wave Kickoff Party 2018

Thank you to all who came out and participated in the PCP Blue Wave Kickoff Party at Varsity Inn.  Not sure how many folks we had in attendance, but all the seats were full!

The 2 hour event included a fun ice breaker, Beckman Fact or Fiction, Corruption Junction Trivia, a few words by HD38 Rep Candidate Chris Kolker, and of course pizza and beer!

We even managed to raise a little money for the County!

A huge thanks to Varsity Inn for letting us hold the event there!  Hope we can do it again sometime soon.

Blue Wave Kickoff Party 2018

Did You Know? Beckman Voted No…

As we enter 2018 with full force, think about this for a second: Recently, Douglas County Police Officers arrived on scene at an apartment complex just outside of HD 38 (it may actually be within the district) in response to a disturbance call. The suspect was heavily armed and intended to ambush the officers. What transpired is truly horrific, resulting in the death of Officer Zack Parrish. Four other officers were shot. According to accounts, one of the officers was shot trying to pull Officer Parrish out of the gunfire. Due to the amount of blood loss from both officers, he was not able to get enough grip on Officer Parrish to pull him to safety. Can you imagine the mental anguish that the officer must be experiencing? Feeling of shame, guilt, or taking blame?

Then ask yourself this, why in any world, regardless of political position, would a legislator vote NO on Mental Health Support for Peace Officers?

Beckman voted NO! The below bill passed the House 51-8, the Senate 27-8, and became law. What reason would she have to vote no?

Again, WHY!! There is literally no reason to not support this bill.

Bill HB17-1215 encourages each sheriff’s office and each municipal police department to adopt a policy whereby mental health professionals provide: On-scene response services to support officers’ handling of persons with mental health disorders; and Counseling services to officers. The bill creates the peace officers mental health support grant program to provide grants of money to county sheriffs’ offices and municipal police departments to help them engage mental health professionals. Each sheriff’s office and each municipal police department is encouraged to apply annually for a grant from the grant program. The bill creates the peace officers mental health support fund, which consists of gifts, grants, and donations and any other money that the general assembly may appropriate or transfer to the fund. The grant program repeals September 1, 2027. The bill passed the House 51-8.

Beckman voted NO

 

Research Credit: Robert Bowen

Introducing HD38’s Beckman Watch

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Central to House District 38 Democrats’ vision and strategy is to elect a Democrat to Colorado State House Representative of HD 38 in 2018.  Until then, we have Susan Beckman at the helm; alas, it is up to us to keep a watchful eye on all of the votes that she casts between now and the mid-terms.

With all of turmoil coming out of the White House and D.C. these days, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that our local representatives play a critical role in endorsing policies that may echo legislation at the national level.

In October 2016, when Beckman was still a candidate, she was interviewed by the Centennial Citizen regarding her position on several issues.  When asked “What issue most deserves more attention during the 2017 session than it saw in 2016? Explain why,” Beckman responded with the following:

“Reducing overregulation and over-legislating. With over 500 pieces of legislation introduced each year, every year, significant compliance requirements, additional red tape and burdensome regulations are passed down to individuals, local communities and business. I have seen what burdensome regulation does to local government and businesses. It leaves a trail of lost time, lost opportunities and lost revenue in its wake. Colorado needs strategic reform to reduce unnecessary and unfunded mandates for local government and businesses.”

For anyone who has been paying attention to the rhetoric coming out of Washington D.C., these words should sound familiar.

For example, Beckman openly states supporting the pull back of Medicaid expansion in Colorado and repealing other healthcare regulations that mirror the Affordable Care Act.

According to her website,

“The cost of healthcare is spiraling out of control, and single-payer proposals, such as Amendment 69, are not the solution. We have seen the cost of the care increase, and the cost of health insurance policies and high deductibles have made quality care difficult for the average person.
To add to this, more of the State General Fund budget is going to fund Medicaid. Ten years ago, one in 12 Coloradans was enrolled in Medicaid, today it’s one in four. These skyrocketing general fund expenditures take away from much needed funding for infrastructure, safety related transportation projects and education.
Additional growth of Medicaid will not solve our problems. As the economy improves we need to pull back entitlement funding and support free market solutions to meet consumer demand.”

If you put this in the context with the fact that Susan Beckman in on the Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee, she gets first look at all bills related to these issues.  While Democrats have the majority in Colorado, her position and authority should not be underestimated.

Pushing back and resisting Susan Beckman, just as we would with Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman, is something we can do regularly to promote HD38’s efforts leading up to 2018.

So keep an eye out for HD 38’s #BeckmanWatch and please feel free to share your thoughts and comments.

Mike Johnston, Candidate for Governor of Colorado, Scheduled to Speak on April 13th at the HD 38 Dems’ Monthly Meeting

Join House District 38 Democrats in welcoming guest speaker Mike Johnston on April 13, 2017 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Prince of Peach Church, 7000 S Windermere St, Littleton, CO 80120. This will be the first HD 38 meeting since the re-organization in early February.

We are please to announce that Mike Johnston will be joining us and delivering a brief message during the HD 38 monthly meeting.  Mike kicked off his campaign for Colorado Governor in January 2017, but has already achieved notable success in various political arenas throughout his career.  Before serving two terms in the Colorado State senate, he worked as a public school teacher in one of Mississippi’s most impoverished counties and then a public school principal in a juvenile detention center and a high-needs district north of Denver.

He takes pride in pursuing community centered policies, including progressive legislation geared towards immigration, education, business development, and stopping racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

I have not had the chance to meet Mike in person, but I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the Arapahoe County re-organization meeting and was impressed by what appeared to be a fresh, innovative, and progressive approach to running for governor and state politics.

If you are looking for a couple of good reasons to start getting involved in the 2018 gubernatorial election, a recent CBS 4 Denver article reports that 2018 will be “the first governor’s race in 20 years…where there will be competitive primaries on both sides”  and “is also significant because the party in power will lead the redrawing of Congressional districts – which remain in place for 10 years – and will also appoint a new state supreme court justice.”

Elections in 2018, across the board, are high stakes and will have a lasting impact at the local, state, and national levels for years to come.  As Democrats, this is our opportunity to  begin correcting course and taking a stand against policies that are fundamentally in opposition to ours.  Mike Johnston’s campaign issues, as indicated on his website,  are things that we should all embrace as Democrats, so come join us on  April 18th to hear what he has to say.  There will be a 10-15 minute question and answer session after he is finished speaking.

Mike Johnston’s website

HD 38 Meeting Event Info

 

Gardening: Take it Outside

This article by Betty Harris was first featured in “Littleton Unfiltered, Cleaning the Air” on March 14, 2017.  Betty is devoted to environmental protection issues and a key figure in local politics throughout Littleton and House District 38.

As a watercolor artist who is hooked on gardening and teaching, I tend to be very aware of my surroundings. Recently I read some advice given by one artist to another. That advice: “take your act outside”. He said this because he knew it would impact the quality of her work. Let’s explore that concept, not just from the artist’s but from the citizens’ point of view.

An artist who does watercolors looks at the landscape and often “sees” it as a watercolor and imagines what it would look like on paper and the techniques needed to recreate an illusion that would remind him or her of this view. An arborist might look at it in terms of what needs trimming or thinning and where the dead trees are. A landscaper might see it as needing to be rearranged and some flowers, bushes, paths or benches added. A farmer might see it as a potential farm land that could grow corn and hopefully generate a profit. Basically, everyone sees things a bit differently based on our own personal slant on life. An environmentalist would see it as needing to be protected while a developer might see it in terms of profit or loss. Children would see it as a place to play and have imaginary adventures like I did as a child. Children still do this, don’t they?

Some see the world around them as potential profit or something to be exploited or like my mother did and ask “what’s it good for?” It is really our LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM. Without it life lived inside a bubble just to survive would be poor indeed. Humans really depend on nature for more than they ever think it provides like water, shade, oxygen, food, beauty and a calming peaceful existence. Perhaps we should think in terms of protecting it so that we might live a decent existence rather than of what we can make of it or do with it.

A 1500 Sanskrit text said, “Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it”. It would seem the ancients were wiser than we are.

Yesterday I was talking with my baby brother, he’s 58 now, about how dry our winter was and somehow we ended up talking about California’s drought and that they have been sucking water out of the aquifers to use to frack oil and gas wells. Then when the water is totally ruined and polluted, they inject it back into the ground as if they can actually control where it goes. They seem not to be concerned that it will pollute the same aquifers that are needed to provide the fresh water that they started with. It still surprises me when people are not aware of this but since he works all the time and comes home to fall asleep in front of the TV he must have missed this.

We humans, citizens of this planet and stewards of the same, need to take a bit of the watercolorist’s advice and take our act outside. Which reminds me, I have to prune my apple tree and my blue mist spirea today.

House District 38-Since the Re-Org

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As many of you know, the Arapahoe County re-organization meeting took place in early February, part of which,  was the voting in of new officers to House District 38.  Since the re-org meeting, the new officers and other volunteers have held several strategy and planning meetings to determine the direction that we as HD 38 Democrats want to pursue in the coming weeks and months, and not least, leading up to the mid-term elections in 2018.

Currently, the officers and precinct Group Captains are reaching out to all of those who have  volunteered to serve as a Precinct Committee Person, or PCP, to establish whether or not these individuals still want to be a PCP, what their strengths are in terms of being comfortable making phone calls, knocking on doors, hosting events, etc.  One of the priorities of the HD 38 officers is to provide a party platform that exists for the people, and not the other way around.  While we have not yet finalized our general vision and strategy, except of  course turning HD 38 blue in 2018, one thing we feel strongly about is being Democrats 24/7 and not only during the weeks leading up to an  election.  Being a liberal/progressive/democrat is a way of life and must be fostered through developing a sense of community and support for one another during the trying times of life; both politically and in everyday life.

It will take a little while to figure out where all of the volunteers stand throughout HD 38, but here are a few things we have done since the re-org to better serve the HD 38 Dems, progressives, and even those on the other side of the political spectrum:

  1. The HD Officers have met three times since early February to develop a specific strategy and vision for better facilitating volunteers and providing the necessary resources for reaching out to our neighbors and building momentum through a sense of community and support.
  2. The HD 38 Officers have been in close communication with the newly elected officers of the Araphoe County Democratic Committee to find ways to assist each other in our shared goals, while also coming up with ways in which the county can be more of a source of support for HD 38’s activities.
  3. The HD 38 Precinct Committee People Group Captains held their first planning meeting this past Sunday, which resulted in some great ideas for how to provide better opportunities for members of the community to engage with HD 38 as volunteers, as well as how to be more supportive of our PCPs through active engagement, support, and providing everything they need to be effective volunteers who are driving the Democratic vision from the ground up.  This includes task specific volunteer sub committees, as well as customized mechanisms for PCPs and Group Captains to obtain the resources they need, working within specific goals and objectives, and doing what is necessary to turn HD 38 blue in 2018.
  4. The HD 38 Officers have developed a fresh new website with tons of great information and resources for members of the community, including info on how to get involved, tracking legislation (coming soon), an events calendar, precinct maps, and more.  Check it out!!  There is also a lot of useful activity on the HD 38 Facebook page.
  5. Finally, HD 38 is actively engaging other local activist and political organization to have an even greater impact the positions that our legislators and members of congress make under the Trump administration.  This collaboration will be essential for reaching all of the registered democrats and unaffiliated voters (and even some registered Republicans) between now and the midterms.  It will take an army of people for victory in 2018, and the HD 38 Officers will do everything in their power to make this a reality.

While we are in the early phases of the post-2016 era, there is a lot that must be accomplished early on.   We cannot wait until the last minute before the mid term elections to try and turn out voters, this is a process the must start now.  The momentum is there and the political energy with people across the district and beyond is absolutely palpable and encouraging.

This blog will be a central source for updating all of our volunteers, community members, and those seeking information on the happenings of HD 38 Democrats.  We aim to be fully transparent and provide a record of our activities in order for you to hold us accountable.  So stay tuned and please, get involved, even in the smallest of ways.  If you would like to join HD 38’s efforts, contact us here and one of the officers will get back to you immediately.

Until next time,

Sincerely,

Chris Puder

1st Vice Chair, HD 38 Democrats.

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