League of Women Voters Of Adams County Colorado
League of Women VotersOfAdams County Colorado

   THE VOTER     

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF ADAMS         COUNTY

www.lwvadamscounty.org 

   

  www.facebook.com/lwvadamscountyco/            

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SEPTEMBER 2017                                Members: 29

Meeting Location: Community Reach Center

11285 High Line Dr, Northglenn

 

Meetings are held from September thru May.  

On the second Monday of each month we have evening meetings in the Hawaii Room from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.  Arrive at 6:15 for coffee.

On the fourth Monday of each month we have morning meetings in the Kauai Room from 11:30am to 12:30pm. 

 

There are no December meetings.  All meetings are open to members and nonmembers.

Board Meetings: The dates are noted on the calendar. Members are invited to attend.

Please be aware of possible changes in meeting times or places and special events. Changes will appear on this calendar and/or on the website. An attempt will be made to contact all members.

 

For information, directions or a ride:

Please call one of the Members of the Board of Directors

(See sidebar)

 

League Calendar

 October 9 @ 6:30 pm: 

 

Maureen Adkins from the Adams County  Community Reach Detox Center has been confirmed to speak to League.   

 

 

October 16:  Board Meeting

 

Members are welcome.

Please contact any board member for the October board meeting location and time.

 

October 23 @ 11:30 am:  

 

Eva Henry, Adams County Commissioner, will be at our October 23rd AM meeting.  She will give an update on Adams County and DIA. 

Please be alert to possible changes in meeting times or places and to special events.  Changes will appear on this calendar and/or on the website.  An attempt also will be made to contact all members.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dues                                           sHIRLEY mROCHEK

If you haven’t already paid your dues, this is a reminder. This is the beginning of our fiscal year and we usually collect dues at this time.  See instructions at the end of the voter. Thanks!

 

Cathy O’Grady-Melvin

 

On November 27, 2017 Chad Howell from the city of Thornton Redevelopment Administration will speak to Adams County League about the health care development project involving North Suburban Hospital & Assisted Living housing plan.  Please plan to attend.

 

 

Pat Lewis

 

CHRISTMAS DINNER

 

Save the date of December 11, 2017 for our annual Christmas Dinner.  This year our Christmas Dinner will be at The Villas at Sunny Acres Ambassador Building,

2513 East 104th Ave., Thornton, CO 80233.  The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with wine and hors d'oeuvres.  Dinner will be served at 6:30 pm.  We will have a choice of prime rib or airline chicken (breast with wing attached) in a sauce.  The meal will include salad, vegetable, potato or rice, dessert, coffee or tea.  The cost is $20.00 a person.

 

Please RSVP your meal choice to Shirley Mrochek.  More details will be in the November Voter.  I just wanted to give everyone plenty of notice so you can make plans for this busy time of year.  Also this year we will be donating gifts to the Community Reach Center.  Suggestions for the donations will also be in the November Voter.  Thank you.

 

RECAP:

National Voter Registration Day

by Laura Harris

 

Adams County League celebrated National Voter Registration Day by handing out Krispy Kreme and registering voters at Front Range Community College. The donuts proved to be an excellent means of enticing students to our table. We registered a dozen or more students and many more checked their status or updated their address. Quite a few students registered for the first time and several 16-year-olds were pleasantly surprised to learn that they were old enough to register.

 

League also spent a chilly Saturday morning at the Senior Hub Annual Yard & Craft Sale. While we didn’t find any voters to register, we did hand out a lot of Send a Message cards.

 

At both locations, a few people stopped by just to thank the League for its efforts in keeping citizens informed about candidates and ballot issues.  Thanks to Michele Kelley, Shirley Mrochek, Pat Lewis, Jaime Geisen, Cassie Coslow, and Jill Munroe for helping with the first two drives.

 

We are looking to register more voters in October at a few of the senior living facilities. If anyone has ideas for locations or facilities for a registration drive, please contact Laura Harris.

 

WELCOME NEW MEMBER!

Please join us in welcoming Margaret Cepeda to the League of Women Voters of Adams County:

 

We look forward to getting to know you!

Quick Recap

Thank you to Angela Bornemann, Executive Director of ACCESS Housing of Adams County, for a very informative presentation on September 11th regarding increasing homelessness in Adams County.  Adams County has one of the highest rates of homelessness in Colorado – even higher than the City and County of Denver!  We had a lively group discussion and Angela offered to send additional information to answer some of the questions that came up.  Here is what she sent:

 

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in January 2002 as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth in homeless situations. Its key themes are school access and stability, support for educational success, and child-centered decision-making.

 

The McKinney-Vento link for data on homeless children in the schools can be found here:

http://www.cde.state.co.us/dropoutprevention/homeless_data

 

The Construction Defect Law is the legislation affecting low-income housing development.  For more information:

www.denverpost.com/2017/05/23/john-hickenlooper-construction-defects-bill

 

Angela is open to providing us with more information as new data becomes available.

Election Year - 2017      by Marge Innes

Normally on the odd election years - city, school board, special district elections - our League has been happy to help a local election IF WE ARE CONTACTED.  Since our membership is small and each election is very localized - not involving many or any members, it seemed difficult to pick one or two to become involved with.  This year once again Commerce City contacted me in August and requested help with a meeting in October - October 12, Thursday, from 6:30 - 8:30 PM.  Michele Kelly and Cathy O'Grady-Melvin have offered to help me and I could certainly use a few more people.   Please call me!  (303-427-3235)  And anyone interested in this election is invited to come.

 

On the broader front, perhaps we should discuss as a League what we want to do about local elections.  I personally think it's too late for this fall.  Ballots are set to go out.  At the present time, we have only 2 or 3 people who do voter service and a few others who will volunteer.  Perhaps we could discuss this at a future meeting or you can e-mail me with your opinion or idea.  I live in Westminster and I was asked by Bill Christopher - former City Manager- if LWV was holding any candidate meetings.  I said that no one had contacted LWV, except Commerce City.   I would love to go to one myself, but there are only maybe three of our members who live in Westminster.  Maybe groups of League members who live in one city could act as a committee and hold a meeting for that city.  And the four big school districts overlap the cities, including parts of cities in each.  Let me know what you think.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

 

Adams County League had 11 members attend LWVCO’s first annual Making Democracy Work Conference, formerly known as League Day.  Most of the conference agenda focused on the effects of Money in Politics.  Since Adams County League had a subsequent presentation on this issue for our League members who were unable to attend the Conference, the subject is thoroughly described in the following article:

 

Money in Politics &

Campaign Finance Reform

by Laura Harris

 

presented by Shirley Jin & Rionda Osman

 

LWV Boulder County joined LWV Adams County on September 25th to give us a breakdown on how money in politics works to undermine democracy. Local leagues are urged to work at the local, state, and federal level to make elections more fair, competitive, and responsive to voters.

 

Money in Elections

 

Electoral candidates have many sources for campaign financing:

 

•           Hard Money - This is money that candidates self-source or acquire from individual contributions. It is well regulated. There are caps on individual contributions and contributors are required to be disclosed. There are no limits on self-funded contributions.

 

•           Soft Money – This is money that flows to candidates through political parties and political action committees (PACs), super PACS, and 501(c) groups.

Political Parties & PACS raise money to elect or defeat a candidate. Most PACs represent business, labor or ideological interests. There are caps on contributions from both political parties and PACS and contributor disclosure is required.

Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations, and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to advocate for or against political candidates. Super PACs operate independently of candidates and are prohibited from donating money directly to political candidates. Although, super PACs are required to disclose their donors to the Federal Election Commission, individual donors are often shielded by organization structures.

 

501 (c) Groups are often referred to as “dark money” because they are not subject to disclosure. There are no caps on contributions from 501 (c) groups. While the groups are (loosely) regulated by the IRS, they can expend up to 50% of their revenues on electioneering.

 

One well known group influencing the Colorado legislative process is the American Legislative Council (ALEC). ALEC works closely with its member legislators to create model bills that members can introduce in their state legislatures. In exchange, legislators are wined and dined, given “scholarships” to conferences held at posh resorts, and receive campaign contributions. ALEC has worked with legislators across the country to introduce bills that work to suppress voter participation; weaken worker’s rights; expand for-profit prison benefits; crack down on immigration; oppose gun safety laws; and reduce or eliminate environmental safeguards. Nearly 25% of the nation’s 7,300 state legislators are members of ALEC, including 22 Colorado legislators.

 

Koch Industries is another big player that funds numerous 501(c) organizations with the objective of asserting a conservative influence over the electoral process.

 

•           Lobbying – Lobbyists raise funds for candidates and for specific issues. They often bundle money from multiple sources to increase influence on a candidate or issue.

 

Money in Colorado.

 

Here in Colorado, elections are heavily influenced by wealthy candidates and super PACS. At least three big money groups are engaged in the 2018 governor race including Colorado Strong in support of George Brauchler; Frontier Fairness in support of Mike Johnston; and Better Colorado Now in support of Walker Stapleton. Other big money groups and people at work in Colorado include the Bradley Foundation, Mercer Family Foundation, Tom Steyer, George Soros, and the Colorado “Gang of Four” – Jared Polis, Pat Stryker, Tim Gill, and Rutt Bridges.

 

Two good resources for tracking campaign contributors are: https://www.opensecrets.org/

 

and

 

http://tracer.sos.colorado.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/CandidateSearch.aspx

 

League Position

 

The bottom line is that as more and more money flows into the electoral process, government begins to work for big business interests and no longer works for the people.

The LWV US position on money in politics is that methods of financing political campaigns should increase transparency, disclosure, and enforcement. Financing methods should:

 

•           Ensure the public’s right to know

 

•           Combat corruption and undue influence

 

•           Enable more equitable competition for public office

 

•           Allow maximum citizen participation in the political process.

 

In addition, LVW US supports public financing of electoral campaigns.

 

To learn more about the influence of money in politics, watch this short video: http://bit.ly/lwvmoneyinpolitics

 

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Submit any questions, comments, concerns, or program ideas or requests for November 2017 through May 2018 to Marge Innes.

 

ANY SUGGESTIONS?

 

Submit any suggestions or recommendations for November 2017 through May 2018 Voter articles to the Voter Editor.

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LWV of Adams County is on Facebook!  Laura Harris is our new Facebook page manager (thank you, Laura!).  

 

Like our page and keep up with League news, events, legislative actions, and helpful resources. www.facebook.com/lwvadamscountyco/

 

Please help to keep our Facebook page as active and informative as possible.  Send Laura Harris any information that you think should be on our Facebook Page and it will be reviewed for relevance and accuracy.  Thanks for participating in keeping our Facebook page interesting.

 

  For information or directions:

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Please contact any board member. (See Sidebar)

Need a ride to a meeting? Just ask!

MISSION STATEMENT

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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 Become a Member
Dues are $60 per year, pro-rated after January 1st to September 15th. This covers the cost of our local League’s pledge to the National LWVUS and its publication “The Voter” issued 4 times a year plus the state League and its publication “Colorado Voter” (published quarterly). The financial support of our local league activities, including the newsletter and other publications, registration for workshops and special projects, comes from member donations above the $60.00 level. We appreciate any donations in excess of the dues. Thank you for your consideration. Dues levels are as follows:

Friend $60.00 (basic dues)

Sustaining $75.00
Advocate $100.00
.Checks may be made payable to LWV of Adams County and mailed to:

SHIRLEY MROCHEK, TREASURER, 10781 WANDA LANE, NORTHGLENN, CO 80234

Name __________________________________ _______________________________
email______________________________________Telephone_______________________________
Address __________________________________________________________________
Number and Street City Zip Code
I will need a ride to meetings: _________Yes __________No
Dorothy Mayer, Voter Editor
LWV of Adams County

Contact: Pat Lewis

303-452-3030

pcmc1943@msn.com

 

 

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Last Update 10/05/2017