Compared to 2016, Together Colorado Leaders doubled the number of signatures collected, the number of congregations involved, and the number of voters we talked to! Our process started early in February 2018 when Together Colorado Leaders considered possible ballot initiatives. We voted in March 2018 to support Amendment A, Amendment 73, and Proposition 111. In May, we came together to discuss our voter education strategy. In September, leaders reconvened, reassessed, and developed our Get Out the Vote plan.
Together Colorado leaders collected 4,536 signatures to place Amendment 73 and Proposition 111 on the ballot! With 19 congregations and 38 volunteer leaders, we sent 2,500 signatures to Great Schools, Thriving Communities. We submitted 2,036 signatures to Coloradans to Stop Predatory Payday Lending from 11 congregations and 46 volunteer leaders!
Our various faith traditions teach us to care for the stranger among us and that all humans deserve respect, dignity, and the opportunity to thrive. When we talked about the initiatives we supported, we started with these values first.
Due to our collective outreach efforts, 61 congregations across Colorado participated in voter education for Amendment A, Amendment 73, and Proposition 111. From September to October, we dropped literature at 15,800 doors with 82 volunteers. During the final four-day blitz on November 3-6, 71 volunteers participated in phone/text banking and canvassing. On Election Day alone, 34 leaders texted 45,751 voters! Together Colorado’s digital campaign reached over 1.2 million Coloradans in support of Amendment A, Amendment 73, and Proposition 111.
The organizing work we accomplished this election cycle expanded our reach, deepened our relationships and helped make Together Colorado a force for further systemic change in our communities.
“And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” (Isaiah 59:12).
Congratulations and thank you for the strategic organizing work done this season. We would like to acknowledge a few key volunteer leaders for their efforts on Civic Engagement, Amendment A, Proposition 111, and Amendment 73.
The engagement of Together Colorado Faith Leaders who formed an organized faith voice in our state pushed Amendment A and Proposition 111 to victory. Their overwhelming support demonstrated the power and moral suasion of congregations and faith leaders who collected signatures, educated, preached about, and endorsed these measures from a moral stance against slavery and usury. Additionally, Faith Leaders signed on to four Faith Leader Action opportunity letters:
- 249 Faith Leaders urged legislators to refer Amendment A to the ballot;
- 240 Faith Leaders signed a letter supporting the passage of Proposition 111;
- 58 Faith Leaders signed in support of Amendment 73; and
- 136 Faith Leaders signed, in 18 hours, a statement condemning the hate crime against an Amendment A organizer.
We want to acknowledge the Jefferson Unitarian Church Community Action Network as an example of what full civic engagement looks like. The team engaged over 20 people in their congregation in some aspect during the season, collected the most signatures for Proposition 111 and Amendment 73, hosted two ballot initiative forums attended by 300+ people, knocked on 2,000+ doors, and tabled every week leading up to the election.
To our Civic Engagement Leaders, Jill Armstrong, Kathy Smith, Doug Nelson, and Frank Tapy, thank you for seeing us through this Election Season by leading our Civic Engagement Kick-Off and Evaluation.
It would be hard to overstate the importance of the broader faith community and powerful faith voice in educating and persuading voters in particular about Amendment A and Proposition 111. A statewide outpouring of support from Faith organizations and councils, Bishops, Judicatory leaders, Rabbinical Councils, Ministerial groups and individual faith leaders across Colorado reached over 700,000 voters during and after worship services this fall about these ballot measures and the importance of voting.
Amendment A: Abolish Slavery Colorado
Cynthia Beard, Sharon Bridgeforth, Jumoke Emery-Brown, Rev. Jann Halloran, Rev. Amanda Henderson, Rev. Bill Kirton, Jackie Larner, Lee McNeil, Kym Ray, Gary Roland, Rev. Dr. Amy Rowland, Ian Silverii, Marilyn Stranske, Anthony Suggs, Pastor Caitlin Trussell, and Nathan Woodliff-Stanley
Thank you all for sitting on one (or more) of the Abolish Slavery Colorado committees: Steering, Legislative, and Communications. However, the dedication each of these leaders and partners showed went beyond sitting on a committee. They truly put in the work to pass Amendment A by doing hours of fundraising, community and faith leader outreach, media interviews, speaking engagements, literature drops, and legislative lobbying.
Proposition 111: Stop Predatory Payday Lending
Rev. Dr. Anne Rice-Jones, Shirley Richard, and Frank Tapy
Rev. Dr. Anne, Shirley, and Frank all spent countless hours organizing to pass Proposition 111 by doing signature gathering, community and faith leader outreach, speaking engagements, literature drops, canvassing, and fundraising. Together Colorado Board Directors Rev. Dr. Anne Rice-Jones and Frank Tapy also represented Together Colorado on Proposition 111’s Steering Committee.
Amendment 73: Great Schools, Thriving Communities
Dave Dvorak, Stacy Johns, Pastor Doug Nelson, and Frank Tapy
To all four of you, thank you for your successful signature-gathering leadership in placing Amendment 73 on the ballot! Pastor Doug, thank you for representing Together Colorado on the Great Schools Thriving Communities Steering Committee.
When we come together, we are a powerful force for racial, social, and economic justice.
The Together Colorado Team