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LWV CO Voter January 2022

Published on 1/18/2022
Colorado Voter
• JANUARY 2022

President Biden & Congress Address Voting Rights
It's been a busy week in the quest to secure equal voting rights for all!
In his recent speech in Atlanta, President Biden directly addressed stalled efforts to protect the vote, including a call to end the Senate filibuster.
Heeding this call, Senate Majority Leader Schumer has introduced a new strategy. This procedural maneuver would bypass the filibuster rule and force debate of these bills, the Freedom To Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, on the Senate floor.

Finally, the House of Representatives has passed a consolidated version of the bills -- the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act --leaving the Senate to follow suit.


This new legislation, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, will ensure that voters can safely and freely cast their ballots, stop partisan gerrymandering, limit the influence of dark money in politics, and hold elected officials and our institutions accountable.


Our country is at a pivotal point in our desperate fight for voting rights. We must ensure that the Senate holds to its promise to prioritize passing federal voting rights reforms.


Contact your senators NOW to support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. Only with a united voice shouting for change will we get these vital voting rights bills passed to safeguard and strengthen our democracy!

In Memoriam
Please join LWVCO in extending deepest sympathies to the families and friends of two beloved League members.

Mary Hess

July 30, 1928 – December 22, 2021

Longtime Denver League member Mary Hess passed away in December at the age of 93. She made many contributions to the League during the 49 years that she was a member.

Mary joined the League in 1972 when she moved to Denver from Bellevue, Washington with her husband and 4 children. She served on Denver’s Education Committee during the years of court-ordered desegregation and mandated bilingual education. As Chair of the Education Committee, she helped put together a pamphlet on desegregation for LWV members and the Denver community.

Mary was President of the LWV Denver from 1981 to 1983. During this time, she was appointed by Mayor McNichols to serve on a commission to study Denver’s election methods. The work of this committee resulted in major changes to Denver’s election process.

In 1985, she was hired as the staff lobbyist for LWV Colorado and worked at that job for 10 years. In 1987, she was chosen as a Rosalie Goodman Intern in Washington, D.C. Her 4 weeks in D.C. included attending congressional subcommittee meetings as well as LWVUS board meetings. After retiring as lobbyist, she served on the Legislative Action Committee, focusing on welfare and civil rights issues. She was also on the LWVCO Board before and after her time as lobbyist. She was a member of a statewide committee for legislative reform in 1987, which resulted in the passage of GAVEL: Give A Vote to Every Legislator.

Her passion for the League and the issues that League supported never waned. Outside of the League, she was a world traveler and enthusiastic hiker, climbing many of Colorado’s highest peaks.

A celebration of life will be held via Zoom on Sunday, Feb. 20at 3 p.m. Please RSVP via e-mail toJenny Hessfor a link to join.
Ellen Park
October 13, 1942December 31, 2021


On December 31, at approximately 11:40 a.m., Ellen Park died peacefully at St. Anthony Hospital in Denver in the arms of her husband Ross following two months of sudden illness. Ellen lived the end of her days in hospice care, enfolded in the love of Ross and close friends and family, with her characteristic inner strength and grace.
Ellen and Ross came to Durango in the early 2000s after professional lives that had led Ellen from her home in Montreal, where she’d obtained two degrees from McGill University, to a career in the tech world where, at that time, women were a rarity. Ellen had also worked and lived in Mexico, Iran, and Japan, with time to stop in Italy and France. She was a world traveler extraordinaire.

Ellen joined the La Plata County League in 2003; Ross joined as well, making him an early male member. By 2004, she was Vice President, then President in 2006. She has served in many positions through these years: President for four terms, Membership Chair for several years, and Legislative Chair. In the last three years, she and Ross spent their full time ensuring the local League was properly set up for its move to ClubExpress. When the pandemic struck, they took Zoom to a new level by managing meetings, forums, and instructional gatherings. They brought technology to teachings for the Colorado League and at the National level, where Ellen served on several working groups shaping the future of LWVUS.

Ellen was also active as an election judge in La Plata County, a staunch supporter of Shanta Foundation, and a beloved member of The Dharma Center of Durango. Ellen was a voracious reader, a lover of opera, and had a wry sense of humor. Her friendships are numerous, and her impact has been felt across many places. Our entire community will feel her loss. The LWV LPC Board mourns her death and already feels the chasm in our midst. Condolences may be sent to 152 Metz Ln. Durango, CO 81301.


2022 Legislative Conference

Saturday, Jan. 15
10:00 a.m.

Presented by LWV Colorado


The legislative session just opened this week, so we are excited to share our advocacy goals and priorities for the coming year.


This free event will feature local experts and special guests who are ready to explain the current issues that are facing our state. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link, so be sure to sign up now!

Statewide Member Meeting:

League Position on Election Security

Saturday, Jan. 22
10:00 a.m.

The League only takes action when we have a position on an issue, but current League positions on election security are inadequate for us to advocate effectively. A small group researched this topic, consulted experts and wrote position documents, which have been made available in our Document Library for discussion.


At the LWVUS Convention in June, we want to present a state position for national concurrence that may be used by Leagues everywhere. Please join our statewide consensus meeting to give input in finalizing our election security position.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 15

10:00 a.m. -2022 Legislative Conference[LWV Colorado]


Jan. 18

5:30 p.m. -Protecting Access To Reproductive Healthcare[LWV Denver]

Jan. 19

11:00 a.m. -Democracy, Disinformation & Distrust: Building Citizen Capacity[LWVUS]

4:00 p.m. -Book Discussion: The Remarkable Odyssey Of Angela Merkel[Women & Politics Institute]

6:30 p.m. -Book Discussion Club: "Caste"[LWV Arapahoe & Douglas Counties]

Jan. 21

9:00 a.m. -Legislative Action Committee Meeting[LWV Colorado]

Jan. 22

10:00 a.m. -Member Meeting: League Position On Election Security[LWV Colorado]

1:00 p.m. -Health Equity[LWV Pikes Peak Region]

Jan. 26

6:30 p.m. -Dialogue On Inclusion: ADA Updates[LWV Larimer County]

Are any events missing from this list? Please notifycommunications@lwvcolorado.orgto be included in our next email. Thank you!

General Resources

COGCC will be accepting public comments about Financial Assurance Rulemaking, which enforces the accountability of companies to properly maintain and clean up their sites when wells have completed operations. The available comment sessions are Thursday, Jan. 20 from 1-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. You must sign up to deliver public comments during these slots. COGCC relies on these comments to adopt the strongest rules possible that reflect the needs of residents statewide. Learn more about these rules and get helpful pointers about crafting effective public comments.

The 2022 legislative session started on Wednesday, and LWVCO is ready to keep you informed. Follow the frequent Legislative Action Reports on our website to stay up-to-date on how the League is monitoring and advocating for various bills! Here's a helpful article that sets the stage for what to expect during the session.


LWV Wisconsin is attempting to remove structural age bias from the LWVUS bylaws. The current policy states that voting members of the League must be "at least 16 years of age," which LWVWI believes is discriminatory and does not reflect our mission to empower voters or our DEI values. At the upcoming LWVUS Convention in June, LWVWI will be proposing an amendment to the bylaws to remove this restrictive, age-based language. The Wisconsin League welcomes member statements about why you think including youth as partners is valuable to the organization at any level. Learn more about this important LWVWI project by reading their Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions.


With home prices rising across Colorado and around the country, a proposed solution for housing affordability involves giving employers a tax break to help workers buy homes. This program would create a savings plan, similar to a 401(k), that gives companies a tax incentive to match their employees' contributions toward a home purchase.


The legal battle over reproductive health has been making headlines, and safeguarding these rights is an important part of the League's positions. Here are some actions that LWV has taken across the country to protect these choices for women everywhere. Looking for a way to support LWVCO's advocacy at the state level? We know this issue will be a focal point of the current legislative session, so we are proactively building a group of supporters to form a Reproductive Rights Task Force. Sign up now to be contacted with more details as they become available!

Around The State

Marshall Fire Resources


Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by the recent wildfire in Boulder County. The recovery from this disaster is expected to take months.

If you would like to support those in need, learn more about how to donate and volunteer.


Conservation District Merger



The Big Thompson and Fort Collins Conservation Districts are pursuing a merger, and a special election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1 for residents to vote on the measure.


The two districts have already been working together closely since 2015, and the results of a recent Colorado State Conservation Board investigation analyzed the efficacy of such a merger.
Want to know if you live in an area that may be affected by the outcome of this election? Find your conservation district using this interactive map.

Donor Recognition

We could not perform the vital work of empowering voters and defending democracy without the generous contributions of our members and the public. Please visit our website for a list of our most recent donors. Thank you all for your support!