A brief outline of election results:
Amendment 66: Yes – 33.78%, No – 66.22%
Proposition AA: Yes – 64.97%, No – 35.03%
Harrison School District 2
Joyce Leigh – 24.45%
Doriena Longmire – 22.74%
Steven Siebert – 18.83%
Ryan Thompson – 18.78%
Aaron Simpson – 58.2%
Eileen Lynch Gonzalez (2 yr term) – 100%
Colorado Springs School District 11
LuAnn Long – 21.34%
Jim Mason – 18.73%
Linda Mojer – 16.85%
Charlie Bobbitt – 15.13%
Al Loma – 14.21%
James Tucker – 13.74%
Academy School District 20
Catherine Bullock – 23.86%
Larry Borland – 23.34%
Linda Van Matre – 23.18%
Andrea Van Nort – 18.36%
Shannon Mendes 11.26%
Falcon School District 49
Tammy Harold – 25.84%
Kevin Butcher – 18.42%
David Moore – 17.2%
John Graham – 14.85%
Chris Bombria – 13.26%
Henry Allen Jr. – 10.42%
County Ballot Measures
1A: No – 51.25%
1B: Yes – 55.92%
1C: Yes – 78.16%
1D: Yes – 83.91%
Municipal Ballot Measures
2A: Yes – 67.08%
2B: No – 53.16%
2C: Yes – 58.5%
2D: No – 60.28%
School District Ballot Measures
3A: No – 75.22%
Special District Ballot Measures
5A: No – 53.63%
5C: Yes – 72.03%
Harry Reid is planning on bringing up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for a vote early next week in the Senate. Keep your ears open for news on this important piece of legislation that supports LGBT rights.
ENDA would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. When the Senate convened Monday afternoon, Reid formally announced his plans to bring up ENDA during the current work period, which ends the week before Thanksgiving. Reid has long been a supporter of ENDA, cosponsoring it as early as 1997.
Read the full article on the Huffington Post here.
Check out this Buzzfeed article on 5 myths that have been perpetuated about the new voter access law.
On Monday, we hosted our District 11 School Board Candidate Forum. The forum was a wonderful success with many community members in attendance providing excellent questions for the candidates to answer. Joe Cole moderated the discussion with candidates Charlie Bobbitt, Al Loma, LuAnn Long, Jim Mason, Linda Mojer, and Jim Tucker.
The discussion was live-tweeted using #CPforum and you can go to Citizens Project’s twitter to see the tweeted recap. Questions asked included “Are you for or against am 66. Why or why not? If not, what could be added to improve it?” This question resulted in strong opinions from many candidates from both sides. Other questions included “D11 typically loses more student annually than others, how would you make D11 more competitive and reverse the trend?” and “What should be the role of federal and state government in local schools?”
Thank you to all our sponsors, candidates, community attendees, and our moderator from FOX 21, Joe Cole. Now it’s your turn to get out and VOTE!
Thank you to the candidates who took the time to attend our forum on Tuesday: Eileen Lynch Gonzales, Doriena Longmire, Aaron Simpson and Ryan Thompson! We offered those candidates in attendance the opportunity to submit brief closing remarks for voters who missed the forum. Those that we received are below:
I have learned a lot in running for the Harrison school board, and I have met some very good people the last few months. I have observed that many of these school board elections can become contentious. Yet in Harrison I have come to know, and like five very qualified individuals. I am comfortable in stating that no matter who is elected to the board, Harrison will be in good hands.
Harrison is facing a fork in the road situation, there is a new Superintendent, and next month some very new faces will take their place on the school board. Now is an important time to research all the candidates and vote for the person you believe is best suited for the task at hand. As I said all candidates are well qualified, however we all see things from a slightly different perspective.
For me graduation rates must increase! We cannot be accepting of 20 – 30% of our kids facing adulthood without a high school diploma. In our economy these days it is difficult for a college graduate to find a job, so what hope does a high school dropout have? We can reach these kids who are struggling by placing a much larger emphasis on vocational programs. We can help our community and all our kids by partnering with local businesses to find summer jobs and internships that may turn into careers after graduation. We can and should prepare our kids for life outside of school, simple things like; opening a bank account, handling a credit card, to more involved things like doing taxes and even starting your own business.
I hope to represent you, but I want what is best for Harrison, so please research all candidates and make the choice you are most comfortable with.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my views as a school board candidate, with the citizens of Colorado Springs; particularly those who are Stakeholders in Harrison School District Two. It is important for voters to know what our ideas are, for improving the school and community environment for our students, their families and staff.
From a young age, most American citizens have spent hours in classrooms and social situations being told how important it is to vote. We are not as frequently reminded of how important it is to make an informed vote. That is why, for the past 21 years, Citizens Project has been providing the Colorado Springs community with nonpartisan voter guides for local elections to help you make an informed decision.
Your vote is your voice in our governance and our future. At Citizens Project, we believe that school board elections are among the most important, and sometimes these races come down to a mere 100 or 200 votes. Therefore, your vote is important and your voice counts in making governance work. Educating yourself on issues and candidates is essential to the efficacy and legitimacy of the principles on which our nation was founded. We invite you to read up and vote in the upcoming election!
By Warren Epstein, Citizens Project Board Member
So, we kicked the bums out.
Senators John Morse and Angela Giron got their walking papers, thanks to an unprecedented $200,000-plus special recall election (they’re calling it “Colorado’s total recall”) that drew a sparse 20 percent of the electorate, a fraction of those who vote in regular elections.
This was mostly a symbolic victory, of course. The new pro-gun senators will face a still Democratic-controlled legislature, and it’s unlikely they will be able to kill the offending gun bill that made Morse and Giron targets of the gun lobby.
Still, what’s happened here is the birth of a new political weapon, one that can be wielded by both political parties. It’s a tool tailor made for extremists on the left and right. Clearly, offending politicians don’t have to break the law. They don’t have to embroil themselves in scandal. They merely need to upset a fringe group.
Then, the fringe group raises a bunch of money, calls a special election, and hopes that, once again, the middle stays home.
I’d like to take a moment to speak up for the middle. Granted, the center place between two extremes is not always where truth lies. Sometimes both sides are asking the wrong questions. But something important does lie in the middle.
It’s become a dirty word in our don’t-blink partisan politics. But in the middle, you’ll often find reason.
Most people I know think the gun debate is about two words: yes or no.
You’re for gun control or against it.
Morse and Giron, like most Colorado senators and our governor, passed a bill that explored a place in the middle that looked at background check loopholes and large ammo magazines. It wasn’t about going door to door, rounding up your guns.
The “no” people don’t want to hear about it. They don’t want to hear about what some people call “reasoned compromise” about gun control. For them, the only kind of good gun control is dead gun control.
But let’s back up a bit and acknowledge that both sides really do want the same thing: more security, more safety.
Both sides have “beliefs” about how to get there, and there are relevant questions on both sides:
Does gun control actually work? (Usually not.)
Does a focus on governmental and societal solutions take the responsibility away from the individual? You know, guns don’t kill people. People… Yeah, whatever.
OK, but here’s the truth of the matter that no politician will admit: We don’t know. We have some studies and history to examine, but case studies won’t serve as absolute predictors of what course will lead to a more safe and secure country.
Here’s another truth: without new restrictions, guns will grow more abundant and more deadly.
Gun sales have never been higher, and technology, unrestricted, will transform what we now call “guns” into weapons of mass destruction. Consider that modern guns already bear little resemblance to what our founding fathers were talking about when they framed the 2nd Amendment.
Those who give an absolute “no” to even discussions about gun control must acknowledge that we’re already involved in that conversation, and we’ve already agreed to certain compromises. Try to get a stockpile of fully automatic weapons or a rocket launcher for home use. It’s easier to get Bruce Springsteen to sing at your kid’s bar mitzvah.
Even the most extreme pro-gun folks would acknowledge that those restrictions make sense.
As the technology of guns continues to grow in lethality, isn’t it our obligation as citizens to continually engage in this discussion? To look for the reasonable middle?
The middle, what middle there is on such a divisive topic, sat out this special election.
We can’t afford to have them sit out many more.
For more detailed information, check our 2013 Senate District 11 Recall Election Page!
By Anya Arndt
It seems like everyone has been writing about “Millennials” lately. Half the blogosphere is blaming Millennials and our “selfish nature” for the woes of the world and the inevitable decline of the United States, while the other half is desperately defending the technology generation as full of innovative and big-thinking people who are just struggling to enter the adult world in today’s economy.1 Whether you like Millennials or not, however, they (and their uniquely technological worldview) have made a huge impact on society so far and as they grow into fully active and engaged citizens, they will continue to do so.
I was born in the year that the Internet as we know it (the World Wide Web) was released, 1991. Of course, the Interwebs (my generation’s favorite pet name for this network phenomenon), has a long history prior to 1991 and has expanded substantially since then. The Internet and I are good buddies though, after all, we grew up together. I began to learn about the wonders of the Internet in elementary school; in fact, I’ve never written a research paper without the help of that vast bank of electronic knowledge.2 I do everything with the help of the Internet, from making plans with my friends to buying clothes to turning in my senior thesis. But, with such vast capabilities, what does the Internet mean for those fighting for a cause? For nonprofits and organizations that have traditionally organized using physical bodies out on the streets and in the offices of elected officials, it has become a lot harder to engage younger generations who are more tied up in online movements.
With the advent of the Internet, a new phenomenon of “clicktivism” has emerged. Often relegated to another subset of “slacktivism,” clicktivism is activism online. It ranges from liking an organization’s Facebook page, to signing an online petition or donating online. Clicktivism does not require one to leave his or her bed, but it still gives the clicktivist a feeling that he or she has made a difference in the world and promoted a noble cause. Take a moment and google “clicktivism;” the first hit you get is “clicktivism.org.” Micah White, creator of clicktivism.org says “Clicktivism is the pollution of activism with the logic of consumerism . . . Clicktivism neglects the vital, immeasurable inner events and personal epiphanies that great social ruptures are actually made of. The history of revolutions attests that upheaval is always improbable, unpredictable and risky. A few banal pronouncements about ‘democracy in action’ coupled with an online petition will not usher in social transformation.”
So what will usher in social transformation as the technology generation enters adulthood? And didn’t we just see Egypt’s January 25th Twitter Revolution successfully oust President Hosni Mubarak in 2011?3 Clearly, the internet can be quite a catalyst in sparking change, but is it enough in the U.S.? Undeniably, many American Millennials seem pretty content to say that political awareness consists of sitting on their comfy sofas and beds reposting HuffPost articles on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds while watching Netflix. But we are also the generation that has been named most socially progressive thus far, and studies have shown that we have been much stronger supporters of causes that promote human rights and equality than our predecessors.4 Watching the news in the past year alone will tell you that Millennials can be convinced to hop out of their beds and into the streets to promote these progressive values.5 Maybe this dichotomy of “clicktivism” versus “real activism” is a false one.
And yet, somewhere, there is a disconnect. Why do nonprofits report having such a hard time engaging younger donors and volunteers? It looks like a balance needs to be found. Millennials want to support causes, we want to see a more accepting, a more inclusive, a more equal, America. So why aren’t we at non-profit fundraising events, where are we when there’s a city council meeting happening, how come we aren’t found volunteering for causes that make our communities better places?6 Is our inclination toward clicktivism actually going to prevent us from pushing the country toward positive change in terms of human rights like Micah White predicts?
Personally, I don’t think that Micah White is right, but he could be if we fail to speak to the Millennial generation in their own language. We live in a society where information is now largely transferred via the Internet and the Millennial generation has never experienced otherwise. As a Colorado College student, I rarely picked up The Independent and I don’t think I ever saw a physical copy of The Gazette floating around campus. I was not unaware of what was going on in the world around me, however. In fact, I followed politics very closely, I just liked to get my information in different ways than what has been the norm for many years (I still do). I drink my morning coffee while scrolling through my Twitter feed instead of reading the newspaper at my kitchen table.7 This does not mean that I don’t want to stand up alongside my neighbors for a cause that I believe in, however. It’s just that when something awesome was going on in the Colorado Springs community, I never knew about it, because it was not publicized in a way that crossed my radar.
The point is, the Millennial generation goes about finding their news and expressing their political and social beliefs in ways that many established organizations are unfamiliar with. As a college student, I often lamented this: Why is there no Jezebel equivalent in Colorado Springs or no Buzzfeed for social causes? These are the types of sources that get my generation excited. We need to begin to develop new mediums for communication to the socially conscious Millennials out there, or else they’re unlikely to see the message and join in the cause. As a recent college graduate and nonprofit employee, I feel eager (though slightly unqualified) to begin to brainstorm ways to bridge this gap between nonprofits and Millennials.8
I can’t offer some great, fail-proof solution to reaching Millennials, but I can offer a reminder that as times change, so must our strategies. Millennials have plenty to offer to good causes (namely time, passion, and the ability to spread information on their favorite causes to massive networks of their peers)9, so let’s find new ways to tap into that. Let’s capitalize on clicktivism to spur in-person activism, let’s be more direct in engaging this technologically-inclined generation when spreading our information. Millennials are quick to get behind those who speak with true passion, what we need to do, then, is direct our messages to their ears.
For anyone interested in a little more information on what these strange “Millennial” people like and how they think, here are a few links and articles to check out from some of my favorite sites:
Jezebel and Buzzfeed are my top two, hands down. If you like your news with a splash of snarky angst and a heaping tablespoon of feminist agenda, then Jezebel is your cup of tea. If you like your news in list form or you like anything in list form (Millennials love lists), then Buzzfeed is your go-to. If you are interested in writing your own trend piece on Millennials, because it is all the rage to do that nowadays, I first recommend reading this lovely PSA from Kelly Williams Brown, author of the blog Adulting, and a book based off it. Are you wondering just what it is that makes someone born between the years 1982 and 2000 a Millennial? Take this quiz by the Pew Forum entitled “How Millennial Are You?” And finally, if you still haven’t read the Huffington Post article that I have already linked to twice, here it is again (you’re welcome, *winking smiley face*).
Oh yeah, and this, because Millennials also love cats, especially cats on the Interwebs.
Endnotes (aka Tangents)
- Remember that Time article, “The Me Me Me Generation?” Why yes, I was offended by that, and here are a few reasons why. Then there was Susan Zarkin’s TruthDig article: I have absolutely no idea where she gets the idea that Reagan is our number one hero, I mean, really? Reagan! Our hero is Stephen Colbert, puh-lease. (She also calls my generation “ahistorical,” which doesn’t even make sense: what about my generation is “less historical” than any other? I dare her to prove to me that Millennials are less interested in history than the people leading the country right now: has the U.S. government learned nothing from decades of failed attempts at intervening in the internal affairs of other countries? Yet we still manage to justify meddling in the Middle East and ignoring the rest of the Western world when they tell us to get out! *end rant*) Oh, don’t let me forget, the list of things my generation has allegedly ruined (according to media and big business) for our country. [↩]
- Funny side note: In fourth grade, I had to write a research paper on glue. I found a website that told me Jamie Farr invented glue in 1949, and I believed it. To be fair, this was at a time when even legitimate web sources still had rather unsophisticated layouts, so to a fourth grader, anything on the Internet could appear to be fact, since every website looked about the same legitimacy-wise. (This was also when MLA required a URL in all citations, so fortunately my teacher was able to look up the website I had found, and determine that I had been duped and could not be blamed for thinking that Jamie Farr invented glue in 1949. She let me try again). [↩]
- The exact roll social media played in any of the Arab Spring uprisings is still a topic of great debate amongst scholars. Some argue that the Arab Spring would not have happened without social media, others insist that it merely would have happened differently. [↩]
- For statistics that support this claim, view the Pew Research Report and the Center for American Progress Report. [↩]
- The streets were overflowing with Millennial activists before and after the Supreme Court’s repeal of DOMA and after the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case was released, to give a few examples. Additionally, we have this marvelous HuffPost article, entitled “5 Things That Prove young People Aren’t Just Slacktivists.” [↩]
- Probably because there’s never free food, but I digress… [↩]
- Although I really enjoy newspaper crossword puzzles and I actually prefer reading off of printed paper over the headache-inducing computer screen, I will honestly never pay $13 a month for a subscription when I can get all that for free, in my bed, on my iPhone. [↩]
- I am currently in the process of creating a new blog on CP’s website that will hopefully communicate our message in a more “Millennial-friendly” format. Basically, I get to post things that are a bit sassier and flashier than I would be able to post in more “traditional” news pieces and blog posts. [↩]
- I linked to this HuffPost article already, but you really should read it, as it elaborates more eloquently than I can on the capabilities of Millennials in nonprofit and cause-oriented work. [↩]