Thanks to hundreds of supporters and volunteers just like you, 2010 has been a great year so far for Citizens Project and I’m excited to share the highlights with you:
For the 19th consecutive year, Citizens Project published a comprehensive local Freedom Watch Voter Guide that was inserted in the Colorado Springs Independent and reached more than 100,000 voters in the Pikes Peak region with unbiased information about candidates and ballot measure descriptions. Citizens Project also took a position against Colorado Ballot Measures 60, 61, 62 and 101, all of which were soundly defeated.
Together with the Colorado Springs Independent and many community co-sponsors, Citizens Project hosted a primary El Paso County Sheriff debate and produced two Election Education Forums in October for the general 2010 election.
Recently, we worked with a broad coalition to challenge the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s decision to hold 72% of physical polling locations in churches. We found that neighboring counties held 38% or less of polling places in churches and disseminated research that demonstrates a correlation between voting habits and polling place. Citizens Project also coordinated a mailing to over 400 local faith communities with educational materials about electioneering and how churches can comply with IRS guidelines to protect their tax-exempt status.
Separation of Church and State
Next week, Citizens Project will send all local schools The December Dilemma, a practical guide for educators to ensure inclusive holiday celebrations. We also began planning our second annual Citizens’ Religious Freedom Institute to educate teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members about upholding religious freedom in our classrooms. If you’re interested in helping with this important event, please let us know.
Citizens Project also collaborated with faith and business leaders to develop a proposal for a more inclusive municipal policy regarding banners on public property, which City Council will vote on in early 2011.
Diversity and Equality
Citizens Project played a key role in the re-establishment of a Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission, which will educate and protect all members of our community on the importance of diversity and mediate disputes on behalf of the city. Stay tuned for updates!
In early 2010, Citizens Project launched an awareness campaign designed to stimulate conversation and heighten awareness of our issues. More than 100 people signed up on our website, and many of our friends in the community reported having positive conversations as a result of the campaign.
Time, Talent & Money
Citizens Project has always been a grassroots organization that relies heavily on the support of dozens of volunteers and hundreds of supporters! Our accomplishments this year are a testament to the incredible power of our allies in the community.
We held our first-ever Volunteer Open House in July, and we’re planning a Holiday Open House for volunteers on December 13, 2010 at 5pm right here at the CP office. Please let us know if you can join us to see our office space and hear about the incredible impact volunteers and donors have on our programs. We also developed a quarterly Volunteer Connection newsletter. If you’re interested in learning about our amazing volunteers or upcoming opportunities to make a difference, please feel free to contact us.
Again this year, Citizens Project has been invited to participate in the Colorado Springs Give! Initiative, a coordinated effort to elevate awareness of nonprofits in our community and increase philanthropy in the region. If you’re interested in donating time or money, and earning great rewards, please learn more by visiting IndyGive.com.
All this work is possible because of you: thank you for all you do to create community! Please call on us any time with ideas, feedback, problems or questions. You are the citizens of Citizens Project.