Do you celebrate any seasonal traditions? Do you reflect on the year that’s passed? Do you make resolutions for the year ahead? Or perhaps your yearly custom is not to have any yearly customs.
This time of year means different things to each of us and includes a diverse array of special seasonal activities. Today, we would like to share with you our favorite traditions at Citizens Project, and to thank you for making Citizens Project part of your annual philanthropic tradition.
Because of your generous support, Citizens Project is able to celebrate joyfully, reflect on our past accomplishments, look carefully to the future, and make strong resolutions to enhance our important work in 2014 toward creating and sustaining a community that values diversity, equality, separation of church and state, and civic engagement.
One of our ongoing traditions is honoring all holidays, as well as the right not to celebrate at all.
- Because at this time of year, teachers and school administrators often face questions concerning guidelines for appropriate holiday celebrations, we send the December Dilemma primer to over 200 schools in the Pikes Peak area. If you are curious, guidelines are available on the web at: http://tinyurl.com/kbxgneg.
- We are also busy planning our annual Citizens Project Religious Freedom Institute, held in April of each year. At this day-long symposium, we bring together more than 50 teachers, administrators, and school board members, providing them with educational tools to protect religious freedom for their students and staff, and to generate a healthy dialogue about this critical topic.
- As always, we provide rapid issue response to local schools when they are faced with religious freedom issues, and work with local partners to bolster anti-bullying policies and practices to ensure the safety of all students.
For Citizens Project, the year-end is also a great time to reflect on our successes.
Because of the generosity of more than 500 individuals and families just like you:
- When an additional recall election was held in 2013, Citizens Project stepped up as an advocate for good policy at the state and local levels, and we closely monitored the continual and confusing rule and polling place changes. This advocacy and oversight enabled us to disseminate current and vital information to all eligible electors, equipping them with tools to exercise their right to vote.
- Citizens Project also provided comprehensive, nonpartisan election education programs for the municipal and school board elections including forums and Voter Guides. This year, we were pleased to have over 90% participation in our candidate surveys and candidate forums.
- We participated in Get-Out-the-Vote activities, reaching more than 1,200 traditionally underrepresented voters, in coalition with the League of Women Voters, Pikes Peak Equality Coalition, CONO, Colorado Common Cause, the Diversity Forum, and many more.
- Through our collaborations, we improved municipal campaign finance code and created a more democratic process for municipal redistricting, with an eye on increasing transparency in local government and access to the political process.
These are just a few of the achievements that your support made possible. And we won’t stop there.
We make the following resolutions for 2014, pledging to you, our most cherished supporters:
- We will continue our commitment to fair elections and access to voting, working with our collaborative partners to refine the election process in El Paso County.
- We will bring important information regarding 2014 elections to the voters through our Voter Guide and election education forums, and continue our commitment to Get-Out-the-Vote efforts among marginalized voters.
- In the next several months, Citizens Project will host community meetings about local election policy, present our Divine Award to a champion for our shared values, advocate for good policy at the state level, and create other opportunities to help people find common ground and bolster civic engagement.
Citizens Project’s mission is to promote equal rights, religious freedom through separation of church and state, and a vibrant democracy through civic engagement in the Pikes Peak region. We are your resource in your community on these issues, and we welcome your full participation and investment.
We hope that our seasonal celebration, reflection, and resolution inspires you as much as it does me, and we thank you again for supporting the important work we’re doing together.
With deepest gratitude,