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Week of October 26, 2020


New Covid Restrictions Could Affect
November Open Mic


State Health Department Calls for Cap of 10 People on Gatherings

The November youth open mic planned by PPJPC, Pikes Peak Library District, and Hear Here may be postponed or go virtual, due to new restrictions placed on gatherings as of Oct. 23 by the State Health Department. Except for four counties in the extreme west of the state, all Colorado counties will be limited to gatherings of ten people or less from no more than two families. While the regulations are aimed primarily at private family gatherings, businesses and institutions were studying the new mandates over the weekend to see if they apply to public events. Meanwhile, El Paso County was given until the end of October to submit new plans for virus control to the state, plans which may increase restrictions on in-person events.

The Youth Poetry Open Mic was part of a Fall 2020 joint promotion of events between PPJPC and Pikes Peak Library District. The Nov. 21 event was scheduled to be capped at 20 people at any one time, and was scheduled for Knights of Columbus Hall, or the Penrose Gardens if weather would allow it. It is possible that restrictions will be eased by late November, but it is equally possible that the county could be under even greater restrictions, up to and including a partial lockdown, lasting through much of the winter. The planning team will assess the potential for this event over the next week and will have more information at the end of the month. Stay tuned for more information!

In the meantime, check out PPLD’s virtual programs for this fall. All Pikes Peak Reads has chosen three books for its 2020 program: For adults, Emma Donoghue’s “The Pull of the Stars” is a novel set in Dublin during the 1918 flu pandemic; for young adults/teens, Lindsay Lackey’s “All the Impossible Things” is a story of a foster child with unusual powers; and for children, Brenda Woods’ “The Unsung Hero of Birdsong USA” centers on a Black World War II veteran returning to the U.S., and the unusual bonds he forms. Virtual author visits for both the young adult (Nov. 10) and children (Nov. 12) selections will happen the second week of November, and you can sign up at Next week, PPLD begins virtual celebration of Native American Heritage Month, check the PPPLD web site or Facebook page for more information.

More Than 100 Gather Oct. 24 for Trans Visibility March

Transgender activists and their supporters gathered Saturday afternoon for the second annual Trans Visibility March, encouraging awareness and acceptance of transgender and nonbinary people. This year’s march was twice the size of last year’s, with more than 100 participants, with a special emphasis on trans activists in the arts community.


PPJPC Seeks Interest for Officers of Board


This month, PPJPC is distributing flyers to Colorado College, UCCS, and Pikes Peak Community College to seek student membership on our board. We also welcome board members from the general public. ntial board members at our Feb. 29 annual meeting, we are seeking your help as we reconstitute post-quarantine. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else to a board position, contact us at (719) 963-2979, or  


RAWtools Offers "Taking Stock" as a YouTube/Facebook Resource Following June 28 Debut

RAWtools debuted its new poetry video, “Taking Stock: Loaded Words and Bullet Points” in late June to rave reviews. The video features local poets reading works on issues of gun violence. The video was directed and produced by Mary Sprunger-Froese and Lauren Weaver, and includes poems from Jonathan Andujar, former Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Susan Peiffer, NAACP activist Rosemary Lytle, and PPJPC Chair Loring Wirbel.  The video is now on YouTube for viewing at any time, you can find it here:

NWTRCC Conference to Go Virtual

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee was originally going to hold its 2020 meeting in Colorado Springs, a venue NWTRCC has used before. But Covid restrictions have transformed the conference to an all-virtual one on “Defunding Militarism and Creating a New Normal,” slated for Nov. 7 and 8. Advance registration is required to receive the streaming link, you can find it HERE. (Registration information is at the bottom of the web page. Please note that the times listed are Eastern or Pacific.)

Active for Justice Podcast Covers Plowshares Nuns' March 5 Speech

As a means of remembering the recently-departed Sister Ardeth Platte, we'd like to remind you to check out the presentation Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert gave at All Souls Church on March 5. We were lucky to host the sisters for several events prior to the quarantine being enacted locally. 

Plowshares Podcast here:

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Seeking Volunteers During Election Season

CIRC is seeking volunteers to raise immigrant rights issues during the election season. Here’s a message we’ve received from CIRC:

We’re building a grassroots movement of our family members, community members, and allies to make sure we turn out to support immigrants this November, and we’re counting on people like you to join our movement. 

Most campaigns focus only on high-propensity voters and leave immigrants and people of color behind, but our strategy is to engage with immigrant communities directly. We will be hosting virtual events and phonebanks to do community outreach today through election day. Everything we are doing this 2020 election cycle is digital.

Will you sign up to get involved? We have countless volunteer opportunities, and we need your sWe’re building a grassroots movement of our family members, community members, and allies to make sure we turn out to support immigrants this November, and we’re counting on people like you to join our movement. 

We have countless volunteer opportunities, and we need your support. You can apply HERE.

Peak Environment Podcast 62 Explores Manitou Springs Forest Garden Initiative Kick-Off


Podcast 62 of Peak Environment covers the kickoff of Manitou Springs' new Forest Garden Initiative, in which Manitou will be planting tree guilds – natural communities of tree/plant relationships. Indigenous permaculturalist, designer, builder and educator Michael Alcazar led this ceremony on September 18, 2020 at Flying Pig Farm. This ceremony kicked off the Manitou Springs Forest Garden Initiative, in which Manitou will be planting tree guilds (natural communities of tree/plant relationships) that will act as natural education sites for the community for learning how to grow food, provide pollinator and bird support, and help mitigate climatic changes. The initiative began with three planting sites. Volunteers met the next morning to begin planting. Masks were worn and social distancing was practiced at this ceremony.

To volunteer, please call or email Becky Elder (719-685-0290. The ceremony, and this episode, were presented by Pikes Peak Permaculture. Michael Alcazar also spoke about his 1 Million Trees project for Colorado.

You can hear the latest podcast here:

And don't forget to check out Podcast 61,which covers the recent Creek West Cleanup, which took place Sept. 26 to Oct. 4. Peak Environment host and co-producer Ellen Johnson-Fay interviews Alli Schuch, who coordinates outreach for the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District.
You can hear Podcast 61 here:

Pikes Peak Women Declare Position on Ballot Issues

Pikes Peak Women, who have produced election-oriented podcasts in recent weeks, last week took official positions on several ballot issues.
Pikes Peak Women was established in 2011, in response to a growing call for a forum for investigation and open discussion on key local, state, and national issues.  Its mission is to ensure that every woman in our community has an equal voice in all matters and that the contributions of all women are acknowledged and respected.  The group is committed to the deliberate recruitment and support of women in leadership positions and actively works on issues that make a difference.  It is an independent organization, coordinated by volunteer effort.

The shortening of the legislative session this year led to an unusually high number of issues that were referred to the general election ballot rather than being decided by the legislature.  There were also some issues that the legislators considered more appropriate for citizens to vote on.  
Pikes Peak Women has considered the ballot issues, consulted with its partner organizations that worked with lobbyists and legislators throughout the session, and chose to take a position on  the three issues that most directly affect women in Colorado:

Pikes Peak Women SUPPORTS  (YES  vote)
PROPOSITION 118  Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
Establishes an insurance program to provide partial wage replacement for up to 12 weeks of paid leave for any covered individual's own medical needs or to care for a family member. 
PROPOSITION 113 National Popular Vote
Joins Colorado into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, agreement among states (as put forth by state senate's Bill No. 19-042)  to elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote.
Pikes Peak Women Opposes (NO  vote)
PROPOSITION 115  - Prohibition on Late Term Abortions
Prohibits abortion after 22 weeks gestational age, creates a criminal penalty for anyone who performs a prohibited abortion, and requires the state to suspend the medical license for at least three years for any physician who violates this measure.  
A more in-depth discussion of each issue appears on the attached Position Statement, including excerpts from the statements of several of our partners.  If, after reading it, you have any questions for Pikes Peak Women, please contact 

If you have questions on the mechanics of voting, your ballot, or the safety of the voting procedure, you can listen to our podcast interviews of the County Clerk of El Paso County and the City Clerk of Colorado Springs, or to the additional on-the-ground action coverage of voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts.  Elevating Pikes Peak Women presents podcasts on our Women VOTE series: Listen to our two new episodes, all about why voting matters!  

Easily find and listen to all recent episodes here. Our podcast is also available via SpotifyLibsyn, and Radio Public. Make sure to subscribe since we’ll be releasing more episodes soon!  

Most importantly, please GO VOTE!



Colorado Springs Theatre Groups to Promote Their Own Survival in Virtual Performances

Local groups are planning multiple virtual performances during October as part of Arts Month 2020. The local groups have joined forces as Theatre Response Team to encourage support of the arts.

Among performances through the month are the Fine Arts Center’s presentation of a segment of Jessica Kakoshka’s “Of Spacious Skies”; Dragon Theatre Production’s presentation of Angie Parr’s “Wizard of Zoom”; Craft Production Resource’s production of Phil Ginsburg’s “Remembering Mary”; Springs Ensemble Theatre’s presentation of a selection from James Ijames’s “White”; Theatreworks’ debut of Anna Deavere Smith’s “House Arrest: A Search for Character In and Around the White House, Past and Present”; Millibo Art Theatre’s double bill of “Babette’s Kitchen” and “The Girl Sprouts”; Theatre d’Art’s production of a segment from Manitou Springs Ghost-Story Walking Tours, written by Jonathan Andujar, Laura Andujar’ and Jenny Maloney; Theatre Across Borders production of Barbara Summerville’s “Mary Grace”; as well as many special events. For more information, go HERE,

Moms Demand Action Looks for Volunteers to Promote Gun Safety Candidates for Election

Volunteers are needed to make phone calls to voters to encourage them to vote and to introduce them to local and state candidates they are not familiar with.

Phone voters for State Senate Candidate Randi McCallian
Thursdays, 6-8 PM and Sundays 5-7 PM
Options for either day will be emailed to you when you've RSVP'd HERE:  

Contact for info about volunteering for other candidates and in other ways.

ICAN Meets Goals for UN Nuclear Weapons Treaty, Weeks After Death of Sister Ardeth Platte


Less than a month after the unexpected death of Sister Ardeth Platte, her greatest dream of nuclear weapons abolition was realized, as Honduras added its name to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty was promoted by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), an international coalition which won the Nobel Prize in 2017, in which Sister Platte played an active role. The latest signature puts ratified signatories at 50 nations, meaning the treaty goes into force (though existing nuclear weapons states, including the U.S., are expected to blithely ignore it). The folks at Nukewatch in Luck, Wisconsin sent out the following message:

Dear nuclear abolitionist,
We would like to share some very exciting news from International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). 
Congratulations everyone!
WE banned the Bomb!
Please take a little time to celebrate and enjoy this overwhelming success.
In peace,
John LaForge, Kelly Lundeen and Christine Manwiller for Nukewatch
The big moment is finally here: the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) just reached the 50 ratifications needed for entry into force! Just now, Honduras ratified the treaty bringing about a historic milestone. In 90 days the TPNW will enter into force and become binding international law!
We congratulate and thank each and every one of you who stood with us to help make this moment happen. This is an incredible moment for our movement and we are so unbelievably proud of what we've all achieved together.
With the treaty now ready to enter into force, everything will change, but our work is not done. We are going to need to get even louder to make sure the treaty lives up to its full potential. In countries that have not joined (like the US), it is up to us to make sure that companies, governments and people know that nuclear weapons are illegal and that they need to stand on the right side of history. Watch for updates from Nukewatch about how you can participate!
We want to thank you and celebrate this special moment with you and begin the countdown for entry into force.
Thank you for everything you do,
Beatrice Fihn
Executive Director
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

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