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The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.

 


Week of July 20, 2020


 

City Council's Inaction Superseded by
Polis's Statewide Mandate


Indoor Masking Covers Both Public Buildings and Retail Businesses

The City Council decided at its July 14 meeting to hold off on a mask ordinance until hearing more detailed information from county health officials. But on July 16, Gov. Jared Polis overrode the issue at the state level, setting mandates that face masks must be worn indoors, both in government and public buildings, as well as in private retail buildings. The latter part of the order takes the heat off businesses, as they can point to the state ordinance and hopefully avoid the ire of some customers. Nevertheless, the day before the governor’s order, Walmart, Kroger/King Sooper, Target, and Kohls already had issued their own orders requiring masks inside their stores.

Masks continued to be a hot spot in the coronavirus culture wars, with the most absurd case being the instance of the governor of Georgia not only refusing to issue a mask mandate, but suing the city of Atlanta for making a mandate of its own. In Provo, Utah, hundreds of maskless parents showed up for a county meeting which would mandate children wearing masks when they return to school. The parents refused to practice social distancing, and tried to shout down speakers. The county commission chairman closed the meeting as a threat to public health.

Here in Colorado Springs, the City Council also acted to move a police accountability commission toward reality. This time, the vote was unanimous, as Yolanda Avila, who had cast an initial “no” vote because she found the commission “toothless,” agreed to vote with the majority to get the process underway. The city has received more than 200 applications from citizens to be members of the 11-member commission.
 

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” last Sunday 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: https://youtu.be/8t16wRcVHa4
 

Pikes Peak Women Issue Legislative Wrapup for 2020

Pikes Peak Women, a local group of leaders that include former PPJPC Chair Melissa Marts, Citizens Project Executive Director Deb Walker, and Indy Give! Director Barb Van Hoy, released a wrap-up of legislative action during the state’s truncated 2020 session:

PIKES PEAK WOMEN is known for, among other things, the annual gathering with our membership to review the legislative successes and challenges of our partner organizations. Our partners have worked hard since last fall to present a statewide legislative agenda that will benefit women and families, so that at the session’s end, we’re all proud to announce the successes or stand determined to renew efforts for the next session on bills about which we’re passionate.
 
This year’s legislative session was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which cut the whole session short AND had a devastating effect on the state’s budget. Many bills had to be sidelined for lack of funds (though not for lack of enthusiasm by the committed organizations and legislators who worked so hard). Pikes Peak Women and our partners also recognize that we cannot safely and responsibly bring people together in one place as we traditionally have done, both audience and lobbyists/presenters from each organization.
 
Therefore, our partners have contributed their reviews of the most successful legislative achievements of the 2020 session and a few of the issues that will live to be worked on another day. Pikes Peak Women’s goal is to let the women of our area know the kind of work being done at the state level to advance the status of women and their families. We acknowledge the strange circumstances that put a monkey wrench into so many of these organizations’ efforts this session, but we know that every success (and some of the failures) builds our collective strength to move women forward.
 
PIKES PEAK WOMEN
Mary Lou Makepeace, Marcy Morrison, Denise Abbott, Karole Campbell, Lindy Conter, Susan Davies, Melissa Marts, Michelle Ray, Beth Roalstad, Carrie Simison, Barb Van Hoy
 
The organizations primarily responsible for the lobbying and legislative work summarized in this report are: American Association of University Women (AAUW), Citizens Project (CP), League of Women Voters (LWVCO), and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado (WFCO).

 BILLS SUPPORTED AND PASSED

 HB 20-1053: Supports for Early Childhood Workforce
Amended to include parts of HB 20-1006 (Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants) and HB 20-1016 (Increase Quality of Early Childhood Education Programs) with the following priorities
·         Enable programs that are reopening by bolstering recruitment and retainment of educators
·         Support mental health needs of educators  and families
·         Allow for state to support continued quality improvement
Supported by WFCO, LWVCO, AAUW

 HB 20-1048Race Trait Hairstyle Anti-Discrimination (“The Crown Act”)
Bans natural hair discrimination laws in public education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and advertising, as well as provides protections against discrimination on the basis of race, including traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.
Supported by CP, WFCO, AAUW, LWVCO

 SB 20-166: Simplifying Requirements for New Birth Certificate
Minors allowed to change birth certificate to match their gender, as well as receive state documentation affirming their gender without requirements for surgery, specific treatment, or behavioral healthcare.
Supported by CP

 SB 20-200: Implementation of Colorado Secure Savings Plan
The program created by this bill is intended to increase retirement savings among Colorado’s private sector workers. Given the disparity in women’s pay, which can impact retirement savings, LWVCO believes this bill to be of great interest to women.
Supported by LWVCO

 SB 200-205: Healthy Families and Workplaces Act
Requires all employers in Colorado to provide earned paid sick leave on an accrual basis starting 1/1/21. Especially important for women who are part of the minimum wage workforce, which often doesn’t provide this benefit.
Supported by WFCO, LWVCO

 SB 20-217: Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity
To improve accountability and integrity in law enforcement agencies. WFCO statement: “Gender equity cannot be achieved without racial equity. Racism and violence in policing lead to disproportionate deaths, injury, and incarceration of women of color, impacting generations of individuals, families, and communities of color in countless ways, both directly and indirectly. The sweeping law enforcement reform bill marks one of the country’s most significant changes to policing amidst the protests over the brutal killing of George Floyd.”
Supported by WFCO, LWVCO, CP, AAUW

 ISSUE SUPPORTED BUT NOT PASSED

Paid Family and Medical Leave
No bill was introduced during the legislative session, though it had widespread support from partners during the 2019 session as SB 19-188. A strategy to keep the bill alive in that session was to create a study group to develop an implementation plan and conduct research to be ready to introduce the program in 2020. However, fiscal realities intervened and the bill was postponed again. At this point, signature gathering efforts are underway for a potential statewide ballot measure this fall “to seek voter approval to establish a paid leave system in Colorado. The proposed ballot measure uses recommendations from the task force and is the most business-friendly of the options originally proposed.” [WFCO; see https://blog.wfco.org/2020-legislative-results/.]

MEASURES OPPOSED

HB 20- 1098: Prohibition on Abortion after 22 weeks
Would have prohibited abortions after 22 weeks except in very limited circumstances.  It was postponed indefinitely but is being put to the voters as a ballot question this fall, referred to as the “Due Date Too Late” measure.
Opposed by LWVCO, AAUW
AAUW also actively opposed HB 20-1033 (Live and Let Live Act), HB 20-1075 (Personhood), and HB 20-1068/SB 20-077 (Enforcing Rights of a Living Child After an Abortion). All bills failed in committee.

HB 20-1114: Protect Minors from Mutilation and Sterilization
Would have criminalized the provision of hormones and gender affirmative surgery to minors, and healthcare professionals who provided gender-affirmative care to transgender people would have faced felony charges.
Opposed by CP
Lost in Committee

HB 20-1188: Persons Who Illegally Reentered the United States
Under Colorado law, civil immigration detainer requests (CIDR) are not considered warrants, so law enforcement is prohibited from arresting or detaining people on CIDRs alone. This bill would have enabled law enforcement to arrest or detain people with CIDRs if they had been previously deported or convicted of improper entry to the U.S. Law enforcement would have been required to notify ICE when it detains or arrests someone with a CIDR.
Opposed by CP
Lost in Committee.
 
 

PPJPC Works with PPLD to Contact Teen Peace Camp Alumni in Preparation for Alternative Fall Events

Plans for a three-month series of events to take the place of the summer 2020 Peace Camp are well under way, and Pikes Peak Library District is working with PPJPC to align events with planned PPLD events such as All Pikes Peak Reads. We are focusing on Racial Justice and Understanding Cultures for our fall program, which will include online activities, shows, and events along with reading appropriate for both older and younger students. Later in July, we will be contacting those over 12 who have served as Peace Camp counselors, or who would like to do so, to help plan reading for young adults, as well as video presentations for elementary-aged kids that the teens can help produce. Stay tuned for more details!

 

Trump Uses Two Militarized Units of Department of Homeland Security for "Snatch and Go" Forces in Portland, OR
 

When the White House ordered military units to clear Lafayette Park in June, it created a rift between the president and the Defense Department that has only widened in intervening weeks. When armed units of the Bureau of Prisons were employed in later protests, they raised controversy without making a difference on the streets. So last week, the White House used two unmarked, unacknowledged militarized units within the Department of Homeland Security – the Federal Protective Services and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) units – to snatch protesters off the streets and illegally hold them in federal facilities.

Many pundits anticipated that the use of the forces would be duplicated in other cities, but the outcry was immediate and widespread. Both the mayor of Portland and the governor of Oregon said they were not aware of the DHS units in the city, and did not approve of their use. The federal District Attorney in Portland said he would open up a probe on misuse of DHS, raising the prospects of the DHS and Justice Department in direct conflict with each other. It is likely the DHS units will stand down amid all the bad publicity, but last week’s actions point to the fact that President Trump may be willing to call out illegally-constituted armed forces to suppress the population either before or after the election – provided there are any armed service or law-enforcement units at the federal level who will still obey White House commands by then.
 

Active for Justice Podcast Covers Plowshares Nuns' March 5 Speech

 

 Thanks to Greg, Dave, Rick, and everyone at Studio 809 (who are currently on a virus semi-sabbatical) for editing 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. We have also listed the latest two Peak Environment podcasts of Studio 809 below, though it may be a few weeks before additional podcasts are added.

Plowshares Podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/active-justice-yes-humanity-mar-05-2020/

 

World Affairs Council to Hold July 22 Webinar (THIS WEEK!) on "The Global Diseases of Racism, Atrocities, and Genocide"

Join the Colorado Springs World Affairs Council for a webinar on Wednesday, July 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on “The Global Diseases of Racism, Atocities, and Genocide.” The panel features Darren Byler, a post-doc fellow at the Center for Asian Studies at CU Boulder; Lilianne Fan, chair of the Rohingya Working Group of the Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network; Andreas Harsono, a specialist on Indonesia for Human Rights Watch; and Consolee Nishimwe, a survivor of the 1994 Rwanda genocide, now based in New York. Moderator is Stanley Harsha, a former ambassador to Indonesia now based in Pueblo. WAC is asking that people register for the webinar by 3:30 p.m. on July 22. For more information, visit https://csworldaffairs.org/event-list/#!event/2020/7/22/the-global-diseases-of-racism-atrocities-and-genocide

PPJPC Seeks Interest for Officers of Board

While we at PPJPC identified potential 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 info@ppjpc.org or media@ppjpc.org. After double-checking with candidates, we will send out a slate of board candidates for member approval.
 

New Webinar on Hybrid Warfare

About Face: Veterans Against the War and World Without War partnered in late March to present a webinar that is now available for viewing online. “The Age of Hybrid Warfare” is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/gZK40p10MOA. You can also check out the PowerPoint slides that go with the webinar at tiny.cc/wij4nz.  This seminar looks at the creation of “permanent war” environments when economic warfare, “lawfare,” cyberwar, and other methods augment traditional avenues of armed conflict.
 

Peak Environment Podcast 59 Examines Regional Sustainability

 

Studio 809’s Peak Environment has released the second of two podcasts featuring Konrad Schlarbaum of Green Cities Coalition. Schlarbaum, the sustainability coordinator at Pikes Peak Community College, talks about “Updating the Regional Sustainability Plan.” How can we improve the Pikes Peak Region 2030 Plan?  Schlarbaum lays out his suggestions.

You can find Podcast 59 here:
http://studio809radio.com/pe-ppr2030-updating/

Podcast 58 covers a presentation Schlarbaum made Feb. 8 at the Pikes Peak Foodshed Forum, on local food and indigenous roots. The podcast also features keynote speaker Michael Alcazar.

You can find Podcast 58 here:
http://studio809radio.com/indigenous-land-management/


 

Concrete Couch Offers Summer Online Zoom Sessions and Face-to-Face Small Classes at Hillside

Our friends at Concrete Couch have expanded their spring Zoom offerings in two directions. Weekday Zoom classes will continue to be offered, following a general schedule of Food on Monday, Art on Tuesday, Construction on Wednesday, Science on Thursday, and a Friday session on Mindful Movement, including yoga and dance. There is also a new “Teach One Thing” program for those aged 9-17, who are prepared to commit to five hours for preparing a class on a favorite subject to teach, and then teaching it online. Find out more at www.concretecouch.org . Steve Wolf tells us that Concrete Couch is looking for teachers, too, so drop him a line at teach@concretecouch.org.

Concrete Couch also is offering its first paid classes, in which five kids and five instructors will join at Concrete Coyote Learning Laboratory, Colorado Springs Food Rescue, Hillside Community Center, and other locations. The students will learn a variety of art, construction, science, stonework, and ecology skills. Participants must bring their own water, snacks, mask, and gloves. Morning sessions from 9 to 10 a.m. are for those aged 9 to 12, while sessions from 10:00 to 11:30 are for 13 to 17 year-olds. The classes began June 8, so check with Christine at the email below for possible late entrants. The classes run from June 8 to August 14. The cost is $50, though there are scholarships available, and each student that attends at least 9 of 10 classes gets 100% of tuition back. For more information, contact Christine Flores at christine@concretecouch.org.
 
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