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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 March 29, 2021


 

Colorado Legislature Debates Assault Weapon Ban in Wake of Boulder Massacre


Biden Pushed to Prioritize Response to Georgia and Colorado Killings

The Colorado legislative response to the March 22 killings at the Table Mesa King Soopers in Boulder made national news March 24, even though no concrete legislation has been drafted. State Senate Majority Leader Steve Feinberg said that this King Soopers was his neighborhood store, and that he was troubled by the reticence of the White House to make federal assault-weapon bans a priority. Colorado enshrines gun ownership in its constitution, though Democratic leaders are convinced that they could draw up expanded waiting periods and specific assault weapon bans that would preserve Second Amendment rights. Seven states have assault-weapon bans, and a state-level effort may prove to be more effective for the next few months, as Congress focuses on infrastructure, immigration, and a response to state-level efforts to restrict voting.

The nation seems trapped in a vicious escalating cycle, with mass shootings taking place in Philadelphia and Virginia Beach on March 26. In a Friday news conference, Boulder police and the county D.A. said they are no closer to learning a motive for the Boulder killings, in which an Arvada resident with Syrian roots has already been charged with ten counts of first-degree murder. Family members of the accused claim he had become increasingly paranoid and likely to threaten violence, which suggests defense attorneys may seek an insanity defense. On the evening of March 25, more than 2000 Boulder residents gathered at Fairview High School to honor the ten victims, which included police officer Eric Talley, King Soopers employees, and shoppers both inside and outside the store.

Here in Colorado, protesters gathered at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs, and in front of Coors Field in Denver. At the rallies, speakers argued for a multi-racial community of support to defend AAPI rights, and warned of the dangers of heavily-armed people with prejudices and behavioral problems


 

Environmental Goals for 2021 Colorado Legislature

Drake Power Plant opponent Lindsay Facknitz sent out an appeal last week urging environmentalists to focus on climate issues coming up in the new legislative session. Here’s her plea:
The Colorado legislative session will be starting soon. Since climate change and clean energy is a key topic at the Colorado Capitol this year, would you please write a short email to State Senator Pete Lee, State Rep Marc Snyder, and State Rep Tony Exum (all representing the COS area) letting them know why you care about climate change this weekend? We need to make sure they have the support of their constituents to vote the right way on a number of clean energy and climate bills!
Feel free to keep your email short and sweet. As I always say, sending something is better than sending nothing! 
(Example of short and sweet email is below, if that's helpful) 
email guidance:
- Share why you care about climate change and how your community is experiencing climate change
- Ask them about what their climate plan is this session/how they plan to protect your community from climate change
- Let them know you'd like to see Colorado Springs to do its part to ensure that Colorado is meeting state climate goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
email addresses:
Sen Pete Lee - pete.lee.senate@state.co.us
Rep Marc Snyder - marc.snyder.house@state.co.us
Rep Tony Euxum - tony.exum.house@state.co.us
 
Feel free to forward this email to any other friends or groups who could send an email this weekend. 
 

Two New Peak Environment Podcasts Address Bureau of Land Management, Greenhouse Gases

It’s been a busy week at Studio 801’s Peak Environment, with two new episodes up. The first, Podcast 71, looks at the future of the recently-relocated Bureau of Land Management under the Biden administration. What steps can the Biden administration take to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Bureau of Land Management to better address its conservation and climate change goals? This question was addressed in a lively online discussion hosted by PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility). Panelists discussed the results of a recent employee survey, trends in land management planning, problems in BLM’s management culture, and questions from the webinar participants. This discussion was held on February 24, 2021.

 You can hear Podcast 71 here:
http://studio809radio.com/new-era-blm/

Also new this week is Podcast 70, which looks at the state’s efforts at reducing greenhouse gases. Will Toor, Executive Director of the Colorado Energy Office, provides a summary of State/CEO projects, activities, and initiatives, and shares the Colorado Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Pollution Reduction Roadmap.

You can hear Podcast 70 here:
http://studio809radio.com/ghg-roadmap/

an hear Podcast 68 here:
http://studio809radio.com/drake-closing-now-what/
You can also check out the recent Podcast 68 on Northern Water. What are 33 Colorado cities doing to conserve water? Frank Kinder, Water Efficiency Program Manager for Northern Water, updates us on the conservation work of this regional water provider. This program was recorded at the October 23, 2020 meeting of the Pikes Peak Environmental Forum. The Forum informs the community in Colorado Springs on issues of environmental import. Our monthly luncheon meeting topics have ranged from how earthquakes can predict weather events to sustainable energy solutions. Each month we learn something we weren’t necessarily aware we needed to know, but in broadening our knowledge, we deepen our understanding of, and our connection to, the world. Learn about future luncheons at our Facebook page, or contact us to be put on the email list for meeting notifications.
You can hear Podcast 68 here:
http://studio809radio.com/n-water-efficiency-pgm/
LINKS for Podcast 68:
Frank Kinder’s slide presentation
The Colorado-Big Thompson Project – video shown during presentation
2020 in Review: Water Efficiency Programs – video shown at end of presentation

PPJPC Seeks Interest in Officers for Board

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. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else to a board position, contact us at (719) 963-2979, or Gabriel.Cordova01@gmail.com.  
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Catch the Nov. 14 Lynching Memorial

If you missed the Nov. 14 memorial for lynching victim Preston John Porter at Denver’s Creekside Park, you can view the ceremony at the Colorado Lynching Memorial web site HERE.

Participants in the ceremony  included Rosemary Lytle, president of NAACP state conference; Aurora poet laureate Jovan Mays; Episcopal Church Bishop Kym Lucas; Rev. Tawana Davis of Soul2Soul Sisters; Gov. Jared Polis; Denver Mayor Michael Hancock; and Denver City Council Member Candi CdeBaca.

The marker commemorates the Nov. 16, 1900 lynching in Limon of 15-year-old railroad worker Preston Porter Jr., falsely accused of killing a girl. Porter was one of four African Americans known to have been lynched in Colorado, who are being recognized by the CLM project.
   

 

PPJPC, PPLD, and Hear Here Poetry Plan Dual Youth Poetry Events

Last fall, PPJPC, PPLD, and Hear Here Poetry planned a joint youth poetry event which was postponed as pandemic conditions worsened again. In response to the slow lifting of pandemic restrictions, the three organizations are now planning two events in May and October. On Saturday, May 8, a small workshop entitled “Word Warriors: From Inlking to Ink” will be held at PPLD’s Knights of Columbus Hall Gardens (or the hall itself in case of inclement weather) from 1 to 3 p.m. The workshop will be led by former Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Susan Peiffer. PPLD restrictions mean that registration will be capped at a dozen, for teens age 13-19. We’ll post information on registration soon.

On Saturday, August 14, a larger event centered on topics of privilege, will be held at a PPLD location, likely Knights of Columbus downtown. We are hoping improved conditions allow for a greater number of participants. Stay tuned for more information!
 

Police Accountability Public Meetings Continue With April 5 Crisis Response Meeting

 

The city’s Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability Commission (“LETAC” ) is continuing its Listen & Learn sessions with the second of two sessions April 5 on crisis response. Additional sessions in April and May will cover the use of force.  LETAC was established by City Council in June of 2020 in response to citizen protests, marches and vigils after the deaths of De'Von Bailey, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others of our Black communities.  The mission of LETAC is to make recommendations to City Council which would promote improved understanding and relationships between the police department and the public. LETAC’s current work is framed as “listening and learning”, which includes discussion meetings on the topics of communication, racial bias, crisis response and use of force.

Please RSVP to LETAC@ColoradoSprings.gov or calling 719-385-5480.  RSVP to attend the April 5 Part 2 session on crisis response, slated to start at 6 p.m.  The usual schedule is for LETAC meetings to be held on the first and third Monday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. Due to current public health requirements, meetings are held virtually.

Topics & Dates

Crisis Response: April 5, 2021
Use of Force: April 19/May 3, 2021

Listening and Learning Sessions
The first of the two sessions in each topic area will begin with a presentation from CSPD on the specified topic, which will then be followed by citizens’ comments about the topic. These comments will allow LETAC to listen to citizens only. Citizens are encouraged to sign-up in advance by emailing
LETAC@ColoradoSprings.gov or calling 719-385-5480.

The second of the two sessions will be an opportunity for LETAC internal discussion on the topic presented and addressed at the prior meeting. This will include Commissioners’ presentations, take-aways, additional questions, and next steps. (The March 1 session will be a Part 2 session of Listen & Learn on the racial bias topic.)
 

Colorado Springs Pro-Housing Partnership Weighs In On City Council Election

The Colorado Springs Pro-Housing Partnership has made its recommendations on April’s city council elections, based on a questionnaire the group sent to candidates earlier this year. You can see the results of the questionnaire and learn the partnership’s recommendations by visiting PHP HERE  
 

Concrete Couch Season at Concrete Coyote Park Includes "Saturday Morning Grab Bag"

Our friends at Concrete Couch have posted their winter schedule, which includes a variety of hands-on outdoor events at Concrete Coyote Park, 1100 S. Royer. All events are free. One of the popular programs is SATURDAY MORNING GRAB BAG, which offers two sessions (10am to noon, and 1pm to 3pm). These programs are tailored to participant's interests, and include trail building, sculpture building, wood construction, dry stacking stone work, environmental restoration, aquatic science, etc. Participating in each Grab Bag group is limited to 5 participants, and require mask wearing. Kids under 13 also need an adult chaperone.

The Concrete Couch team is also free offering construction training to other non-profits. This program works especially well if your group 1) wants to learn basic carpentry skills and 2) needs something built, like a shed, bench, gate or shade pavilion. CC provides all the tools and (recycled) materials. Contact trainings@concretecouch.org to set up a program for your team.

On the Concrete Couch calendar, you can also check out regular virtual sessions on weekdays, including Cool Science and School of Rock. Visit HERE 
 

Pikes Peak Women Offers New Podcast on Covid and Education

Pikes Peak Women has a new Studio 809 podcast on Covid-19 and education. This podcast is focused on education of our children through their high school years, during the pandemonium of the COVID disruption of all our lives.. We have Christine O'Brien, Public Information Officer of Harrison School District 2, to discuss K-12 education, and Noreen Landis-Tyson from CPCD - Giving Children a HEAD START, who brings the perspective on the 0 to5-year-old group. We dive into the struggles that educators, families, and children are facing, how to prepare children, efforts made to assist families of the most vulnerable in our community,  what next year's school may look like, and so much more.
Subscribe for more episodes, and reach out to us on Facebook HERE or Email Us and let us know what you thought of today's episode. 

Here's the Studio 809 link for this podcast: http://studio809radio.com/education-during-the-time-of-covid-with-christine-obrien-and-noreen-landis-tyson/ .
  We're also on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and many other platforms. Links to them are shown here:
 
Here are some resource materials that can give you quick information on the subjects covered by today's speakers:

  We've got another great episode coming to you soon! Make sure to subscribe!   
 

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