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 June 22, 2020


The Tough Challenge of True Reform

June 20 Evening Event Celebrates State Passage of Police Accountability Act

We are sending out eWeekly early to notify subscribers of an evening event TODAY (June 20) outside City Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., to commemorate De’Von Bailey and to celebrate the passage of the state’s Law Enforcement Accountability Act, which Gov. Polis signed on Juneteenth, June 19. Speakers Saturday night will include State Rep. Leslie Herod, Rev. Promise Lee of Relevant Word Ministries, State Sen. Pete Lee, State Reps. Tony Exum and Mark Snyder, Attorney Dan Kay, and Dr. Rev. Stephany Rose Spaulding. Some hard challenges have faced activists in the last two weeks, at both city and state levels, to make these changes a reality.

While the state bill had little meaningful opposition, activist groups faced some bureaucratic opposition in City Council when the council heard testimony last week from NACOLE and The People groups concerning a citizens police review board. While the council will consider such a board, Council President Richard Skorman and several council members disappointed activists by insisting board members be appointed by the council. The council is now accepting applications to become part of that board.

In many cities, politicians and activists looked for ways to find common ground, with bills proposed at both municipal and state levels. Not all cities were ready to recover from the turmoil of early June, however. In Atlanta, two police officers were charged in the murder of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s drive-through last weekend. In response many Atlanta police officers called in sick on the evenings of June 17 and 18. Tensions remained high in several other cities as well, particularly in Seattle, where the police union was expelled from a city-wide labor federation.

In Colorado and across the nation, activists need to be wary of more than government officials. Here in Colorado Springs and in many other cities, heavily-armed rightists have been “patrolling” the edges of legal protests, claiming they are providing order. In Albuquerque, a group at the local museum protesting a statue of a Spanish conquistador was set upon by a “Citizens Militia,” and one protester was critically injured when he was shot several times by a man who had run for Albuquerque City Council. In the small town of Bethel, Ohio, a 100 Black Lives Matter protesters were assaulted by a crowd ten times their size who claimed the nonviolent protesters were “antifa.” As this weekend in Tulsa launches Trump’s MAGA rally season, we should anticipate assaults by rightists to become more frequent.


Moms Demand Action to Participate in Pride Event

 THIS Sunday, June 21, 8:30-10:30 AM 
Meet at corner of Wahsatch and Colorado, across from Paul Mitchell Beauty Academy

Show your support for disarming hate and the LGBTQ victims of hate filled gun violence. Decorate your car, buckle the family in, and join us in socially distanced Cruising With Pride. We will meet at 8:30 AM at the corner of Wahsatch and Colorado, across from Paul Mitchell Beauty Academy, to add #DisarmHate placards on our windows. Cruise begins at 9 AM will go through downtown and continue through Old Colorado City and return to the starting point. Optional to continue cruising up to Lincoln Center and out to Wasson Park and beyond. Come and participate for a shorter or longer timeframe as you like.  Email if you have questions.
Click here to RSVP for Cruising With Pride

Pikes Peak Women Release a Call to Action, Summer-Long Program to Address Racial Injustices

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 the following statement on Wednesday, June 10:

Pikes Peak Women stands with those who are horrified by the brutal murder of George Floyd  by Minneapolis police on May 25, and those  of Breonna Taylor,  Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray Jr., Walter Scott, Oscar Grant III, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, and too many more.  As mothers, as sisters, as friends we thought we were doing the right things to support and advance equality.  We were wrong!
Our efforts have been too little and our voices too weak.  Too often our silence spoke louder than our efforts.   As the great leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,  said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 

We can do better.  We must do better. The community of Fannie Mae Duncan and “Everybody Welcome” must come together to lead the way through advocacy, collaboration, and peaceful protest. 

We cannot claim to know the racism and discrimination experienced by our Black colleagues on a daily basis, but we can learn.  It is no longer enough to ask “Am I racist?” but rather “HOW am I racist?” and, even more so, “How can I use my privilege to advocate through positive action, relationship building, and communication to the broader community that racism is NOT welcome here?  Not here in the Pikes Peak region.  Not here in the United States.”

The leadership of Pikes Peak Women is committed to becoming effective allies, leading the charge to examine our white privilege and systemic racism to finally deliver the promise of equality at all levels for people of color. Many of you have attended our programs on media bias, political advocacy, and running for office.  You have learned from Pikes Peak Women and brought your unique perspectives and truths to our forums. Now is the time to declare your commitment by adding your voice and story to the chorus of those demanding justice and reform for equal treatment, access, and respect for communities of color.  Women are a powerful force in this community.  Just 100 years ago women gave their hearts, their efforts, and their lives to deliver suffrage to women.  We can move mountains when moved to action, and now it is more important than ever to commit to action! 

In the coming months Pikes Peak Women will be collaborating  with our community partners to draft programs that educate us so we can be stronger – and louder – allies in this fight for equality. The details have yet to be formulated and we do want to hear from you on suggested topics that you think would be helpful.  Here are some sample topics:  White Privilege – What Is It?  What are police guidelines on Use of Force?  How are schools educating our children on civil rights, discrimination, privilege?  What is the penalty for CSPD officers who don’t wear their body cameras or turn them on?  What is our history of civil rights in Colorado Springs?  The list is likely to be long, but we would welcome your ideas.  Feel free to share this memo with your friends and neighbors.  We welcome all suggestions.
We cannot remain silent. We must fight systemic racism and inequality, the historic absence of respect, and the denial of justice to our friends, neighbors, family members, and fellow citizens who are people of color.  We commit to learning to be true allies in this movement.  We ask each woman of the Pikes Peak region to JOIN US.

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 . Steve Wolf tells us that Concrete Couch is looking for teachers, too, so drop him a line at

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

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:

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:


PPJPC Cancels Peace Camp, Plans Late Summer Online Family Event

It should surprise few people that we have elected to cancel Peace Camp in either online or face-to-face formats this summer. While our friends at Concrete Couch were generous is describing what does and does not work for remote Zoom classes as well as for limited outdoor onsite activities, we found in polling former attendees that many kids were experiencing Zoom burnout after a semester of online classes, and many other families did not want to attend face-to-face events for now.

Needless to say, scholarships and funding will be carried over into 2021, when we will hopefully be past the pandemic and able to put on the quality event we want to offer. In the meantime, we are planning on a special online event for families in the August-September time frame. Stay tuned for more details!

Judicial Branch, District Attorneys Bring Administration New Challenges

An attempted Friday night firing of New York’s federal district attorney Geoffrey Berman by Attorney General William Barr carried hints of the “Saturday Night Massacre” during Watergate that brought down many of Nixon’s cabinet members. Berman had been investigating wrongdoing by presidential advisor Rudy Giuliani. As the weekend progressed, many federal attorneys said they would no longer recognize Barr’s authority in federal law. Barr had made a series of decisions on the prosecution of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and on matters surrounding John Bolton’s tell-all book, that had led to internal protests within the Justice Department.

Earlier in the week, the administration faced two US Supreme Court rulings, under a supposedly conservative court, that called into question where Trump’s supposed judicial allies would stand. The Civil Rights Act was expanded to cover LGBTQ and transgender employees, and the DACA Dreamer executive action of Obama to support immigrant youths was upheld. On the right side of Trump’s base, critics began complaining that the judicial branch of government was unnecessary, and it is likely between now and the election that the White House and Justice Department will attempt to erode the Constitution further.

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:


Sierra Club Calls for Energy Portfolio 17 to Close Drake Early

As the City Council slowly moves to a power futures plan that could see Drake closed as early as 2030, Sierra Club and other community groups are asking for support for an option known as Energy Portfolio #17. The Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) Board of Directors (AKA City Council) will vote on June 26th to select a final energy plan for Colorado Springs for the next 30 years. This is an important opportunity to ensure CSU is putting our community on a path to innovative clean energy technologies that are cleaning up Colorado's air pollution and saving ratepayer money.

On June 3rd, the Utilities Policy Advisory Committee voted from five final energy plans to recommend energy plan #16 to the Board that would replace 400 megawatts of coal at Colorado Springs’ 2 coal plants, Drake and Nixon, with 500 megawatts of new gas plants. This means Colorado Springs would actually have more fossil fuels in 2030 than we do now in 2020, taking a major step backwards and subjecting ratepayers to greater risk than other energy plan

Portfolios #12, #16, and #17 are the favored, low-cost, final options and the Board wants to hear from the community about what residents prefer. All three of the portfolios retire Drake and Nixon coal plants by 2030, replacing them with a diverse mix of resources.

Here’s what we like about energy plan #17:
1) It retires Drake coal plant by 2023 and Nixon coal plant by 2030
2) It does not build a new gas plant that will pollute the region for decades
3) It invests more in state of the art, clean technology like battery storage, wind, and solar
4) It is one of the top 4 financially responsible energy plan options for CSU
Here’s why portfolio #17 is more responsible than portfolio #16:
1) Clean energy is a safer investment than gas, especially as new gas plants subject ratepayers in Colorado Springs to regulatory risk.
a) The next decade is critical to making changes to combat climate change and mitigate its impacts on our communities. As a result, Colorado communities are pushing state leaders to set ambitious clean energy and carbon reduction goals and we are likely to see further regulation to do so. Colorado already has laws in place to meet new climate goals and trending regulation across the West will make gas a bad investment.
b) Any new gas infrastructure is bound to become a financial burden on ratepayers as Colorado moves toward more clean energy to meet state carbon reduction goals, the same way coal has. Portfolio #17 subjects Colorado Spring ratepayers to less risk since it builds more clean energy and storage than portfolio #16 or #12. In this way, CSU would be set up for success to meet stricter greenhouse gas emissions target or clean energy targets in Colorado.
c) Data from multiple reports, including a 2019 study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, finds that 90% of proposed gas plants in the next five years could be cost-effectively avoided with clean energy, and are at risk of saddling customers  with expensive, unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure.
2) Portfolio 17 allows CSU to rely more on its own electricity generation resources instead of heavily relying on market purchases (and the market’s price risks).
a) Portfolio 16 (red line) relies much more heavily on making market purchases starting in 2035, whereas portfolio 17 (dark gray line) is the best option for CSU to rely on its own generation resources for electricity. Source: Colorado Springs Utilities June 2020 UPAC agenda
3) Portfolio 16 forces ratepayers to pay for a gas plant that will hardly be used.
a) Portfolio 16 builds a brand new gas plant in 2030 that according to CSU’s own modeling will hardly be used as the utility plans to rely on cheaper market purchases anyway.
b) Spending ratepayer money on a new gas plant that will hardly be used is unnecessary and can be avoided by choosing portfolio #17.
c) To further clarify this point, barely running an additional, new gas plant in 2030 is how CSU is still able to hit the 80% carbon emission reductions by 2030 that are needed to comply with state greenhouse gas reduction goals.
4) The revenue requirement (AKA cost) difference between portfolio #16 and #17 is statistically meaningless (0.5%) and could be flipped due to uncertainties like the volatility of future gas prices.
a) CSU’s own modeling shows that portfolio #17 is only 0.5% more expensive than portfolio #16. That is five cents on a $100 utility bill, and well within the margin of error.
b) See average annual electric revenue requirements on page 70 of CSU’s modeling below:
c) CSUs’ modeling shows that the 0.5% (around $100 million on a 30-year basis) gap is more or less covered by the uncertainty of other cost inputs (AKA sensitivities modeled by CSU) such as the volatility of gas prices, the downward trend of renewable energy and storage costs over 30 years, and changes in electricity demand.
i) For example, CSU’s modeling (p 160) shows that an increase in gas prices would cost CSU $77 million more with portfolio #16 compared to portfolio #17. More ambitious climate targets (90% CO2 reductions by 2030 relative to baseline) would cost CSU $119 million more with portfolio
#16 compared with portfolio #17. Renewable energy costs that come in cheaper than CSU’s conservative assumptions would save $95 million more in portfolio #17 than in portfolio #16

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 or 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 You can also check out the PowerPoint slides that go with the webinar at  This seminar looks at the creation of “permanent war” environments when economic warfare, “lawfare,” cyberwar, and other methods augment traditional avenues of armed conflict.
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