• Town Hall with Joann Ginal – February

    Representative Joann Ginal will be attending a monthly Town Hall meeting, hosted by R Bar and Lounge, the third Friday of every month. Join us as we provide a safe space for discussion with Representative Joann Ginal. Let’s grab a drink and talk about immigration, ethnicity, diversity, and how current policy is effecting our community. We have multiple speakers to help foster the dialogue. Just bring an open mind and any questions you might have. Cheers!

    RSVP to the event here.

  • Weekend Warrior – Feb. 17, 2017

    Not that we want to keep kicking these posts off the same again and again, but it has been another crazy week in Washington!  For those of you that didn’t have a chance to be bombarded with everything political this week but now you’re ready to get involved, here’s what you need to know to get to work this weekend:

    Rep. Joann Ginal’s Monthly Happy Hour

    State Rep. Joann Ginal will be holding another Happy Hour Town Hall at The R Bar and Lounge this month on Friday February 17th at 6:30pm. This Town Hall will focus on the topics of cultural diversity and immigration. There will be presentations from the Office of International Programs at CSU, the CSU department of Education and Ethnic Studies, and El Centro.

    Senator John Kefalas Community Forum

    State Senator John Kefalas will be hosting a Community Forum at Colorado State University with the CSU Democrats on February 18th at 10:00am at the Lory Student Center. Kefalas is having this even on campus in hopes of raising the number of college-aged participants, so the issues and concerns will be more broadly based that they are at his typical community forums. This will be a great opportunity for anyone who is new to local politics or anyone that is interested in seeing how the youth of Fort Collins is participating in democracy!

    Next Week: Fort Collins City Council Meeting

    Fort Collins City Council will be holding their bi-monthly meeting next Tuesday and just posted the agenda for review. Their meetings start at 6pm and run until they’re finished.

    Anything going on this weekend we missed? Leave it in the comments below and we’ll add it!

  • Volunteer Fight Club Monthly Meeting – February

    Last night’s monthly meeting at Intersect Brewing was a great success! Thanks to everyone who came out and thank you to Intersect Brewing for hosting us. Read over the brief recap below or download the meeting notes for more information.

    The March meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 16th, location to be determined.

    Monthly Meeting Rundown

    Women’s Day of Service Fort Collins

    • We are still receiving volunteer registrations and organizer registrations (over 200 volunteers now).
    • We will be sending assignments before February 24th, 2017.
    • Please make sure that you’re checking your email over the next couple of weeks for updates.
    • We are looking into alternative indoor opportunities in the case of bad weather.
    • T-shirts: Would members be interested in purchasing commemorative t-shirts for a small fee, $10-15? It seemed everyone attending the meeting was interested.

    Recap Feb 11, 2017 Town Hall

    Recap Feb 11, 2017 Solidarity with PP Rally

    • Turnout numbers were in the thousands, put together by AJ Kelley & Fort Collins Girl Gang.
    • Speakers included John Kefalas & Joann Ginal, as well as respresentatives from NoCo Now, CSU Dems, and more.
    • Raised over $1,500 for Planned Parenthood

    Mayoral Candidate Questions

    • We will interview the local mayoral candidates over the next week and post our interviews on the site.
    • Submit your questions in card form or via email. You can also use the form up on the site.

    VFC Ambassadors

    • We will be looking for people passionate about specific subjects (Climate Change, Homelessness, etc.) to get directly involved with VFC.
    • Activities will include researching, blogging, and outreach to arrange volunteer opportunities.
    • Meet offline to discuss interest or contact VFC for more information.

    Upcoming Events

    Download the Notes

    Any questions? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll get them answered!

  • Town Hall Recap – February 11, 2017

    This past Saturday’s Fort Collins Town Hall brought an amazing turnout of over 125 citizens to Council Tree Library on Harmony for a legislative update and Q&A session with State Senator John Kefalas, State Representative Joann Ginal, and State Representative Jeni Arndt. Topics ranged from climate change to affordable housing. However, the most common questions seemed to reflect a number of concerns about immigration and the effect of the current administration’s policies on the status of Fort Collins green card holders, as well as the recent proposed state legislation regarding women’s reproductive health in the Colorado State House and the likelihood of future proposed bills.

     

    jeni-arndt-pic

    State Representative Jeni Arndt

    Rep. Arndt is a longtime resident of Fort Collins with a background in education as well as experience as a Congressional intern. She chairs the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee in addition to sitting on the Business Affairs and Labor and the Statutory Revision Committees. She is currently working on a bill that would promote artificially recharging aquifers in Fort Collins to provide additional water storage without waiting for Mother Nature to naturally replenish them.

    State Representative Joann Ginal

    Another longtime Fort Collins resident, Rep. Ginal is in her third term of representing Fort Collins in Colorado House District 52 and is the Chairwoman of the Health, Insurance & Human Services Committee. She is also a member of the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee as well as the Transportation and Energy Committee. Just last week, she was a part of a committee that helped strike down three bills targeting women’s reproductive rights in an all-night hearing.  Ginal said she will also be working to bring back the Prescription Drug Transparency Act and introducing a bill to instate a “hot car” law in Colorado, giving immunity to individuals that break a vehicles window in the event that an unattended animal, child or elderly person has been left in a closed hot car.

    John Kefalas RunningState Senator John Kefalas

    Senator Kefalas is currently in his first term serving Senate District 14 and is the ranking member of the Local Government Committee, in addition to serving on the Capital Development Committee and the Health Insurance Exchange Oversight Committee. He is currently working on Senate Bill 17-040, a bill that would require open and transparent government in regards to requests for public information. Despite bipartisan report, the bill is stuck in committee and does not have a hearing date scheduled at this time.

    The Issues

    What happens to the Colorado State Exchange when ACA is repealed?

    Ginal stated that a bill came up to get rid of the state exchange in the senate will probably not make it through the house because it would disrupt too many lives. In Colorado, there was an approximate 48% increase in residents aged 18-30 that purchased healthcare in the last year, and the Colorado State Exchange has been ranked #2 in the county. Ginal said that she specifically will be fighting for transparency with hospitals and health insurance companies and will push to regulate pharmaceutical costs.

    Status of the National Popular Vote vs. Electoral College

    Senator Kefalas is sponsoring Senate Bill 17-099, the National Popular Vote Agreement, which concerns adopting an agreement among states to elect the president of the United States through popular vote. John recommended visiting nationalpopularvote.org for more information on the national movement and stated there is a hearing schedule for SB17-099  on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee.

    How is Fort Collins and Colorado handling climate change?

    Rep. Arndt stated that while Denver has a climate action plan, the house was asked last year—in the form of a bill—to insert goals into that plan and that same bill will be submitted again this year. Arndt indicated that Governor Hickenlooper may not be willing to support the bill and admitted that it would be considered a “messaging bill,” intended to show the people of Colorado that there is legislative awareness that the climate is changing and concrete goals are needed in Denver. She also stated that the senate is moving to set up a select committee on energy, which she considered an aggressive move.

    Women’s Reproductive Rights

    Rep. Ginal spoke to the three bills that were in committee hearings and all were indefinitely postponed on Feb. 9th, 2017. Two of the bills have come up four times in the past five years, however HB17-1086 was a new bill considering the notice of reversal of medication for abortion. Ginal stated that she and other committee members found no scientific basis to back the success of a “reversal” medication and that the procedure is not FDA approved. In her mind, if more studies and trials were completed, it may be something that she would consider looking at in the future.

    Penalties For Protestors in Colorado

    The question was raised regarding Colorado’s alleged plans to instate stricter penalties for lawful protestors—or even the possibility of making protesting illegal—a question that likely stemmed from misleading headlines like “Lawmakers In Ten States Have Proposed Legislation Criminalizing Peaceful Protest.” While the three representatives were not aware of any legislation specific to that point, there is currently a bill in the Senate (SB17-035) sponsored by Senator Jerry Sonnenberg that would increase the penalty for tampering with oil and gas equipment from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony. This bill could potentially effect the consequences for environmental protestors.

    Betsy DeVos and Potential Voucher Programs

    A question was asked in regards to the effect that Betsy DeVos’s appointment might have on potential education voucher bills in Colorado. The representatives stated that every year a voucher bill is proposed, and every year it doesn’t pass. Rep. Ardnt assured the group that Colorado is behind teachers and public education, and although she doesn’t sit on the education committee, she does advise and “put her two cents in.” The silver lining of any changes Betsy DeVos might make would be that more power would go to the state, and Colorado likes running its school districts the way it’s being run now.

    Immigration Policies and Sanctuary Cities

    There are currently steps being taken in the house with joint resolution in the senate for an immediate resolution of Trump’s executive order (HJR17-1013). Rep. Ginal is having a Town Hall Social at The R Bar to promote nurturing cultural diversity in Fort Collins on Friday, February 17th, from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm. The goal of this Town Hall Social will be to share info from undocumented and exchange students enrolled at Colorado State University on the effect of Trump’s executive order. Additionally, Rep. Arndt brought up that somewhere in the house or the senate, there’s talk of introducing a bill that would make Colorado a sanctuary state.

    Upcoming Events

    Rep. Joan Ginal will be hosting a Town Hall Social on Friday, Feb. 17th at 6:30 pm at The R Bar, focusing on cultural diversity and sharing information from undocumented and exchange students attending Colorado State University.
    Senator John Kefalas will be hosting an event Saturday, Feb. 18th at 10:30 am at Colorado State University in Room 304.06. This meeting will be a community conversation about current events and upcoming policies, specifically geared towards college students and recent graduates.
  • Community Issues Forum: Human Trafficking

    Monthly Community Issues Forum with State Senator John Kefalas and State Representative Joann Ginal. This month’s topic is Human Trafficking, speaker TBA.

    Harmony Library is located on the southeast corner of the Front Range Community College campus on South Shields.

  • Colorado Women’s Health Proposed Bills

    On February 9th, the Colorado House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee will be considering three Republican-backed bills that would detrimentally affect a woman’s right to control over her own body. All three proposed bills are being sponsored by House Republicans, including Rep. P. NevilleRep. J. EverettRep. D. NordbergSen. V. MarbleRep. S. Humphrey, and Rep. K. Ransom.

    Thursday February 09, 2017 Hearing

    Women’s Health Protection Act (HB17-1085)

    “The bill requires all abortion clinics to file an annual registration with the attorney general. The attorney general shall create and make available the registration form.” It would require abortion clinics to file all details of all abortion procedures on an annual basis, and would allow the attorney general to perform inspections without notice at least annually.

    Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act (HB17-1086)

    “The bill ensures that a woman is given information regarding the possibility of an abortion pill reversal so that she is fully informed and is given options to continue the pregnancy and preserve the mother-child relationship when she desires to do so. The department of public health and environment must publish a statement on its website regarding abortion pill reversal. The woman’s doctor shall provide her with this statement at least 24 hours before providing the abortion pill.”

    Protect Human Life At Conception (HB17-1108)

    “The bill prohibits terminating the life of an unborn child and makes a violation a class 1 felony (with exceptions).”

    What Can You Do?

    These three bills will be considered on Feb. 9th with the Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee, so contact its members and let them know how you feel. The links below include their office room number as well as their phone number at the Capitol, and most profile pages include links to their websites where you can find more information.

    You can also go to the Capitol on the day of the committee hearing. Rep. Joann Ginal has offered to reserve seats for anyone that can let her know they’re coming down ahead of time, but the sooner the better — she’s not the only Representative who does this. Email Rep. Ginal at joannginal52@gmail.com or you can text her on her cell phone at 970-215-3063.

    If you haven’t met Rep. Joann Ginal yet, or you don’t know about her long fight for women’s rights in Colorado, check out the video below and then follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Great Turnout At Rally For Our Rights

    The day after the Women’s Rights March on Denver saw quite a few people looking for ways to take action next, and the Fort Collins For Progress “Rally For Our Rights” event at Northside Aztlan Community Club did not disappoint. Hundreds of people (The Coloradoan reports around 600) showed up to learn about various non-profit and volunteering opportunities, as well as hear from a panel of local elected officials during a Q&A session.

    Continue Reading

  • Town Hall With Joann Ginal

    Last Friday was the first Town Hall Meeting of 2017 with Representative Joann Ginal, an event that will hopefully remain a monthly occurrence at R Bar and Lounge in Fort Collins, Colorado. Rep. Ginal brought Alex Caldwell and Rebecca Silvernale from Colorado Health Institute (CHI) to answer questions about the pending status of the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect citizens in Fort Collins and Colorado. If you’re not familiar with CHI, it is a health policy research agency here in Colorado that was founded in 2002 to provide data and research to help form policy and provide better support across the state. It has since grown to become a trusted source for advisors and skilled evaluators and is actively working “to make Colorado #1 in health.” Continue Reading