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League of Women Voters®
of Boulder County

Serving the People of Boulder County, Colorado

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2018 LWVCO Legislative Conference Packed with Information

Rionda Osman  | Published on 1/30/2018

LWVCO Legislative Conference:  A Day to Encourage Advocacy

2018 LWVCO Legislative Conference: Boulder County Delegation

Boulder County's Delegation to the LWVCO Legislative Conference, 29 January 2018

From the left: Peggy Leech, Jeannine Pow, Ruth Stemler, Susan Saunders, Diana Haskell, Barbara Grant, Mary Ann Wilner, Carolyn Elliot, Rionda Osman, Kay Marsh
Ten members of LWV Boulder County attended the LWVCO Legislative Conference. 

Below is a sketch of topics covered. 

National Popular Vote

We will be asked to join the education effort for the National Popular Vote Bill.  Local League leaders received a toolkit that will help us support this bill in the Colorado Legislature this year. 

The National Popular Vote Education and Update was given by Linda Sorauf and Dan Sage (Colorado National Popular Vote), Andy Kerr (Colorado Senate, District 2), and Paul Rosenthal (Colorado House, District 9). 

CO National Popular Vote Fact Sheet (2017)

You can learn more and sign up to get information at the Colorado NPV website. 


The League supports the Direct-Popular-Vote Method for electing the President and Vice-President.  Read the LWVCO position.  Read pro and con arguments from the LWVUS study. 

Equipped for Action:  Advocacy Toolkit

Marlu Burkamp (Arapahoe and Douglas) reported the successful development of the Advocacy Toolkit.  The team is evaluating and fine-tuning this year-long effort, and they have developed a manual.  Their team is able to send out messages, reminders, and alerts about issues.  They provide background summaries of legislation, league positions, and talking points. 

Vicky McLane (Larimer) gave an example of advocacy in action when her team prepared comments for the Corps of Engineers on water issues in Larimer County. 

Campaign Finance Reform Legislative Update

Deb Gard (Jefferson, Legislative Action Committee) reminded us of the legislation that the league supported last year and previewed upcoming bills. 

Rachel Zenzinger (Colorado Senate, District 9) reported her work on disclosure.  In 2017 she presented a bill (Sen #1262 Expand Disclose Electioneering Communications) that would close the reporting gap between the end of the primary and the 60 days before an election.  She also presented a bill (Sen #1261 Disclaimers Large Electioneering Communications) that would require disclosure of the identity of persons spending $1,000 or more on electioneering communications within a calendar year.  She plans to continue this effort in the 2018 session.

TRACER Demo and Twitter Encouragement

Cath Perrone (Jefferson) presented an overview of the TRACER (Transparency in Contribution and Expenditure Reporting) system on the website of the Secretary of State.  The TRACER tool allows candidates and issue committees to report their contributions and spending.  It allows the public to view information about all of the candidates and committees in Colorado. 


Learn more:

The next big social media communication tool that we should be using is Twitter.  Lots of people are on it already and you can following people and issues to get up-to-the-minute news. 

Resource:  LWVUS Twitter Cheat Sheet

Redistricting Efforts Status Update

Toni Larsen (LWVCO), Jean Fredlund (LWVCO), Barb Mattison (LWVCO), Andrea Wilkins (Staff Lobbyist, LWVCO), and Bill Hobbs (former deputy Secretary of State) described work of the LWVCO Redistricting Committee which is participating in the Fair Districts Colorado coalition. They addressed questions about the numbers of proposals and the process of getting anything on the ballot.  Questions were raised about state and national positions and how they are formed, about the models and examples used and the experts that have been consulted.  Other questions addressed specific elements of the proposed system: who has funded this work, how judges are selected, the role of the Secretary of State, the nonpartisanship of various roles in the system (judges, staff), and the transparency of the commissions’ work. 

Resources available: 

LWVCO Handouts 29Jan2018

LWVUS Impact on Issues 2016-2018 Online Edition (see pp 20-22)

Fair Districts Colorado Fact Sheet 2017

LWVCO Position

Legislative Action Committee Update and Session Preview

Andrea Wilkins (Staff Lobbyist, LWVCO) previewed the 2018 session.  At the moment, they are tracking about 20 bills, but in the last session they tracked 139.  Follow Frank Bennet’s good work on the Legislative Letter. 


Factors affecting the climate of the legislature include #MeToo, funding, and upcoming elections.  The state budget outlook predicts a good economy although the cost of  housing slows people moving into the state.  We can expect an increase in revenues, so there will probably be no TABOR refunds. 


Some of the big issues will be addressing the cost of living in Colorado, transportation, PERA, opioids, and broadband access. The League will put a lot of effort into the national popular vote issue.