Protecting Coloradans from Discrimination

June 18, 2019

 

One Colorado is Colorado’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families. It effectively advocates for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families by lobbying the General Assembly, the executive branch and local governments on issues like safe schools, transgender equality, relationship recognition and LGBTQ health and human services. Thanks in part to support from Voqal, One Colorado ensured the state’s protected classes continue to have a voice through the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD).

Thanks to the work of One Colorado and its partners, the CCRD was ultimately reauthorized with bipartisan support and signed by the governor. One Colorado accomplished this through a people-centered advocacy campaign. It brought Coloradans from a number of diverse backgrounds to the Capitol to testify in support of reauthorizing the CCRD. Testifiers included elected officials, disability and housing advocates, women’s and civil rights groups, faith leaders, attorneys, business owners and representatives of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. In addition, nearly 1,000 people directly contacted their legislators in support of the reauthorization.

When the Joint Budget Committee blocked funding for the CCRD, One Colorado also led a #SaveCCRD rally. With less than four days to mobilize, it led a rally with over 500 attendees, robust media coverage and a powerful group of speakers. At the same time, those opposing CCRD funding put out a press release announcing a counter rally to explain why they blocked funding and how their objective was to protect those who use their religion to discriminate. Rather than be discouraged by this rally, One Colorado used the opportunity to advance the narrative that the opposition was blocking funding and attempting to rollback protections for Coloradans by allowing discrimination in areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.

The successful reauthorization of the Colorado Civil Rights Division shows the ability of people-powered movements to protect the rights of those most at risk of discriminatory policies. As strong believers of a more socially equitable world, and the more engaged public needed to make that world possible, Voqal is proud to have supported the work of One Colorado to protect the rights of all Colorado citizens.

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