Two alumni of the Delta County School District (DCSD) began an all-out effort last year to pressure the Delta County School District to address the pervasive racism and discrimination they and others say they have experienced in Delta County Schools. Edmondson says while they have made some progress, the School District and School Board have largely stonewalled them and resisted the change.
In 2013, former G.J. Mayor Bill Pitts said that the most money anyone had ever spent on a City Council race up until that time was around $3,000.
In 2013, that amount had jumped to $10,000 to $12,000 per candidate for city council campaigns.
Now, in 2021, candidates for local office are routinely spending up to $20-30k on their campaigns.
That marked increase in the amount of spending should be accompanied by an equally higher level of scrutiny of candidates by the local press and media, but it hasn’t. The local paper seems to be giving candidates a pass by doing nice things like sending candidates a softball questionnaire and publishing their answers in full, without even verifying whether the candidates filled in the answers themselves.
In this cringeworthy December, 2010 “things we hate” YouTube video reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live skit, Colorado CD-3 House Rep. Lauren Boebert‘s mother, Shawna Bentz (on the left), and a friend who identifies herself as “Lauren,” (not Bentz’s daughter, House Representative Lauren Boebert) complain about Mexicans and all the “brown people” in the Rifle Walmart on Sundays.
Beneath the video, Bentz wrote, “In noway way Do we hate brown people, We love all of Gods People….This is just a Rant of the everyday life.”
68 elected officials from cities and counties across Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District have sent a letter (pdf) January 12 to House leaders condemning CD-3 Rep. Lauren Boebert and asking them to open an investigation into Boebert’s actions leading up to, and on the day of the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters on January 6.
The letter was sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and was signed by elected officials from the counties of Routt, Pueblo, Eagle, Lake, Gunnison, Pitkin, Saguache, Ouray, La Plata, Hinsdale, San Miguel, and San Juan and from the cities of Durango, Bayfield, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Eagle, Lake City, Ophir, Mountain Village, Leadville, Ridgway, Telluride, Glenwood Springs, Avon and Aspen.
Amid the pandemic, the Mesa County Democratic Party Womens’ Group is expanding on the annual Womens’ March by asking people to display posters and signs in their front yards and windows from now until January 20th, 2021 celebrating the return of the country to American ideals with the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.
Throughout his time in office, Trump has made life more difficult for all Americans, but especially for women, in innumerable ways, through cuts to child care assistance, stalling federal action on paid family and medical leave, making student debt harder to pay off, cutting nutrition assistance, increasing bullying, racism and anxiety in the country, slashing health care benefits, tearing families apart, putting kids in cages, weakening protections against gender-based violence and much more.
The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced yesterday that they will be dropping their team’s name after 105 years, because it has long been considered racist.
Cleveland’s move follows the NFL team, the Washington Redskins’, announcement last July 23 that after 87 years they are changing their name for the same reason: the name is outdated and racist.
What of our local schools’ racist athletic team names?
In an alarming case that has received little to no attention, Deandre H. Rogers (pdf), a Black man aged 32, was found hanging in a carport in Grand Junction, Colorado on September 21, 2020. He had participated on June 1, 2020 with a group of local Black Lives Matter activists who met with G.J. Police Chief Doug Shoemaker in the lobby of the Grand Junction Police Department to protest unjust treatment they had experienced at the hands of local law enforcement. The discussion took place about a month after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020.
Grand Junction’s “Inclusivity Proclamation” notwithstanding, there is plenty of hate and racism in Grand Junction. The above represents a small fraction of the 35 to 40 hate-filled memes and cartoons someone took the time to copy, cut out and mail us in an anonymous snail mail letter, received on Tuesday, 9/22/20. The rest were similar, many were worse, and many focused on Trump worship, denigrating Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberals, non-white people, etc.
The little-known, seedy political arm of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Western Colorado Business Alliance (WCBA), has appeared again in Grand Junction, this time funding a billboard praising four sitting Grand Junction City Council members who recently earned the reputation for being the most tone-deaf when it comes to racism: Philip Pe’a, Duke Wortmann, Phyllis Norris and Kraig Andrews.
Pe’a was the councilman who was so threatened by what he claimed was the presence of G.J. Police Department’s “swat team” at the June 3 Council meeting that he proclaimed he thought he might need to bring his Glock handgun into the meeting. That was the meeting that was attended by a crowd of City residents who showed up to protest pervasive racism they had seen or experienced in Grand Junction, or to support friends who had experienced it.
Grand Junction’s Police Chief later confirmed there were no SWAT team members at the meeting that day.
The Colorado Times Recorder reported June 3 that the Mesa County Republican Party removed a post from its official Facebook page that suggested George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020 was faked.
The post contained a list of questions about the incident meant to imply it was staged, including:
“Why does one photo from behind show the man on the road is not handcuffed and the video from the front that he is handcuffed?”
“Why does the video show the diesel fuel price as 99 cents instead of the regular price in the area of $2.49?”
“Why does the police car have a non-municipal license plate with “Police” on it?”
(NOTE: The police car has a license plate that says “Police” because many Minneapolis Police cars have license plates on them that say “Police.”)
When asked why he removed the post from the page, Kevin McCarney, Chair of the Mesa County Republican Party, told the Times Recorder, “It’s not the position of the Party.”