Have you been so busy trying to make ends meet, putting food on the table and raising your kids that you haven’t had time to bone up on local politics? There’s an election is coming up this November. How will you know who to vote for?
The one thing you need to know is that the same party has been in charge of everything here for decades: the Mesa County Republican Party, which some call the “Old Guard Republican Establishment” (OGRE). They’ve had a lock on local elected offices for a very long time.
So have they done a good job? Judge for yourself:
1) Mesa County’s unemployment rate is one of the highest in the state;
2) Our local wages are among the very lowest in the state;
3) 13.4 percent of people in our area live below federal poverty level ($23,550 for a family of four),
4) Our suicide rate is among the highest in the U.S.;
5) Mesa County was the drunkest county in Colorado in 2013 (based on the average blood alcohol concentration for arrested drunk drivers);
6) Forty one percent of School District 51 students qualify for free and reduced-cost lunches at school, and Kids Aid, an area nonprofit that provides backpacks of food to hungry students so they can get through the weekends without starving, sends 1,800 District 51 students home with backpacks full of non-perishable food home each WEEK.
Yes, you read that right. Eighteen hundred Mesa County school children are food insecure every week.