Tag: Activism

United Way to host Poverty Immersion Experience to increase understanding of what life is like for people living in poverty in Mesa County


The Poverty Immersion Experience allows participants to spend a simulated month in the life of an individual who is experiencing poverty in Mesa County. It is an interactive event that promotes awareness of poverty in Mesa County, increases understanding of people facing poverty situations and that will inspire local change. The intent is to shift the belief and paradigm about poverty from being seen as a personal failure or character flaw to the understanding that poverty is a systemic and societal issue.

The experience offers a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a low-income family, navigating life with limited resources, while providing for their children and accessing essential community services.

The Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool is barely afloat

Orchard Mesa Pool

Guest blog post by Mariann Taigman, co-founder of the Save the Pool Committee, and Nick Allan of Orchard Mesa United

Three different agencies—the school district, the city, and the county—are involved in managing the Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool (OMCCP).

Prior to 2020, a Pool Board was created that was comprised of one official from each of these entities to discuss the pool at joint meetings. In 2020, the pool board convened to discuss the pool’s future, including the possibility of demolition, marking the last “official” meeting of the Pool Board before it dissolved. In response, the Save The Pool Committee emerged as a grassroots effort, championed by concerned community

Kids and adults enjoying the OM Pool

members passionate about keeping the OMCCP operational.  During that final Pool Board meeting, the Save The Pool Committee presented proof to the three entities that the community wanted the pool to remain open.  Our efforts included: obtaining 7,000 online petition signatures and 1,000 paper signatures; collecting over 70 letters from school children; encouraged community engagement by distributing flyers as to the fate of the OMCCP, and having groups of community members speak at city council meetings.

Rally for the Grand Junction Post Office Monday, Feb. 19, & find out more about changes proposed to mail service

The drive-up mail boxes at the postal sorting annex at 602 Burkey Street, off Patterson and 25 1/2 Road

Local postal employees are inviting members of the community to join them at a rally tomorrow, Monday, February 19, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Grand Junction Mail Processing Facility at 602 Burkey Street to hear about changes being proposed to local postal services in Grand Junction and show support for keeping mail operations in town.

In January, Grand Junction postal employees warned of changes being proposed that could further slow mail delivery and eliminate postal jobs in Grand Junction.

The national Post Office is considering moving the sorting of local mail to Denver. This means local mail would be collected, put on trucks, driven to Denver, sorted at a processing facility in Denver, then put back on trucks and driven back to Grand Junction for delivery. With I-70 being closed more often due to inclement weather, accidents, rockslides, mudslides and other calamities, this could cause further unexpected and unpredictable delays in mail delivery in Grand Junction.

The change could also eliminate anywhere from 12-20 jobs at postal facilities in Grand Junction.

Local Postal workers warn of changes coming that will further slow mail delivery

A brand new sorting machine lies in a dumpster at the Postal Sorting Annex on Patterson Rd. and Burkey St. on August 24, 2020. Employees said it was ordered dismantled and disposed of by Postmaster Louis DeJoy, who has been carrying out changes that are leaving the U.S. Postal Service in disarray

Local Postal Service workers shared a memo distributed to employees at the Burkey Street Sorting Facility on January 10 that warns changes are likely coming to the Burkey Street facility that will threaten jobs and further slow mail delivery by moving mail processing and distributing (PD&C) out of these facilities to Denver.

The 6 page memo, called a “Stand Up Talk” (pdf), warns of an impending facility review that will likely lead to consolidation of plant operations here in Grand Junction and the relocation of parcel operations from here to Denver. It indicates Trump-appointed Postmaster Louis DeJoy will likely take steps that will further erode mail service in Grand Junction and mountain towns. A veteran postal worker said the plan “will definitely slow down mail processing and probably cost some jobs in our areas,” adding that “They seem to cut service then lower their standards so it looks like they are ‘fixing things’.”

Signature-gathering effort for ballot initiative to guarantee abortion rights in CO kicks off 1/23 in Grand Junction

States where abortion rights may be on the ballot in 2024 (Chart: Washington Post)

The effort to get Amendment 89, a constitutional amendment to protect the right to an abortion from government interference in Colorado, onto the November ballot will kick off on Tuesday, January 23 at an event in Grand Junction from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at The Mesa Theater, 538 Main St, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Currently abortion is protected in Colorado, but only by a statutory law enacted in 2022 called the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which confers only weak protection that could easily be changed by a vote of Republicans trying to further restrict women’s rights.

Amendment 89 will assure that all Coloradans, regardless of occupation or source of health insurance, have access to reproductive healthcare. Currently, teachers, firefighters, other state and local public employees and people enrolled in state health insurance plans lack insurance coverage (pdf) for abortion care, an inequity that

Republicans are passing laws to restrict womens freedom in the U.S., leading to the need for states to pass constitutional amendments to guarantee women keep those hard-won rights.

Amendment 89 aims to address. As a constitutional amendment, Amendment 89 will also be a stronger buffer against future attempts by politicians in Colorado to limit abortion access in our state.

CO Ballot Initiative #89 seeks to enshrine abortion rights in Colorado’s Constitution

Western Colorado is organizing to protect abortion rights, for real.

In 2022, Colorado enacted a statute to protect access to contraception and abortion, but because it’s just a statute, Republicans can still try to undermine the law by introducing bills and ballot measures to try to limit abortion access. So groups that support reproductive freedom are working to put Initiative #89 on the 2024 state ballot.

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers to run holiday billboard

WCAF’s 2023 winter solstice billboard will be up at First and Ouray from Dec. 20-26, 2023

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), the western slope’s longest-established secular organization, will run a holiday billboard to commemorate the 2023 winter solstice.

The digital billboard will be up from 12/20-12/26 on the northeast corner of First Street and Ouray Ave., across the street from Bicycle Outfitters and Thai No. 9. There is plenty of free parking on the street so people can stop, get out of their cars and admire the billboard, and plenty of sidewalk space to stand on to take pictures of it.

Andrea Haitz Recall Committee calls off signature-gathering effort

Meme D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz posted on social media c. May 9, 2022, widely seen as transphobic and a dig at public school teachers

The committee to recall District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz has stopped gathering signatures for the recall.

The Committee issued a statement at 7:52 p.m. on June 29:

Sometimes we win.  Sometimes we win, regardless.

The Recall Andrea Haitz Committee has decided to suspend collecting signatures.  We are close to our goal, but the D51 board’s decision to include Marillac Clinic in Grand Junction High School was a major factor for starting the Recall. We celebrate the board’s decision to give our D51 students accessible and needed health care. We believe our Recall effort is a success by acting as a “6th member of the board” and keeping community attention on the actions of the board while important decisions are being made.

Recalls rarely succeed.  But we have shown that non-violent, democratic action can positively move the needle, and galvanize voters before the election of two new board members in November 2023.

Folks have spoken clearly – No more political agendas in our schools. No more charter schools that siphon off public school students. No more secret committees deciding how many additional neighborhood schools will be closed.

We hope that Recall supporters know that while the Recall committee is turning a page, community attention remains squarely on board decisions. Our students are worth the time and energy of a 100-strong coalition of signature collectors has devoted to the attempt to peacefully and constitutionally effect change.  We continue to Sign for D51 Kids.

Sarah Lester, Eric Rechel, Ricki Howie
The Recall Andrea Haitz Committee and D51 Stakeholders

Text of the Petition to Recall District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz

Andrea Haitz, District 51 School Board President

Some people have asked where they can read the text of the petition to recall District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz.

You can read the entire petition here. 

The petition is available for signing every day from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Lincoln Park. The table with circulators and petitions will either be at 12th and Teller by the Barn, or at 12th and Gunnison. 

Want to help circulate petitions to recall D-51 School Board President Andrea Haitz? Come to a training session!

District 51 School Board President Andrea Haitz

The committee leading the Recall Andrea Haitz effort is looking for volunteers to help in circulating petitions and collecting voter signatures in support of the recall. A launch event is planned for Saturday, May 13th at 9:00 A.M in Lincoln Park.

A short (~15 minute) training session will be provided for all circulators, as well as information regarding prime locations and upcoming events for circulating. Water, snacks, and shade will also be provided. The launch event will conclude at 2:00 P.M, although any volunteer who has been trained may circulate their petition(s) at any time they desire until July 11th.

“We need the passion and the investment of our local community to help achieve a brighter future for our children, and ensure transparency in our schooling system. Join the Recall Andrea Haitz effort and meet your neighbors and fellow community members in Lincoln Park to learn how to fight for a great cause!” says Charley Allen.

Please reach out to tyrus@bestslopepublicaffairs.com with any questions.

…or contact Charley Allan, cell: 970-623-3179

Trouble at the Blue Pig Art Gallery in Palisade

The long-established Blue Pig Art Gallery in Palisade features quality art by local artists

Something’s going on at The Blue Pig Art Gallery at 101 W. Third Street in Palisade.

In January of this year, Darin Carei sold the building and the gallery to Charles and Heather Nowak for $1,135,000.

Things seemed pretty normal for awhile after the sale, with great local art continuing to be on display and art classes being offered in the building.

But things took a grim turn last Friday, when the new owners suddenly fired longtime Gallery director Kay Anglim Crane and the Gallery’s longtime bookkeeper, Sue Keddy.

City cancels meeting about homelessness, out of apparent concern the homeless would attend

After hosting two internal planning meetings and circulating emails (pdf) in which Grand Junction Community Development personnel warned the City faces a “really big surge” and “exponential growth” in the number of homeless people, and that the number of homeless kids in School District 51 is “staggering,” City Manager Greg Caton suddenly pulled the plug on a planned third meeting about homelessness, without any explanation why.

This left advocates for the homeless greatly concerned.

Lauren Boebert sued for libel and slander

David Wheeler

David B. Wheeler of American Muckrakers Political Action Committee (PAC), filed a defamation lawsuit (pdf) against Lauren Boebert in North Carolina on October 5.  

Wheeler, who operates the nonprofit PAC, alleges Boebert made false statements about him on national radio and TV news shows in retaliation for his opposing her re-election by releasing factual information about her to the press and media. Wheeler states his PAC suffered a 92% decrease in revenue after Boebert made the false statements about him. 

Among other things, Wheeler says Boebert defamed him on the nationally-broadcast Sean Hannity show, saying he had called her a “drug addict” and a “prostitute,” and that Wheeler had made death threats against her. Wheeler says none of that is true.

Keep the momentum going! Help elect sane candidates in Mesa County! Dems plan two more literature drops, seek volunteers to help

Mesa County voters have had enough of Tina Peters’ pillow talk

Mesa County Democrats had about 50 people turn out for their last literature drop event last weekend, a tremendous success.

The literature drops are aimed at educating voters in Mesa County about alternatives to voting for Republicans, who have racked up a remarkably long record of failure as elected officials, and caused Mesa County taxpayers much grief and expense.

Dems plan two more literature drops, seek volunteers to help.

Need a job? Want to make a difference? Cobalt Abortion Fund is seeking to hire 2-3 more organizers on the western slope

Are you looking for a rewarding job that will give you a way to help people and make big difference in their lives?

Cobalt Advocates is looking to hire two to three more organizers on the western slope.

Cobalt operates the Cobalt Abortion Fund, a dedicated abortion fund that helps people cover the cost and manage the logistics of getting an abortion, like transportation, lodging and child care. The Cobalt Abortion fund is 100% donor-funded, and it is the only independent fund of its kind in Colorado.

Cobalt’s goal is to make sure no one has to endure any financial or logistical burdens when it comes to abortion.