The Democratic Dispatch 1

March 20, 2020


COVID-19 Update

Handy Tools

These are uncharted times that we're dealing with, and it's important to know what's going on in your state and with your Democratic Party! Check out these two websites you can visit to keep yourself informed:

  • ColoradoDems.org/covid-19-updates -- This page is loaded with updates that's perfect for candidates, assembly organizers, county delegates, and everyone else to check out for updates on how we're keeping democracy moving forward while staying safe! Click here to visit!
  • Covid19.colorado.gov -- Your one-stop-shop for updates on all things COVID-19. Check out the most up-to-date information from Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment so you can keep yourself healthy. Click here to visit!

You Can't Quarantine Democracy!

Well, we have to admit that this has been an interesting experience this week. To do our part in combating COVID-19 (aka the coronavirus), Team CDP has been working remotely, and particularly focusing on working with our county parties on how to hold their assemblies and conventions in a safe, responsible way that protects peoples' health while also keeping the wheels of democracy moving forward fairly.

Whether it's taking a break to play with the kids in between calls, or our furry
friends hanging out with us, Team CDP's been keeping busy working remotely!

In between conference calls and chatting it up with our furry coworkers, we've been updating how and where our counties will be hosting their assemblies and conventions! Some have changed their dates and times, some have opted to move towards a totally digital format, and some have figured out safe ways to hold theirs live! Click here to see the latest on your county assembly and convention!


A Video Update From Chair Morgan Carroll!

Like the rest of the team, Morgan has been working from home and getting a lot of help from her feline coworkers like Zappy and Newton. Above is a quick video update on how the state and county parties are adapting in these uncharted times, and a reminder to not forget what we must continue to work towards together! Click here or above to watch!

 


APPLY NOW: Be a National Delegate to the
2020 Democratic National Convention!

 

Rollcall being taken at the 2008 DNC in Denver, CO!

Do you want to represent Colorado and witness history firsthand as the Democratic grassroots select their nominee for President? Do you want to hear compelling speakers and meet devoted Democrats from all across the country? Then you need to apply to be a delegate at the 2020 Democratic National Convention that's happening in Milwaukee, WI during the week of July 13, 2020. Click here to fill out the application!

 


BE COUNTED IN THE 2020 CENSUS!

 

We may all be practicing social distancing, but one activity we can all participate in is making sure to complete the 2020 Census you may have received in your mail by now!

What's the Census?

The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.

Why should I participate?

This critical process ensures that Colorado receives fair representation in Congress and its fair share of federal funding. There is approximately $880 billion in federal funding allocated across the United States based on Census counts. In Colorado, this equates to approximately $13 billion annually or an estimated $2,300 per person according to a study by George Washington University. Some of the programs funded by Census dollars are Head Start programs; section 8 housing; Tier 1 grants for educational agencies and emergency food and shelter. 

Are my answers safe?

The Census is safe and important; the answers are protected by law and are not shared with anyone pursuant to federal law, to include any other Federal Agency.

How do I participate?

By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.

If you have not already received it, check your mail for official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.

Click here to sign up for updates from the Federal Census Bureau, and click here to learn more!


Volunteer of the Week

April Bowen, Morgan County Democratic Party Chair, grew up in a politically aware family, so she’s always been interested in the good that Demcratic politics can achieve. Her father ran for House District 63 in 2004, and for Senate District 1 in 2006, when April was the entire campaign staff! She became especially involved politically in the 2008 Obama campaign, running their office in Morgan City that year—and then she thought all was well for our country. In 2016 she decided that all was not well, and after the election she assumed the role of Chair for Morgan County Dems.

Some of her proudest achievements were the three excellent candidate forums she helped to organize for races for Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer and CD4; these forums united and educated voters in not only Morgan County but also Logan, Washington, and Yuma Counties: a large portion of the Northeast part of Congressional District 4. In addition, April has been busy with caucus training, work on VAN, People 2 People, working with the Democratic parties of Logan, Washington, Yuma and the Yuma County Indivisible group, which  helps to unite the NE counties of Congressional District 4 to achieve together what they can’t do separately, an important goal for the 2020 election to come! 

April is a perfect example of an active, energetic Chair in Colorado’s rural counties: she tells anyone who wants to volunteer that we need to, “share our knowledge so we can be there for each other.” If anyone doubts being able to contribute, she says, “Do it! We can find something for everyone to do!” The goal, she adds, is to advance the worthy Democratic Party goals, what “We Believe,” and everyone has a talent that can be put to use. Besides the good to be accomplished, meeting amazing people and working together is a satisfaction in itself, and she urges others to volunteer so they can experience this feeling.

Do you want to volunteer? Reach out to our volunteer coordinator Karin Asensio at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and see how YOU CAN GET INVOLVED!


Dems Leading the Way

Polis Leads With a Steady Handy

Photo Credit: Hart Van Denburg/CPR News

Polis orders more financial support for Coloradans and businesses feeling coronavirus’ strain
From Denver Post

"Gov. Jared Polis on Friday announced a series of orders to give more financial support to small businesses, homeowners, renters and taxpayers as the novel coronavirus puts a heavy strain on Colorado’s economy.

"These measures include extending deadlines for filing tax returns, expediting unemployment claims, deferring consumer loan payments and helping small businesses receive loans to stay afloat. Polis also urged state resources not be used to enforce evictions, encouraging local law enforcement to focus on bigger things.

"'If people are going to stay in their homes, they need to be able to have a home,' the governor said at a news conference at the state Capitol. 'The spread of the virus is not your fault. You should not lose your home or your utilities simply because a restaurant shut down.'

"In a nod to struggling eateries, Polis also temporarily will allow Colorado restaurants and bars to provide alcohol in take-out and delivery orders.

"The governor also announced a new economic council to offer guidance for the state, chaired by former Denver mayor Federico Peña. The council will focus on covering medical costs, paid sick leave, testing, treatment and training workers for new jobs.

"'This is unique,' Peña said. 'The challenge we face is extraordinary.'"

Click here to read more.

Thank you, Governor Polis, for providing a steady hand and strong leadership as we navigate this uncharted territory. The people of Colorado are in good hands with you as governor!


Bennet Works In Senate to Provide
Immediate Relief to Families

Photo Credit: Paul Sancya/AP Photo

Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, and Sherrod Brown want as much as $4,500 per American, adult or child, paid out in 2020.
From Vox

"Economists are nearly unanimous about one thing Americans desperately need to weather the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn: cash.

"The chief economists for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have endorsed unrestricted cash checks as a stimulus measure and, more importantly, as a way to buy food, pay rent, and otherwise survive as mass layoffs are occurring and hourly workers aren’t picking up paychecks.

...

"Some Democratic senators want to go much bigger than that. Sens. Michael Bennet (CO), Cory Booker (NJ), and Sherrod Brown (OH) drafted a letter to Senate party leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer calling for immediate $2,000 payments to all adults and children in the US below a certain income threshold ($90,000 for singles and $180,000 for couples is one number I’ve heard floated by sources familiar with these discussions). You can read their whole plan in the appendix to the letter here.

"Under the plan, if the US is still in a public health emergency in July, Americans would get another $1,500 each. If the same is true in October, everyone would get another $1,000. If the public health emergency is over in either July or October when the Treasury secretary does his quarterly check-in, but unemployment has increased by a single point, the checks still go out. If unemployment rises by half a point, the checks are cut in half, but they still go out.

"Americans could get as much as $4,500 per person, or $18,000 for a family of four, if all the payments outlined in the plan go out.

Click here to read more.

Thank you Senator Bennet for working with your colleagues during these trying times to figure out creative, impactful solutions to help families struggling during the economic strain brought by COVID-19.


DeGette Speaks With Constituents in
Telephone Town Hall, Talks COVID-19

DeGette, on call with constituents, talks COVID-19 economic relief, testing failures
From Colorado Politics

"U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette repeatedly returned to the need to expand testing for COVID-19 coronavirus during a telephone town hall meeting with constituents on Monday evening.

"'We’re beyond what they call 'contact tracing.' That would be if you tested positive, they would go around and try to see everybody you talk to,' DeGette explained. She said the virus has spread too rapidly for that to be feasible. 'If you can do accurate testing and then you could get the results, what that helps you to see is number one, where the virus is spreading, and to be able to enact whatever containment policies you need.'

"During the hour-long call DeGette fielded questions from Denver-area residents concerned about the safety net for homeless families, financial relief for freelancers and whether the nation should be headed toward lockdowns on a massive scale of the kind that San Francisco’s mayor will implement on Tuesday.

"'I don’t think we can definitively say that if this really explodes, that we’re not going to have some kind of a national shutdown. But we still do have to try to keep businesses operating,' she said. DeGette approved of the orders from Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to close dine-in service for restaurants and bars to minimize transmission risk of the virus in large groups of people. She believes leaders will order quarantines 'as needed' if there appear to be hot spots for transmission."

Click here to read more.

Thank you Congresswoman DeGette for your fierce defense of Coloradans and Americans who have seen themselves harmed by the Trump Adminstration's gross incompetence in the face of COVID-19.


Crow Hosts Tele-Town-Hall
While Self-Quarantining

Photo Credit: Denver Post

Aurora Congressman Jason Crow hosting Wednesday tele-town-hall from home
From Aurora Sentinel

"On Tuesday Crow, alongside the other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, called for federal relief for small businesses. The group asked that the Trump administration grant Gov. Jared Polis’ request for disaster declaration to help with disrupted business in the state.

"Crow has also asked immigration officials for a more transparent plan on how planning is happening in federal detention centers, like the one in northwest Aurora.

"'We know detention centers like the Aurora ICE facility are at an extremely high risk for virus spread. Should a detainee contract the coronavirus, it would present a huge risk to the health and well-being of the detainees, the facility staff and their families, as well as the public health as a whole,' Crow said in a statement. 'The mumps and varicella outbreaks at ICE last year made clear the need for transparency and accountability at the facility. This is a pandemic and we must have all assurances from ICE that they are prepared to handle the coronavirus. Given the confusion and rumors regarding the precautionary cohort isolation due to possible exposure earlier this week, we will continue to push for answers.'

"Crow’s local office has been closed to constituents since Friday, but caseworkers in the district are still available to answer questions."

Click here to read more.

We're sending our best wishes to you, Congressman Crow! Click here to either send him a tweet or click here leave him a get well message on Facebook!


Joe Neguse and Phil Weiser: Cracking
Down on COVID-19 Scammers/Price Gougers

Even in a global pandemic, crime and scams still go on. Here in Colorado, people have been seeing a rise in COVID-19 related scams and phishing schemes. From KKTV:

"Whenever we see natural disasters or major health issues, the scammers are always close to follow. The bad guys prey on your fears, so want to keep you immune to the scams. Right now, scammers are cashing in our anxiety over Coronavirus.

"'I think, kind of just like the Coronavirus, the scams are going to get worse before they get better,' said Adah Rodriguez with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.

"The BBB said the con artists are getting creative.

"'Such as claims for specific products that claim to kill the Coronavirus or protect you from it,' said Rodriguez. 'Phishing messages, whether that's a text or an email phishing for information by claiming to be from the World Health Organization or 'Click here for your free vaccine'.'

Colorado's Attorney General Phil Weiser had this to say:

"'We often see fake products and right now people are desperate for measures to prevent them from catching it or to help them address what they think might be symptoms,' said Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General. 'There are no cures out there. If you see marketing cures to Coronavirus, they are fake. They are trying to take your money.'

"He said seniors are the most at risk.

"'They're not only more vulnerable to the virus itself, they're more vulnerable to scams about the virus,' said Attorney General Weiser. 'So if you know people who are older, let them know to be careful, protect yourself and ask others before starting to go down a road that you may regret.'

"If you notice any scams or price gouging, you can report it to the Attorney General's office. Call 'Stop Fraud Colorado' at 800-222-4444."

Congressman Joe Neguse has also directed his attention at those who would look to profit off of COVID-19 fears, calling on the Department of Justice to crack down on price gouging of health products:

"U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse has asked U.S. Attorney General William Barr to crack down on price gouging for health products amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"The pandemic 'has led to a surge in demand for — and in even shortage of — many consumer products, including hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies,' Neguse wrote in the letter, also signed by Democratic U.S. Reps. David Cicilline and Jerrold Nadler and Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner. 'Several retailers have taken steps to maintain access to these products. But there have been numerous reports of merchants, small and large, that are taking advantage of the current crisis to prey on consumers by charging outrageous prices for what are usually affordable household staples.'

"Neguse told Colorado Politics that his letter is generally not meant to prompt an investigation of activity by retail chains and local vendors. 'This is geared at the more disreputable actors, those who are scamming the system to try to exploit a crisis for their own pecuniary gain,' he said.

"The representatives did not specify what remedies the U.S. Department of Justice should take on price gouging. Instead, they requested that the attorney general work with his state counterparts to bring criminal charges appropriately, explore related charges that could encompass gouging activity, and to recommend to Congress ideas for legislation to provide authority to go after gougers.

"'We’re currently engaged in discussions with colleagues around trying to enact a price gouging statute at the federal level,' Neguse said."

Thank you to Congressman Neguse and Attorney General Weiser for sticking up for some of our most vulnerable during these troubling times!


Perlmutter Talks COVID-19 with KOA

Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP Photos

Congressman Ed Perlmutter joined Colorado's Morning News on KOA News Radio to talk about Colorado's response to COVID-19, and what's in the House bill to provide relief to families. Click here to listen!

Thank you Congressman Perlmutter for your compassion and hard work during this time to serve your constituents.


Colorado Legislature Highlight

Photo Credit: Scott Franz, KUNC

'It's Very Serious': Colorado Legislature Will Adjourn To Avoid Coronavirus Threat
From KUNC

"The state legislature will adjourn for at least two weeks starting Saturday (3/14/20) to help protect the public from the spread of COVID-19.

"With its big political debates and historic treasures, the state Capitol building often sees thousands of visitors each day.

"That has lawmakers worried about the potential for the virus to spread in the busy building.

"'We're in a unique time,' Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, said Friday after leaders from both parties introduced the measure that will start the recess after lawmakers finish up some work on Saturday morning.

"A worker at the Capitol offered reporters hand sanitizer before the press conference began.

"Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, said lawmakers don't want to go home in the middle of the session. But the legislature 'wants to make sure people are safe.'

...
"Democrats are pursing a public health insurance option and a paid family leave program, among other proposals.

"'There are over 350 bills still in the process right now and there's going to have to be a lot of reevaluating,' House Speaker KC Becker said."

Click here to read more.

Thank you to Colorado Senate and House Democrats for quickly passing bipartisan legislation that gives county parties and the state party the flexibility to hold assemblies and conventions in a safe, responsible manner that protects public health while keeping the wheels of democracy moving forward!


Trump, Gardner, & GOP Watch

What the Buck? Ken Buck Votes 'No' on
COVID-19 Assistance Funding for 2nd Time

While Colorado Democrats are working diligently to help our communities during this worldwide pandemic crisis, Colorado Republican Party Chair Ken Buck can't seem to stop doing and saying things that make us exclaim "What the Buck?!"

This week, he interviewed with the Denver Post and he made some pretty eyeopening statements, such as:

  • "Over and over again what we are seeing is an overreaction to a very serious situation"
  • "We are in the midst of a panic that is creating irrational responses"
  • “What we have done is turn public policy over to doctors” 
  • "Mnuchin is a creature of Wall Street. Every piece of legislation that he has been proposing protects the rich on Wall Street"
  • "We don’t have a leader. It was FDR who said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'"

There's a lot to unpack here, particularly the shots being taken by the Colorado GOP Chair who is saying that "We don't have a leader" in a pretty clear shot at President Trump. Considering his not one, but two votes against emergency funding to combat the coronavirus, it's fair to question where the GOP Chair's priorities are these days.

After all, he didn't have a problem with voting for a massive GOP tax giveaway to the ultra wealthy that's led to "historic U.S. deficits".


Join the Elbow Bumpers Club!

What's the Elbow Bumpers Club (formerly known as the High Fivers Club), you ask? It started with a simple idea: There are nearly 1.2 million registered Democrats in Colorado -- what if every single one of them gave just $5 a month to the Colorado Democratic Party (CDP)?

Answer: The CDP would be the best-funded state party in the country -- with zero dollars from corporate PACs and plenty for flipping red seats to blue!

Here's the reality -- the Colorado Dems are working in overdrive to keep the wheels of democracy moving forward, and now is a time when we could really use your help! If you haven't joined the High Fivers Club (temporarily known as the Elbow Bumpers Club now) -- please consider a few reasons to give!

  • The CDP is the central base that helps recruit volunteers, train candidates, and assist county parties win elections. While the Democratic National Committee provides some limited funds, the reality is it is up to us to raise our own money so we can support Democratic candidates running for office in Colorado.
  • We knock on doors and meet with voters to talk about voting Democratic even before we know who our nominees are! As part of the High Fivers Club, you can help us get supplies for volunteers so we can knock on 50,000 more doors before we know our nominee.
  • Once we have our nominee, we'll use what we've learned about voters to help them jump-start their Get Out the Voter efforts and stay toe-to-toe with Donald Trump and the Republicans.

Click the gif below to join Elbow Bumpers Club!


On The Road!

Like many of you, our furry coworkers have been delighted (although maybe a bit confused) over
us being home all this week! We hope that you have stayed safe and well, and that you enjoy
these adorable pics of our pets! CHALLENGE: Can you guess who belongs to which CDP staffer??


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