2022 Election Results: Through A Gender, Racial, & Economic Lens
A Mixed Bag for Colorado Women: Several Important Wins and a Significant Loss
Our POV on the 2022 election results
Of the four statewide ballot measures that The Women’s Foundation of Colorado took positions on to advance gender, racial, and economic equity, voters sided with our positions on three.
- Voters passed Proposition 121 – State Income Tax Reduction. WFCO opposed the measure.
- Voters passed Proposition 123 – Dedicate Revenue for Affordable Housing. WFCO supported the measure.
- Voters passed Proposition FF – Healthy Meals for All Public School Students. WFCO supported the measure.
- Voters passed Proposition GG – Amount of Tax Owed Table for Initiatives. WFCO supported the measure.
The passage of Propositions 123, FF, and GG will positively impact women and their families, all public school students, and and all voters. At the same time, the passage of Proposition 121 sets everyone back.
Voters approved measures to help Coloradans meet basic needs
The passing of Propositions FF and 123 are great news for low-income families among the surging costs to live in Colorado. Proposition FF, which provides healthy meals for all public school students, captured 55% of the vote while Proposition 123, which increases access to affordable housing, narrowly passed with just over 50% of the vote.
“The majority of single mom households in our state have incomes insufficient to meet their families’ basic needs. Knowing their kids will always have lunch at school is one need they can now count on being met,” said WFCO Vice President of Programs Louise Myrland about voter approval of FF.
While access to some basic needs increased with these measures, the passage of Proposition 121 will significantly limit other resources and public services, such as funding for child care, K-12 and higher education, and transportation.
The impact of voters passing proposition 121
Proposition 121 decreases the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.40%. At a glance, it’s a seemingly small reduction, but the impact will be enormous: The State of Colorado will lose $637.5 million in the measure’s first year of implementation.
According to The Bell Policy Center’s ballot guide, “Tax cuts seem to find their way to our ballot every year, and every year the Bell Policy Center stands against this regressive and fiscally harmful policy. We should not be permanently reducing our revenue to give millionaires an extra $1,500.”
Louise Myrland noted that, ironically, passing Proposition 121 is a vote against the same value of community investment that voters demonstrated by passing Propositions FF and 123.
“Wages aren’t keeping up with living expenses in Colorado, so wanting to keep even a extra few dollars in our pockets is understandable,” said Myrland. “But we as Coloradans share a responsibility for resourcing the kinds of communities we all want to live and work in. We’re trading very modest income tax reductions for most taxpayers for the investment in our state’s infrastructure and the resources our communities need to thrive.”
We’re trading very modest income tax reductions for most taxpayers for the investment in our state’s infrastructure and the resources our communities need to thrive. – Louise Myrland
Coloradans will finally get the full story when it comes to proposed income tax cuts
While The Women’s Foundation of Colorado is disappointed that Proposition 121 passed, the passage of Proposition GG is something to celebrate. Proposition GG, which will make the regressive nature of income tax rate reductions more clear to voters, may help them vote to make our tax code more fair in the future.
A tax impact table on all petitions and ballots for citizen initiatives that seek to change the individual income tax rate will include different income levels and the average change in taxes paid for each income bracket.
In its ballot guide, the Colorado Fiscal Institute stated that Coloradans deserve to see the entire picture when voting on measures such as Proposition 121.
“Currently, ballot measures like Proposition 121 are not required to tell voters exactly how much money they would save on a proposed tax cut. Voters also don’t receive much in the way of information about whether they would be required to pay under a proposed tax increase. If voters approve Proposition GG, they’ll start getting this info on initiative petitions and on their ballots in 2023.”
National 2022 election results
Nationally, from the makeup of the House to housing, there were several notable advancements for gender, racial, and economic equity:
- Most states with abortion on the ballot voted in favor of protections. In fact, Kentuckians voted down an anti-abortion proposal that would have amended the state constitution so that it does not protect the right to abortion.
- With rents and home prices ballooning during the pandemic, voters approved more money for affordable housing around the country.
- Twelve women won governorships, a record number. This includes the first out lesbian governor in U.S. history whose lieutenant governor also is a woman, making them the first women to serve as governor and lieutenant governor of the same state.
- The next Congress seems likely to include a record number of Latina lawmakers. Eight Democrat and four Republican Latinas are already projected to win seats in the House. It’s too early to project the winners of an additional eight races featuring Latina candidates, but as of midday Wednesday, all but two of those candidates were leading against their opponents. The current record of Latina women in Congress is 15.
- Vermont ended its streak as the last state to send a woman to Congress. Maryland elected its first Black governor. New Hampshire elected the first transgender man to a state legislature. A 25-year-old man from Florida secured Generation Z’s first House seat.
Stay involved in the democratic process
Stay involved in the democratic process after this election. Join our 2023 Advocating for Impact trainings to make your voice heard during the Colorado General Assembly, which begins January 9, 2023.
Our 2022 ballot guide, The Womanifesto, can be found here.