Post-Election Perspectives, Plans, and Promises
Today We Celebrate Paid Family and Medical Leave, Access to Reproductive Health Care, and More
While the country waits on the final outcomes of the 2020 national election, we want you to know that no matter the results, YOUR Women’s Foundation of Colorado will continue to show up, stand up, and lift up the voices of all women of Colorado. At the same time, we work together to heal divides and fulfill our vision, mission, and values.
Alongside you we will work every day to ensure women’s access to the full range of reproductive health information, care, and justice; voting rights; affordable child care; law enforcement integrity; entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities; and other essentials for women’s economic success. We know that investments in women are wise investments.
Today, we must take a moment to celebrate with our community several statewide ballot measures that will help us meet these goals, as well as gains made on behalf of all women across our country.
Statewide Ballot Wins for Women
Proposition 115: Prohibit Abortions After 22 Weeks
WFCO opposed this measure, and it did not pass. The Women’s Foundation of Colorado is committed to economic security for all Colorado women and girls regardless of background or identity. Research clearly links full access to reproductive health resources to economic security. WFCO supports access to the full range of reproductive health information, care, and justice for women statewide. We believe that women have the right to decide to have or not to have children, free from stigma.
WFCO is heartened that Colorado voters understand that lack of access to the entire range of reproductive health services can have dire health and economic consequences for Colorado women and families.
Proposition 118: Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
WFCO supported this measure, and it passed. Between August and September, more than 800,000 women dropped out of the workforce nationally. Clearly, too many women have had to make the difficult decision between caring for a loved one and supporting them.
Now that all Colorado employees will have a paid family and medical leave insurance program they can access, more women will be able to remain in the workforce and optimize their chances of reaching economic security. We are confident that a paid family and medical leave system that works for women, their families, and their employers will work for everyone in our state.
Proposition EE: Taxes on Nicotine Products
WFCO supported this measure, and it passed. One thing that COVID-19 has shown us is that child care is a cornerstone of a prosperous economy where women can enter, remain, and thrive in the workforce. In order for Colorado to have an accessible and high-quality early care and education sector there must be significant public investment. The passage of EE is one step toward a more inclusive system that meets the needs of all children and their families. It will also allow for women to enter and stay in the workforce to allow for increased economic security.
Fiscal Reform – Amendment B
WFCO is committed to improving Colorado’s tax and budget policies so sufficient resources can be dedicated to ensuring equitable opportunities for all women. Just like many families are experiencing an economic fallout because of COVID-19, the Colorado state budget will be impacted for years to come. Important services that contribute to women’s economic advancement – such as child care, affordable housing, and transportation – will be underfunded unless we are willing to address our state’s fiscal policies.
Amendment B: Repeal the Gallagher Amendment
WFCO supported this measure, and it passed. Repealing the Gallagher Amendment is just one step in untying the fiscal knot that continues to impede progress toward Colorado women reaching economic security and ensuring that Colorado’s tax and budget policies are equitable for all.
Statewide Ballot Loss
Proposition 116: State Income Tax Rate Reduction
WFCO opposed this measure, and it passed. A decrease in state income tax from 4.63% to 4.55% may not seem like a lot, but it will now require that cuts are made to an already depleted state budget. Furthermore, it will restrict investments in essential community resources for Colorado women and their families, such as child care, affordable housing, and transportation. We stand with the “Vote No on 116” campaign, which tweeted this morning, “As legislators prepare for the 2021 session, we urge them to keep tax fairness top of mind. We know we will.”
National Election & Voter Turnout
There are many reasons to celebrate women’s advancement nationally, most notably, the first Black, Indian American, woman vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris. We know that “if you can see it, you can be it,” and she will undoubtedly inspire a generation of diverse girls to be limitless in their dreams and aspirations, regardless if she becomes vice president or not.
Additionally, Colorado can boast record-breaking voter engagement. Secretary of State Jena Griswold said 79.5% of active registered voters turned in their ballot, surpassing 2016 voter turnout. As of 4 p.m. on Election Day, 3,104,807 Coloradans cast a ballot. In 2016, Colorado saw a turnout of 74.39%.
Post-election, as always, our work will remain driven by a vision of gender, racial, and economic equity and justice. Creating equitable systems for all will guide our intent and actions.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to learn about our state’s ballot measures through The Womanifesto, our nonpartisan ballot guide, and shared the information. We look forward to offering learning opportunities to those who want to grow their civic engagement and build systems that create opportunity for all.
In the new year, we’ll offer a virtual advocacy series, where Colorado women will have the opportunity to develop skills to influence legislation, learn about issues that impact women’s economic security, and join WFCO to take action to build more equitable systems and a stronger Colorado for us all. Click here to register.
Last but not least, we understand that in the coming days there may be frustrations from many perspectives and such feelings may be more pronounced in this intense election period that overlapped with an incredibly trying time in our country. While we understand frustrations, we believe in nonviolent strategies to effect change in our systems.
We believe in community, democracy, and peaceful discourse.