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Vote Yes of Proposition EE

Yes on EE: Preschool Supports Working Women

// October 21, 2020

Guest Blog: Prop EE Will Allow Us to Improve the Health and Education of Children Across Colorado & Support Working Women

Anna Jo Haynes is a life-long advocate for women and children, a founder of Mile High Early Learning and a founding mother of The Women’s Foundation. In 2016, Anna Jo was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

Anna Jo Haynes HeadshotJoin Me in Voting YES on EE

In the midst of a very divisive political year, I’m especially proud to be a strong supporter of something bipartisan and positive: Prop EE. This statewide ballot measure will allow us to improve the health and education of children across Colorado and support working women. Please join me in voting YES on EE.

As a founder of Mile High Early Learning and a life-long advocate for women and children, I’m most excited about the universal preschool component of Prop EE. Funding generated by an increase of our state’s tobacco tax will be dedicated to a new program that will ensure every 4-year-old in Colorado has the chance to attend preschool in the year before Kindergarten – not just those whose families can afford it. This will ensure all kids get off to a strong start.

We know preschool works – decades of research have proven the academic, social and long-term economic benefits. And we have seen it first-hand here in Denver through the success of the Denver Preschool Program, which has been making universal preschool available in Denver for more than a decade with tremendous positive results.

Prop EE will help stabilize and support our community-based preschools, a win for those women-owned businesses.

While the academic benefits for kids are easy to understand, preschool also provides important benefits for working women in two key ways. First, reliable preschool and child care enable parents, and particularly mothers, to return to the workforce sooner and miss fewer days of work. Second, many preschools and child care centers are women-owned small businesses. Prop EE will help stabilize and support our community-based preschools, a win for those women-owned businesses. These benefits for the workforce today are one reason why many business organizations like the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Business and Professional Women of Colorado and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce have all endorsed Prop EE.

Help Create a Healthy Colorado

However, the benefits of Prop EE aren’t only about education and working families. Prop EE will help to create a healthier Colorado too.

In addition to increasing our existing tobacco tax, Prop EE establishes a first-time tax on vape products like e-cigarettes. Surprisingly, these dangerous and addictive products, which are widely and falsely advertised as safer alternatives to tobacco, are not taxed like cigarettes today. As a result, we are effectively subsidizing their use. It’s no wonder that Colorado has one of the highest teen vaping rates in the country.

Research shows that for every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes, we see a 3 to 5 percent decline in consumption overall and a 7 percent decline among price-sensitive youth. Increasing the tax alone will result in people quitting and youth never starting a dangerous and deadly habit.

As a woman of color who has fought for gender, racial, and income equality my whole life, I think it is critical to state that Prop EE is a progressive measure that will benefit low income communities in important and tangible ways.

As a woman of color who has fought for gender, racial, and income equality my whole life, I think it is critical to state that Prop EE is a progressive measure that will benefit low income communities in important and tangible ways. Reducing consumption of dangerous tobacco and nicotine products has a very clear benefit to the health and safety of communities that have been targeted by the tobacco industry for decades. Further, by investing the revenue generated by the tax into quality preschool, we have the chance to close achievement gaps and ensure all kids start school prepared to succeed.

When we started The Women’s Foundation of Colorado more than 30 years ago, we did so with an optimistic vision of creating a more equitable and prosperous future for women and families in Colorado. Prop EE is the next important step we can take together toward that brighter future. Join me in voting YES on EE.

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado supports Proposition EE. Read The Womanifesto ballot guide to learn more about our position. 

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