• July 24th, 2024
  • Wednesday, 09:23:40 AM

Colorado Deserves Champions for Reproductive Justice


Photo: COLOR Dusti Gurule, Executive Director of COLOR and founder of Colorado’s Latino/a Advocacy Day.

 

Dusti Gurule

The right to free and fair elections and to have every vote count is one of our country’s most basic civil rights. A right that our communities had to fight to win through the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This November, voters are heading to the polls amidst a tidal wave of misinformation designed to create confusion and exacerbate political divisions. Of the two Presidential candidates, one openly appeals to white supremacy, while the other has failed to respond to his much-needed base of women of color.

 

While projects like the Colorado Latino Policy Agenda capture the issues that matter most to Latino voters, this political landscape necessitates a tool to help Coloradans see where the candidates on the ballot align with their values. The annual Legislative Scorecard created by advocacy organizations like the COLOR Action Fund is one of the most revealing ways to communicate how these state-level candidates behave as elected officials.

 

Every election is critical, and all voices must be heard, especially those often not reflected in the legislature.

 

Enacting policy and advancing the issues that empower our communities continues before, during, and after the final vote on a bill. A legislator’s score illustrates how they vote and work to advance or go against the issues we engage in. An allied lawmaker can support a pro-active Racial Justice bill in front of them, but a “Champion” lawmaker is someone whose collaboration is likely a large part of why the bill is even there in the first place.

 

We have a vision of the future in which we want to raise our families and where our communities can thrive. That future includes access to safe abortion care that is covered regardless of insurance. We envision a Colorado with enough affordable housing for families and singles, all within a reasonable distance of our workplaces. We envision an economy where medical costs won’t bankrupt a family and where the costs of gas, groceries, and other needs are attainable.  Our elected officials can help us get to that future, or they can stand in our way.  The COLOR AF scorecard signals the community about which legislators will fight alongside or against us.

 

There’s urgency at the ballot this November. Every election is critical, and all voices must be heard, especially those often not reflected in the legislature. This election is yet another moment in our struggling democracy, and we must ensure we use our voices before, during, and after to elect and hold accountable those candidates who reflect our values of equity and justice. Let us use tools like the COLOR AF Scorecard to make a more informed choice on our ballots this election.

 

 

Dusti Gurule is the President and CEO for Colorado Organization Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights.