Mission: Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA) is a racial justice, member-led organization dedicated to advancing and winning progressive social change locally, statewide and nationally. COPA builds power to improve the lives of all Coloradans through leadership development, organizing and alliance building.
History and Overview: Colorado People’s Alliance was founded the winter of 2015 to honor the legacy and shared histories of Rights for all People (RAP) and Colorado Progressive Coalition (CPC). Rights for All People was founded in 1995 by a group of attorneys and activists in response to the growing immigrant population as well as the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in the state of Colorado. Colorado Progressive Coalition was founded in 1996 to fight, build, and win progressive change for Colorado voices that refuse to be marginalized. Over the years, both CPC and RAP achieved victories in the areas of immigrant rights, health care access, transportation access, payday-lending reform, minimum wage, police accountability and more.
See our launch video here.
Colorado People’s Alliance started with a commitment to racial justice, community-led organizing and to working with those most directly impacted by the issues. We work to build power to improve the lives of all Coloradans through leadership development, organizing and alliance building. We are working for climate, economic and immigrant justice.
Leadership Development – we believe that those who are most directly impacted by the issues should be at the front lines leading the work for change, which is why we have a member-led model. We provide different leadership trainings throughout the year in order to support community in having the tools necessary to become leaders in their community and be the best advocates they can be for themselves, their families and their community.
Climate Justice work – we understand that our climate is quickly changing and that we need to ensure communities of color and working class communities, those most directly impacted lead the work for climate justice. We are currently leading the efforts to move Colorado into a Just and Equitable Transition to renewable energy economy that centers the voices of communities of color, workers and low-income communities. And we are fighting to ensure everyone has access to safe drinking water.
Economic Justice Work –We are working to ensure our economy works for everyone in our state and that our economic growth is not at the expense of those most in need. In 2016 we co-chaired and successfully led the efforts to gradually increase Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. We are now working on legislation to allow cities and counties to raise their minimum wage based on the cost of living in their area.
Immigrant Justice Work – through our values of family unity and the equitable treatment of all people, we are working to resist the systems that detain and deport our immigrant community. We are working against anti-immigrant efforts in our state and working to move forward efforts for sanctuary cities, and policies that protect our immigrant community and the Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants. In 2017 we were successful in passing a community drafted policy in Denver to protect immigrants and a legal defense fund to support low-income immigrants fight their deportation cases. We have also been successful in passing legislation that grants important fixes to the driver’s license law in our state that grants driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Our work is guided by community, and all of our issue areas look to make the lives of all Coloradans better, specifically Coloradan’s who are struggling to make ends meet, who live in fear of being separated from their families and who are most directly impacted by corporate polluters. We look to build a community in which everyone has the opportunity to not only survive but thrive.