- Putting Money into People’s Pockets
- Amendment 70: In November of 2016, COPA co-chaired a huge victory for working Coloradans. We won an increase to the Minimum wage to $12 by 2020.
- HB19-1210: The Local Wage Option bill. Winning Amendment 70 was a huge victory for our community but we knew that $12 was not enough for those struggling to keep up with the cost of living. The local wage option bill gives local governments the ability to raise the minimum wage to a higher level than the state based on their communities’ needs.
- In 2019 COPA supported the child care tax credit which extended the tax credit for families under $25,000 in income for another 8 years. The extremely high cost of childcare impacts low-income families the most & this bill provides support for those families to make childcare more attainable & sustainable. This legislation is another step towards ensuring that we have an economy that works for all people.
- Corporate Accountability
- COPA was part of the coalition that worked to pass Proposition 111 to put an end to predatory lending practices in Colorado. Under previous law, payday loans were exempted from Colorado’s 36% interest rate cap, so the annual percentage rate (APR) could have been more than 200%. When the loan was due, most borrowers would not have enough money to pay back the loan, plus the interest – this resulted in hardworking Colorado families being trapped in a cycle of debt. Payday loans were sucking more than $50 million a year out of our state, preying on financial hardships and on low-income and communities of color. Proposition 111 capped interest rates at 36% and eliminated fees on payday loans, ending the outrageous interest rates that were hurting working people and their families. COPA worked hard to educate voters on this issue and Proposition 111 passed with 77% of the vote, the largest vote margin for a ballot measure in Colorado’s history.
- Just Transition
- COPA has been working hard to ensure that the climate work in Colorado is led by folks who are most disproportionately impacted by environmental pollutants. We are bringing folks of color and low income folks to the table to lead the work in Colorado. In 2018 we created the Just Transition Table which for the first time in Colorado’s history brought together labor, green, faith and community groups to build relationships across the different sectors and work on a plan to move Colorado to 100% just and equitable transition to a renewable energy economy.
- HB19-1314: Just Transition From Coal-based Electrical Energy Economy: This bill, a first in the country, will put forth the creation of a Just Transition office in the Department of Labor and Employment. The office will have both a dedicated staff and an advisory committee of diverse stakeholders. It is charged with creating an equitable plan for coal-dependent communities and workers as the state transitions away from fossil fuels.
- Fight to End Detention
- In our year old campaign to close the GEO Aurora Detention center as we fight for increased accountability & transparency and better treatment for those who are detained, we have already successfully worked to ensure that Congressman Crow champions this issue by connecting him directly with community leaders who are currently detained at GEO and sharing stories of impacted families.
- Licenses for All
- Our members have been sharing their stories, testifying, lobbying at the capitol, and organizing small businesses in Aurora to make the SB 251 immigrant driver’s license program fully accessible. Over the years we have eliminated obstacles: ensuring folks without status but with an social security number can get a license too, winning online renewals, and in 2019 tripling the number of offices that will provide this license– making this law truly accessible for undocumented Coloradans.
- Sanctuary Cities
- COPA co-led the efforts to pass the Denver Immigrant Protection Policy and legal defense fund in 2017. This policy creates a bright line of separation between local government and immigration enforcement and established a fund that gives Denver immigrants financial support for their immigration cases.
- We are also a proud founding organization and current co-lead for the statewide Colorado Rapid Response Network.