100 Days of Action!
Since President Trump’s inauguration, COPA has been fighting back against an administration whose top priorities are separating our families, attacking our communities, and helping corporations and the 1% fill their pockets. Throughout the first 100 days of Trump’s administration, we’ve worked with our community and allies to hold at least 1 action per week to let our legislators (on the local, state, and federal level) know that we’re going to fight back and advance a vision for Colorado that works for everyone.
I Drive CO Press Conference for Immigrant Rights
We kicked off our campaign on Wednesday, January 25th with allies and coalition members of the I Drive CO Campaign at a press conference at the capitol in support of reforms to the SB 251 license program and in support of immigrants. There, we heard testimonies from community leaders, faith leaders, and elected officials around the importance of ensuring everyone has a driver’s license to in order to continue protecting our roads and families, and our collective pledge to fight and continue to protect driver’s licenses for our immigrant communities. Immediately following the press conference, COPA members marched with allies to the Colorado Supreme Court building and held a rally to make it clear that we will not stand for his anti-immigrant executive orders.
Emergency Community Meeting in Response to Anti-Immigrant Executive Orders
On January 26th, our community responded to the Trump Administration’s attacks on our communities and the executive orders that target our families. We came together during an Emergency Community Meeting to collectively process and understand the impacts of these orders, and built a strategy together to fight back. There we re-affirmed our commitment to educating our community about their rights and taking direct action to hold politicians accountable for their policies.
Holding Senator Gardner Accountable for His Silence and Inaction
On our second week of action, on February 1st, our members went to Sen. Cory Gardner’s office to tell him that his silence and inaction regarding the immigration executive orders is unacceptable and that we as Coloradans expect him to stand up for his immigrant constituents. When we arrived, he had blocked off the entire 5th floor of his Denver office and only some of us were allowed to speak with his staff. In this meeting we made it clear that the Senator’s silence is unacceptable and we urged him to support legislation that will protect immigrants like the BRIDGE Act, which would make law the DACA program that protects certain young undocumented people from deportation and allows them to work legally. Here we made a commitment to continue holding Senator Gardner accountable and keep pushing him to meet with his constituents.
Immigration Community Forum
We also joined the Colorado Latino Forum’s community forum on February 2nd in Denver with local and state leaders to hear how they would respond to the immigration executive orders and keep our immigrant and refugee communities safe. Members of our community expressed fear and concern and asked if they were safe to go to court since ICE has been seen at courthouses seeking to detain immigrants. Despite this concern, while we heard about efforts from Denver Public Schools and Representatives Leslie Herod and Joe Salazar which will extend protections to undocumented and immigrant families, we did not hear a commitment from our local officials that they would support a Sanctuary Cities policy. Because of this we committed to work together with our allies to ensure Denver would have a sanctuary policy drafted by our community.
Valentine’s Vigil at GEO Detention Center
On Monday, February 6th, we joined AFSC at their annual Valentine’s day vigil to stand in solidarity with those who were torn from their families and now sit in the GEO detention center facing deportation. We sang songs of love, family, longing, and strength and listened to the stories of those who are currently living through the deportation nightmare. Our member Luis also called out the corporations like GEO who benefit financially from caging our loved ones and tearing our families apart.
This week, on February 15th, COPA members participated in a Resistance Phonebank. We made over 100 calls to our legislators on both the state and federal level urging them to support and protect our communities. Politicians will not represent us until we demand that they do so, making calls was just one way of showing them that their constituents are engaged and ready to take action!
Educators for Justice ‘Rally for Justice’
On February 20th, COPA participated in the Educators for Justice ‘Rally for Justice’. The rally was an effort by educators to reclaim their schools and stand up for social, racial, educational, and economic justice for their students, schools, and communities. The rally was kicked off by COPA member Eder Torres sharing his personal story as an immigrant and urged CEA and all teachers to support efforts to protect immigrants. This included supporting the BRIDGE Act which would make the DACA program a law, to support Driver’s Licenses for Colorado immigrants, and to be ready to protect children and their families from deportation or step in to support children if their parents are affected by raids.
February 20th was was a busy day as COPA members also stood in solidarity with six youth who brought the fracking and climate lawsuit against the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission! We heard powerful testimony from youth regarding the importance of putting our people and planet first.
Defeated Anti-Immigrant Legislation
COPA was also a part of the 8+ hours of testimony against a bill by Rep. Williams that would have made it possible for people who were victims of crime by someone who happened to be undocumented, to sue politicians who voted in support of Sanctuary Cities policies. Thanks to the hours of testimony that made it clear that the bill was unconstitutional, unnecessary, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic, the committee voted 6-3 against the bill after midnight. This win is proof that with our voices and collective action we can protect our own communities.
AFSC Spotlight-Environmental Justice Meets Immigrant Justice
We also ended a spotlight hosted by AFSC and CFIR members. COPA, AFSC, and community members discussed the intersections of climate and environmental justice, with racial and immigrant justice. Collectively we discussed how communities of color are those who are first and worst impacted by the effects of climate change and how climate change is linked to forced migration and root causes. We also shared our vision towards a just transition, including the importance of one that ensures the reinvestment in communities of color, and that those responsible for climate change, corporations and the 1% pay for this transition-and the importance for front line communities to be leading the movement towards climate justice.
On February 24th, COPA members disrupted the opening ceremony for the R Line, the newest addition to the RTD transit system. We made it clear that we will continue in our fight for transit justice. We demand accessible and affordable transportation.
Action In Support of HB 1206 to Protect and Streamline Immigrant Drivers Licenses
On March 1st, COPA members and allies rallied at the corner of Lincoln and Colfax to educate motorists about the issues immigrants are facing in getting their Colorado license through the SB251 license program and to urge Coloradans to support HB 1206. This bill would have fixed some of those problems, including making it easier for people to renew and allowing people without legal status but with a valid SS, like Dreamers, to get their license.
Tell Disney: Dump Trump
On the morning of March 8th, COPA, along with our allies from FRESC, held a direct action outside of the Walt Disney Corporation’s annual shareholders’ meeting to demand that their CEO, Bob Iger, step down from President Trump’s Business Advisory Council. Disney claims to represent family values, so we went to let them know that their decisions as a corporation don’t reflect those values and are an endorsement of Trump’s agenda. With the help of People’s Action and other national allies we delivered over half a million signatures asking him to step down.
In addition to the action outside of the meeting, there were also 3 speakers inside the shareholders’ meeting (including our very own Robel Worku) that told Bob Iger how our communities are directly impacted by President Trump’s agenda! We forced the CEO of Disney to respond and we drove the media around their biggest event of the year.
Women and Family Wednesdays Protegete of Conservation Colorado
COPA members joined Protegete at Women and Family Wednesdays on March 15th to stand up for Environmental Justice. We urged our Representatives to support HB17-1227 Energy Efficiency Resource Standard bill. We also discussed the importance of HB17-1191 Demographic Notes for Certain Legislative Bills.
Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act
On March 16th, we joined our Colorado community, Rep. Salazar and Rep. Esgar in a press conference in support of the Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act. A bill that aims to protect Coloradans from any overreach from the current administration. The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee with a 7-4 party line vote.
Protect Water & Health Not Corporate Wealth
COPA, Food and Water Watch Colorado, and allies came together on March 22nd to stand against Trump and corporate polluters! We rallied outside Senator Bennet’s office to make it clear that we reject the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle the EPA and further pollute our communities. COPA members then went inside Senator Bennet’s office and demanded a meeting with his staff immediately-as our communities and planet cannot wait. Members called on Bennet to stand with Colorado, and work with other members of Congress to oppose any cuts to the EPA’s budget and to support US Representative Conyers’ federal WATER Act. Despite an unclear response from Senator Bennet’s office, this is an important step, and COPA will continue to hold his office and Bennet accountable to taking leadership on putting our people and planet first.
FIRM Immigration Summit
Our members and staff also attended the 2017 Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) Summit in Washington DC that week to strategize and develop plans around the national immigration work with affiliates from almost every state in the Country. Colorado was well represented with our members, and people from the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and Padres y Jovenes Unidos. We also made it a point to meet with Sen. Gardner’s immigration staff and our members pressed them on their lack of support for the BRIDGE Act, their focus on border security over other needed immigration reforms like Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship, and on Sen. Gardner’s lack of accessibility. We pushed for an in-person meeting with the Senator once again and an in-person town hall in Denver.
Aurora City Council Special Study Session on Sanctuary Cities
Aurora City Council called for a special session to affirm that Aurora is NOT a sanctuary city. In response, COPA members and allies showed up in full force at a press conference before the session to tell the Council why they should be focusing on making Aurora a welcoming place instead of excluding our community. Unfortunately, Councilwoman Angela Lawson, a newly elected council member, specifically requested that the council pass a resolution stating that Aurora is not a sanctuary city. We continue to fight against this effort.
Larry Mizel Action
On April 5th, COPA members and our allies rallied outside The C.E.L.L. (Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab) museum to call on one of its executives, Larry Mizel, to use his influence as a funder of Senator Cory Gardner, to urge him to face his constituents in a community meeting. Our members performed skits depicting actions that induce terror on our community and the result was nothing short of powerful. This isn’t the end of our fight to hold politicians like Cory Gardner accountable to representing and protecting our community.
Townhall with Congressman Mike Coffman
On April 12th we joined allies in a protest before a Coffman townhall to push back against his restrictions that kept our community out. Coffman required online registration that closed in less than a week, leaving those without an email or access to the internet out, and he even required ID to get in. In this community forum Coffman was held accountable for the fact that he has voted with Trump 96% of time. After this townhall where Coffman got so much pushback both from our protest outside and constituents inside especilaly around his vote for Trumpcare, Coffman ended up voting against the second draft of Trumpcare that unfortunately passed anyway. However, this change in is vote shows that protest and accountability efforts work!
Senator Gardner Community Meeting
On April 19th, COPA held a community meeting to hold Senator Cory Gardner accountable for siding with the Trump administration over the community he’s tasked with representing, for prioritizing meetings with wealthy donors over engaging with his constituents, and hearing their concerns.
Folks at the event let their thoughts be known on Senator Gardner’s voting record since the beginning of this administration and drafted testimonies that were shared with one another and hand delivered to Senator Gardner’s D.C. office by COPA the next week.
Our Members at the People’s Action Founding Convention
We came back from the People’s Action Conference with more energy and ideas to make our work in Colorado even more powerful! At the conference we participated in workshops on Immigration, Mass Incarceration and Healthcare just to name a few! We participated in three (yes three) direct actions on Tuesday around Trump’s budget and healthcare, and also met with legislators around our issues! We are so thankful to have these opportunities to share the power we are building in Colorado with others and learn from the work they are doing in their states. This is just the beginning and we need your help to keep making opportunities like this possible by donating today!
Denver Sanctuary Policy Launch
On Thursday April 27th, after months of work that ramped up after the initial CLF forum in February, we finally launched our community drafted policy to make Denver a true sanctuary city. Our member Michaela helped kick off the meeting by framing the issue and outlining our policy, and one of our other leaders Adrian gave a powerful ask to Councilmember Paul Lopez asking him to be the champion of our policy. Over 300 people came out strong in support of our immigrant neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers to urge our city leaders to go beyond words and adopt a strong policy. We continue to work with our policy champions in the city to ensure Denver becomes a REAL sanctuary city.
People’s Climate March
On Saturday April 29th, COPA members marched to put our people and planet first, and to hold corporate polluters accountable for profiting off of the backs of communities of color. Our member Adrian spoke to community of the importance of centering our communities within the movement for climate justice, and continuing the fight after the march. We shared how COPA is continuing the fight for environmental justice by launching a campaign to ensure all communities have safe drinking water. And asked community to join us in the fight, because water is life! Join us in the fight for water justice!
Contact Elizabeth: 303-893-3500 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and stay tuned for more details on the campaign, ways to get involved, and our upcoming Water Justice Community Meeting on May 31st in Montbello!
On May 1st, we celebrated International Workers Day by taking action against Coors for financing Trump and the politicians who uphold his anti-immigrant, anti-working families agenda like Sen. Cory Gardner. We also kicked off our Coors Boycott! We took action with allies in the labor and faith communities including Fight For $15, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Together Colorado, Colorado Wins, Colorado 9to5, and Strong Colorado. At the action some of our leaders were able to hand deliver a letter to a high level Coors representative asking Coors to stop financing proponents of hate, and to use their power as donors of Cory Gardner to push him to have an in-person town hall with his constituents. This was another effort to ramp up our tactics to hold Sen. Gardner accountable, so he knows that if he won’t listen to us we will go after his donors too.