Headlines September 14, 2020

Headlines September 14, 2020

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Colorado Secretary of State Criticizes Post Office over Voting Information

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold is claiming that the US Post Office has been sending out misleading information about the November election.

On Saturday Griswold filed a lawsuit against the Postal Service, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the Denver postmaster to stop delivery of flyers to Colorado voters.

U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez agreed with Griswold, at least temporarily, and issued a restraining order late Saturday stopping the mailings.

The Denver Post reports that the objectionable mailer tells voters they must request a mail-in ballot for the November elections. However, in Colorado, every registered voter receives a mail ballot without requesting one.

The mailer also recommends that voters mail back their ballots at least a week before the Nov. 3 Election Day. Griswold argued that that information could make people believe they must mail their ballot; however, besides mailing ballots, voters in Colorado can drop them off at drop boxes, vote at service centers, or vote in person.

Judge Martinez wrote that “The notice, if distributed, will sow confusion amongst voters by delivering a contradictory message.”

Yesterday, the Postal Service asked Judge Martinez to reconsider his order saying it said would be extremely burdensome.  The agency said that more than 200,000 postcards were in the process of being delivered but it had ceased processing other Colorado-bound postcards.

Martinez has set the next hearing in the case for Friday.

Bedrooms Are For People Holds Rally in Boulder Vows to Continue to Fight to get on the Ballot

The Bedrooms Are For People group led a march on Saturday through downtown Boulder saying they will not give up their fight despite not getting their initiative on this November’s ballot.

The group wants voters to decide whether to overturn Boulder’s occupancy limit that makes it illegal to have more than three unrelated people living together.  They say they will now try to get their measure on the ballot in 2021.

Eric Budd, one of the co-chairs of Bedrooms Are For People told the Daily Camera that they were using the march as a springboard into next year and they will collect signatures to get their measure on the ballot.

Aurora to Consider More Police Reforms

Today the Aurora City Council is scheduled to consider another round of police reforms including a moratorium on first responders administering ketamine to suspects and banning police from executing “no-knock” warrants.

The proposals target practices that have been at the center of two high-profile cases: Breonna Taylor, who died in Louisville, Kentucky, and Elijah McClain, who died last August after police detained him and first responders injected him with ketamine

Meanwhile, about two dozen protesters confronted an Aurora City Council member at her home last night to demand support for police reforms and justice for McClain.

The Aurora Sentinel reports that demonstrators confronted Council member Francoise Bergan who met them on her driveway. As she stood in front of her home, Bergan attempted to answer questions mostly about police department scandals.

After about 30 minutes Bergan went back inside her house withholding judgment about the McClain incident but saying she did not think the officers involved intended to injure him.

The activists continued to march also demanding the closure of the GEO Group-run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center for undocumented immigrants.

Black Lives Matter Demonstrations Around Front Range

There were other rallies in the metro area yesterday.

About 100 people marched through Westminster Sunday afternoon in a  Black Lives Matter demonstration. The Denver Post reports they were met by a handful of counter-protesters who drove in pickup trucks and muscle cars, honking their horns, and shouting.

In Adams County yesterday a demonstration called Youth Unite for Black Lives called for schools to address systemic racism. The rally was intended to draw attention to high turnover, poor attendance, low engagement and low academic achievement.  The demonstration was organized by a group called the Caravan for Racial Justice.

Fort Collins Demonstration Over COVID-19 Restrictions on Churches

On Friday night in Fort Collins, about 2,000 people disregarded county and state COVID-19 requirements and gathered in City Park for a worship service and protest.

The demonstrators oppose rules that put limits on church gatherings during the pandemic.

Photos of attendees showed they were not wearing masks and were standing shoulder to shoulder.

The Coloradoan reports that the city had denied a permit for the event, but organizers proceeded, citing their First Amendment Rights

Mayor Wade Troxell wrote to the newspaper that the decision was made to take a non-confrontational approach and no efforts were made to disband the gathering.

A city spokesperson said that while it is important for people to be able to exercise their First Amendment rights peacefully, they strongly encourage all participants to follow health guidelines, stay safe and protect themselves and others from COVID-19 transmission.

JBS Fined Due to Safety Failures

The federal government has taken some action against a meatpacking plant in Greeley because of its failure to safeguard employees during the pandemic.

Six workers who worked inside the JBS plant and one corporate office worker have died from COVID-19.  Nearly 300 have been infected.

The Denver Post reports that on Friday the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it will fine the company after concluding it failed to provide a safe workplace at the meatpacking plant.  The penalty to be imposed: $15,615 dollars.

According to the Department of Labor it’s the maximum allowed by law.

JBS USA sharply disputed the federal agency’s findings, while the union representing more than 3,000 workers blasted OSHA over the size of the fine and called the government’s response “immoral and unethical.”

Kim Cordova president of the workers’ union said in a statement that a $15,000 ‘penalty’ is nothing to a large company like JBS and in fact, it only incentivizes the company to continue endangering its employees.