March 10, 2023
Colorado Democrats Announce Bills That Protect Abortion Access And Gender Affirming Care
State lawmakers have introduced three bills aimed at protecting the right to abortion, and gender-affirming care in Colorado. The Democratic lawmakers introduced the bills in the General Assembly yesterday, building on last year’s legislation that enshrined the right to abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
The first of the three bills, SB-188, would protect anyone who receives or provides abortion and gender-affirming care, including people from out-of-state. It also bars state employees from taking part in interstate investigations related to that health care.
The second bill, SB-189, would require insurance coverage for reproductive health care, including abortions and contraceptive access.
The third bill, SB-190, would ban deceptive advertising from crisis pregnancy centers. Supporters say anti-abortion centers present themselves as legitimate reproductive health care clinics but instead provide inaccurate and biased information about abortion and contraceptives.
Since last summer’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Colorado has seen an influx of patients seeking abortion care and other reproductive health services as other states passed abortion restrictions, according to Colorado Newsline.
One of the bills’ sponsors, Rep. Elisabeth Epps of Denver, said the measures are necessary because while abortion is legal in Colorado, legality does not guarantee accessibility.
Vote To Rename Mount Evans Halted As Federal Board Receives Tribal Consultation Request
A vote to rename Mount Evans is on hold after the U.S. Board of Geographic Names received a consultation request from a tribal government. In a surprise move yesterday, the Board’s executive director announced the delay, citing the consultation request, but did not specify which tribal government made it.
The decades-long renaming process of Mount Evans, a 14,000 plus peak in Clear Creek County and that is visible from Denver, seeks to remove the name of former territorial Gov. John Evans. Evans was instrumental in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado that murdered more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people, many of whom were women, children, and elderly.
Gov. Jared Polis has already endorsed changing the name to Mount Blue Sky, the name advocated by Northern Arapaho tribal members. Northern Cheyenne tribe members support the name Mount Cheyenne-Arapaho. Prior to the Governor’s endorsement, the 15 member Colorado Geographic Naming Board unanimously approved the new name that included deliberations and outreach by the Clear Creek County Commission.
Although the federal board did not reveal what tribe requested the consultation, the Denver Gazette reports Northern Cheyenne Tribal Administrator William Walks Along notified the federal board Wednesday. Walks Along says the Northern Cheyenne oppose Mount Blue Sky as Blue Sky is part of the Cheyenne Arrow Ceremony and the tribe considers the phrase sacrilege to throw around in public.
DPS School Board Votes To Close Three Schools
The Denver Public Schools board has voted to close three schools due to severe low enrollment. The vote to close Denver Discovery and Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy was unanimous at yesterday’s Denver Public School board meeting. DPS Vice President Auon’ tai Anderson cast the sole opposition vote to close Fairview Elementary.
The vote comes after three years of decreasing enrollment and a $9 million loss of funding. DPS Superintendent Alex Marrero told the board that each of the schools facing closure have fewer than 120 students. In November, hundreds came out to protest the announcement to consider closing 12 public schools with low enrollment numbers.
Students attending Denver Discovery, Fairview Elementary, and the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy will merge with other schools within the district. The superintendent Alex Marrero has also assured the board that all employees currently working at these three schools have guaranteed jobs in the district.
DAM Severs Association With Former And Deceased Trustee Who Had Close Ties With Indicted Art Dealer
The Denver Art Museum confirmed Thursday the museum has removed the name of Emma Bunker from a gallery wall, after learning that Bunker had a close involvement with indicted art dealer Douglas Latchford. Emma Bunker was a longtime museum trustee and scholar, who died in 2021. The museum said yesterday they have also given a six-figure donation from Bunker back to her estate and her children.
U.S. officials indicted Douglas Latchford in 2019 for acquiring and selling illegally trafficked works of art, including Cambodian pieces that ended up in the Denver Art Museum. A yearlong investigation by the Denver Post revealed Bunker aided Latchford in selling and loaning looted Cambodian relics across the globe.
Erie Schools Showcasing Hope and Gratitude Luminary Project Friday Evening
Parent teacher organizations in Erie are showcasing luminaries this evening made by students and staff as part of the third annual Hope and Gratitude Project. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Briggs Street in downtown Erie. The luminaries feature hopes and areas of gratitude by Erie elementary and middle school students. Organizers are asking attendees to start the luminary walk on the south end of Briggs Street and to write their own hopes and areas of gratitude on community luminaries on the north end.