Start of the 2022 legislative session
I was honored to be a guest of Gov. Jared Polis at today’s State of the State address, and was heartened to hear his remembrance of those whose lives were lost last year due to COVID, violence, and natural disasters, and his calls to continue tackling the impacts of the COVID pandemic — singling out the dedication of our front line and critical workers — and to continue efforts to make Colorado safer, to improve our air quality and meet the climate crisis head on, and to tackle the surging costs of living for everything from housing to health care.
As a result of our Colorado Latino Policy Agenda compiled last fall, we know these are among the most critical issues for our communities moving forward. This is why Voces Unidas de las Montañas has increased our organizational capacity around public-policy issues, and we have engaged professional lobbyists via Voces Unidas Action Fund to help drive effective outcomes in our policy work.
As the General Assembly begins its work, I want to share with you the measures we have identified thus far as worthy of our input and support:
Mobile Home Park Resident Protections: This bill updates and strengthens mobile home resident protections giving more rights and agency to residents in mobile home parks. This addresses some of the concerns that we have heard from our leaders.
Nonprofit Infrastructure Funding: Led by the Communities Lead, Communities Thrive Coalition, this bill creates an infrastructure grant fund for smaller nonprofits who are providing culturally appropriate and relevant services and resources to families and communities who have historically been underrepresented, underfunded, under-resourced, and continue to struggle with pandemic recovery. These resources would help organizations like Voces Unidas to better support community needs.
Reproductive Health Equity Act: Led by our partner COLOR, this bill modernizes Colorado statute to protect reproductive rights as fundamental rights.
All Families Covered: This measure provides health coverage for undocumented pregnant people in Colorado and provides comprehensive public health insurance for all children in Colorado — regardless of immigration status — up to the CHP income-eligibility limit.
Fair Workweek: Protects workers — employed by very large employers in certain industries — from unfair scheduling practices by giving them the opportunity to provide greater input into their schedules, requiring advance notice of work schedules, and discouraging last-minute schedule changes.
ASSET Expansion — Increases the number of undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition through the Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) program.
As part of our mission to bring Latino voices to the policy-making process, Voces Unidas will organize community leaders from throughout the central-mountain area to testify on and help shape legislation this session. We will also continue to rely on feedback from community leaders and policy priorities identified in the Colorado Latino Policy Agenda to guide and inform our policy positions.
I will provide regular updates on the bills outlined above and other actions at the Capitol during the 120-day legislative session. If you have questions, suggestions, or comments, feel free email them to us at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support.
Alex Sánchez is President and CEO of Voces Unidas de las Montañas and Voces Unidas Action Fund.