PJU at the Capitol - 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Since Donald J. Trump has been sworn into office, he has signed executive orders that promote divisiveness and fear of the immigrant community. He has also selected inexperienced individuals for his cabinet who possess overwhelmingly large conflicts of interest. However, we still have the ability to stand together against hate. Arming ourselves with knowledge is the first step on what may become a difficult road in the fight for human rights. We can also become active citizens in our local and state governments. We must make the commitment to not let fear rule.

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If President Trump wants to build a wall, we will band together and build a bridge to get over the tough times ahead in the state of Colorado. Padres & Jóvenes Unidos fought for the following items in the 2017 Colorado legislative session:

  • Immigrant Rights

>>SB 281 - This bill would have allowed crime victims to sue local government if they were deemed to be a sanctuary city;
HB 1134 - This bill would have allowed police chiefs, sheriffs, and other public officials to be arrested if they were deemed to be a sanctuary city. It is incredibly disappointing that we have elected officials prioritizing these types of policies. The immigrant community came together to resist and these bills were both defeated in the House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs.

>>HB 1206 - This bill would have expanded the driver’s license program by accepting a valid social security number and improving the renewal process did not pass the Senate Transportation Committee. Despite continuous lobbying by the community the driver’s license program will continue as is. This bill did not pass.

 

  • School Discipline

  • Education and Curriculum

>>HB 1211: This bill promotes evidence-based discipline strategies and school environments that reflect the culture and background of the children they serve. This bill is intended to help reduce the rate of expulsion and suspension for children under age 8 and help eliminate racial bias in our discipline policies. HB 1211 has been signed into law!

>>HB 1210: This bill to limit suspension and expulsion for our youngest learners (pre-K through 2nd grade) was killed by the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs. Our struggle to end harsh discipline for students of color continues. We are incredibly disappointed that some legislators do not see the significant harm and disproportionate impact with regards to race that comes with suspending and expelling babies, but will return next year.

>>HB 1276: This bill bans face down restraints of children in schools, and passed both chambers. Our legislators agreed that our school districts should be aligned with Colorado Department of Human Services and the U.S. Dept. of Education by restricting the dangerous use of face down restraints on children in schools.

>>HB 1038: This bill would have ended corporal punishment in Colorado schools. However, the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t agree that any person entrusted with the care of our children should be prohibited from using corporal punishment as a form of discipline. The failure of this bill shows us that we must continue to shift the priority in the classroom from adults to students.

>>SB 61: This bill would have given additional tax dollars to Charter schools without any increase in accountability. Padres & Jóvenes Unidos has worked to block the passage of this bill, even though it was touted as a compromise. It did not pass.

>>HB 1375: This bill will allow Charters to take in up to 95% of the local per pupil share of funding. By working with other education advocates we were able to build some accountability into the bill: Charter schools will be required to post financial reports and additional tax documents online. They will have to post the waivers they receive from the state department of education as well as their replacement plans. Charters will also lose two automatic waivers including one that allows them to forgo competitive bidding for services. This bill opened up a conversation about school funding that is far from over. Padres & Jovenes Unidos will continue to work with parents, teachers, and legislators to ensure that every student in Colorado is prepared for college!
>> We believe that all students, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, or status have the right to a quality education. There are various measures of quality, however, the Padres Platform for Excellent Schools highlights the importance of a healthy environment, which includes acknowledgment and respect of various backgrounds by school staff. House Bill 17-1022, sponsored by Representative Salazar, mandates funding instruction in public school of history and civil government of the United States and Colorado, including but not limited to the history, culture, and contributions of American Indians, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans. Padres & Jóvenes Unidos is in full support of this bill, which would require proper representation for students of color in the curriculum.

  • Student Health

  • A Better Colorado

>>House Bill 1306: This bill created a grant program that will help schools test for lead in their water. Since it is mostly older schools that may still have lead and copper plumbing, this bill will have the most impact on rural students and urban students of color. Students of color are disproportionately burdened by exposure to harmful environmental toxins. This bill did pass. We are glad to see our leaders take a step toward ensuring safe drinking water for all children.
>>HB 1326: The Justice Reinvestment Act - This bill will ensure that more money is spent on economic development in communities rather than spending it keeping our communities behind bars! Last fall, Padres & Jovenes Unidos, along with allies from across the nation, released The $3.4 Trillion Mistake: The Cost of Mass Incarceration and Criminalization, and How Justice Reinvestment Can Build a Better Future for All. We are excited to have helped pass HB 1326. It will create $6 million in savings through parole reform which can be used to build stronger communities.

>>HB 1230 - Protect Colorado Residents from Federal Government Overreach Act - This bill would have prohibited state and municipal governments from creating registries based on race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, or religious affiliation, and would have prevented the state from assisting the federal government in the creation of internment camps. We appreciate the work of good legislators working to expand and protect the rights of our communities during these trying times. We will be standing with them again next year to keep pushing back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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