Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
I'm flattered by the call for help from rational Republicans and unaffiliated conservatives (lefties don't value my opinion) too busy making a living and paying taxes to wade through the 70-odd pages in the State Ballot Information Booklet (aka, the Blue Book). The citizen initiative process, a good idea in theory, isn't so good in practice. Along with some worthwhile additions, the state constitution has become a morass of unnecessary and conflicting amendments. Mercifully, of the almost 100 ballot initiatives originally proposed this year, only nine made the final cut.
First, the good:
Amendment 63 (Health Care Choice) protects Coloradans from being compelled by government to buy health insurance. It may turn out to be merely symbolic if the issue is ultimately decided in federal courts. In the meantime, this and similar measures in more than 30 other states give a majority of Americans a chance to express their opposition to Obamacare.
Amendments P, Q and R are all referred amendments from the state legislature, as compared to all the rest, which are citizen initiatives. These are mostly housekeeping measures. P deals with administrative changes in licensing and regulation of games of chance, like bingo and raffles. Q establishes a process for moving Colorado's seat of government temporarily from Denver to someplace else (hopefully not Boulder) during a disaster emergency. R eliminates property taxes for low-value government property used for private benefit, like cattle grazing, where the cost of administration often exceeds the revenues collected.
It's hard to get excited over any of these. Flip a coin or go with the legislature's recommendation to approve them.