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.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Denver City Council overrules voter initiative on unlicensed drivers - The Denver Post

Denver City Council overrules voter initiative on unlicensed drivers - The Denver Post

Denver City Council members voted 9-1 on Monday night to repeal a voter-approved initiative designed in part to impound cars driven by "illegal aliens."

The repeal means that, starting Aug. 1, unlicensed drivers will no longer have to pay $2,600 in bonds and fees after police tow their cars. It will still be illegal to drive without a license, and people who have their cars towed will still pay a towing fee and a daily fee for vehicles sitting in the impound lot.

Monday's vote, the council's last before new members are sworn in July 18, marks the end of years of controversy that have ensued since 54 percent of voters passed the measure in 2008.

Opponents of Initiative 100 argued it unfairly targeted illegal immigrants and would open the city to lawsuits — and city officials didn't enforce the references to illegal immigrants specifically for that reason. Opponents also argued that the law interfered with matters the state and federal governments should handle.

Supporters say I-100 sends a strict message to unlicensed and uninsured drivers and should have remained in place because the public approved it.

Denver's charter allows the City Council to repeal laws approved by voters with a super-majority of nine votes.

"It's very rare that we would do this," Councilman Paul Lopez, who led the move to repeal I-100, said before Monday's meeting.

Lopez said he opposed the initiative because he feared it would open the city up to lawsuits and because it doesn't provide people with a chance to plead their innocence. City attorney David Broadwell agreed with Lopez's points.

Broadwell said developments in a federal court made him worry that the city would face future lawsuits.

The City Council agreed in April 2010 to pay $11,843.87 to settle a lawsuit with a man whose motorcycle was impounded by police after he loaned it to a friend.

Councilman Charlie Brown, who did not attend, has said he supports the initiative. Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, the only member to vote against the repeal, said she thinks voters' desires should have prevailed.

Faatz said she would support amending the law to exclude references to illegal immigrants but didn't support a repeal because, "You don't need to thumb your nose at what the people have adopted."

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