Wednesday, November 18, 2009

9to5 Colorado Helps Defeat Dangerous Ballot Initiative in Denver!

We have all accidentally left the house without our wallet or purse. Fortunately, this fall, 9to5 Colorado worked to defeat Initiative 300, the Vehicle Impound Initiative.

This initiative would have unnecessarily impounded the cars of anyone caught driving without their drivers license and/or registration, even if they just left their wallet at home, and they would've had to pay upwards of $2700 to get their car back. This Initiative was dangerous and had huge consequences for everyone! No one should have to pay $2700 for a simple mistake like leaving their license at home.

9to5 made over 16,000 contacts with Denver voters this year, and nearly 80% of all voters we talked with committed to vote No on the initiative! On November 3rd, 2009, we saw a HUGE victory as Initiative 300 was defeated by Denver voters -- 70% to 30%! Because of the extensive field and media efforts by 9to5 and all the other organizations who worked to defeat 300, Denver residents understood the far-reaching consequences and voted to ensure that no one had to lose their car or pay $2700 for a simple mistake.

Courtney Coffman, one of 9to5's canvassers, talks about her experience working with 9to5 this year:
While working with 9to5 to defeat Initiative 300, I discovered that the experience of being a canvasser was completely unlike anything I had ever done. The sheer density of human interactions, both positive and negative, packed into such a limited period of time was both exhilarating and exhausting. I came to understand how invaluable civic engagement work truly is: the fact that, yes, I am coming to your home and your private life and asking for your time, but if you do give me your time, we can work together to defeat this dangerous initiative. Of course, not everyone was willing to talk with me. At times, feeling particularly defeated by an unwelcome reaction, the only thing that kept me going was the thought that that individual would be exponentially more disturbed if their car was unfairly impounded, than by me at their door. However,countless individuals recognized the very real and devastating consequences that the initiative would have on their lives if it were to pass, and thanked me for being there.

One common response from people at the door was: “I don’t have time to talk about this - I have kids to take care of.” While I understand that taking care of a family is time-consuming and the top priority, initiatives like I300 and others that threaten our families' rights and financial stability are one of the most compelling reasons to vote.

I know that all too often we have to fight for our rights, but we must stand up to those who seek to deny basic rights to Coloradans. I am proud to have been part of the fight to defeat Initiative 300 through 9to5 and to have protected the financial resources of Denver residents.

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