Thursday, December 30, 2010

Voices: Connie's Story

In addition to advocating for women's rights, 9to5 collects stories about women's experiences in the workplace-- the good, the bad, and the downright unbelievable-- for our Voices feature.

If you have a story from your workplace that you'd like to share, please tell us your story on our Voices page.

This Voices story comes from Connie, a mother in the southeastern US.

"The company that I worked for during 2006-2008 did not have paid sick leave, and only gave employees five vacation days, three of which were required to be saved for the week of Christmas shut down. Therefore, employees only had two vacation days during the year.

"My first boss allowed me to make up any time I needed off by working through lunch or late each day till I made up my time out sick. After I transferred to the Accounting Department, my new manager agreed to continue allowing me to make up any time off.

"Every time I was out I worked to make up that time. I worked late up to an hour each day and worked through lunch. I recorded my hours each day so that I would know how many hours I needed to make up and how many hours I had already made up. I was never paid overtime for any of the hours that I worked over forty hours a week. All of that time went to make up my time out.

After a few months of working in the Accounting Department, the manager called me into his office one day after I have been out, told me that I had missed too many days, and if I missed one more day of work he would fire me.

"My manager’s wife worked in the Human Resources department, so I was afraid going to HR would only make things worse. After being threatened I was shocked and scared. I have three school-age children. Everyday from then on I worried that the school or day care would call and tell me one of my daughters was sick and needed to be picked up. After my manager threatened me I was not able to give 100% at work because I was always afraid that I would get fired if one of my daughters were sick.

"During this time my husband was the only one in his department who worked first shift and he could not take time off, so when the girls were sick I had to take them to the doctor or stay home with them. My father and my mother-in-law both live nearby: however, my dad can not be around the children when they are sick due to his health issues; and my mother-in-law would not cancel plans to watch the girls or take them to the doctor for me. So it often fell to me, their mother, to take care of them. It was extremely stressful needing to be at two places at the same time and worrying, "will I get fired if I stay home with a sick child today?"

"I went to work sick-- I never stayed home sick myself. Two years ago, I was laid off by that company, but I have not let go of the feeling of helplessness I had when I could be fired for something that was out of my control."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Economic Recovery Forum Tour

As the end of the year winds down, so does 9to5 Colorado’s Economic Recovery Forum Tour. 9to5 Colorado and community partners, such as Colorado Progressive Coalition (CPC), FRESC and Colorado Springs Branch NAACP, have taken the Economic Recovery Forums to cities across the state to showcase the positive impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on a local level. These forums brought together just a small fraction of the thousands of people, small businesses, and local government who have benefited from the over $7 million in Recovery Act funds in many different ways.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was one of the first pieces of major legislation that was signed in action by President Obama within his first 30 days in office right here in Denver, Colorado in 2009. This landmark policy brought $800 billion to the states to help protect our most vulnerable communities and help pave the road to recovery for millions of families hit the hardest by the worst economic recession in the U.S. since the Great Depression. ARRA helped stimulate the economy, helped save and create jobs, prevented more devastating state budget cuts, and protected important safety net programs that are helping families stay afloat. In Colorado alone, stimulus money put more than 46,000 Coloradans to work over the last year.

“We have been so excited about having the pleasure of highlighting some of the most constructive investments from the Recovery Act in our own Colorado communities. We are bringing to the table people who can attest to the positive impacts of the Recovery Act, such as local workforce development centers, the Governor’s Energy Office, and the Small Business Administration and providing information on how to access these resources and programs, in addition to sharing how 9to5 Colorado specifically was able to help draw down more Recovery Act dollars to Colorado by modernizing the state Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits system” explains Maggie Gomez, 9to5 Colorado ARRA organizer. Last year, 9to5 Colorado was able to bring nearly $130 million in federal Recovery Act funds to Colorado by expanding the state UI programs to increase eligibility to more women and very low wage workers, extend benefits for unemployed people in certified training programs, and extend benefits for the long tern unemployed. This is utterly critical to our Colorado economy when, according to Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s, every $1.00 of unemployment insurance generates $1.64 in local benefit, and we are currently experiencing a state unemployment rate hovering near 8.5 percent.

The Economic Recover Forum Tour, coordinated by Maggie Gomez, took place in Denver, Aurora, Greeley, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. Nearly 200 people attended these forums.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How Much Do You Really Know About Poverty?

I just took this quick quiz testing my knowledge about how much do I really know about poverty and what is just stereotypes and misconceptions that have been put in my head. I was surprised at my result, I got 10 right and 5 wrong. But learned a lot. This is a great, quick quiz to take and it really puts things into perspective, like how much government assistance really does help family and children have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs, but also how there is still so much to do. I encourage you to take this quick quiz and post on the comments how many did you get right and wrong. And more importantly what your reaction was to how much of what you know is true facts and how much of it is stereotypes that have been drilled on us so we can start having a conversation about how we can stop these misconceptions and start having a real conversation about poverty in the United States and how can we cut it in half in 10 years.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Job Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Workshops

When: Every second Tuesday from 6-8pm


Denver Office, 655 Broadway, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80203

Attend these free and confidential workshops to learn what you can do at work and through the legal system if you have experienced sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination in the workplace. Each will be facilitated by a 9to5 organizer and an employment lawyer.

*A five person minimum will be required to hold these meetings.

Parking is available at the building.

Childcare and translation provided upon advance request.

RSVP REQUIRED: Bridget Kaminetsky at 303-628-0925 or

Monday, December 6, 2010

Linda Meric...Memo to Congress: Extend Programs that Help Us

Dear Member of Congress: You’ve got a lot to consider in this month. You’re scheduled to debate international treaties and Internet censorship. There’s talk of military affairs and revamping federal agencies. But this should be at the top of your agenda: extending benefits for unemployed workers and making sure struggling parents can continue to make ends meet.

You must renew unemployment insurance benefits now for the millions of long-term jobless workers in America. And you must allow jobs to continue to be created through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund.

Think like a struggling family and your decision won’t be so hard.

Consider Cynthia, a mother of three. She has been unemployed since August 2009. Online and in-person, she’s applied for more than 100 positions; inquired about scores and scores more. She’s gotten a few interviews. As of yet, however, not one of them has turned into a job offer. She makes $296 dollars a week in unemployment compensation. Imagine supporting an entire family on a few hundred dollars a week. Everything is a struggle. It’s a struggle to pay the rent, it’s a struggle to keep food on the table, and it’s a struggle to keep shoes on the kids’ feet. It’s a struggle to have to struggle so.

Put yourself in her place. Think about her children. Can you imagine the panic you would feel if you knew your only source of income was about to be cut off? Can you imagine the insecurity you would feel if you knew that soon Mommy would have no money at all?

It’s not even only about struggling families – it’s about the economy too.

Studies, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Labor, show the unemployment insurance program had an even more positive impact on the economy this time around than in previous recessions. Every dollar spent on jobless benefits generated $2 in economic activity, and during each quarter of the recent recession, the economic stimulus provided by those benefits kept an average of 1.6 million Americans on the job.

Americans need jobs. A job with a living wage is at the top of lots of wish lists this season. And while we’re talking about jobs, let’s talk about the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund. The TANF program itself is the nation’s basic welfare program, and before departing for the Thanksgiving holiday, you reauthorized TANF while leaving the Emergency Contingency Fund on the sidelines.

One of the best-kept secrets of last year’s recovery act was this job creation program that helped the economy while it also helped low-income parents and unemployed youth. Through this effort, 35 states, plus the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, partnered with the private sector to create more than 240,000 new jobs through flexible block grants. The TANF-ECF also provided short-term assistance to some of the neediest families. It’s been called a success story by governors and state legislators from both parties. It makes sense that we would continue it, build on it.

The September deadline passed and TANF-ECF wasn’t extended. That’s water under the bridge. But now you have another chance: Put yourself in the place of a homeless family, a long-term unemployed worker and the decision will be clear.

This year, Congress earned base salaries beyond the wildest dreams of most people. You got retirement plans, health benefits, foreign travel stipends. Americans might not begrudge it so much if Congress didn’t seem so tight-fisted with the allocations when it comes to middle class families and those who are struggling with economic insecurity. But you can fix that perception.

The lame duck session will end soon.

It’s not too late for Congress to think like the rest of us; extend unemployment insurance benefits, restore the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund – give working Americans a little hope for the holidays.

Meric is executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women.

from the Baltimore AFRO

Small Biz Owner Focus Group This Wednesday

9to5 National Association of Working Women-Colorado is holding a focus group with small business owners in the Denver metro area.

This focus group will be held Wednesday, December 8, 2010 from 6:00-8:00pm at 655 Broadway Denver, CO 80203 on the lower CR Level. Free parking is available in the parking lot.

The topics will cover health care reform in the workplace and will concentrate on hearing the voices and opinions of small business owners. The conversation will include implementation of health care reform in the workplace, tax credits available to small business owners, and paid sick days.
Free food and compensation for your valuable time will be provided for all who attend.

For more information or to RSVP, please email or call 303-628-0925.

Please pass this on to any small business owners who might be interested.

Join us Tuesday at the Pueblo Convention Center and learn how YOU can benefit from the Economic Stimulus!

When: Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm MST

Pueblo Convention Center
320 Central Main St.
Pueblo, Colorado 81003

Are you unemployed or experiencing tough times?

Last year, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to fund the nation's economic recovery and help those communities most in need.

Come learn:

  • How to INCREASE your Unemployment Insurance check by continuing your education and getting new job skills.
  • Where Green Jobs are being created and how to get them.
  • Tax breaks due to ARRA

Dinner and child care provided!

FREE community forum, all are welcome!

To RSVP or request more information: Please contact Maggie Gomez, ARRA Organizer, at 303-628-0925

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nominate an Outstanding Colorado Change-Maker Today!

Since 1996, 9to5 members have worked to improve rights on the job and win family-friendly policies. This year we would like to honor exemplary leaders who have been strong voices for their communities by taking a stand; speaking out when others cower; helping to inform and educate; and generating thought-provoking conversations around strengthening the ability of low-wage women and their families to build economic justice.


Help us celebrate these members by nominating someone who has inspired or motivated you, or someone else or has made a real impact on workplace policies. Please submit your nomination by the close of business day on Friday, December 3, 2010.

Click here to get the nomination form, then fill it out, and submit it back to us.


Nominees must be 9to5 Colorado members doing paid or volunteer work to build economic justice in one of the 5 award categories:

  • Top Recruiter Award
  • Speaking Out Award
  • Colorado Activist
  • Social Justice Award
  • Youth Advocate


NOMINATION DEADLINE: Friday, December 3, 2010

Honorees will be recognized at 9to5 Colorado’s First Annual Winter Social on December 8, 2011.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Petition: Help Stop Wage Theft

(By Interfaith Worker Justice at

Each year billions of dollars are stolen from millions of American workers as a result of wage theft.

Wage theft takes many forms: Non-payment of overtime, not giving workers their last paycheck after a worker leaves a job, forcing workers to work off the clock, not paying minimum wage, and even not paying a worker at all. Workers’ wages are also stolen when they are misclassified by their employers as independent contractors and lose protections that workers have.

Workers who have had their legal wages stolen by employers often are forced to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table. Wage theft robs the government of needed tax income, which can lead to cutbacks in vital services.

Wage theft puts ethical employers at a competitive disadvantage and can destroy community businesses, since working families cannot spend wages they earned but never received.

Wage theft occurs in every income-tax bracket, in every industry, and in every state, but there is a solution – and you can help.

National legislation to prevent wage theft and worker misclassification must be passed. Members of congress need to hear from you now!

Stand with workers and help make sure workers are paid what they’ve earned by supporting national legislation to prevent wage theft.

Sign the petition supporting national legislation to prevent wage theft.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lame Duck Congress: Help American Families Today, Don’t Let Unemployment Benefits Expire

by Linda A. Meric

There was good news for our flailing economy from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this month. More than 150,000 jobs were added in the United States in October and private sector payrolls grew by 159,000.

But there was some news that didn’t change: unemployment held steady at 9.6 percent. Almost 15 million Americans are out of work and more than 41 percent of them have been unemployed for six months or more. So, adding 150,000 jobs, while a good sign, is still just a drop in the economic bucket.

With job growth still sluggish, and with so many people out of work, it’s critical that unemployment benefits not be allowed to expire. President Obama has even expressed his support for this important step, saying “I think it makes sense for us to extend unemployment insurance because there are still a lot of folks out there hurting.”

But the President obviously can’t do it alone. This is a job for the lame duck Congress, returning to the hill this week – and partisan politics should not get in the way.

Emergency unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of this month. If no extension is approved, two million American workers will lose their unemployment benefits – and more importantly lose their lifeline to economic security for themselves and their families – just in time for the holidays.

“The current expiration date will cause a cascade of unemployed workers to fall off the unemployment rolls, prematurely cutting benefits for some and making any form of an extension completely unavailable for others,” according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP). Plus, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted, there are still far more unemployed workers than there are job openings.

This is worth noting, too: An extension of benefits does not mean that workers who have completely exhausted their benefits will get even one penny more. It only means that those who are currently receiving UI benefits will not get cut off mid stream.

It means that working women – who face staggering unemployment at the same time that women are now the primary or co-breadwinner in more than 2/3 of American families – will be able to provide for their families; to make ends meet. Really, every dollar provided in UI benefits for struggling families pumps two dollars back into our economy because they have so many needs. These aren’t dollars that get stored up somewhere for savings. These are dollars that are needed and spent right now; for food, for clothing, for rent, for utilities – to keep the lights on and the furnace going.

The lame duck Congress can’t leave American families out in the cold this holiday season.

It doesn’t have much time. It must extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits and do so quickly.

America’s families are waiting.

Meric is Executive Director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women

Monday, November 29, 2010

What the lame-duck Congress needs to take on

Now that it has dropped the ball on the Paycheck Fairness Act, failing to end wage discrimination, this lame-duck Congress has another chance. It must extend benefits for unemployed workers. No Congress has ever left workers hanging in midstream, unable to keep their families going, keep food on the table, roof overhead and the lights and furnace on at home. Certainly this Congress would not be so cruel as to do so in this terribly tough economy and just as the holidays are approaching.

It also has a chance to do something else that will have a major impact. Passing the DREAM Act will allow more people to achieve economic security for their families with a pathway to citizenship through a college education or military service.

Check out our website and see what else we are doing. Click here

Margaret Gomez, Denver

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Safety Net for Unemployed Coloradans Due to Expire

About 15,000 Coloradans are at risk of losing their unemployment benefits during the holiday season, unless Congress takes action by the end of the month. Late last week, Congress failed to pass a measure which would continue extended unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed.

However, voters favor continuing that support by two to one, according to Guy Molyneux at Hart Research Associates, who just finished a poll.

"Sixty percent of American voters said yes they favor continuing the benefits. Just 37 percent of voters nationally said they opposed continuing those benefits. "

Republicans in Congress have said they don't want to increase the deficit to continue help for the unemployed. But Molyneux says strong support among voters continued even when reminded of the federal deficit. Congress has never ended these benefits when the unemployment rate is above seven percent. It will take up the issue again on November 29th -- the day before the benefits are set to expire.

Continuing the support would not add weeks of unemployment insurance, just pay for the additional weeks now available. Those additional weeks can be a lifeline for the long-term unemployed.

Robert Pugh is 59. He has worked steadily since he was 16, mostly as a chef but more recently as a financial analyst. That job was eliminated this year, and he says he has about four weeks of benefits left.

"I'm barely surviving. I can pay my rent, buy enough food to eat, pay my insurance, put gas in my car. If I run out of benefits, I'm going to have to move out of my house, and basically I'm going to be homeless."

An estimated 2 million people nationally will be cut off in December unless Congress extends federal support.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, unemployment benefits are the single most efficient form of economic stimulus. One estimate says 700,000 additional jobs exist because of federal support for the unemployed.

More information is available on the National Employment Law Project website,

Friday, November 19, 2010

9to5 Small Business Owner Survey

Are you a small business owner?
Do you know somebody that is?

9to5 is currently conducting valuable research among small business owners in the Denver metro area. The purpose of this research is to gauge the impacts of health care reform on small businesses, and consists of a short survey and future focus groups around the implementation of health care reform in the workplace.

Participation in this survey will help guide the future work of 9to5 Colorado with the small business community in the Denver metro area. By filling out the survey you can help influence the organizing model and support frameworks that will promote increased collaboration and relationship building among small businesses. All responses will be kept completely confidential.

To take the survey online at: It takes less than 10 minutes!

Your input it very important to us. If you have any questions, please, do not hesitate to contact Maggie Gomez at or at the 9to5 Colorado office at 303-628-0925.
Thank you in advance for your time and participation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tell Your Story: Help End Poverty

Over more than 40 million Americans are forced to survive below the official poverty line, which is approximately $22,000 for a family of four, and nearly 15.5 million children are poor in this country. Disparity of wealth has reached record highs and growing portions of the nation’s wealth are concentrated in the possession of a small fraction of households, while nearly a third of Americans are trying to get by on incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line—or about $44,000 for a family of four.

Even before the current economic crisis, 6 million low-income households were paying more than half their income on rent and utilities, or lived in severely poor housing. According from recent data from a study in 2008, almost 50 million people, including nearly one in four children, lived in a household struggling against hunger. With the economic insecurity, there is an increase in unemployment, higher prices for gas and food, and foreclosures on homes.

Despite these depressing numbers, the Half in Ten Campaign believes that it is possible to reduce poverty and ensure Americans a better brighter future. We can achieve a goal of cutting poverty in half if we deepen and expand the public will to move forward, and if we channel that will toward proven policy solutions. To be able to do this, we must update the public’s perception of poverty and change the course of federal, state, and local governing by encouraging policies that create good jobs, strengthen families, and ensure economic security. Some of the poverty policy solutions that the Half in Ten campaign supports include: expanding the earned income tax credit and child tax credit, guaranteeing child care assistance to low-income families and promoting early education for all, and ensuring equity for low-wage workers in the unemployment insurance system.

How you can get involved and do your part in reducing poverty with this campaign? Tell us your personal story about struggling to make ends meet. Tell us how unemployment insurance or tax credits have helped you provide food, shelter, or other needed expenses for your family. Tell us how without training programs or education opportunities you may have not succeeded into the person you are today. With these stories we can show the public how important it is keeping these reforms around to not only help reduce poverty, but to help the individuals who have to face poverty.

Tu Mai is a student at the University of Colorado Denver and an organizing/public relations intern with 9to5 Colorado

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Congress is back in session and precious few days remain for them to pass these critical bills.Taking action has never been more important than it is right now. The Senate must make these bills a priority. Take Action Today!! Click on the links below to be redirected to our website and send your elected official an email, a fax, a phone call or a letter and urge them to take priority in these bills.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Call-In Day Tomorrow: Continue UI Benefits & End Tax Cuts For Millionaires

On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Tell Congress:

• America needs our help. 3.2 million people are about to lose benefits.

• Tell Congress: Don’t cut benefits for the unemployed to pay for MORE tax cuts for millionaires!

Go to or call 1-866-606-1189 and we’ll patch you through so that YOU can tell Congress:

What’s At Stake

income inequality 15 million unemployed tax cuts for the rich cuts to Social Security wasteful Pentagon
spending 44 million living in poverty loopholes for corporate CEOs

income inequality 15 million unemployed tax cuts for the rich cuts to Social Security wasteful Pentagon spending 44 million living in poverty loopholes for corporate CEOs

income inequality 15 million unemployed tax cuts for the rich cuts to Social Security wasteful Pentagon spending 44 million living in poverty loopholes for corporate CEOs

income inequality 15 million unemployed tax cuts for the rich cuts to Social Security wasteful Pentagon spending 44 million living in poverty loopholes for corporate CEOs

Friday, November 12, 2010

For our daughters’ sakes, pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

The much heralded and hotly contested mid-term elections are done. The ballot questions have been decided and the candidates are either grateful because they pulled out a win or gloomy because they didn’t. Either way, it’s time to move on.

It’s time now to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Women have been waiting for a very long time. Frankly, we’ve grown impatient. The moment is here. The U.S. Senate must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, for the women of today, and for the women of tomorrow.

Since the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, the wage gap has been closing at a snail’s pace. In 1963, women who worked in full-time, year-round, jobs made 59 cents on average for every dollar earned by men. In 2009, women earned 77 cents to men’s dollar. The wage gap has narrowed by less than half a cent per year. For women of color, the gap is even wider, with African American women and Latinas earning only 61 cents and 52 cents, respectively, on the dollar.

The pay gap is evident in almost every occupational category, in every income bracket; it’s a constant despite education, despite experience. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and other civil rights laws has helped narrow the gap, it’s critical that the significant disparities in pay that remain be addressed. The Paycheck Fairness Act will be an important step to help end those disparities. It must be passed, for the women of today, and for the women of tomorrow.

Consider LaTerrell. She lives in Denver and works in the financial services industry. At one time, she worked as part of a team of three women. Then, Peter, the first male in the department, was hired. He was hired for the exact same job, only Peter didn’t have the same qualifications or the same experience. He didn’t have the same salary either. He was to be paid more. A supervisor discovered it, and the company decided to give all three women a raise to match Peter’s salary. Luckily, someone was paying attention and took action.

But women deal with unequal pay and inequitable salary ladders in all too many professions; something must be done to end it – for the women of today, and for the women of tomorrow. That something is passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3772) is comprehensive legislation that updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, strengthens penalties courts may impose for violations of existing equal pay laws, prohibits retaliation against workers who inquire about or share wage information, and empowers women to better negotiate for equal pay.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, the pay gap is about much more than fairness, it’s about women’s and families’ bottom-lines; the gap represents $10,622 a year. With that, you could buy a year’s worth of groceries ($3,210), arrange for three months of child care ($1,748), pay three months of rent and utilities ($2,265) six months of health insurance ($1,697), cover six months on a student loan ($1,602) — and buy three full tanks of gas ($100)!

Our U.S. Senate must consider how the pay gap places families of today in jeopardy; at risk, especially in these tough economic times.

But if that doesn’t do it, maybe they should consider something else.

They should think about their own daughters, their granddaughters, great-granddaughters. They should think about how they prize them, how they love them, how they treasure them, how they would fight for them. Are they really worth less?

The answer should then be obvious: Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act now, without amendments, in this session. For the good of all women – women of today and of tomorrow – and for the good of our country, it’s the right thing to do.

Linda Meric is executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women

Thursday, November 11, 2010

CPL Political Leaders Fellowship

The Center for Progressive Leadership is accepting applications for its 2011 Political Leaders Fellowship. The Political Leaders Fellowship (PLF) a 9 month part-time leadership development program for promising future elected officials, organizational leaders, community organizers, and activists. Through training, coaching, and mentoring, the program gives political leaders the skills they need to advance positive progressive change. We highlight core leadership lessons such as the power of storytelling, vision and values, messaging, fundraising, campaign planning and collaborative leadership. For more information, click here.


There are two ways you can help:

1) Step up and declare yourself a progressive leader by completing an application and/or

2) Take the time to nominate someone and let them know that you recognize their leadership potential.

The deadline for submitting an application is December 1st. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a CO-CPL staff member, please call (303) 861-1883 or email Emily at

Apply Now for the Colorado Women's Appointment Project: We Need You!

The Colorado Women’s Appointment Project is here. And we need your help!

“Ultimately, we find that women, regardless of their age, partisan affiliation, income, and profession, are significantly less likely than men to express interest in seeking public office. We link this persistent gender gap in political ambition to two factors. First, we find that women are significantly less likely than men to view themselves as qualified to run for office. In addition, women are less likely than men to receive encouragement to run for office from party leaders, elected officials, and political activists. Together, these findings shed light on reasons for women’s continued under-representation in politics.” Why Don’t Women Run for Office? Issued by the Taubman Center for Public Policy Brown University

This message is meant to ENCOURAGE YOU to apply for various positions (some paid, some volunteer) in the new Governor’s office. You are qualified and you are officially invited!

What is The National Women’s Appointment Project?

Nearly 100 years after the right to vote was finally acknowledged, women are 52 percent of our populations but only 17 percent of Congress. We’re still waiting for our first female president, vice president, or Senate majority leader. It’s not just that a healthy democracy needs to be truly representative. Solving the complex problems of the 21st century America requires political leadership, experience, and wisdom that draw on all of our resources – not just 50 percent of them.

Based on Ambassador Swanee Hunt and Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kerry Healy’s shared vision of political parity across the United States, the Women’s Appointment Project was created. The goal is simple: start a movement to create political parity at the state level, where women hold an average of 31 percent of the cabinet and high level position in administrations nationwide. Women already run major universities and Fortune 500 companies and serve as generals. We know there are many qualified women for these positions – so let’s introduce them to the governors.

What is the Colorado Women’s State Appointment Project?

Inspired by the National project, it’s with pleasure that we introduce the Colorado Women’s State Appointment Project 2010 to you. The mission of this nonpartisanproject is to encourage and recruit women statewide to apply for an appointment on boards, commissions, or in agencies within the new gubernatorial administration that was elected this November. The Latina Initiative is the lead on this project. They have engaged The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, The White House Project, The Center for Work, Education and Employment, Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, The Colorado Women’s Bar Association, 9to5 National Association of Working Women, The Latina Chamber and the Women’s College of DU, The Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable, The Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center and Colorado Women in Government. These groups, along with several legislators and energized individuals, comprise the Steering Committee of organizations leading this effort to ensure we have a rich, diverse pool of women from all corners of the state included.

What are we asking of our strong, female constituents?

We want you to apply for a high-level Governor Appointment or one of the many boards and commissions throughout our state. That’s what we want! The Foundation has strong ties to amazing women throughout the state. Women who are eager to give back to their communities and get involved. Women with vast experience who can make an impact on state rules and regulations. You are a natural fit for this work! Review the list of amazing appointments through the website below, fill-out the brief form, upload your resume and get involved! The CWAP will then review all submissions and take those most qualified to the new Governor (in November and early December) and urge him to appoint you to his various open positions. Essentially, The CWAP will serve as your advocate.

Send Us Your Applications and Help Fill These Important Governor Appointments in 2011:

Please help us by encouraging women in your networks to fill out the application located on our website so they may also be included in this project (applications are being accepted now). On this site, we have included information to answer any questions about the process and offer inspiration on the rewards for serving to potential appointees from women who are currently serving on and have served on boards and commissions around the state.

We look forward to working with you to increase the number of women in appointed office in Colorado. Please contact Juanita Chacon, Interim President of The Latina Initiative, at for more information.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All number initiatives defeated by a landslide!!!!

This fall, we educated and mobilized hundreds of thousands of Coloradans to vote. Working in collaboration with 8 other organizations as Engage Colorado, 9to5 helped lead unprecedented efforts to implement massive coordinated electoral efforts throughout the state. Engage Colorado made over 850,000 attempted canvass, phone, and mail contacts in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder and El Paso counties. We were encouraging voters to oppose all 6 detrimental statewide initiatives, and on November 2nd we defeated all 6 initiatives!
  • Amendment 60 (75% voted NO) would have cut money for schools by 50%, cut thousands of teaching jobs, increased class sizes and cut after-school programs
  • Amendment 61 (73% voted NO) would have wiped out construction jobs and halted work on vital community projects like water treatment plants and school construction
  • Amendment 62 (70.5% voted NO) would have severely limited a woman's ability to make choices about her own reproductive health
  • Amendment 63 (53% voted NO) would have dramatically increased health care costs
  • Proposition 101 (68% voted NO) would have eliminated funding for schools and safe communities
  • Proposition 102 (62% voted NO) would have compromised public safety, costing our communities millions of dollars – while increasing the income of bail bondsmen.
9to5 Colorado also led our own canvass program in Lakewood, making over 11,000 door-to-door, phone and mail contacts with voters on all 6 statewide ballot initiatives and also on the extremely harmful local Ballot Question 300 - the Vehicle Impound Initiative which would have unfairly punished people driving without their drivers license on them. We worked to defeat this measure in Denver in 2009 and our great canvassing team was once again successful in Lakewood this year: Ballot Question 300 was defeated with 63% voting NO!

To support the grassroots successes of 9to5 Colorado, to make a $25 donation.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day!!!!!!

This year there is too much at stake not to vote.

This isnt about political parties.Were in this for our future. This election is about creating jobs, about rebuilding our middle class, and about building a strong future for our children.

TODAY is election day!! Are you ready to cast your vote? Have you made a plan for how and when you are going to vote? If you are still looking for a polling place, please check out 9to5's website to find your poling place at

Friday, October 29, 2010

President Obama Statement on Work and Family Month

We wanted to be sure that everyone saw today’s statement from the President on National Work and Family Month. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the rest of the month to get the word out on the need for strong work-family policies.



Office of the Press Secretary



October 25, 2010

Statement by the President on National Work and Family Month

National Work and Family Month serves as a reminder to all of us, especially working caregivers, their families, and their employers, that while we have made great strides as a nation to adopt more flexible policies in the workplace, there’s more we can do. Millions of Americans continue to struggle day-in and day-out to balance work and family life – to juggle their job responsibilities with caring for a child, an elderly relative, or a loved one with a disability. This is something Michelle and I understand – it wasn’t too long ago that we were both working full-time outside the home while raising two young daughters.

There are steps we can all take to help – implementing practices like telework, paid leave, and alternative work schedules – and my Administration is committed to doing its part to help advance these practices across the country. And within the federal government, we have followed the lead of many private sector companies when it comes to increasing workplace flexibility. Because at the end of the day, attracting and retaining employees who are more productive and engaged through flexible workplace policies is not just good for business or for our economy – it’s good for our families and our future.

Why Women Must Vote Tuesday

Nadir is a 29-year-old single mother of three, who runs a home-based business and is a serious Broncos fan. KeeAnn is a 45-year-old part-time call center staffer who recently started college studies. Between school, work and caring for her aging father, she doesn't have time for hobbies unless they involve her pet Yorkies, Luke and Laura.

Other than the fact that they both live in Colorado Springs, the two don't have much in common - except their beliefs about women and the political process. KeeAnn recently visited the Early Voting Center at a Colorado Springs mall because she feared she might get so busy that she'd forget to cast her vote. Nadir has her ballot in a spot on the dining table reserved for important papers. She's made a promise to her children that Mommy won't forget to get her ballot in the mail well before November 2.

If women vote, we can change our own realities, change life for our families, and change this country. Still, some wonder if we have the collective will to get to the polls in large enough numbers this time.

Women are typically more likely than men to register and to cast votes and that has made a difference in many elections. But this year, in these midterm elections, polling suggests that too many women are unenthusiastic. Unmarried women, particularly, who turned out in record numbers in 2008, report they're less likely to vote in November.

But if women don't vote, we'll all lose.

In the coming months, Congress is poised to make decisions on an array of critical issues, including unemployment, equal pay, health care, and family economic security. In Colorado, on Election Day, voters will decide important questions concerning state revenue and financing, reproductive health, and health care reform.

Women can't afford to sit this one out.

One group of 2010 ballot measures where women's voices must be heard is Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. On the face of things, it seems that these initiatives promise to put extra money in voters' pockets, reducing fees on cars and trucks and cutting income taxes by as much as 25 percent. But it's all too good to be true.

In reality, Amendment 60 would cut money for schools by 50 percent, cut thousands of teaching jobs, increase class sizes and cut after-school programs. Amendment 61 would wipe out construction jobs and halt work on vital community projects like water treatment plants and school construction. And Proposition 101 would eliminate funding for schools and safe communities. That's why they're called the Ugly Three.

Two more harmful and deceitful initiatives on the 2010 Colorado ballot are Amendments 62 and 63; these would limit a woman's ability to make choices about her own reproductive health and dramatically increase health care costs in Colorado.

Women - who have a vested interest in quality public schools, safe roads, clean public parks, affordable higher education, low health care costs and choice in reproductive health - must protect our families and protect our communities. We must let our voices be heard on all 5 of these ballot initiatives.

The economy is still fighting to rebound from the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and women and our families - already vulnerable - are at greatest risk.

The decisions being made in this election are important to us; important in the short-term and important in the long-term. Voting for candidates who support our values and letting our voices be heard on this year's ballot measures will help us keep our families going and keep our state and nation strong.

That's why women like Nadir must ensure that their ballots get off the dining room table and into the ballot box. We must show up at the polls for early voting or show up on Election Day. We must vote as if our families' very lives depend upon it because, indeed, they do.

Erin Bennett is Colorado Director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, a diverse, multi-racial membership organization that strengthens women's ability to win economic justice. EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an online-only column and has not been edited.

Read more:Why women must vote Tuesday - The Denver Post

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vote Early!!

Vote early! There are multiple locations in each county. You can find out where you can vote in your county by confirming your registration information at . The web-site will generate a list of polling places for you. Bonus! If you vote early, the lines are shorter and you won't have to wait as long.

For those of you who signed up for a mail-in ballot, keep your eye on your mailbox. County clerks started mailing ballots last Tuesday. If you're not sure if you've signed up for a mail-in ballot, you can visit the Secretary of State's web-site to find out: If you haven't received your mail-in ballot and you're signed up for a mail-in ballot, contact your local county clerk. List of county clerk contacts can be found at: .

Wear Purple today !!!

On October 20th we will wear purple to bring awareness to, and put an end to intolerance in honor of the 6 boys who commited suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse at home and in schools. Purple represents spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that's exactly what we would like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your parents, friends, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

Rest in Peace:
Tyler Clementi
Seth Walsh
Justin Aaberg
Raymond Chase
Asher Brown
Billy Lucas
Zach Harrington
and all other victims of homophobia