The following positions were ratified by consensus on October 15, 2014 by the voting members of the Denver Green Party. Text of the ballot initiatives can be found here.
Amendment 67: Colorado Definition of “Personhood” Initiative
We believe that this proposed amendment presents a slippery slope that could provide a way for prosecutors to punish women for life circumstances. We believe this is an ironic stance to take, for those who purport to support less government. The gaping hole in this overbroad legislation is the lack of specificity, which could even usher in employment discrimination of women of childbearing years for fear of on-the-job injuries.
Our 7th Key Value, “Feminism and Gender Equity, “ states in part that, “Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.” Further, our platform at Section II(A)(1), Reproductive Rights, declares that, “Women’s rights must be protected and expanded to guarantee each woman’s right as a full participant in society, free from sexual harassment, job discrimination or interference in the intensely personal choice about whether to have a child.”
We believe this proposed constitutional amendment would create a legal situation in which, in the most extreme of cases, a woman’s right to freely participate in society is curtailed for fear of breaking the law for simply participating in life during her pregnancy.
We encourage Green Party voters and allies to vote NO on Amendment 67.
Amendment 68: Colorado Horse Racetrack Limited Gaming Proceeds for K-12 Education
We believe in dedicating resources to public education, so that our children thrive and contribute to a better future for all. We do not believe that any public infrastructure funding should be based on “sin taxes;” rather, we believe that public schools deserve a dedicated, guaranteed funding stream.
Our vision for public education is encapsulated in Section 2(E)(1) of our platform “Education and the Arts,” which says in part, “(w)e must stop disinvestment in education and instead put it at the top of our social and economic agenda. Effective schools have sufficient resources. Too many of our teachers are overworked, underpaid, and starved of key materials. We also must be more generous to our schools so that our children will learn what generosity is, and know enough to be able to be generous to us in return.”
However, we do not believe that Amendment 68 is the way to achieve this. Is it fair for Pueblo, Mesa and Arapahoe counties to fund education for the entire state? We believe that instead of hard-wiring into the state constitution the responsibility for more school funding onto the backs of just three counties, the state government ought to curtail the amount of privatized projects (aka public-private partnerships), commute the sentences of the incarcerated for marijuana possession and end funding for private prisons and begin to ensure that all Coloradans pay their fair share through severance taxes, to free up more school funding via the general fund.
Of overriding concern is the idea that the casinos of only one company would be authorized by our state constitution to operate. We find the notion of using our state constitution to facilitate corporate profits to be utterly reprehensible.
We encourage Green Party voters and our allies to vote NO on Amendment 68.
Proposition 105: Colorado Mandatory Labeling of GMOs Initiative
While there are so many reasons to oppose GMOs, the Denver Green Party will focus on one: the contamination of our water supply, which is of tantamount importance to Colorado. Genetically-modified crops are exposed to “intensified agrochemical use and pollution, increased weed and insect resistance to herbicides and pesticides (Food & Water Watch),” which logically contaminates precious groundwater and waterways and soil that are already strained with byproducts of fracking and other forms of contamination.
Our Third Key Value, “Ecological Wisdom,” states in part that “we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil…and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.”
Our national platform, section II(B)(5): Environmental Justice, calls for the facilitation of “procedural justice, ensuring the public’s right to know, (ensuring) rules and regulations are transparent to help communities employ their rights and participate in decision-making.” and to “(p)rovide information in languages appropriate to the affected communities.”
We acknowledge that there are some limitations to this proposed citizen’s initiative. Among the foods that may not be labeled are meats and dairy, school cafeteria foods, alcoholic beverages, pet foods and foods served in restaurants. Additionally, we note that personal rights to sue for damages for failure to label a food product would be eliminated in this legislation. However, in this case, the perfect must not be the enemy of the good. Even with the limitations in the initiative language, we believe that Proposition 105 is an important step in the right direction toward a safer food supply for all, including for those who are not yet aware of the drawbacks of consuming genetically-modified foods.
We encourage Green Party voters and our allies to vote YES on Proposition 105.
Proposition 104: Colorado School Board Open Meetings
This initiative intends to require school board negotiations with unions to be open to the public. The Denver Green Party doesn’t perceive the problem this proposed legislation is attempting to fix. It should be noted that the proponents of this legislation, the Independence Institute, receive direct funding from the DonorsTrust, a project of David and Charles Koch, of Koch Industries. The Independence Institute are also members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These associations are important to understand, because the impetus behind Proposition 104 is simply union-busting, as their track record indicates.
All employees have a right to confidentiality when discussing the terms of their employment. This right is guaranteed via state and federal law. One of the unintended consequences of this legislation would be the possibility of making public certain information about individual students, whose privacy is regulated through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
We note that, while other school districts in the state directly negotiate collective bargaining agreements with district employees, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education does not and has delegated that authority solely to the Superintendent, without oversight for the process. We encourage Denver taxpayers to hold their school board members accountable for this lack of checks and balances.
Our platform states, in section 2(G)(1), that “(t)he Green Party supports the irreducible right of the working people, without hindrance, to form a union and to bargain collectively with their employer.” We see Proposition 104 as an attack on these rights, driven from the corporate-funded ultra right-wing movement.
We encourage Green Party voters and our allies to vote NO on Proposition 104.
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