crossposted from

The Democratic Party has suffered a loss in the southern parts of the state, and the Green Party of Colorado believes that continued attacks on the welfare of middle- and working-class families are to blame, not pro-gun extremism.

The recall was a grassroots initiative, led by citizens of Colorado. There has been much talk about the involvement of pro-corporate lobbying groups like the NRA, but after all has been said and done, the pro-recall citizens amassed $500,000, compared to the approximately $3 million in the warchest of the anti-recall campaigns. Some of the biggest contributors were from New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and from Eli Broad, the founder of KB Homes and Sun America Life Insurance Company and one of the nation’s biggest funder of public school privatization candidates and initiatives.

We see the citizen-led, grassroots campaign as a backlash against the powerlessness felt by the middle- and working-class residents of Colorado Senate Districts 3 and 11, the traditional base of the Democratic party. We believe that the Colorado Democratic Party has ignored the economic needs of their traditional base and have instead moved far right and far away from addressing those needs.

While the Democratic-led Colorado legislature has made some gains to support working families, in the notable examples of SB13-200, the Medicaid Expansion Bill and the phase-in of an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit via SB13-01, and increased funding for “senior services, the fact remains that these are but tiny nibbles at the issues confronted by Coloradans when income inequality has been steadily growing between the state’s one percent and 99 percent. The state’s 80th percentile of wage earners have seen their wages increase 19 percent while those in the 20th percentile have only seen their wages increase 1 percent (CCLP, “State of Working Colorado 2013).

When the only power that middle- and working-class families have is their right to personal safety, there is little wonder that the traditional Democratic base refused to turn out in these two areas hit so hard by the recession. They have been left behind by a hyper-corporatized Democratic Party that listens more and more to the thrall of funders and less and less to the needs of the people of Colorado. Unfortunately, former Senators Giron and Morse were casualties of this backlash by the people.

The Green Party of Colorado recognizes the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We believe that given the support of collaborative local law enforcement, access to jobs and good education, communities can be safer and reasonable policy to ensure responsible gun ownership can be enacted.

Andrea Mérida
Co-chair, Denver Greens