Citizens Project

Freedom Watch Online  October 2009
Make Your Voice Heard!  Vote!

Do Your Homework Homework

Citizens Project staff and volunteers have been hard at work compiling the most comprehensive election information you'll get anywhere. Arm yourself with knowledge!
Attend a Forum
Join us at an election forum to learn more about candidates and issues in your community:
  • Manitou Springs Council and School Board Forum: Monday October 12, 2009 at 5:30pm at Manitou City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs.  For info: (719) 520-9899
  • City of Colorado Springs Ballot Measures Forum: Tuesday October 13, 2009 at 5:30pm at the Carnegie Room of the Penrose Library (Cascade & Kiowa).  For info: (719) 520-9899
  • District 49 School Board Forum: Wednesday October 13, 2009 at 5:30pm at Sand Creek High School, 7005 N Carefree. For info: (719) 520-9899

Citizens Project thanks our co-sponsors for helping to make these forums possible: Colorado Springs Independent, Colorado Springs NAACP, Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, Artemis, Pride Center, and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains


Make Your Vote Count

You've done the research and you know everything yo
Voteu need to know about the upcoming election... now it's time to cast your ballot!  Make sure your vote counts:
Ballot Measures, Decoded

Colorado Springs Ballot Measures Explained People voting

In the current election, Colorado Springs voters will decide on two ballot measures with enormous consequences for funding of city services. Every election season Citizens Project endeavors to provide the most accurate and accessible information to voters about candidates and ballot measures, with an eye toward protecting our nation's founding principles of equality, religious freedom and respect for diversity. We hope the following explanations help you understand the issues. You will find even more information and useful links (events, news reports, important dates, resources) on our election information page at

Measure 2C

Proposed by Councilwoman Jan Martin, this measure was placed on the ballot by City Council to give citizens an option to maintain funding for city services that will otherwise have to be cut due to declining sales tax revenue. It raises property taxes by 10 mills over five years, starting with six mills in 2010 and adding one mill per year in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. For a home worth $100,000, one mill is $7.96, so for a house worth $200,000, the additional annual tax would be $159 after five years.

The city's current projected revenue shortfall for 2010 is $24.5 million, which follows $54 million in cuts made over the past 18 months. In order to reduce city expenses by this amount, the draft 2010 budget includes the following cuts: eliminate 35 Fire Department staff positions, 25 Police Department positions, 33 Parks and Recreation positions, close Pioneers Museum, close six community centers, close all seven city pools, close Rock Ledge Ranch, close five visitors centers, eliminate all city funded transit services including all evening, weekend, holiday, Shreiver and Ft. Carson service.

The tax increase is calculated to bring the city back up to 2009 funding levels. CoS

Measure 300

This measure, proposed by anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, was petitioned onto the ballot. It will phase out, over eight years, all payments in lieu of taxes from city owned enterprises to the city. Its author states that the measure will eliminate the Stormwater Enterprise, which assesses a fee to property owners to pay for city drainage infrastructure improvements to mitigate flooding. However, the City Attorney has suggested that the ballot language of measure 300, which does not mention the Stormwater Enterprise by name, could be subject to interpretation in a way that leaves the enterprise untouched. If the measure passes, we surmise the courts will be asked to make a determination. The measure is nearly identical to one rejected by voters last fall.

The city owns several enterprises including the airport, cemeteries, Colorado Springs Utilities, Stormwater Enterprise, Development Review Enterprise, Human Services Complex, Memorial Health System, Parking System, Patty Jewett Golf Course, and Valley Hi Golf Course.

Since these enterprises are government-owned they do not pay property taxes. Payments in lieu of taxes, from the enterprise to the city, are a commonly used substitute that ensures enterprises contribute toward the cost of government services. These payments also help defray the costs of shared services, such as legal, accounting and maintenance, which create efficiencies by eliminating duplication. The largest of these payments is from Colorado Springs Utilities, which pays an estimated $27 million annually in payments in lieu of taxes.
Our Positions

Citizens Project urges a yes vote on Measure 2C and a no vote on Measure 300. The projected reductions in city services could literally cut some citizens off from their jobs, family, and community. For many low income, senior, and disabled residents, bus service and community centers are not mere amenities for entertainment or convenience. These services are lifelines, making it possible for them to participate as full citizens in our community. These services guarantee a minimum standard of humanity necessary to the promise of equal opportunity and democracy.
Quality of Life Indicators

2009 QLI report now available
How's your quality of life in the Pikes Peak region? An incredible volunteer effort in our community has resulted in the 2009 Quality of Life Indicators report, whose goal is to answer that question. The report, which covers everything in the Pikes Peak region from transportation to health to civic engagement, is a tool to track our progress as a community and identify areas of achievement and concern. Get informed - check it out, and let us know if you agree with the findings!

Who Is Simply Divine? 

Don't forget! Nominations Due October 30, 2009 - Citizens ChampagneProject's Sixth Annual Divine Award!

Citizens Project invites residents to submit nominations for this prestigious award that recognizes a person in the Pikes Peak region who has worked tirelessly to create a vibrant democracy in which equal rights are protected, individual freedoms are secure, differences are respected and people fully participate in civic life.

Tell us in 300 words or fewer why your nominee should be recognized. Please provide specific information about your nominee's roles in the community - both officially and informally - and how you believe your nominee has made a lasting impact on the community. Please include your name and daytime phone number with your nomination. Email nominations to by October 30.
In This Issue
What You Need to Know Before You Vote
Ballot Measures, Decoded
Quality of Life Indicators
Who Is Simply Divine?
Join our Mailing List

Subscribe to Freedom Watch Online, our Action Network, or both!
Connect with CP!

Facebook YouTube Twitter
Upcoming Events

Colorado Springs Ballot Measure and School Board Forum 
Join Citizens Project, the Pikes Peak Equality Coalition and the Colorado Springs Independent to learn about ballot measures and school board candidates in School Districts 2 and 11. Learn more about the event and our fabulous co-sponsors.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
5:30 - 7:30 pm
As always, this event is free and open to the public!
Questions? Contact Citizens Project at at (719) 520-9899. 

District 49 School Board Candidate Forum

A candidate forum featuring moderator and audience questions.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
5:30-7:00 pm
Sand Creek High School Auditorium, 7005 N Carefree Circle
Hosted by Citizens Project, the Pikes Peak Equality Coalition, and the Colorado Springs Independent.
Free and open to the public. 
A reception will follow the forum.
Learn more about the event and our fabulous co-sponsors. Questions? Contact Citizens Project at or (719) 520-9899.

Manitou Springs Council and School Board Candidate Forum 
Monday October 12, 2009
5:30-7:00 pm
 Manitou City Hall,
606 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs
A reception will follow the forum.
 Hosted by Citizens Project and the Colorado Springs Independent.  Free and open to the public. Learn more about the event and our fabulous co-sponsors. Questions? Contact Citizens Project at or (719) 520-9899.

The Holocaust: Its Contemporary Ethical Challenges
 The Greenberg Center for Learning and Tolerance, the Center for Christian-Jewish Tolerance and Temple Shalom present
Father John Pawlikowski
Wednesday, October 14, 7:00 pm
Temple Shalom
1523 E Monument
free and open to the public,
reception to follow.
Civil Liberties Under the New Administration
 League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak region's October meeting
Saturday, October 17, 2009 
Greg Walta, former State Public Defender of Colorado and private practice lawyer, will speak on Civil Liberty developments since President Obama took office.
This meeting is free and open to the public.   Refreshments will be provided.
Parking is available on Nevada or in the lot entered from the south side of Uintah, just east of Cascade.
Call Mary Alice Ayling at 633-2376 with questions or RSVPs. 
"Stand By Me"
Diversity Conference

Thursday, November 5, 2009 
7:00a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Embassy Suites
7290 Commerce Center Dr.
Breakfast and lunch included 
The event is designed to provide current and pertinent information beneficial for organizations of all sizes. Additionally, the material will provide useful implementation information for supervisors, managers, HR professionals and leaders at all levels of your organization.
for additional information visit CSSHRM
or contact Conference Co-Chairs
Shirley Martinez 719-233-1465
or Carla Elam-Floyd 303-628-6334
3rd Annual Colorado Conference on Girls
Thursday, November 5, 2009 
8:30a.m. - 4:30p.m.
The Summit
411 Sable Boulevard N.
Aurora, CO
The conference aims to bring together people who work with and on behalf of girls across Colorado to network, increase collaboration, increase capacity and educate around issues dealing with and concerning girls. For more information, visit the web site

Please check out
our events calendar for more upcoming events!
Recent CP Blog Posts
Join the Conversation

Federal Nondiscrimination
Bill Urged
read it here

CP's Barb Van Hoy on Jeff Crank's radio show
listen here

Equal Opportunity Admissions Policy Upheld
read it here
Articles of Interest
Uruguay passes same-sex adoption law
September 10, 2009
read it here

Survey: Springs area has lots of room for improvement
September 15, 2009
The Gazette
read it here
Commission penalizes swim club in Pennsylvania racism complaint
September 23, 2009
read it here

More employers setting policies to protect LGBT workers
October 2, 2009
Our Partners