The Coalition to End the Wait List is within striking distance of gathering enough signatures to place the item on the November ballot. We are almost there—almost at one of the most important destinations we will strive to reach----in front of 2.9 million Colorado voters!
We need just $145,000 by July 21 to pay for the remaining costs of collecting signatures and printing petitions.
The coalition has raised about $270,000 so far from individual and organizational donations---and the team leaders have worked hundreds of hours gathering endorsements and educating people about the critical nature of this measure. It’s not easy to get all advocacy groups (such as every Arc chapter) and both CCB Partners and Alliance and parent groups together to support a single cause but we did it.
The behind the scenes effort that went into writing the ballot language, having it approved by the Legislative Council and the Title Board and getting the petitions blessed by the Secretary of State and getting them printed and in the hands of volunteers would amaze you---hundreds and hundreds of hours by a handful of people have brought us to this point---we can’t let this work and the money we have already raised and spent be wasted.
Petitions have to be submitted to the Secretary Of State by August 4—which means that all have to be turned in to the coalition a week or so before that which means we have to As we all know it is almost impossible for volunteers to collect 120,000 signatures in the brief time frame that state law proscribes. (76,000+ valid signatures are needed—experience tells us that about 30% of those collected will not be valid.)
We need financial contributions NOW of any size to make sure that we cross the finish line and get this measure on the pay for the remaining cost of collecting the signatures by July 21. ballot. If you haven’t made a contribution to the campaign do it now—if you have given—please give again now!
Campaign financing is hard but we have several very solid possibilities of raising substantial money for the public information efforts in the Fall---but major donors won’t come forward until we are on the ballot! And, the amount they give is going to be closely tied to what those who are closest to the issue---people like you and me---give to the cause.
This Initiative is like the Little Engine that Could and I think a lot of people will be very surprised when they see the steam that it generates at the top of the hill in November …but we have to get it on the ballot first!
One month from this week we will either be on our way to grasping the opportunity of educating millions of voters in Colorado about the needs of the people we love or we will have wasted a unique and valuable moment in time.
The awareness brought to the legislature this year from our efforts was extraordinary—more lawmakers than ever before have been personally and thoroughly educated about the issues that we face and the needs of those we serve. A bill signing ceremony for 10 pieces of DD legislation! It’s never happened before. We need to take advantage of the momentum we’ve worked so hard to build this year--- and we know that more people than ever will be voting in November—we can’t let this chance slip through our fingers.
A campaign contribution NOW of any size does the following:
• Launches an unprecedented awareness campaign---we couldn’t begin to afford the public relations effort that this election will frame--at a minimum--2.9 million Coloradans will receive voter guides that explain the ballot measure in plain English---and the publicity that we pay for as well as what we get from earned news coverage is priceless
• Ensures the required number of signatures for the petition to get us on the ballot
• Makes a statement of grassroots support and solidarity and provides the signal needed to other donors that the “family” is on board.
Send a check in any amount before July 21 to the Coalition to End the Wait List: c/o The Arc of Colorado, 1580 Logan--Suite 730 Denver, CO 80203. Online contributions (and tools to endorse the measure) can be found at www.endcoloradowaitlist.org
If we are successful in getting this on the ballot—it will be precedent setting—not just in CO but nation-wide. No group has ever gone directly to the voters to ask them to pay a very small price to do the right thing for those on wait lists for services.
Be the spark that lights the fire for hope and dignity this 4th of July and send your check now.
The Arc of Colorado
1580 Logan--Suite 730
Denver, CO 80203
Two cents--a small price to help people live with dignity
Join the coaltion to end Colorado's Wait List for Persons With Developmental Disabilities.
Go to www.endcoloradowaitlist.org
to learn how you can help.