With each passing day, I am increasingly shocked by the crazy legislation being proposed in red states and from Congress. April is a month for fools and shenanigans, but the state of lunatic legislation is no laughing matter. My mother always said it is a privilege to live in Colorado, and I must say that I agree as our blue leanings have spared us from much of the conspiracy theory, hate filled, homophobic, racist and misogynistic bills being proposed and passed in other states. According to Chalkbeat, thirty-six states have proposed legislation to restrict education on racism, bias and the contributions of specific racial or ethnic groups to U.S. history. More than 100 bills targeting LGBTQIA+ rights – from transgender health to drag shows – have been filed in 22 states. So far, Texas has taken the lead with 36 such bills, according to Equality Texas, a statewide LGBTQ advocacy group. Missouri is next with 26, then North Dakota with eight and Oklahoma with six. The majority of these approximately 120 bills focus on transgender young people.

With the Dodd decision overturning Roe v. Wade and reproductive rights, near total bans on abortion are evident in many states. (Despite nearly 70 percent of voters approving of abortion and reproductive rights). Our neighbor to the north has proposed a total ban on abortion and abortion drugs. If this legislation succeeds, that will put a strain on Weld County and Larimer for sure as those seeking reproductive healthcare will come here, putting a strain on our medical facilities and professionals and costing us taxpayers. Many other states have pushed for a total ban on abortion, as well as severe punishment, including the death penalty for women and severe punishment for healthcare providers. The State of Kansas voted in favor of abortion rights, but their Republican lead legislature disregarded the voters and passed legislation banning abortion drugs. The State of Florida in addition to their extreme restrictions on abortion, restrictions on what children can learn about race and history, restrictions on the LGTBQIA+ community and the Don’t Say Gay Bill; have now proposed legislation that will limit any sex education for students until at least middle school, even high school. This bill would prohibit girls from discussing periods or any menstruation topics at school. Can you imagine what type of legislation would have been proposed, had Republicans gained both the House and Senate? We simply can’t let that happen. Their legislative control has emboldened their most lunatic fringe, and this tsunami of anti-democratic, unscientific, anti-civil liberty, white supremacist legislation will wash away any progress we have made in the last 60 years. We will have our work cut out for us in the next election cycle and we all will have to work even more diligently to overcome the voter suppression, gerrymandering and conspiracy driven fear mongering, to be sure that Republicans control nothing.

With a nine percentage point advantage, Democrats and Democrat leaning independent voters surpass Republican and Republican leaning voters as of 2022. This probably means at least 20 million more Democratic voters. Yet Republicans keep winning, especially in many state and local elections. Gerrymandering and voter suppression are their main tools for winning despite lower numbers. In Colorado, Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters far outnumber Republicans. This accounts for the overwhelming majorities we now hold in the State Legislature. Legislation on reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, climate change and gun reform would look far different if that was not the case. It is imperative we hold our lead in the state.

Along with us, several organizations, and legislators will be working very hard to challenge the Weld County gerrymandering of the commissioner districts. Legal and legislative challenges are being proposed but it may take some time, and a considerable amount of funding before anything is settled. To improve our representation in Weld, we are looking for good candidates. School board will be imperative…I am sure you have heard and read about the lunatics trying to take over our local District Six school board, with their book bans and extreme right-wing agenda. These groups have won in several districts, leading with chaos and totally destroying well run districts. We must work to keep these misguided extremists out of our district. We will urgently need a candidate for SD13 this year. If you know of a good possibility, or if you might like to step up and be a representative for this Senate District, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the Weld Dems Office at info@weldcountydems.org.

The other thing that will make our efforts successful in securing and electing good candidates who can support a strong democratic and progressive agenda is funding. Your donations are what support our local and state party as well as candidates. This month we will be having our major fund raiser, the Century Club event. Please sign up to attend today. It will be a great time, and a great opportunity to support your local party. Much of our work and our existence is dependent on you. Even if you can’t attend, please donate. Your funding helps us keep the lights on, pay the rent, organize and run caucus, provide election information, and candidate support and training.

I look forward to seeing all of you on April 16th, no fooling.

Bev Wallace, Chair of the Weld County Democratic Party

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