DENVER – The ACLU of Colorado is proud to announce that Chuck Plunkett, Dave Krieger, Alex Landau, Amy Robertson and Tim Fox will receive our 2018 Civil Rights Awards, which will be presented at the Bill of Rights Dinner on Thursday, September 27th at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Denver.
Amy Robertson and Tim Fox are co-executive directors of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), a nationwide civil rights organization based in Denver. Over the last several years, they have settled class actions with the cities of Denver, Seattle, and Portland, as well as the Colorado and Montana Departments of Corrections, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and the Pepsi Center. The total dollar value of settlements CREEC has negotiated on behalf of their clients is more than $500 million. Last year, CREEC established a new project, investigating immigration detention facilities for violations of the Constitution and federal law.
Robertson and Fox will receive the Carle Whitehead Memorial award, recognizing lifetime commitment to protecting and extending civil rights and civil liberties.
“Amy Robertson and Tim Fox are vigilant, tireless fighters for justice,” said ACLU of Colorado Executive Director Nathan Woodliff-Stanley. “By establishing and growing CREEC into a powerful civil rights watchdog, they have fought for the rights of thousands of people who were victimized by unequal and discriminatory policies and practices. We are honored to recognize their immense impact.”
Chuck Plunkett and Dave Krieger will receive the Larry Tajiri media award in recognition of their principled defense of objective journalism and editorial independence. Plunkett was the editorial page editor at the Denver Post from July 2016 to May 2018. Krieger was the editorial page editor at the Boulder Daily Camera until April 2018, when he was fired for self-publishing a column criticizing Alden Global Capital, the corporate hedge fund that owns both the Denver Post and the Daily Camera, for making deep staffing and budget cuts to the respective newsrooms. After learning that Krieger was fired, Plunkett resigned his position at the Denver Post in protest.
“The work of ACLU of Colorado, and much broader, the functioning of our democracy, relies on a strong, independent press to expose corruption and hold those in power accountable for their actions,” said ACLU of Colorado Director of Communications and Advocacy John Krieger (no relation to Dave). “We are proud to honor Chuck Plunkett and Dave Krieger, who were willing to speak out and sacrifice their livelihoods to protect the independence and integrity of their profession.”
In recognition of his achievements as an activist, organizer, and educator, Alex Landau will receive the Ralph Carr Award. Landau was the victim of extreme police brutality at the hands of Denver police officers in 2009. Driven by that experience, Landau has worked to build a movement for racial justice in Denver and around Colorado. In his role as community outreach coordinator for the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, he has taught Know Your Rights trainings, led community-based advocacy campaigns, and mobilized voters. He is currently working to expand access to the ballot for pretrial detainees in Denver area jails.
“Alex Landau is an activist, coalition-builder, teacher, role model, and change-maker,” said Woodliff-Stanley. “He took a horrific event that nearly ended his life and used it as fuel to build a movement for racial justice and equality. We are proud to honor his past, present, and future contributions to civil rights and civil liberties.”
The 2018 Bill of Rights Dinner will feature a keynote presentation from Lorella Praeli, ACLU’s Deputy National Political Director and Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns. Praeli’s presentation will focus on the ACLU’s nationwide effort to combat the Trump Administration’s destructive immigration policies, reunite families that were cruelly separated by the administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, and encourage lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform and legislation to protect DREAMers.
CCDC is thrilled that Amy Robertson and Tim Fox are being honored by such a cool organization as ACLU.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced legislation on September 18, 2018 to make it easier for small businesses comply with the ADA. The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act bolsters the Disabled Access Credit (DAC), which helps businesses pay for renovations by doubling the maximum tax credit and allowing more small businesses to receive it. The legislation also invests in programs that mediate ADA-related disputes to avoid additional litigation and help individuals and businesses understand the ADA.
CCDC is excited to learn of Senator Duckworth’s proposed legislation that advocates for our members. Senator Duckworth, a veteran and double-amputee, has a proven track record of advocating for people with disabilities. CCDC strongly supports increasing the reach of the ADA, specifically in a way that will incentivize small businesses to become more accessible.
The “AND” program will see some major changes soon. Yes, this is a State program and as you can read have not made efforts to change the words like needy. However, we hope that these rule changes by the State Board of Human Services will help serve our community better. Two of the largest victories are, increase in monthly payment from 189 to 217 dollars and rules to provide applicant more time to qualify for benefits. Please see file “AND VICTORY” above for more information. CCDC wants to give a shout out to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy for their work in making these changes a reality.
On September 13th Mayor Michael Hancock presented his 2019 budget. As you may know our partners at Denver Streets Partnership and Walk Denver have been meeting city officials to elevate the need for safe and accessible side walks, street crossings and bike paths. These elements are essential for the independence of our people. Some of the glaring deficiencies in the budget included no funding for Federal Blvd., 3.8 million for sidewalks (we had requested 10) and very little money for simple upgrades and fixes such as bollards or paint for roads.
City council now has several weeks to review budget and to make recommendations.
CCDC strongly supports more funding for sidewalks, cross-walks and bike paths.
If you want your voice heard please use the Walk Denver Web site listed below for additional information and ways to reach out to your city councilperson.
CCDC Transit Advisor
City & County of Denver Source of Income Protection
In a win for housing consumers, Denver City Council voted on July 30, 2018 prohibit landlords from denying applicants based on their source of income. This decision most heavily impacts housing seekers with subsidized housing vouchers and/or disability income, though it certainly benefits all potential
renters. The Council’s stance on the issue was that if a prospective renter can afford the rent, their source of income shouldn’t inform the housing provider’s decision. Opponents of the measure feel that requiring landlords to accept non-conventional sources of income like federal vouchers will force landlords to absorb uncovered damage expenses and delayed rent payments. However, to high-rent property owners, the law is unlikely to affect their business as the renters in question would likely not qualify for their units. It’s also important to note that many other jurisdictions in the country have already enacted such protections. The new protection will take effect for the City and County of Denver on January 1, 2019.
To learn more about Denver’s Source of Income protection, click here.
If you have requested a reasonable accommodation and supplied your housing provider with the
appropriate documentation (typically a doctor’s note), and the accommodation was denied, there are a couple things you can do:
If your housing provider denied your accommodation based on discrimination, or you have reason to believe this is the case, here are some tips for what you should do next:
Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, there is no distinction between emotional support animals or service animals. Simply obtain a doctor’s note, or a note from another medical professional, that establishes a nexus between your disability and your need for the animal. Next, write a short letter stating that you wish to request a reasonable accommodation. Best practice is to mail the request via certified mail to your housing provider, along with a copy of the Joint Statement from HUD and the DOJ on Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act (link below). If your housing provider either ignores or denies your request, call DMFHC to discuss next steps.
call DMFHC at 720-279-4291.
This blog has interesting and depressing statistics about health care debt for our country. The main site also has some good information on credit cards, which are good, which are not, and how to think about using them. Of course most of us do not have the luxury of deciding which credit cards to use, and low-income people are often left with only the worse options (high interest, poor terms, etc.) However, now that we have the Medicaid Buy-In option and more of us are able to get and keep jobs, as we get out of poverty we can learn about things like credit card choices.
Anyway, the health care debt issue is something important.