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Find the most common issues people with disabilities face and how CCDC can help.


Category: Uncategorized

Links to Official Sites and Trusted Information

The internet is incredibly helpful and misleading. So how do you know who to trust? What information is accurate, and what is not?

When deciding what to believe, look for the thread of truth – the facts that are consistent even when found in different places. The other way to know you can trust the information on a website is if the site is from a trusted location, such as the government or an organization that has proved to be honest over time.
Rumor breeds fear and chaos. We encourage you to be careful when repeating information you are not positive is true. If you hear something you aren’t sure about,  check it out or send the question to us. We will research it and find the answers.

Stimulus Check Information has moved to a new page for greater readability. Use this link to access information  (Información en Español)

Do you need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? Use this link for info about contacting your Local Emergency Managers. You can also check out the Colorado Mask Project.

State of Colorado – Official Webpage

211 – 2-1-1 is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state. No matter where you live in Colorado, you can find information about resources in your local community. From any phone dial 211. Web access is

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website – The best source of information for COVID-19. National and state-level data are available as well as ways to stay safe, what to do if you think you are sick, and how to help those around you during this pandemic.

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing  – Hub for information related to HCPF and updates on COVID-19. Information is organized by the audience ( Members, Providers, and Partners) and will be updated as the situation changes.

Colorado Department of Local Affairs

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment – For information on COVID-19 from the State

Colorado Emergency Management, Department of Public Safety – Information for County-level emergency management websites, telephone (office and 24 hour), emails and sms/txt alert systems in Colorado. In participating counties, you can follow the “alerts” link next to each of the identified counties to register for and begin receiving emergency alerts in that area.

Denver City website  ♦  Cancellations, closures, and postponements ♦ Local Preparation and Coordination News and Media Support Services Donations and Volunteering Parking Enforcement Updates

Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council – Transportation updates – Stay Up To Date On Transportation Services

Denver Public Health – for more localized information

One Strong Voice: Information and Resources Regarding Medical Rationing – OSV participated in a call hosted by The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).  They provided a list of resources including the #NoBodyIsDisposable campaign, and a Know Your Rights toolkit for people facing discrimination during medical triage. Link to the resource list.

RTD – RTD had created a page for their latest updates related to service and the health and safety warnings. Go to their page for the latest information and for more details about changes being made.

  • Rear door boarding and alighting
  • All fare collection suspended
  • Suspend services on the 16th Street Mall and the “Free Ride Metro”
  • Move mall buses to regular routes to utilize multiple door boarding and alighting
  • Allowing our operating staff to wear masks

Other changes in effect:

  • Food Delivery service is available to Access-a-Ride customers
  • RTD is temporarily suspending the $10 replacement fee for EcoPass
  • A reduced service plan that will go into effect April 19, 2020
  • Access-a-Ride eligibility assessments are canceled – Just one of the many services driven by the census count is emergency management. You have time now! Fill out your census online.

World Health Organization – WHO’s primary role is to direct international health within the United Nations’ system and to lead partners in global health responses.

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There is no weakness in asking for help. After all, life is a group effort.

When our situations and way of life changes so dramatically and quickly, we might not know where to go to find help. Others can be afraid or humiliated at finding they suddenly can’t survive on their own.

No one is expected to do everything by themselves. These resources are available for people who find themselves in a difficult spot. Reach out via phone or the internet and find out if you are eligible for assistance.

If you have a resource to share or find an error, send it via email to

Amazon offers its Prime service for a 50% discount if you have an EBT or Medicaid Card. Follow this link and check the details. Prime offers many upgrades and extras than its regular free service. (Including free shipping for many items.)  And if you shop under and choose the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, every purchase generates a small donation to your favorite charity.

The Action Center – near Colfax and Wadsworth in Lakewood is currently providing food to anyone who needs it (even if they live outside Jefferson County).

Benefits in Action is offering free food boxes with free delivery for anyone unable to get groceries and live in Denver or Jefferson County. Visit or call 720-221-8354 to arrange delivery.

Care Coordinators COVID Resource List – This list contains a number of excellent links and resources unemployment, utilities, AA meetings, and more. In order to help protect our community from the spread of COVID-19, we are offering modified services of food and mail services only. Reservations to pick-up food are required, please call 720.215.4850.

Center for Health Progress Health Care Resource Guide for the Uninsured (English) or (Spanish)  – A Health Care Resource Guide that Center for Health Progress put together to support people, particularly immigrants without documentation, to find health care at this moment.

CHANDA CENTER FOR HEALTH – is a direct services provider that includes acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, adaptive exercise, physical therapy, adaptive yoga, care coordination, behavioral health, primary care, and dental care. Some services are provided at the Chanda Center for Health and some at provider locations nationwide.  Integrative therapies promote wellness and healing for acute and chronic conditions caused by physical disabilities. Better health outcomes and lower medical bills galvanized our pursuit of systemic change to have integrative therapies covered by Medicaid. They are offering some free classes that can be found through Chanda’s page directly.

Colorado Center on Law and Policy: COVID-19 resources for immigrant families – To Colorado’s immigrants — whether you had access to the legal immigration process or not — you matter, your families matter and your contributions to society matter. But even as we advocate for solutions to those injustices, and there are resources for you and your families.

Colorado Emergency Childcare Collaborative – Approximately 80,000 emergency workers have young children and are now without child care.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Protecting your finances during the Coronavirus Pandemic – Providing consumers with up-to-date information and resources to protect and manage their finances during this difficult time as the situation evolves.

Denver Emergency Food Access – Information about School and Student Meals, Denver Parks and Recreation Center Meals (Tasty Food), SNAP & WIC Benefits in Denver, Food Assistance at Pantries, and Food in Quarantine.

Denver Food Pantries Listings – including location, hours of operation, and services provided.

Denver Human Services – All Denver Human Services facilities will be closed to the public beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, until further notice.  See how to access our services online or call us at 720-944-4DHS (4347) for assistance.
COVID-19 Information
Cancellations, Closures, and Postponements
Support Services
Donating and Volunteering
Local Preparation and Coordination
News and Media
Emergency Services for People with Disabilities
Parking Enforcement Updates

Denver Property Tax Relief Program – Provides a partial refund of property taxes paid, or the equivalent in rent, to qualifying Denver residents.

DRCOG Aging and Disability Resources Information and Assistance line:
303-480-6700 – Provides information, assistance, and advocacy over the phone or email to understand your benefits and connect you with local providers.

Emergency Response Desktop Suite – For six months; at no cost, we are sharing a tool designed to make information and technology more accessible. The tool, an Emergency Response Desktop Suite is available to 500 Colorado adults with developmental disabilities.

Enrich: Coronavirus and Your Financial Health – Answers, tips, and advice for staying financially well during the COVID-19 pandemic

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 

      1. What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws Technical Assistance Questions and Answers
      2. Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act
      3. COVID-19 and the EEOC (Youtube)

Health First Colorado and CHP+ Providers and Case Managers: COVID-19 Information – The Department knows providers will have many questions about COVID-19 and will post updates on policies, codes and other important information to providers on this site. Communications will continue to be sent out via bulletins and newsletters. Contains many excellent links to additional information.

Hunger Free Colorado – Food assistance information for the state,  not just Denver Metro. The site is updated regularly. The Food Resource Hotline is (855-855-4626), M – F (8 am – 4:30 pm).

Internet Essentials: Affordable Internet at Home Offers two months free internet with low costs after, and the option to purchase a laptop or desktop computer at a discounted price. For new customers, visit Also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. 

Linguabee Sign Language Interpreting Services — Linguabee is offering Free VRI access at COVID-19 test sites for the Deaf community

Mile High Connects’ Denver Metro COVID-19 Housing Response Strategy community platform — This platform is designed for us to come together and stay abreast of various local and regional emergency housing-related responses to the COVID-19 crisis, share resources with one another, identify and elevate opportunities to coordinate strategic, longer-term efforts to stabilize housing in our region.

Housing Resource List — Compiled through the community platform described above.

NFBCO Assistance Hotline and Email — If you are a blind or low vision person in Colorado who needs assistance call us at 303-778-1130 extension 219 or email

One Strong Voice: Information and Resources Regarding Medical Rationing — OSV participated in a call hosted by The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).  During the call, they received a number of questions about what individuals can do to prevent states from developing discriminatory medical triage protocols. Link to the resource page.

Social Security & Coronavirus — Updates about what SSA is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Simple Dollar: A Guide to Auto Insurance If You’re Living Out of Your Car — This guide provides an auto insurance roadmap, so you can keep your vehicle in good standing while working toward a more permanent home. You’ll also find resources that can help you stay safe while living out of your car, and help transition into a more permanent place to live.

Xcel Energy’s response to COVID-19: A message from Xcel Energy CEO Ben Fowke – Xcel will not disconnect service to any residential customers until further notice. If you are having difficulty paying your bills, contact them and they will arrange a payment plan.

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Q & A — Fact & Fiction

All information in this section is either from the CDC, WHO, or a CCDC trusted source.


There are twenty COVID-19 resources in ASL (9 additional went live over the weekend). The link above will take you to the full playlist. From there you can choose individual videos you would like to watch.

Q & A from the HCPF and the Disability Community Webinar Series

On Fridays, HCPF and other Disability Community leaders host webinars to update the community and answer questions. Follow the link provided to see the questions and answers from the previous sessions. (Link to Q & A).  (Link to Series Information)

Fraud Alert from the Office of Inspector General Legal Services Corporation

The Fraud Corner (4/9/2020) COVID-19 Purchasing Scams: As part of its Fraud Corner Series, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing the following information and resources relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19 frauds and scams. This article deals with potential price gouging, price-fixing, and bid-rigging scams that can adversely affect making critical purchases during the COVID-19 crisis.

Chicago Doctor’s Blunt Speech About COVID-19 Hits Home Across the Country

Dr. Emily Landon is the chief infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Chicago Medicine. While she is talking about Illinois, the content applies to us all. She clearly explains the importance of social distancing and the threat we are facing for failure to comply. If you, a family member, friend, or anyone is struggling to understand why you can’t go about your life as normal, this is a good video to watch.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Due to the ongoing supply shortages, you may have to reach out to your Local Emergency Managers. You can also check out the Colorado Mask Project.

How do I know if I am sick with the Coronavirus?

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*
Shortness of breath

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:*
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Can coronavirus live on food and objects?

YES and NO. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Are Chinese or other Asian Americans more likely to spread the virus?

NO. It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.

Will warmer weather stop the outbreak of Covid-19? Will the cold weather?

Several countries currently affected by the new coronavirus outbreak are experiencing summer weather. Some viral illnesses, like the flu, seem to be less common in warmer months, but it is still possible to catch them during that time. Investigations are exploring the effects of temperature and weather on the spread of this new coronavirus.

There is no reason to believe that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus or other diseases. The normal human body temperature remains around 97.7°F to 98.6°F, regardless of the external temperature or weather. The most effective way to protect yourself against the new coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water.

Was the new coronavirus deliberately created or released by people?

NO. Viruses can change over time. Occasionally, a disease outbreak happens when a virus that is common in an animal such as a pig, bat or bird undergoes changes and passes to humans. This is likely how the new coronavirus came to be.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters

Learn what is true and false about the Coronavirus from the World Health Organization (Link to Page)

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Love in the Time of Corona


Elemental Partners fosters, clear purpose, aligned principles and integrated practices to sustain healthy and equitable communities.

Pandemics are powerful phenomena. One moment, life proceeds per usual routines, and the next, we find ourselves scrambling over toilet paper. The Corona virus (COVID-19) has impacted our lives in every way and preventing transmission, while far from assured, appears to be straightforward.

An equally daunting challenge, however, is about how we are going to interact with one another as this crisis unfolds.

I remember a similar dynamic in another pandemic I lived through. The first cases of HIV/AIDS were reported when I was 19 years old. In those days, the modes of transmission were not widely known, prompting a widespread panic. We saw a proliferation of people wearing masks and gloves in public. People hoarding supplies. Acts of blatant discrimination and hatred abounded. Like today, the White House was more harmful than helpful. In fact, then President Reagan did not mention the words HIV/AIDS publicly until 1985, four years after the first cases were reported. In other words, we were on our own.

For the next dozen years, HIV/AIDS became my vocation and advocation. By day, I directed a project in Oakland Chinatown that offered everything from prevention/education to clinical care. After work, I facilitated support groups, delivered meals and meds to friends and clients, provided outreach at bathhouses and sex clubs, and took to the streets in protest. On weekends, I attended funerals.

While my friends back home were getting married and starting families, this pandemic defined my 20’s as a decade of grief and loss. I was 26 years-old when, after being asked for the eighteenth time, I promised myself that I would never be a pall bearer again. When I was 28, I had to decide whether to attend Michael’s or George’s funeral – because they were happening at the same time. At 29, I stopped recording in my journal the names of friends, lovers, clients, and colleagues who had died. The last entry – Robbie – was my 175th.

It was an unimaginably hard time – one that I would not wish on anyone. How ironic that my sons, who are now in their 20’s, are facing a pandemic, the ramifications of which are still unknown. Rafa is working at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, arguably the epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S. Santi just returned home to finish the remainder of his semester online. Given what I had lived through, what guidance would I give them?

In a time when fear and othering are the norms, how might we act with love in the time of Corona?

Practice Social Solidarity
“Social distancing,” the term used to describe proximity restrictions to prevent transmission of viruses are a disruption of our cultural and social norms, and many people are still struggling with that. My family, friends, and hula brothers normally greet each other with hugs and kisses. We join hands in prayer. New greetings, such as the elbow and foot bump, are becoming acceptable and commonplace, but it’s going to take some time before we reach the level of connection, respect, and joy that a hug, handshake, or kiss express. If social distancing leads to isolation, fear and othering, this is a condition that can be as dangerous as the virus itself.

In the midst of practicing social distancing, it is important to practice social solidarity. In his NY Times op-ed, Eric Klinenberg writes –

In addition to social distancing, societies have often drawn on another resource to survive disasters and pandemics: social solidarity, or the interdependence between individuals and across groups. This an essential tool for combating infectious diseases and other collective threats. Solidarity motivates us to promote public health, not just our own personal security. It keeps us from hoarding medicine, toughing out a cold in the workplace or sending a sick child to school. It compels us to let a ship of stranded people dock in our safe harbors, to knock on our older neighbor’s door.

Stories of social solidarity are emerging everywhere.

  • My friend Vonnie, gift-wrapped rolls of toilet paper and delivered them to neighbors with a note saying – If we can ease a worry or lend a hand – a cup of sugar or flour, some relief meds or tissue, cleaning products, yes, even TP, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll get through this together.
  • Several of my clients and fellow consultants have reached out to me to discuss how we can support each other through the coming months of cancelled gigs and financial hardship.
  • Friends who run organizations and businesses are doing the right thing by enacting compassionate policies for their employees.
  • Neighbors in Italy are singing from their windows to counter their isolation.

All of these examples prove that, even though we have to practice physical distance, we don’t have to be socially distant. Social solidarity reminds us that we are not alone.

Could this be a turning point for you?
It was just another night out in San Francisco with my cousin Allister. I was 23-years old, and starting my career in the corporate management program at Macys. Allister mentioned that we were going to visit Billy before dinner. My heart raced. Billy was a model with thick brown hair, deep blue eyes, an arresting smile. I had a crush on Billy the moment I laid eyes on him seven years earlier.

When we arrived at his apartment, I expected Billy to answer the door as he always did, with his megawatt smile and perfect hair, surrounded by equally beautiful people, music blaring in the background. Instead the place was quiet and dark. We walked down the hall to his bedroom and there was Billy, emaciated and covered with lesions. It had been days since anyone had visited.

I left that apartment resolved that I would no longer pursue a career at Macy’s, and set my course on community service. Even though I never had the opportunity to tell Bill Richmond how he changed my life for good, I hope he knows that his passion for joy and beauty live on through me.

What do these times have to teach you? How might this pandemic inform your life’s work? How you are leading your life? No matter how old or young you are, keep your eyes, ears, and heart open, and be ready to receive some deep lessons that can impact your life for good.

Perfect fear cast out all love. Perfect love casts out all fear.
This scripture became one of my guiding lights during the pandemic. As a young gay man coming up in the AIDS years, there was so much to fear. I had to navigate relationships, media hysteria, concerned family and friends, and the prospect of surviving this epidemic and growing old alone. When Father John McNeill delivered his sermon on this scripture, my perspective shifted, and I began to seek out moments of perfect love in the midst of the sadness, chaos, and fear. Singing hymns with Tom in his final days at Coming Home Hospice sustained me. Making brownie sundaes with Scott to keep his weight up sustained me. Leaving notes of appreciation on my colleagues’ desks after another long day at work sustained me. Dancing with Gerard sustained me.

There are so many ways we can practice moments of perfect love. A simple wave or smile to a stranger can make a difference. Thanking folks at the grocery store, police folk, first responders, and health care providers who are working extra hard to provide for our needs makes a difference. We all have elders in our lives, whether they are our own relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers and mentors. Calling on them regularly so they don’t feel othered and isolated makes a difference.

In spite of the lack of support from the world at-large during those early years of HIV/AIDS, our small community made it through by holding on to hope and conquering our fear with perfect acts of love.

I don’t know how this pandemic will unfold. But I do know that the entire global community is in high alert. We have the power, choice and potential to practice social solidarity, embrace turning points, and treat each other with moments of perfect love.

The scientists, researchers and health care providers will find the ways to vanquish this virus and heal our bodies. It is up to the rest of us to vanquish the pandemic of fear and hatred, and heal our souls.

Questions for Reflection and Consideration

  • Make a list of the elders in your life. What can you do today to let them know that they are loved, valued, and cared for?
  • Think about what you are reading and sharing on social media. How might you shift from an orientation of fear and othering to one of love and belonging?
  • What is one thing you want to learn or do at this time of retreat and reflection? Some things on my list – Compose a Hawaiian chant, Clean out that dreaded closet. Read two books. Cook.  Write, write, write.

RTD Hearing (SB20 -151) Julie Reiskin Testimony

The following is a transcript of testimony given by Julie Reiskin at the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee hearing (Part 1) on February 18, 2020.

Audio File


Julie Reiskin Transcript Testimony

Thank you, Madam Chairman, members of the committee. My name is Julie Reiskin. I represent the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. Kristen was here. She uses Access-a-Ride and you don’t get to change your going home time, so that’s why I think she’s no longer here. I hope she’ll be able to come back on March third because she has a lot of important information to give you. 

We want to thank the sponsors and are very much in support of Senate Bill 151 in that this is a pro-RTD bill. This bill is all about making RTD sustainable, stronger and better. Those of us who have disabilities, particularly those who are not able to drive because of their disabilities, and particularly those of us who use power chairs who don’t have any other option like Uber or Lyft or cabs or anything, do rely on RTD exclusively. We don’t get to get rides with friends. We don’t get any other options, so it is very, very important to us. 

Without RTD, we don’t have jobs. We don’t have the ability to live independently. So it is really the key to our independence. But we don’t want a system just for people with disabilities. We don’t want a system who are affected by Title Six because if it’s only a system for poor folks and disenfranchised folks, it’s never gonna be a good system. We want a system that works for everyone, but we see ourselves as the canaries in the coal mine. If it works for us,  it’ll work for everyone. 

So that’s really what we wanted to say and that’s why we’ve been working very hard on this bill and why we support it. Our attorneys are here to speak. It’s not a secret, I think, that our organization has sued RTD in the past. I don’t think it’s been perpetual litigation. It’s been three times in the past thirty years. But that is necessary to be able to make changes when there is out-and-out discrimination that we can’t get solved any other way and we need to be able to do that at a lower level and literally not have to make that a federal case. We need to be able to solve it at a much lower level, and our attorneys can address that. But we want to see RTD strong for everyone, for the entire community. We want to see the train go to Boulder. 

We want to see it work the way it’s supposed to work, and those of us who do rely on RTD have really been affected by the driver shortages. I have a picture on my phone of just one day on my computer screen, just the lines I subscribe to, and my entire screen was filled up after it had been cleared, just one day, two hours, and so, I had to sleep at DIA because I couldn’t rely on the A-line. It really is affecting us. Paratransit has been dealing with this problem for many years, so we do need the legislature to step in and help us make it right. 

Thank you for your time.

Testimony of Amy F. Robertson, Co-Executive Director, in Support of SB20-151

Senate Transportation & Energy Committee, March 3, 2020

Amy F. Robertson, Co-Executive Director

“Thank you Madame Chair and members of the committee. My name is Amy Robertson and I am an attorney and the Co-Executive Director of the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (“CREEC”), Denver-based civil rights nonprofit.

CREEC strongly supports SB20-151. I am authorized to state that the ACLU of Colorado also strongly supports SB20-151.

I will address Section 2 of the bill, which provides a state court remedy for violations by RTD of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”) [i] and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“Title II”).[ii]

For the past 25 years, both at CREEC and our earlier private law firm, I have conducted education and training as well as individual and impact litigation under federal and state civil rights laws. I am very familiar with Title VI and Title II and their regulations. In addition, we have been involved in two of the three impact ADA cases against RTD: one brought in 2000 and settled in 2001; and the most recent, remedying noncompliant light rail cars, which resolved in 2017 with retrofitted and new light rail cars.

I want to make two crucial points about Section 2:

  1. 1. It imposes no new substantive requirements; and
  2. 2. It provides a more efficient, less risky remedy for violations of these existing requirements.

Section 2 of the pending bill incorporates Title VI and Title II as well as
the respective regulations enforcing each of those statutes. These
regulations have been in force since 1970 (in the case of Title VI) [iii] and 1992 (in the case of Title II). [iv] Both sets of regulations have always prohibited – and prohibit to this day – actions that “have the effect of” discriminating against protected individuals,[v] otherwise known as “disparate impact” discrimination.

Let me say that again: disparate impact discrimination on the basis of race in providing federally-funded transportation services has been illegal since 1970 and remains so today. A Supreme Court decision in 2001 made it impossible to enforce in court a claim for disparate impact race discrimination under Title VI. The prohibition remains in the regulations, RTD remains bound by these regulations, and these regulations can still be enforced by the United States Department of Transportation.

Furthermore, if the Department of Transportation finds a violation of the Title VI regulations that it cannot resolve informally, “compliance… may be affected by the suspension or termination of or refusal to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance.”[vi] So the only current enforcement mechanism for disparate impact race discrimination has the potential for dire consequences, including withdrawal of federal dollars from RTD.

Title II of the ADA and its regulations remain enforceable in federal court; however, as RTD has experienced, this process can be time-consuming and expensive for everyone involved: for riders who want to ensure compliance with the law; and for RTD itself.

Section 2 of SB 151 would permit both Title VI and Title II claims to be brought in Colorado state court, a more efficient, less expensive, and – for RTD – a less risky forum than either federal court or the regulatory agency that has the power to cut the purse strings.

Public transportation is essential for disabled people and communities of color. Members of these communities should be able to secure equal treatment without the expense of a federal lawsuit or the systemic risk to RTD that an administrative complaint presents.

[i] 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
[ii] 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.
[iii] 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq.  35 Fed. Reg. 10080 (June 18, 1970).
[iv]  56 Fed. Reg. 35716 (July 26, 1991).
[v]  49 C.F.R. § 21.5(b)(2) (Title VI); 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(4) (Title II).
[vi]  49 C.F.R. § 21.13(a).

HB20-1332: Prohibit Housing Discrimination Source Of Income

Concerning prohibitions on discrimination in housing based on the source of income.

SESSION: 2020 Regular Session
SUBJECT: Housing
HB20-1332: Prohibit Housing Discrimination Source Of Income



The bill adds discrimination based on the source of income as a type of unfair housing practice. “Source of income” is defined to include any source of money paid directly, indirectly, or on behalf of a person, including income from any lawful profession or from any government or private assistance, grant, or loan program.

A person is prohibited from refusing to rent, lease, show for rent or lease, or transmit an offer to rent or lease housing based on a person’s source of income. In addition, a person cannot discriminate in the terms or conditions of a rental agreement against another person based on the source of income, or based upon the person’s participation in a 3rd-party contract required as a condition of receiving public housing assistance. A person cannot include in any advertisement for the rent or lease of housing any limitation or preference based on the source of income, or to use representations related to a person’s source of income to induce another person to rent or lease property. The restrictions do not apply to a landlord with 3 or fewer rental units.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Bill History
02/25/2020:  Introduced In House – Assigned to Judiciary
Upcoming Schedule: MAR 17, Tuesday, House Judiciary
1:30 pm | HCR 0112

Making This a More Perfect Union: Remembering Bloody Sunday

55 years ago on March 7, 1965, an estimated 525 to 600 champions of civil rights began the first of several nonviolent marches and risked their lives and limbs literally and attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge to make this country a more perfect nation. So many people crossed the bridge from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama for the simple purpose of attempting to register Black Americans to vote. Their mission and their purpose were to force this country to live up to its many principles, statements of morality, creeds and founding documents. Representative John Lewis (D. Ga.), a member and later

one of the youngest leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the leaders of the marches.

Photo of young Representative John Lewis crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Photo of John Lewis crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge when he was with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Before Becoming a Congressman for the United States
Civil Rights March showing the many people who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Civil rights activists march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, starting the second march to Montgomery. In the first march, the marchers had been attacked and beaten by Alabama state troopers and local law enforment. Only the third march actually made it all the way to Montgomery. (Photo by © Flip Schulke/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

I think it is important to use this anniversary to make a distinction between the words and writings of those who created the country in which we now live and the events that occurred on that day. The Declaration of Independence, First Continental Congress, July 4, 1776, the following paragraph was included:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Photo of police officers stopping marchers from proceeding on to vote after they crossed the Edmund Pettiu Bridge
Photo of police in riot gear and deputized citizens of Alabama approaching unarmed marchers after they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Police and attack dogs attacking marketers who cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge
Photograph demonstrating how the police and deputized citizens of Alabama and their attack dogs attacked the marchers who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge.


The author of this blog, a somewhat increasingly-jaded attorney who writes to you now about this event that became known as “Bloody Sunday,” has read the words in the Declaration of Independence as well as the other founding documents of our country many times and has become growing late disconcerted by the contradiction between their meaning and reality. I have also spent a great deal of time studying the law of civil rights and about the civil rights movements in this country in particular and other countries as well. But all I am is a simple civil rights lawyer for people with disabilities who works for a nonprofit organization in Denver, Colorado. So why am I writing about this?

Because I care about making this country in which we live a more perfect union so that all human beings regardless of race, religion, gender, disability or ability, and all other human beings obtain and receive the same respect and are entitled to belong just as much as any other human being. There is no superiority of any one of these groups, and there is no meaningful type of “nationalism” which is just another word for shutting out other human beings that are different. The civil rights movement that led to my ability to be able to practice law for people with disabilities, although created by my brothers and sisters with disabilities who came before me, was also built on the broken skull of John Lewis. When I view these photos, tears wells up in my eyes no matter how jaded the process of practicing disability rights law and reading American history has made me become. I do remember reading one of my favorite books, Parting the Waters, by Taylor Branch and calling my good friend, colleague and mentor, Amy Robertson, and saying something like, “I guess disability civil rights lawyers have one advantage over those who represented the great civil rights leaders of the South and others throughout our country and around the world. At least no one is bombing our houses.” Don’t get me wrong, we certainly get our share of slurs throughout the wonders of social media, newspapers and other outlets of incivility. Usually, it comes from the other side (meaning those who oppose our equality, belonging and humanity), often it comes from people who are simply ignorant about the issues, but it sometimes even comes from within our own community. I could certainly cite to many words written and spoken by the “Founding Fathers” of our country that lead me to reach the inevitable conclusion that the entire country was built on a series of lies. First of all, I, like many of you, was taught that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. I find it extremely difficult to understand how an individual came to discover a land that was already inhabited by a large number of people who, as far as most of us now, were perfectly content with their way of life. They were definitely human beings, and they were here first, living and existing in a way that worked for them until those who came before and after Columbus destroyed their culture, most of their population (through the spread of disease and outright murder) and all of their way of life because our ancestors* thought we knew what was best for the natives of this country now known as the United States of America.

The second major lie in existence when the words quoted above were drafted (often called “Original sin”) committed by those who “founded” this country was the bringing of in innumerable number of human beings from Africa, a continent almost as far away as it could be, to come in shackles on boats and conditions almost certain to cause most of them to die to this country for the sole purpose of being the property and working for our ancestors. Now, as a result of the great works of people like John Lewis, Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, and so many others, the same year that the dogs took bites out of those who crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the same people who were gassed, knocked down by fire hoses, beaten with billy clubs shot, and arrested, our federal government under President Lyndon B. Johnson, sent troops to assist those who are not permitted to vote to be able to do so and passed The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (The Civil Rights Act of 1964 somehow managed to exclude this most important alleged inalienable right of all Americans who were in the words of the First Congressional Congress “created equal” and endowed with exactly the same rights; also interesting is the fact that it took until 1920 for women to have the right to vote; I guess the “Founding Fathers” really meant it when they said “all men are created equal”).

When reviewing that paragraph from the Declaration of Independence, it is difficult to say at what point in history (according to our “Founding Fathers, ” human beings in our society should determine when the government is destructive of the ends set forth in that document, when we as a society have stopped securing the Safety and happiness of our people (coming Social Security benefits and the possibility of attaining healthcare if you have a pre-existing condition, denying any form of long-term care and lying about it in front of TV cameras while having the United States Justice Department argue the exact opposite in federal court), whether the actions taken by our current government are light and transient causes (it is hard to imagine how 400 years of slavery coupled with the continued income inequality based on things like race or disability, The routine murdering of people of color by law enforcement with absolute immunity, the ruining of an entire society and culture leaving only a few to rise up, resisting compliance with the law or changes in the law that will allow the equality that apparently all human beings in this country are supposed to have — “the repeated tyrannies and usurpations”), whether these and other evils have risen to the level of being so insufferable as to require the change or abolishment of government in comparison to the reasons taken by the “Founding Fathers.” And who in the world (literally) did they think they were kidding when they said, “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world[?]”

Nevertheless, as President Barack Obama reminded us during the 50th anniversary of this same series of marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, change has occurred. It has occurred because we have made it occur. It is just that so much more needs to be done. Lawyers are limited by what laws allow us to do. Legislators are motivated by monetary interests and paid lobbyists against whom we have severe inequality.

I am extremely indebted to and thankful for my colleagues, friends and those who came before me whom I never met, all who have disabilities and their colleagues, who made it possible for me to assist in enforcing the civil rights of human beings — people with disabilities. It certainly seems a shame 30 years after the law was written that our society has not come into compliance, and that entities resist with such vigor, that people who would rather die than be disabled and yet they take advantage of those simple modifications that people with disabilities need enable to live equally with nondisabled people (like the example of the police car that parked in the access aisle next to my van at our office), but I can only imagine what those who survived Bloody Sunday must feel regarding the treatment of a population of people who were brought to this country four hundred years ago to do the work and be the property of white people who now hate and despise this population in such a way as that they are incarcerated them in enormously greater proportions than whites, the income inequities between Blacks and whites are extraordinary, and no one can really say with a straight face that equal treatment has been achieved throughout the country.

So in an attempt to return the bright side. I still continue to believe that we are trying to build a “more perfect union.” At least enough of us are, and there is no doubt that great changes have been made. It seems as though it is a never ending fight. And it seems as though we will never “win.” I can’t see it happening in my lifetime, so you Millennials better take it over. You are all humans too. The only tools we seem to have in our European white system of governing and thinking of the creation of laws and enforcement of them. It seems unfortunate that that even though what is required to bring about equality and belonging is often ignored, forgotten or aggressively opposed; we should continue to strive to come up with a better way. By writing this blog, I ask that we will focus on that day, Bloody Sunday. In addition, as we consider during this presidential voting season filled as it is with vitriol and concerns about whether we are actually getting accurate information about candidates and viruses and just about anything else that we must think about in order to improve ourselves and our country that we do the following: Consider where we have come from, what it will take to get to where we are going, to remember always what our fellow human beings have endured before us in order to get to where we are today and to always, always work towards ensuring the existence of the innate equality and belonging of all human beings and building that more perfect union.

Hanging on my wall just to the side of the front door of my house is a very large framed poster of Thurgood Marshall with a quote from him: “in recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” I put it there is you can’t leave my house without seeing it. What more can be said then that if we are going to create equality, belonging any more perfect union?

* I use the word “our” to refer to mostly white Europeans who settled in this country. Certainly those whose ancestors who were brought against their will and those who this country has tried to ban, remove and prevent from entering cannot be included.

House Bill 20-1196 and 20-1201 Manufactured Homes



News From The Colorado State Capitol
From the Office of State Rep. Edie Hooton

The manufactured home bills we’ve all been waiting for – House Bills 20-1196 and 20-1201 – will be heard in the House Transportation and Local Government Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The committee hearing begins at 1:30 in Legislative Services Building room “A,” and if you choose to go in person, this building is across 14th Street from the south side of the Capitol.

Why We’re Running These Bills: Part One

We’ve included a link to both bills in the titles below if you haven’t read them yet. But what’s really important is the improvements they can bring to peoples’ quality of life. The points below could be important concepts if you’re persuading a legislator on the committee to vote “yes” on the bills, or if you have colleagues who don’t yet understand why we’re working on manufactured home legislation.

In General

  • Manufactured homeowners normally own their homes, but not the land on which it sits.
  • This can put homeowners at a power disadvantage in disputes with management or in their living environments.
  • Both HB 20-1196 and 20-1201 are designed to help level the playing field, so homeowners would gain increased legal rights and opportunities they don’t have today.

HB 20-1196: Mobile Home Park Act Updates

  • Eviction is a Serious Penalty: Families being evicted might lose their home, some or all of its value, and their place to live. Eviction should not happen for minor offenses.
  • Retaliation is Stressful: Homeowners have rights under the law, and they should be free to exercise these rights without fear of retaliation.
  • Everybody Needs Water: Residents deserve fair and understandable water billing practices. Residents need properly functioning water and sewer systems to live their daily lives.
  • Privacy is Good: Homeowners have a right to peaceful, private enjoyment of their homes and lots, without unexpected and unannounced intrusion from landlords or management.

HB 20-1201: Mobile Home Park Residents Opportunity to Purchase

  • Control Your Destiny: Members of resident-owned communities can work together on their own rules and standards for their park environment.
  • Control Your Rent: Today, national corporations own a growing number of parks, and they may have no reason to keep lot rents affordable. Resident-owned communities might be able to limit rent increases, which would be a great benefit for people on fixed or limited incomes.
  • Keep Your Home: If a park is sold, it’s possible the new owner might want to sell it for redevelopment, even for a different land use like an apartment complex. Resident-owned communities would almost certainly decide to keep their park as a manufactured home park.
  • A Little Help: Communities could assign purchase rights to local governments or housing authorities, and these entities aren’t driven by profit.

Why We’re Running These Bills: Part Two

These bills are the product of many peoples’ work, by no means just legislators. Part of our team has included actual homeowners, some belonging to homeowner advocacy groups, and we’ve used public meetings and other forms of information gathering to learn personal stories about peoples’ experiences.

Our work last year also contributed to quite a bit of interest from Colorado media, and here are some great sources to get perspective on what’s going on in the world of manufactured homes.

Vail Daily Series on Eagle River Village: Journalist David O. Williams did a comprehensive three-part series on problems with potable water at Eagle River Village. The Daily also followed up with a strongly-worded editorial calling for immediate action. Yet half-a-year later, residents still have problems, and the Daily just published two more follow-up stories on the same issue. All six pieces are worth the read, but here’s a quote from an Eagle River Village resident that sums up the unenviable problems in three sentences:

“The water is not drinkable; it’s dirty, not only in color but also in odor. I don’t use the water even to cook, and I spend a lot of money on the five-gallon bottles of water. It’s not only the money, but I’m also using a lot of plastic.”

Parked: Half the American Dream: The Colorado Sun worked with a number of news outlets on this gigantic collaborative effort that captured manufactured home park stories from across Colorado. There are many great stories here, but since HB 20-1201 is up on Wednesday, this story mentions how and why the Yampa Valley Housing Authority purchased the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park and saved 68 manufactured homes. This quote captures part of the essence of why we’re running HB 20-1201:

“…our community sort of freaked out — all of our mobile home parks are going to get wiped out by investors,” said Jason Peasley, executive director of Yampa Valley Housing Authority. “We thought, we will lose that form of affordable housing.”

What’s Next? Both HBs 20-1196 and 20-1201 passed in committee, and now they’ll go to the full House for a vote. If they succeed, they’ll go to the Senate for equal consideration. We’ll keep you posted on bill progress throughout the 2020 legislative session.

Didn’t Make Wednesday’s Hearing? All formal legislative hearings, including committee and floor sessions, can be heard via live audio and recorded after the fact. For House Transportation and Local Government, those who can’t make the hearing in person can just tune in at this link to the “Committee Audio”:

There’s Still Time to Spread the Word: We certainly hope for strong support in Wednesday’s hearing, but your respectful input can still help any legislators who might still be “on the fence” vote in our favor. You can call, email, or write any state legislator at any time, and here’s a link to the Transportation and Local Government Committee, with member names and contact information.

One way or another, our next newsletter will include results from Wednesday’s hearing! Thanks again for your support, and I know we’re all looking for positive results!

SB20-151: The Accountability, Democracy, and Accessibility in Public Transit (ADAPT) Act

Concerning the Administration of the Regional Transportation District

Prepared by Ruscha Public Affairs (970-397-4911)
Endorsed by Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition • arc Thrift • ADAPT • Good Business Colorado

Sens. Tate and Rodriguez; Reps. Jackson and Larson


Green box with green checkmark YES on SB-151 is a vote for riders and taxpayers

  • Increases fiscal and performance oversight of the Regional Transportation District;
  • Improves coordination with CDOT and municipalities in RTD’s transportation planning;
  • Requires RTD to comply with the same ethics rules as state and local governments;
  • Directs the State Auditor to perform essential audits of the District’s overhead costs;
  • Removes government red tape to allow RTD to reduce its rates and increase revenue;
  • Ensures that RTD is complying with federal antidiscrimination law; and
  • Identifies measures to improve the quality of service for Coloradans with disabilities.

SB-151 is a bipartisan, common-sense bill that will provide better oversight of the Regional Transportation District.

Improving the fiscal health of the Regional Transportation District

  • The state auditor will conduct three audits by 2022: an audit of the district’s salaried pension plan, an audit on the District’s organizational structure and size, and cost efficiency and performance analysis of vehicular service policies to determine the cost savings and additional value in services to the district
  • RTD must give the Board at least a 15-day notice with a request to amend the budget and a 30-day notice of an intent to borrow
  • The TLRC and the Board shall have the authority to inspect RTD records
  • An amendment will be introduced to increase the transparency of how and when taxpayer dollars are spent (similar to the state TOPs system)

Good-government reforms and securing public trust

  • RTD shall live broadcast public meetings
  • RTD must hold monthly meetings and directors must be physically present
  • Whistleblower protections will be granted for employees
  • RTD will be included to the state auditor’s fraud tip line
  • Members of the Board and staff will be subject to Article XXIX of the Colorado Constitution (Amendment 41) and the Independent Ethics Commission, as well as state conflict of interest laws
  • RTD candidates will have contribution limits (RTD is the only statewide election with no limits)

Better services for riders and taxpayers

  • RTD must consider a locality’s need for transit services when making decisions. RTD must also consider anti-discrimination laws, pollution, fiscal health, and whether or not the proposals will actually improve the value of service.
  • The bill repeals the farebox recovery ratio, but keeps the financial reporting requirement
  • The public transit provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act will be incorporated in the RTD Act. A temporary ADA oversight sub-committee will be created under the Transportation Legislation Review Committee, with experts from the general public to provide recommendations on how to improve services for people with disabilities.
  • Two additional Directors will serve as policy experts will be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate – one director will be a policy expert in disability and inclusion and the other will be experienced in transit planning for high-needs areas
  • The State Treasurer and the Executive Director of CDOT will serve as non-voting members to increase fiscal oversight and improve transportation planning coordination
  • An amendment will be introduced to require RTD to consult with local governments when planning route changes

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