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Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition Fellowship

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) is a statewide disability social justice organization. We recently created a Fellowship program with two primary objectives in mind: to help build capacity for both our organization and Colorado’s larger disability community, and simultaneously, to support the growth of a diverse, highly skilled workforce. The Fellowship program allows CCDC and our community to actively embrace people with disabilities who are from communities of color and are also in the early stages of their careers. This Fellowship enables hired candidates to immerse themselves in a supportive environment wherein they will receive mentoring, gain real-world experience working toward equity for and with Coloradans who have disabilities, and assist CCDC with building our capacity. To that end, CCDC seeks to hire one full-time Fellow.

The Fellow will be hired to focus on one of the following areas:

  • Communications and/or Marketing
  • Grassroots community organizing

This is a two-year paid Fellowship and could become a permanent employment opportunity based on performance and funding. Preference will be given to Colorado candidates who are BIPOC Youth (defined as under 30). If applying from out-of-state, this may result in a contracted position rather than a typical “Fellowship” opportunity.

This is a very hands-on position that offers a variety of extraordinary opportunities for an individual interested in a career in social justice, nonprofits, disability and/or human rights, community organizing, communications, policy advocacy, and/or Medicaid. CCDC’s Fellowship program is a unique introduction to a professional career with consistent mentor support and accessibility as a priority.

Fellowship Benefits and Responsibilities:

  • CCDC will expand our Fellows’ professional network in Colorado’s nonprofit sector.
  • CCDC will provide ongoing, consistent nonprofit leadership and management training through mentorship, peer-coaching, and more in order to help this individual prepare to launch their professional career on disability justice issues, whether for CCDC or not.
  • Educate the Fellow with collective learning opportunities that align with CCDC’s priorities, especially those that affect youth with disabilities and their families in Colorado. Fellows would participate in our efforts and accompany us in coalition work.
  • Fellows will have an opportunity to be part of actual policymaking and serve on boards and councils representing the disability community.
  • Young people with disabilities are rarely given culturally competent advocacy training or space to learn about their identity as a person with disabilities, to gain disability pride, and/or to explore who they are as people with disabilities. We will provide opportunities to gain this lens while also working to strengthen racial equity lenses/approaches. We would ask for our Fellows to build their own ideas in order to expand this cultural opportunity.
  • Kids with disabilities often have no role models who represent them. CCDC supports policies and legislation that require diversity in teacher recruitment. Fellows would push awareness on this subject.

Fellowship General Outcomes 

Once the Fellow is selected and we know their specific area of interest, expected outcomes will be articulated in alignment with the Fellow’s specific area of interest (see below). However, the overall expectation for a Fellow is for this person to:        

1) focus on increasing the capacity of CCDC;

2) develop new leadership;

3) broaden CCDC’s reach throughout the State;

4) support the organization and our strategic plan; and,

5) each Fellow will have a work project that they lead.

Interest-Specific Performance Expectations:

The following is not an all-encompassing description of performance expectations but serves as a sample of expectations.

Communications and/or Marketing:

  • Possess knowledge and experience working with producing mass communications and graphic design software (For example, Adobe Creative Suite, MailChimp, etc.)
  • Exhibit excellent word processing skills as well as proficiency in creating spreadsheets and PowerPoint and keeping them current/relevant to their purposes
  • Monitor and maintain media coverage for CCDC
  • Review, maintain, and generate website content. Knowledge of ADA accessibility should be had or easily learned
  • Generating and posting social media content and has the skills to develop organizational communication strategies

Grassroots Community Organizing:

  • Learn and carry out field-proven best practices for volunteer leader recruitment and team-building
  • Draft and edit effective recruitment scripts for phone, text, email, etc.
  • Recruit new leaders and assist with capacity projects for future issue campaigns
  • Develop strategy, goals, and tactics with a focus on creativity, continuous improvement

Healthcare: (This will be needed in order to understand CCDC’s mission and vision)

  • Help develop legislative or regulatory proposals
  • Help organize stakeholder meetings
  • Meet with State agency representatives to understand and move policy issues forward
  • Brief legislators or senior administration officials on a range of health issues
  • Participate in the CCDC policy group, One Strong Voice
  • Understand intersectionality between individual advocacy and systems advocacy

Required qualifications:

  • Passion for disability social justice and/or human rights
  • Recent high school graduates, undergraduate, and graduate students
  • Availability to commit to a 18 month process, full-time (or part-time for an exceptional candidate)
  • Superb communication skills including ability to communicate with diverse audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively with others in support of a positive work environment
  • Ability to competently manage multiple priorities with an attention to detail and quality
  • Self-motivated, highly flexible, and able to work independently
  • A no-job-too-small attitude and a sense of humor required
  • Specific skill sets or other requirements will be required for specific Fellowship areas-for example the communications Fellow should have some experience with social media, etc.

Ideal candidates will offer these preferred assets:

  • Research and problem-solving skills
  • Experience with a content management system desired but not required
  • Experience with MailChimp and SurveyMonkey a plus
  • Self-sufficiency and drive
  • Bilingual in Spanish

Salary and Benefits:

$30,000 for part-time at 30 hours per week or $45,000 for full-time at 40 hours per week plus reimbursement for local/statewide travel, phone, expenses incurred for this position. Generous paid-time-off policy for full-time employees. Professional development benefits are covered, and mentoring/coaching happens “on the clock.” You must be willing to work Monday-Friday between 8-6 and an occasional weekend or night. Traveling within the State may occur 10% of the time.  

 

How to Apply:

To apply for the Fellowship, please submit a cover letter that addresses why you should be considered for this position and an explanation of your approach to social justice including any intersectional perspectives you bring to this work; along with this cover letter, please send a resume or list of your experience with “CCDC Fellowship” in the subject heading to ssecrest@ccdconline.org. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2022 by 11:59 pm.

Get Out the Vote 2022 Campaign Coordinator

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC) is the only statewide social justice non-profit run by and for people with disabilities and family members of people with disabilities.

Our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Campaign Coordinator will oversee the planning and implementation of outreach strategies to increase voter registration and turnout among individuals facing homelessness and who reside in nursing homes. The Coordinator will represent the organization and work with the management team to develop and implement initiatives that increase voting awareness, understand ballot initiatives, increase participation at candidate forums, and ultimately increase voter turnout within these two specific communities. Preference will be given to Colorado residents.

An ideal candidate must be able to work independently, be enthusiastic, and be community-driven to take on this exciting role. This position requires someone with a positive attitude and readiness to be a team player.

 Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Spend the majority of their time working directly with impacted communities around the state increasing voter awareness and increasing voter turnout;
  • Develop relationships with the goal of increasing voter registration and turnout as well as helping Coloradans understand why voting is important;
  • Work with the Colorado Secretary of State and the Protection and Advocacy Agency to ensure voting rights are being adhered to;
  • Attend local and National GOTV meetings (virtually and in-person as appropriate);
  • Develop and run voter registration drives within these two specific communities; and,
  • Work with management to create and distribute ballots guides (when appropriate).

Outcomes for which performance will be evaluated includes:

  • Create and track work plan and report to Deputy Director, and
  • Work with multiple internal teams and coordinate efforts across the organization.

 Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to manage several projects including tracking all of the details
  • Have a commitment to work in a social justice organization committed to anti-racism, disability rights, and all other forms of inclusive practices with regards to ethnicity, citizenship, age, geography, gender, gender expression, family status, LGBTQ+ or veteran status, and individuals who are or have been unhoused
  • Computer proficiency (must be able to use major Microsoft and Google products)
  • Exemplary customer service
  • Strong communication skills

**Reasonable accommodations will be made where and when applicable 

Job Profile-Position Type

This is a temporary, grant-funded position that will work from January through October 2022. Candidates must be able to work during standard office hours Monday-Friday 8 am to 6 pm, though evening and weekend work may be required. Preference will be given to Colorado residents.

Position Salary and Benefits

The pay is $15,000 for 20 hours a week. This position will report directly to the Deputy Director.

Please submit a letter of interest and resume to the Deputy Director, Shannon Secrest, at ssecrest@ccdconline.org. The application deadline is January 7, 2022.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Organizer/Advocate

Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition has found an overwhelming need in the state of Colorado to support people living with mobility impairments who have been challenged with obtaining and maintaining quality Durable Medical Equipment (DME) service. DME is the most significant health prevention for people with mobility impairments. Quality DME allows people to have a full life, as well as prevents pressure sores, contractures, and other secondary conditions that can be both deadly and expensive. We are looking for an experienced Colorado Medicaid contractor who can manage this short-term, but fast-paced project.

 

Major responsibilities include:

 

  • Create an Outreach Campaign targeting individuals experiencing issues with DME repair or other issues with obtaining appropriate DME related services.
  • Engage utilizers of any DME equipment and solicit feedback about barriers to service
  • Recruit, organize, and train individuals utilizing DME and experiencing barriers, for systemic advocacy
  • Work with Legislative coordinator to have individuals give legislative testimony and to work with State Agencies for policy change
  • Provide direct individual advocacy to people experiencing immediate issues with DME
  • Organize and track how many people are engaged and sign up to work on this issue and make sure they are supported to participate
  • Collect stories of problems to service using multiple methods

 

Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies:

  • Understanding of wheelchair issues and other DME
  • Understanding of Colorado Medicaid (basic understanding or life experience)
  • Previous experience organizing and advocating for systems change
  • Ability to manage a project including tracking all of the details
  • Knowledge of the Colorado Disability Community or lived experience with other marginalized communities and willingness to learn the disability perspective.
  • Have a commitment to work in a social justice organization committed to anti-racism, disability rights, and all other forms of inclusive practices with regards to race, ethnicity, citizenship, age, geography, gender, gender expression, family status, LGBTQ+ or veteran status.
  • Computer proficiency (must be able to use major Microsoft and Google products)
  • Strong communication skills

**Reasonable accommodations will  be made where and when applicable

 

Job Profile-Position Type

This is a temporary, grant funded and contract position. Work will likely begin the first weeks of January. The position will begin remotely and continuation of remote status is possible depending on preference. Work can occur in the office where phones and internet service are available if preferred. There is flexibility in the working hours, however, the position requires availability during times when the clients are available.

 

Position Salary and Benefits

Salary $11,000 for 6 months at 20 hours per week. This is a temporary, contracted position and no other benefits are offered. Please submit a letter of interest and resume or list of your experiences to ssecrest@ccdconline.org. The application deadline is 01/15/21 at 11:59 pm.

 

CCDC believes in equity, diversity, and inclusion and we strongly encourage candidates from all identities, backgrounds, and disabilities to apply. CCDC is an equal opportunity employer committed to building an inclusive work environment. We provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, medical condition related to pregnancy, creed, ancestry, national origin, marital status, genetic information, or military status (with preference given to military veterans), or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law.

Written Testimony in Opposition to HB 21-1035, “Expecting Mothers’ Relief Act” | Testimony from Kevin Williams, CCDC Civil Rights Legal Program Director

On March 16, 2021, Civil Rights Legal Program Director Kevin Williams submitted written testimony on behalf of CCDC and himself in opposition to HB21-1035. That day, the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee voted unanimously to postpone this bill indefinitely.

To read the testimony, visit the Written Testimony of the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition in Opposition to HB21-1035.

RTD’s Light Rail Ramp and High Block Policy Change

 

Investigation date: March 23, 2021. The CCDC Civil Rights Legal Program wants to hear from you regarding whether you have had problems boarding or getting off of light rail trains because people other than those who use wheelchairs and mobility devices are using the ramp and high block to enter and exit the accessible light rail lead train. RTD has had a policy for a long time that requires that the ramp and high block be used only by people who have in their words “legitimate mobility devices and mobility impairments.” See RTD Light Rail High Block Access policy posted on its website which currently reads:

Light Rail High Block Access

The RTD Light Rail high block is a ramp structured for accessibility. The purpose of the high block is to create access to the train for people with mobility devices – mainly wheelchairs. High block use is also for individuals whose physical mobility impairment(s) make it difficult to use the stairs to access RTD’s light rail trains.

The high block is not required to accommodate devices that are not primarily designed or intended to assist persons with mobility disabilities. Devices such as: bicycles, skateboards, shopping carts, two wheeled scooters, luggage, strollers etc., are not designed nor intended to be used as a mobility devices based on a disability. Therefore, these types of items are not allowed on the RTD Light Rail high blocks. RTD Light Rail riders are also not allowed to use the high block for items they have difficulty getting on the train e.g. luggage, strollers, bikes etc.

In order to maintain our accessibility features (Light Rail high block), and for riders safety,RTD will take steps to ensure unobstructed access to the Light Rail high blocks for people with legitimate mobility devices and mobility impairments.

CCDC has reason to believe that RTD now intends to change this long-standing policy as set forth in a document RTD has circulated to the Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities that signals a great shift from this former policy. See Highblock Usage Whitepaper.

If RTD follows through or already has followed through with this policy change, this could very well mean that people who use bicycles, people with very large objects unrelated to mobility impairments, people with strollers and people with grocery carts and more would be allowed on the ramp and high block. If that is the case, CCDC is concerned that individuals who have legitimate mobility impairments and who use legitimate mobility devices (in RTD’s words) could be blocked from boarding a light rail vehicle. Moreover, it is unclear from the whitepaper where RTD intends for these individuals to place themselves once they board the lead vehicle using the ramp and high block. It seems the only available space would be the designated wheelchair-accessible areas which are required to be maintained as accessible and usable by people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

CCDC and 17 CCDC members who use wheelchairs and mobility devices reached a settlement agreement with RTD in a lawsuit specifically addressing the accessibility of the designated required wheelchair seating areas. The settlement agreement required RTD to increase the size of the wheelchair-accessible areas on all of its existing trains and 129 new vehicles it was in the process of purchasing. See RTD Settlement Agreement and Light Rail Lawsuit. Feedback from CCDC members has been very positive about the changes made to the wheelchair seating areas.

 

 

CCDC is confused as to why RTD would suddenly change its long-standing policy that predated the lawsuit and settlement regarding wheelchair accessible seating to allow any person who does not use a wheelchair or other mobility device to block access to the ramp and high block and to sit in the only available seating section designated by the ADA for people who use wheelchairs and mobility devices. See Light Rail Lawsuit and Class Action Settlement. This policy change points light rail operators in an untenable position in trying to moderate who should be using the ramp and high block and sitting in what locations on the light rail vehicles. Light rail operators do not assist with seating in this area as a general matter. As CCDC understands it, light rail vehicle operators generally board passengers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices by lowering the ramp at the high block, letting the person on, raising the ramp and reentering the operator cabin. RTD used to post signs on its light rail vehicles telling people with bicycles they could bring them on light rail vehicles, but they were specifically prohibited from having them behind the driver cabin or entering the trains using high block and ramp. CCDC would much prefer RTD maintain its long-standing policy barring individuals other than those with the legitimate need from using those areas.

If you have had or have any difficulties boarding a train because you are blocked by people on the ramp and the high block who are using the ramp in high block but do not have a mobility impairment or wheelchair, or if you have been prevented from accessing the required designated wheelchair seating area because people who are not using wheelchairs or mobility devices are occupying those spaces, we want to hear from you. The settlement agreement regarding designated wheelchair seating areas on light rail trains and other accessibility issues is still monitored by the CCDC Civil Rights Legal Program, and we want to hear from you.

If you have experienced either of these problems, please contact CCDC’s Legal Program Assistant at ccdclpa@ccdconline.org. You will want to leave your name, the best contact information in time to reach you and best method. It is also very important that you keep track of the light rail line you are using when the incident happens, the exact time of day, what direction you are headed on that light rail line and whether you have already complained to RTD or anyone else. It is very important that individuals who experience the problem report the problem themselves rather than having someone else report it for them.

Thank you for your assistance as we continue to monitor the required accessibility of light rail vehicles for people who use wheelchairs and mobility devices. Remember, although RTD may use a slogan that states, “the ADA is everyone’s responsibility,” it is actually RTD’s responsibility under the ADA to make sure the designated wheelchair seating area is maintained so that it is accessible to those who need it.

BizWest: There’s COVID. And ‘Long COVID’

by Dan Mika — March 1, 2021

LOVELAND — Chad Wittenmyer’s long, red beard has grown unmanaged since March, seemingly at the same rate as his pain.
Twelve months ago, the 40-year old father and stepfather of four was fabricating windmill blades and was in the best shape of his adult life.
But after he contracted COVID-19 in March, a host of medical issues started to emerge. Constant fatigue set in. His heart rhythm was off, and he struggled to breathe under exertion. Eventually, pains and neuropathies developed in his extremities.
Wittenmyer is among those suffering the worst form of “Long COVID,” a catch-all for ongoing symptoms that some COVID-19 survivors endure after the infection period.

To continue reading (including comments by our Legal Program Director, Kevin Williams), visit BizWest for “There’s COVID. And ‘Long COVID.'”

In Celebration of Black Americans with Disabilities

Article by Angela Nevin

We know that month-long celebrations can fizzle and wane as the month goes by. So, we want to take the opportunity to add a fresh voice to celebrating the individuals who make a difference in the lives of Black Americans with disabilities.

Many people in the history of Black Americans have also been people with disabilities. Just a few to note: Continue reading “In Celebration of Black Americans with Disabilities”

Bridges to Employment Webinar Series

A free monthly webinar series from the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition designed to assist people with disabilities to obtain and keep gainful employment

Hosted by The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition and Brenda Mosby, owner of Mosby Business Services.

This month, CCDC launches the first of a five-part series designed to help individuals with disabilities overcome the misperception that working and benefits don’t go hand in hand.

Each month we will explore a different, employment-related topic chosen to offer new skills and knowledge in the employment field. Webinars are about an hour-long, require separate registrations, and are completely FREE.

Coming Up Next:

Previous Sessions Available by Recording

Click here to access the archived recordings and documents.

Part 1: Medicaid Buy-In for Working Adults with Disabilities (Buy-In) High-level overview with Brenda Mosby and CCDC Appeals & Eligibility Director, Donna Sablan. Click here to access the archived recordings and documents.

Part 2: Applying for Buy-In – A step-by-step application walkthrough with CCDC Appeals & Eligibility Director Donna Sablan

Contact Angela Nevin at anevin@ccdconline.org for questions or accommodation questions. (All accommodation requests must be received a minimum of three days before each event.)

Bridges To Employment Webinar Series: Videos and Supporting Documents

Information flyer for this Webinar Series:

Bridges to Employment Information Flyer (pdf)

Here is what is next in this series:
  • April 26th, Part 3B: Work Incentives part 2
    • Join us to talk with a specialist about what other incentives and supports you may qualify for as a working individual with a disability.
    • Register Here
  • May 24th, Part 4: Personal Empowerment through Emotional Intelligence
    • Brenda Mosby shares her expertise in understanding and using emotions in
      positive ways to build relationships and succeed at work.
    • Register Here
  • June 21st, Part 5: Transportation and Employment
    • CCDC transportation advocate, Jaime Lewis, will share transit options for people with disabilities, ensuring you can get to and from your new job.
    • Register Here

Part 1: Medicaid Buy-In – Video and supporting documents
Part 1: Downloadable documents

Part 2: Applying for Medicaid Buy-In – Video and supporting documents
Part 2: Downloadable documents

Part 3: Bridges to Employment Webinar Series 3A: AWIC Area Work Incentives Coordinators – Video and supporting documents
Part 3A: Downloadable documents

 

TRANSIT NEWS January 2021

Covid Relief

Congress agreed in late December to provide Covid financial relief worth about 900 Billion dollars that includes money for Amtrak and Transit.  According to  Senator Warner’s office, the 45 billion for transportation would include 15 billion for mass transit, 1 billion for Amtrak and 8 billion for the bus/motorcoach industry.  RTD is currently waiting to see what portion will be distributed to it.

This is the news that RTD and our region have been waiting for.  Since the Pandemic started in February of 2020, transit agencies have been eagerly waiting for financial relief.  Most transit agencies depend on sales tax, local government contributions, and fares to maintain transportation in their region.  The first stimulus package enabled RTD to sustain employment and service in the spring.  RTD also used dollars to create a robust bus/train cleaning process that helps eliminate contamination and placed plexiglass in each bus to help protect drivers and passengers.  RTD is currently around 60% of last year’s production while ridership is down to 40%.  In December RTD started implementing cuts in employment and a reduction in salaries to its staff.

I’ve spoken to several RTD Directors and it is a consensus that operations in 2021 will remain the same until the sales tax forecast improves.  Funding from any stimulus package will be used to prop up RTD and may result in re-hiring some employees that have been recently released and may result in the return of some services and frequency of service in 2021.  However, if the stimulus payment is much larger, then RTD will adjust accordingly.

To rebound from 2020, changes in the transit climate will need a positive Sales Tax Forecast and the return of riders.  The success of RTD will primarily rely on the return of riders.  For our transit environment to return to some sense of normalcy riders can help by

  • getting vaccinated
  • taking current precautions by wearing protective gear such as face masks and washing hands frequently
  • working with our fellow riders by continuing to social distance from each other
  • return to normal travel and spending habits

Opportunities for RTD in 2021-

As bleak the year 2020 has been for transit there are some opportunities in 2021 for RTD  to help stabilize transit.  In 2020, an advisory committee was established by the State Legislature to review operating restrictions on RTD.  These restrictions were established when RTD was chartered by the legislature in 1969  The three restrictions that the legislature seemed most interested in modifying  are, farebox ratio, parking fees, and use of RTD properties.

Farebox ratio–  RTD is required by State Law to have a percentage of its budget come from farebox ratio.  The other major source of income is sales tax.  It is presumed that the legislature in 1969 wanted an additional contribution to transit services by those people using the service.  However, the sales tax is applied to everyone whether or not you use the service or not.

Current fare collections,

CRS 32-9-119.7(3)states: The district shall take whatever measures it deems necessary to ensure that the following percentages of its operating costs are funded by revenues collected, as follows: 

  1. (a) For the fiscal year 1990, twenty-seven and one-half percent; 
  2. (b) For the fiscal year 1991, twenty-eight and one-half percent; 
  3. (c) For the fiscal year 1992, twenty-nine and one-half percent; 
  4. (d) For the fiscal year 1993 and each fiscal year thereafter, thirty percent. 

If the legislature lifts this requirement as recommended by the RTD accountability committee,  RTD will have options to change the ratio or to eliminate the farebox altogether.  Unfortunately, a zero farebox is probably not possible at this time.  Unless RTD receives dollars to fill that 20% gap it will probably use the option to lower fares during emergencies as we experienced in 2020 from the pandemic.  The fact that the recovery from the pandemic will probably occur late this year RTD could have had the option of suspending or lower fare during this period of recovery.  Other influences that could eliminate a transit fare would be an increase in the sales tax percentage or major dollars from the federal government.  The new federal administration has promised more support for transit in the U.S.  If funding were provided from them as an essential service then perhaps long-term funding could help Colorado have fareless transit systems.  Most of our European friends enjoy low and in some regions no fares because their government considers transit essential and it provides a major portion of funding for their transit systems

One of the restrictions that we all need to acknowledge is that, unlike the federal government, State and local governments have to maintain a balanced budget.  It is great that the Federal government can create larger deficits during times of need.  This option has provided an opportunity to print more money and provide stimulus packages for its citizens.  By law our local governments are not allowed to spend money and just hope they meet their targets at the end of the year.  They cannot create budgets that have deficits.

If  this recommendation from the Advisory Committee is passed by the 2021 State Legislature,

The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition will be working with Mile High Connects and other organizations in farebox reforms in 2021.  Note:  The State has postponed starting its 2021 Legislative session until February 16th due to the pandemic.

Parking–  Another restriction that was placed on RTD in 1969 was that transit users would have free access to parking.  Before the Pandemic, RTD was experiencing a drop in ridership.  One of the glaring observations was that most parking lots assigned to transit were not being fully used.  This causes two concerns.  Is the property an asset or an operational liability?  It is estimated that each parking spot is worth $12 thousand dollars (this number varies with location)  on the real estate market.  If RTD does not have the option to recover some revenue it would be best to guess that the property is a liability.  RTD has two options to work with if allowed by the State Legislature. One, charge a nominal fee for parking.   Though the use of parking is down, it is not reasonable to expect the property to sit idle without allowing the owner to recover some revenue from it.  However, RTD will have to be careful not to charge too much or it will be a disincentive for users to use the system. The second initiative that RTD can make is to identify parking areas that show no potential for further use and to sell those properties or work collaboratively with local developers to build transit-friendly housing.  ( see more in Properties)

Properties–  RTD needs more flexibility in the use of its properties.  Properties near transit have grown in value especially since the implementation of new rail lines around the region.  The lines provide better opportunities to travel within the district and people are starting to acknowledge the benefits of living near transit.  RTD may want to sell certain properties that have limited development.  This provides funding to the current budget but this type of sale does not have a long-term benefit to the agency.  Another use of properties are collaborations between RTD and developers.  This is an opportunity to create annual revenue by working with developers to create housing, commerce, and recreation on RTD properties.  

Summary:  These possible initiatives on their own cannot solve the financial problems that RTD is facing.  However, combine the three and there is potential to provide a 5-10 percent impact on RTD’s budget.  If you have an opportunity to attend hearings concerning these issues at the State Legislature we encourage you to do so.  Letting them know how important transit is to you will help these recommendations become a reality.  Information on how to attend meetings remotely are at https://leg.colorado.gov/

Electrification

One of the fascinations I have with working with on Transit, as an advocate, is that it is always evolving.  One of the changes we will see in the next few years is the electrification of transit systems.  Whether it is just electrification of transit fleets or the use of autonomous vehicles, CCDC will be at the table to ensure that the implementation of this technology is accessible to our community.

A few years ago CCDC was invited to see the pilot program for autonomous vehicles in Colorado.  We were able to identify many obstacles for our community and gave the manufacturers our concerns and advice on how to make these vehicles accessible.

In 2021, CCDC will be working with (TEEM) Towards Electrical Equitable Mobility 

Background: The current transportation system presents challenges for racial equity, mobility, and climate change goals. It is the largest source of air pollution in the United States, with environmental and health implications disproportionately experienced in low-income communities of color. For many, poor access to transportation is a barrier stemming from policies that have discriminated on the basis of race. Today transportation is the second-highest household expense for most people, and a person’s commute time is the most critical factor in their chances of escaping poverty. One solution to many of these challenges is innovative mobility programs that utilize electric mobility. The formation of partnerships between racial equity advocates and traditional environmental organizations will be vital to ensure that such programs are approved, funded, and implemented successfully. If mobility and electrification programs are designed to work for historically underserved communities, they will work better for all communities and will maximize the environmental and economic benefits of electrification. 

Purpose of the TEEM Community of Practice: We aim to establish a peer-to-peer community of advocates to share policy goals, learn together, build relationships, and in the process develop a sense of belonging and mutual commitment towards advancing racial equity, electric mobility, and climate change goals.

Though TEEM focuses on racial and environmental equity they realized that the disability community is also a key benefactor when transit is improved.  That is why we are participating along with 4 other states to share information about and for electrification of transit systems.  

CCDC will be performing outreach activities in 2021 to get feedback about transit equity and to provide findings that the five state collaborative discovers.  We look forward to our own Colorado community to participate in this process so that we continue to be at the table.

Jaime Lewis, CCDC Transit Advisor


Important Notice
CCDC’s employees and/or volunteers are NOT acting as your attorney. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a signed retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys.

Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. www.ccdconline.org DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

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