For years, we’ve been frustrated by secrecy in government, particularly the secrecy surrounding the negotiations over teacher union contracts with school districts. It’s where 85% of a district’s budget will be decided. Also decided is how our children will be taught and how teachers will be compensated. Yet this negotiation is most often done in a smoky back room.
In the last decade, the Colorado legislature had four opportunities to bring these meetings under the Open Meetings Law, and four times the special interests who meet in that back room got the bills killed.
So, about a year ago we made a bold decision. If we wanted sunshine on those dark meetings, the only way to change the law would be through a citizens’ initiative. And if that were to happen, we’d have to do it. Who else would take on the unions, school districts and school boards? So off we went.
But this morning I had a panic attack. Our little, underfunded Prop 104 received an endorsement from the Denver Post. If the Post likes it, it must be a terrible idea! Right? Well, I’m imagining folks at both Independence Institute and the Denver Post saying of each other, “You know, a broken clock is right twice a day.” So, we’re happy to be a broken clock.
Prop 104 also has been endorsed by the Greeley Tribune. They now join the Gazette (Colorado Springs), Pueblo Chieftain and Durango Herald. In fact, I’m not aware of a single newspaper that has opined against measure and the transparency it will bring. Journalists, no matter their political beliefs, understand that secrecy is the enemy of good government.
On Wednesday, October 15, at 5:30 PM we will host Michael Daugherty, author of Devil Inside the Beltway, for a presentation and book signing at our offices. It’s a frightening firsthand account of the federal government’s ability to manufacture a case against a small business and shut it down. But Michael is fighting back. Attendance is FREE, but please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/michael-daugherty-tickets-13583760393
Also, on Thursday, October 16, at the Denver Post Auditorium, there will be a live debate over Proposition 105, that if passed would mandate the labeling of certain genetically modified or engineered foods. Doors open at 5:30 PM, and the debate is scheduled to last from 6:00-7:00 PM. Two representatives from each side of the issue will square off for the debate that has brought a great deal of national attention to Colorado. Moderated by Dominic Dezzutti, host of Colorado Inside Out on Colorado Public Television, the debate will go into all of the details of this high-profile measure. Please contact Mary@i2i.org if you’re able to attend.