Headlines – April 06, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo
Denver Election Update
The results from Denver’s local election are shifting as officials continue to count ballots. The top two mayoral candidates of a field of 16 will compete in a runoff in June. As of 5:00 PM Wednesday, Mike Johnston was still in the lead with Kelly Brough in second place. However, third place candidate Lisa Calderon has been catching up to Brough with each new round of newly counted ballots.
Candidates for city council districts seven, eight, nine and 10 also appear to be headed for a runoff. Ballots counted over the course of Wednesday have brought incumbents Candi CdeBaca and Chris Hinds into the lead in their districts, but they’re both currently below the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff.
In related news, Kwame Spearman, who exited the mayoral race shortly before Election Day, has stepped down from his CEO position at Tattered Cover Books. He is reportedly considering a run for the Denver school board.
Colorado High School Students Stage Walkout Against Gun Violence
Students around Colorado walked out of school yesterday as part of a national day of action against gun violence.
Wednesday’s walkout comes less than two weeks after thousands of students and community members rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in Denver.
They called on lawmakers to take action against gun violence after a student entered east high late last month and shot two administrators – the shooting came weeks after another gun incident at east high when a student was shot in his car near campus.
Students in Lyons joined protestors across the country in a nationwide school walkout.
“We are sick and tired of no change, and we are out here today, not to miss school, but hopefully change some minds, give perspective to people, and have people see where we’re coming from.”
Students who participated in the protests included Lakewood, Denver, Wheat Ridge, and Jefferson County schools.
Hickenlooper, Padilla Join Forces Against Migrant Child Labor
U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Senator Alex Padilla of California sent a letter to the CEOs of 27 major companies accused of employing migrant children in unsafe and unlawful situations.
The two Democratic Senators cited recent reports from the Department of Labor, NBC News and The New York Times that shed light on questionable labor practices involving migrant minors.
In February, the Department of Labor fined Packers Sanitation Services $1.5 million dollars for employing children to work with hazardous materials and dangerous equipment. The company is one of the nation’s largest food and safety sanitation service providers.
The letter comes on the heels of a major investigative report by the New York Times. The report documented a widespread practice of factories employing children who came to the U.S. as unaccompanied minors. Many of the minors interviewed were under the age required to legally work.
Other companies that received the letter included General Mills, PepsiCo, Fruit of the Loom, Walmart, Frito Lay, Valley Nature Foods, J. Crew, Target, Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry’s, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai and Kia.
Senators Hickenlooper and Padilla, who chair Senate subcommittees examining workplace safety and immigration respectively, asked the CEOs to respond to six questions regarding labor practices by April 26.
With New Funding, Denver Health Department Seeks Opioid Treatment Plans
Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment is examining how to use millions of dollars in settlement funding to address the opioid crisis.
Health officials are seeking proposals from substance abuse and behavioral health organizations that can offer methods for prevention, treatment and expanded services.
The funding comes from a multistate lawsuit filed by attorneys general who sued opioid manufacturers and distributors.
Colorado is expected to receive about $700 million in settlements over the next 18 years.
Opioids have killed over 8,000 Coloradans in the past 20 years, with almost 1,000 deaths in 2020 alone.
UC Health Launches Rx Translation Service
UCHealth launched a new program in February that translates prescription labels for certain medications into languages for non-English speakers.
Since then, The Longmont Leader reports that UCHealth pharmacies have dispensed over 2,000 translated prescription labels.
Over 16 percent of Coloradan households speak a language at home other than English.
The 26 languages available for translation include Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Korean, French, Nepali and Somali.
UCHealth started the program to support their patients’ understanding of medical instructions and prevent potentially life-threatening errors.
Lower-Income Marshall Fire Victims Slower To Rebuild
A recent poll done by Urban Institute shows that wealthier people that lost their homes to the Marshall Fire are rebuilding faster than those who have less money.
The Marshall fire tore through Boulder County at the end of 2021, and caused $2 billion in damages. The study read that 70% of households that made less than $75,000 a year still do not have a building permit to rebuild their lost homes. For households making over $200,000 a year 62% percent have a building permit.
Assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at the Colorado School of Public Health Katie Dickinson told The Denver Post that wealthier residents had better insurance which has allowed for money to get faster permitting.
Boulder Residents Petition For Quicker Removal Of Tents With Propane Tanks
Boulder residents are collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would amend the city’s camping ban on public property.
According to Boulder Reporting Lab, the Safe Zones 4 Kids petition would require removing tents or propane tanks quickly if they are within 500 feet of a school or within 50 feet of a sidewalk.
The petition comes after the explosion of a propane tank in an encampment near Boulder High School.
The organizers of the Safe Zones 4 Kids petition have expressed concern for child safety during school commutes.
Boulder officials say they updated policies earlier this year to no longer give 72-hour notice before clearing out encampments on high-traffic, public paths.
They say they are also prioritizing enforcement near schools.
The ACLU of Colorado is suing Boulder to overturn its camping ban, citing a lack of shelters within the city.
Headlines – April 06, 2023 Alyssa Palazzo