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Ready to Learn?

Check out all the materials from our weekly email actions and our events below!

Our 1st 100 Days TEACH-IN!

Did you miss the Teach-In? Leave wanting more? Don’t worry! We’ve collected all the information from the evening in one place.


SPEAKERS

BREAK OUTS

Reserve a Park and Obtain a Marching Permit

Reclaim our public spaces for community learning, activism, and celebration! Here’s how you do it:

1. To plan an event in one of Durango’s parks, FIRST contact Durango Parks and Recreation to reserve a date at (970) 375-7331.

2. A Park Permit is required to use any of Durango’s parks, trails or open spaces. Online here!

3. If you would like to close off streets, for any reason from a block party to a solidarity march, a Special Events Permit is required. Online here!

It is possible to request that some of the permit fees be waived, depending on the type of event you’re organizing. The Special Events Permit requires 45 days of notice, so start planning now!

Call
Your
Reps


One of the best ways to be heard by your representatives is to call them. Save these numbers into your phone and call them, often.

When you call, you will likely talk to a staffer. All you need to do is leave a message with them, they’ll record your thoughts and they’ll be taken into consideration. If you call after hours, leave a message, it will be considered in the same way.

Once you’ve called, you’ll want to call again and again, we promise – so take a deep breath and dial the number!

Representative Scott Tipton:
(202) 225-4761

Senator Cory Gardner:
(202) 224-5941

Senator Michael Bennet:
(202) 228-5097

Giant Puppeting 101

Making giant puppets is a fantastic way to illustrate and publicize your issue to an audience, No artistic skills needed. Materials can be gathered pretty inexpensively, and assembled with basic hand tools and, if you have friends that are good at the arts, and friends that are good at engineering, you can make some fantastic puppets with a beer and pizza night contribution.

Giant puppets don’t have to be complex but you will need help. Two people are needed to perform effectively, the puppeteer and his assistant the squire, who helps the puppeteer don the puppet, watches out for the puppeteer as they perform, and helps take it off afterwards.

HOW TO MAKE A GIANT PUPPET:

Basic construction for a puppet consists of a backpack, an attached pole for the puppet’s spine, a hoop suspended from the pole that becomes the shoulders, and a huge blouse that goes over all of that, with holes cut in it to see out of, and to run the arms from.

Old external frame backpacks are the most comfortable way to build a frame for your puppet, and can be found in thrift stores or garage sales for a few bucks or ALICE packs from army surplus stores work. It’s worth buying a backpack with good padding, because the puppet can get heavy. Tool is a commonly available fabric that makes a great peek hole for you to see through.

Bread and Puppets is one of the nation’s most prolific and creative giant puppet theater collectives. Check out their great old booklet, with 68 very simple designs.

Write a Letter-to-the-Editor

Getting a letter to the editor printed in your local newspaper is a great way to inform local readers and grab the attention of your elected officials. To get printed, you need a compelling story, credible facts and details, and timeliness. The more personal your letter is, the more compelling it will be.

Simple Outline:

  • State the problem and describe how it affects you
  • Describe how the problem affects the reader
  • State the solution
  • Wrap it up with a call to action.
  • There are different requirements for letters to the editors depending on the Paper. Most will require an address and a contact phone number and have a word limit. Check out the links to the left for how to submit to our local papers.

Durango Herald – Submit Letter Here

Cortez Journal – Submit Letter Here

The Telegraph – Mail your letter to: Durango Telegraph, PO Box 332, Durango, CO 81302

Register to Vote!


Your vote is your voice, and to use it you need to register! There are a few different ways you can do so. Do it now so you’re ready when election time comes around!


1. Register Online – here!

If you have a valid Colorado drivers license or ID card you can easily register online!

2. Mail, Fax or Email
To register through one of these methods, fill out this form and submit it to your local county clerk’s office! You can also pick the form up at the office.

3. In Person
You can also register to vote in person at any of these locations:

  • Your county clerk’s office.
  • A CO DMV office when you apply for or renew your driver’s license.
  • Public assistance offices.
  • Military recruitment offices.
  • Voter service and polling centers.

MORE INFORMATION

Speak at City Council/County Commissioner’s office

One way to take action this week is to attend a City Council or County Commission Meeting. These meetings are a good opportunity to talk about and bring attention to issues facing the community. At City Council and County planning meetings the public may speak for 5 minutes on topics of their choice. Durango City Council, City Council Planning and County Commission meet on Tuesdays every other week, for more information click on the links to the left.

Things to consider:

  • Be prepared – come with talking points
  • Bring your friends – the more the better
  • Focus on one issue and encourage your elected officials to act
  • Councilors and Commissioners can only vote on issues that affect their jurisdictions, but they can offer letters of support to causes that they care about

Durango City Council
Meeting Information
Council Chambers, City Hall
949 E. 2nd Ave

County Commission
Meeting Information
County Administration Building
1101 E. 2nd Ave

Reach Out To Members Of Congress

Reaching out to your members of Congress is an important part of being an American citizen. It is crucial for elected officials to receive feedback and criticism from their constituents in order to better inform their policy decisions and actions within the legislature.

Some of the most effective ways to reach out to your representatives include showing up and engaging at town halls and public events, visiting their offices, and contacting their offices via phone, email, or fax.  A simple Google search should lead you directly to your representative’s official website where you can find their contact information and updates on town halls and public events.

In the age of the internet and social media, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are also good resources for following your representative’s stance on issues, their schedule, and more. This Website is a good resource for finding your Congress member’s contact information by State. 

Or, of course,  you can call:

Representative Scott Tipton:
(202) 225-4761

Senator Cory Gardner:
(202) 224-5941

Senator Michael Bennet:
(202) 228-5097

Find Your District Offices

 

Visiting your district office is a great way to reach out and engage your representatives. Making a phone call or writing a letter is also effective, but it’s hard to beat face-to-face. Not to mention, district offices are typically where town halls are held, another excellent platform to provide feedback.
 
So, where are the district offices? First, you should note that Durango is part of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which is currently represented by Scott Tipton. The district itself extends as far East as Pueblo and as far North as Grand Junction. There are four district offices in Colorado, so find the office nearest you and make your voice heard!
 
Alamosa
719-587-5105
 
Durango
970-259-1490
 
Grand Junction
 
970-241-2499
 
Pueblo
 
719-542-1073

Speak at a Townhall

 
How to speak at Town Halls
  • Have your question prepared in advance, and only ask ONE question.
  • Make sure your question is clear and succinct. Read it aloud before the town hall to make sure your question is clearly stated.
  • Be courteous and professional.
Types of questions to ask
  • Ask a question based on an action. (“What will you do legislatively to solve X?”)
  • Avoid yes or no questions or questions requiring a commitment, MOCs are likely to resist making spontaneous commitments.
  • If you ask questions about specific legislation, be prepared to explain what the legislation does.
  • Do your homework! Do some research on your MOC before the town hall, if you feel they voted incorrectly on a bill or issued a statement in which you disagree, bring up those points when given the mic. (“Could you tell me why you voted against this bill last week, which would have done Y?”)
After the Town Hall
  • If you aren’t given the chance to ask your question during the meeting, or you have additional questions, hang around, some MOCs stick around for a few extra minutes to take questions one-on-one.

Get Something On the Ballot

You can get more info on how to get your initiative on the ballot in Colorado at: ballotpedia.com

A good way to make change in democracy is to initiate legislation as either a state statute or a constitutional amendment. An initiated state statute is a new law that Colorado adopts via the ballot initiative process. The most common form being when groups collect signatures. Once enough signatures are collected, election officials place the measure on the ballot for a vote. To get an initiated state statute on the ballot in 2017, you need to collect 98,492 valid signatures, due three months before the election.
Citizens can also use the initiative process to amend Colorado’s constitution. In November 2016Amendment 71 was approved. This created a distribution requirement to get a constitutional amendment certified for the ballot. This means that an initiated amendment requires 98,492 valid signatures as well as 2 percent of the registered voters who live in each of the 35 senate districts In Colorado.


How a Bill Becomes a Law

The passing of laws has long been dubbed legislative “sausage making.” While some readers may find the politicking that surrounds the process distasteful, it is important that citizens understand the mechanics of how a bill becomes a law. Below is a very high-level overview of the process. For a more in-depth version, check out this primer from Vote Smart or a more simplified version here.

Steps for how a bill becomes a law:
1. Language for a bill is conceived and written
2. The bill is proposed
3. The bill is introduced
4. The bill goes to committee
5. The bill is reported
6. The bill is debated
7. The bill is voted on
8. The bill is referred to the Senate
9. The bill is sent to the President
10. The bill is a Law

 

Take Your Kids to a March

Taking your kids to a march can be a great way to introduce them to activism. Before taking your children to a march there are some things to consider to make sure that they have a good and safe time.

Check The Weather. Make sure your kids have all the layers they will need if it is cold, and be sure to apply sunscreen if it is sunny. Also bring plenty of water.

Bring Snacks. It can be tiring for kids to march for a long way so bring some snacks to keep their energy up, avoid sugary junk foods that might cause a blood sugar crash. Fruit and trail mix are easy to carry and will get your kids through the march.

Tag Your Kid. If you get separated from your kid, have a plan to find them, make sure they are easily identifiable in the crowd, this can be done by giving the a colorful sign to hold, also make sure they know how to contact you by writing your phone number on their arms.