Thursday March 18th was Housing Colorado’s annual Day Under the Dome Event. This event brings together advocates and their legislators to discuss affordable housing for the State of Colorado. Though this was my first year at the event I can assure you I will be attending for many years to come!
The event was complete and included:
- Informative lectures on techniques for speaking to legislators and representatives.
- Talking points for outlining Colorado’s need for affordable housing.
- How to rally support and votes among community leaders.
- The pressing Housing Bills, Propositions and Proposed Amendments currently on the table for Colorado representatives.
(And of course great food provided for all!)
My main take-way was the question “What kind of Colorado do we want?” Many Coloradans have a very high quality of life; access to great water, plenty of quality recreation, a growing transportation system, good food and many social networking spaces. Many of us however, have taken this for granted and have become too far removed from the policies and decisions which make this happen. The Day Under the Dome event is a call for action and a call to help us realize that our government is created by us and to serve us. Affordable housing is at the epicenter of this discussion because housing develops communities which supply the workforce, schools, and support the economy. Ensuring that Coloradans have access to housing is ensuring Colorado maintains a high quality of life.
The event created a very positive environment to meet and greet legislators from all over the state and see that they were really listening to our concerns for affordable housing! Partisan politics never entered the room. It was evident that our legislators are concerned for Colorado’s well being particularly at a time when they have to make tough decisions for the allocation of the little money Colorado does have.
I encourage all to find out who their local representative are and set up a meeting with them to talk about what is important to you and your community. Got to www.votesmart.org type in your zip code and find out who your local representatives are, how they have voted in the past and how to contact them.
Housing Colorado has information on how to prepare for a meeting with a legislator or how to host a legislator at a community or non-profit meeting. At the event they even had a role playing game to walk you through how you may approach your representative!
Regarding current legislative issues, Housing Colorado does a great job at “translating” and prioritizing the House Bills, Propositions and Proposed Amendments.
At the close of the day, event attendees had an opportunity to sit in on the Senate committee hearing and vote of HB10-1017. At the hearing community members have a chance to provide testimony and state their support or opposition to the issue. Housing Colorado and its many partners are in support of the House Bill and provided many testimonials which helped the Senators understand how much support there was for this issue. In the end the HB10-1017 passed and can now move on in the process of becoming a law!
Housing Colorado did a great job with this years Day Under the Dome event and I look forward to many more!