League of Women Voters of Denver
Healthy Food for Denver:
Youth Food Access & Farm-to-Food Pantry
What is Being Done with the 2018 Sales Tax Revenue?
Monday, November 16
During this pandemic, some of us in Denver have the luxury of worrying that our favorite restaurants aren’t open or that take-out menus are sparse; however, many people in our city are struggling with the fact that they can’t feed their children. According to a press release by Denver Public Health and Environment (DPHE) on 10/28/2020, an estimated 22% of Denver’s population is struggling with hunger during the COVID -19 pandemic, doubling the city’s previous hunger rates. In addition, the organization Hunger in Colorado-Feeding America, states that households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity. One in eight (12%) of Colorado kids may not always know when or where they will get their next meal.
The DPHE press release further states that hunger and food insecurity clearly impact our physical health and that hunger can cause emotional and behavioral problems, potentially limiting social development. Parents and educators are increasingly concerned about how malnourishment may affect the future of children and what the educational, intellectual and societal repercussions may be. We are all impacted by their concerns; these children live right here on our blocks, in our schools, neighborhoods and parks.
As we all know, Denver is a most desirable place to live due to our climate, natural beauty, location and environment as well as the cultural richness we share and enjoy. In November 2018, we proved that our population is fair-minded and caring. Voters approved the HFDK Initiative (Healthy Food for Denver Kids) to establish a sales tax increase of 0.08% to help feed kids in Denver who don’t have enough to eat. DPHE states that this amounts to less that a penny for every $10 spent and added up to about $11 million in 2019 and is estimated to total $110 million over the 10 years of the program.
Learn how funds from this tax increase are being implemented at our November 16 briefing. The speakers will be Lauren Howe, Program Administrator for the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids (HFDK) initiative out of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment. Lauren has been involved in sustainable and equitable food systems work for the last decade. She will be joined by Ashley Wheeland, MA, JD, who is the Director of Public Policy at Hunger Free Colorado. She has worked with state legislators, Congressional members, and Colorado's Governor staff to put forth policies to help more Coloradans access health care and food. Their presentation will explain how the HFDK initiative is being applied to solving hunger issues for children in Denver. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.
You can read up on the program on the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment website.
This virtual briefing is open to all and easily accessible on Zoom. Invite friends and neighbors!
A Note from Marge Fisch,
Director of Organization
As we begin to understand the “new norm” of attempting to go about our daily lives during a pandemic, the LWVD has a critical role to play in educating and supporting our members as well as the citizens of our community. The Board needs to find creative ways to reach all of you. Since the Voter is going out electronically, we continue to mail copies to those members without computer access. E-blasts are another forum to keep members aware of upcoming events. Zoom is our platform for continuing briefings that have been timely and well attended. We have many challenges as we work from home. Our Board and staff continue to amaze me as to their commitment to the League and stepping up to see that we continue to remain a viable non-profit. Thank you for your patience as we respond to these changing times.
Voter Service Activities
Nationally, League is best known for non-partisan candidate forums and voter registration. In the Denver League, though cautious of the pandemic, our Voter Service Team still continued the tradition and was very active this election.
Nancy Ulrich, as League’s Denver Decides Coordinator, worked with other members to invite candidates to attend the production of eight candidate and ballot issue forums this fall. Denver’s Channel 8 produced the events and Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation also provided assistance.
Voter registration was also busy. Jeanette Scotland trained over 80 circulators from around the city. League members set up so many registration events that Harper Strickland had to keep track of everything on a spread sheet. Sue Stark organized various registration events at sites where one would most likely find unregistered women and elderly. Susan Dunn organized eight friends, dubbed The Nonettes, who fanned out into city parks, businesses, a farmer’s market and non-profit organizations seeking unregistered voters. The League partnered with the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office, which connected us with Denver Health and the public libraries. We were also approached by Little Man Ice Cream, Alamo Drafthouse, and Alpha Kappa Alpha to help with registrations.
The greatest numbers registered were at the jails where Anne Duncan organized a team to register 265 people over four days in September and October. As members may remember, League is the legally designated community organization to promote voting in the jails. When Sheriff Diggins of Denver County urged in-person voting in the jails, the League provided volunteers clad in PPE to assist in that effort. In addition, Anne’s team trained to be election judges, and they will be registering people and conducting in-person voting at the jails before and on election day.
Steve Coddington and Gerry Cummins enlightened members and the public at our virtual ballot issues briefings in early October. We reached about 125 viewers those nights. Steve had help from several Leaguers in creating our signature publication, the pros and cons for the Denver ballot issues. The physical production of that pamphlet was done primarily by Pearlanne Zelarney, editor, and our office manager, Fran Coleman, and her office helpers Chris Humphries and Joan Friend.
Sarah McCarthy coordinated our Speaker’s Bureau. The League held six virtual events with the Public Library that Little Man Ice Cream co-hosted and advertised. Rotary, Cafecito, John F Kennedy High School and Pathfinders also requested speakers on the pros and cons of the ballot issues. The future for our Speaker’s Bureau should expand our reach as we continue to use virtual avenues for community organizations and private citizens.
Voter Service has been impacted by the pandemic and technology. However, Anne Duncan assisted Cath Perone of the Colorado League in making sure VOTE411.org had our local information. While we produced over 1,000 copies of the local Pros and Cons Ballot Issues, in Spanish as well as English, Andrea Mitchell prominently displayed local and state ballot issues on our website, lwvdenver.org, for the public to access.
Jeanette Scotland Anne Duncan
Voter Service Co-Chairs
SPECIAL NOTE: Voter Registration Team meeting via zoom on Tuesday, November 17 at 7 p.m.
An Article Recommendation from Jeanette Scotland, Voter Service Co-Chair
Democracy Left Behind, published on October 11 in the Albany Times Union, is a stimulating look at ideas to Make Democracy Work by modernizing and creating efficiencies. The author, Douglas J. Amy, is Professor Emeritus of Politics at Mount Holyoke College.
Membership - It's About All of Us!
Thank you to all members for getting out the vote this past month. Please continue your efforts over the remaining days until the general election. Thanks to new members for your willingness to become involved. We are excited to welcome 11 more new members! We hope new members and current members will join us in December as we look for ways to increase support for you in the League specific to your areas of interest. Watch for details of time and date for a December virtual meeting.
Membership Committee Chair
Welcome New Members!
Donna Arnett, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-990-2887, 1077 Race St, 80206
Susan Bernard-Gross, email@example.com, 973-476-9295, 545 S Olive Way, 80224
Allison Duers,firstname.lastname@example.org, 219-805-9320, 1526 N Lafayette St, Apt #2, 80218
Valerie Kluver,email@example.com, 303-755-0124 (h), 303-263-2974 (c), 7982 E Bucknell Pl, 80231
Jennifer Landrum,firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-477-4487 (h), 303-949-0167 (c), 2118 Meade, 80211
Victoria MacKay,email@example.com, 720-570-6696, 15040 E Caspian Pl, Aurora, CO 80014
Linda Phillips,firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-355-0401 (h), 303-520-9944 (c), 1592 S Ogden St, 80210
Andrea Stanton,email@example.com, 917-929-3565, 734 Saint Paul St, 80206
Karyl M Storey, 7967 S Pontiac Way, Englewood, CO 80112
Schuyler Trowbridge,firstname.lastname@example.org 720-345-9030, 1302 Columbine St, 80206
Rachael Willihnganz,email@example.com, 720-633-7464, 601 W 11th Ave #804, 80204
Can’t Thank You Enough!
Thanks to all of you involved in another remarkable bulb sale. Although our numbers in the greenhouse were limited, those working did an amazingly fast job of getting the bulbs ready to be picked up, and all of you got them quickly out of the greenhouse and into your hands or those of your customers. Thanks again to all of you who bought bulbs, sold bulbs, or made donations to the sale. We want to also thank those members who volunteered to deliver bulbs to those people who purchased bulbs through our website. Some of those were in Aurora, Centennial, and Littleton, so we were all over the metro area delivering our top-quality bulbs. If you didn’t participate this year, commit to doing it next year. Now we have five to six months off before we start all over again!
Marty Sloven and Andrea Mitchell
Bulb Sale Co-Chairs
The unit will use Zoom to join each briefing.
The unit will meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. We also encourage members to view the briefings before our meetings.
The unit will meet via Zoom on Thursday, November 19 at our usual time of 1:00 p.m. to discuss the November 16 briefing on Healthy Food. If you would like to join us, contact Peg Oldham (720-220-3988).
Wednesday, November 4, 5:45
Contact Sally Augden or Anne Duncan for the Zoom link.
Saturday, November 10, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom
Topic - Election outcomes
Saturday, November 24, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom
Topic - Healthy Foods for Kids
Please Renew Your Membership - We Need You More Than Ever
1980 Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80220