We hope you are enjoying your summer – Making wonderful family vacation memories with the kids and family. Backyard barbeques with friends. Sipping some wine on the patio or deck.
But we desperately need to interrupt these moments of summer bliss with a small dose of reality. It’s now the end of July and school starts in Jeffco next month – August 17th. It’s just around the corner. With the start of school, issues around public education begin to surface on a national, state and local level.
Denver was featured on the national stage when Betsy DeVos was here for the ALEC Conference and when Denver plays host to the Western Conservative Summit.
There were more protests in Downtown Denver, lots of folks are and have been educating themselves about who and what ALEC is and the tremendous influence it has and will continue to have on our state legislation (covering much more than public education). http://www.commoncause.org/press/press-releases/alec-in-denver-report.pdf
We really hope you will take a little break from the national issues to focus locally. Our local level elections are where we can have the greatest impact and most influence.
For starters, Board of Education elections – Are you ready to help make sure Jeffco doesn’t have a reoccurrence of 2013, when we lost the majority seats to WNW because people weren’t tuned in? Many were just tired from working so hard to pass the 2012 Mill/Bond; some thought everything was good in our Jeffco world because we were successful in 2012 and took a rest; and lots of folks were distracted with the Amendment 66 campaign. Regardless, 2013 was a disaster for our Board of Education and our schools, and it took us two long years to turn that around. We are here to tell you, it’s a lot easier to not make the same mistake twice rather than hope we can get lucky again in fixing it, if we do.
We need to make sure we are paying close attention to what’s happening in our State Capitol, too. What kind of legislation is being brought forward for the 2018 session? You might say, “that’s too far into the future to even think about now” – after all, we’re talking about January 2018. Believe it or not, legislators are talking with their teams, constituents, and lobbyists NOW about what legislation they will plan to carry next session and where they want to direct the conversation.
So, we feel it’s important to provide this ugly reminder why we need this little interruption in our Summer Fun. It tells us, we can’t just sit back and hope the “other guy” will do the heavy lifting.
We recently received this newsletter from the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University (sponsors of the Western Conservative Summit) highlighting the upcoming summit and providing a list of breakout sessions available to attendees.
They all bring some cause for concern, but it tells us these folks are serious about how to win campaigns, direct conversations about education and many other values we hold dear. We’ve highlighted some that should do more than just raise eyebrows:
Western Conservative Summit
July 21-23 * Denver, Co
Friends, We are well known for the great main stage speakers, but no miss these incredible workshops. This year’s Western Conservative Summit will have more conservative speakers and workshops than ever before.
- Communicate Your Values to Change Law, Part 1 Dena Espenscheid, Leadership Institute
- Make an Impact on your Local School District Pam Benigno, Ross Izard, Independence Institute
- Climate Change – Fraud & How Carbon Dioxide is Beneficial Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute
- Social Media in a Post-2016 Election World Nick McIntyre, American Majority
- A Behind the Scenes Look at Americans for Prosperity-Colorado Tamra Farah, Jesse Mallory, Patti Kurgan, Americans for Prosperity
- From Government Run to Parent Controlled: Education Savings Accounts and the Next Generation of School Choice Lindsey Burke, Heritage Foundation
- Fundraising in the New Era of Millennial Conservatism John Burtka, Rachael Jurado, The American Conservative and Joshua Thifault, Turning Point USA
- How We Make a Positive Impact and Save the Republic! Derrick Wilburn, Casper Stockham
- Religious Liberty Ad Fontes: The Curious and Consistent Example of Elder John Leland Earl Waggoner, Professor, Colorado Christian University
- War of Worldviews Don Hood, Dave Stoecker, Worldviews, Calling & Culture Inc.
- Communicate Your Values to Change Law, Part 2 Amy Lunde, Leadership Institute
- Take Back Your Country by Taking Your Community Kathleen Chandler, Independence Institute
- Educating Millennials on the Constitution Veronica Harrison, Neal Schuerer, Heartland Institute
- Campaign Planning for Success Matt Batzel, American Majority
- Housing and Urban Development Grants — Blessing or Poison Pill? Frank Francone, Kevin Lundberg, Casper Stockham, Kim Monson
- Creating Pathways of Opportunity for Returning Citizens Gerard Robinson, American Enterprise Institute
- Policy, Regulation, and Culture – Will Traditional Social Values Survive? Debbie Chaves, Colorado Family Action
- Why Christians should be Conservatives and Why Conservatives should be Christians Doug Groothuis, Professor, Denver Seminary
- Constitutional Law and Your Rights Dr. Jenna Ellis, Professor, Colorado Christian University
- How Can Millennials Rediscover Liberty? Jimmy Sengenberger, Millennial Policy Center
- Regulation Without Representation Harriet Hageman, Property Rights Attorney Roman Buhler, The Madison Coalition
- Women and Work: Winning the Debate on Family and the Workplace Hadley Heath Manning, Director of Policy and Heather Madden, Director of Operations and Policy Research, Independent Women’s Forum
- Moving the Middle: Why Moderates aren’t listening to Conservatives Allen Fuller, Principles that Matter
- Telling the Truth to the Next Generation Don Hood, Dave Stoecker, Worldviews, Calling & Culture Inc.
- Israel: Land of Creation Richard Liverance, Government of Israel Ministry of Tourism
- Moral Aspects of Fossil Fuels Bettie Grande, The Heartland Institute
- Crisis Communications for Campaigns Lonny Leitner, American Majority
- Debt Crisis? We can fix that. Over Regulation? We can fix that. What else can we fix? Former Senator Jim DeMint, Christopher Lacount, Convention of States
- Conservatives: Reclaim Leadership on Conservation Issues or Lose Millennials Benji Backer, Greg Brophy, Sarah Hunt, Ash Mason, The Western Way
- Making Innocent Until Proven Guilty Fashionable Again: The Case for Pre-trialJustice Reform Marc Levin and Panel, Right on Crime Rein in Big Government with Article VI, not V Robert Brown, The John Birch Society
- Emerging Conservative Policy Issues John Fund, Travis Korson, Andrew Langer, Frontiers of Freedom
- Winning the Secret Battle of Ideas Over America’s Future Dr. Jeff Myers, Summit Ministries
We return you now to your previously scheduled summer program to play and relax for just a little longer, but we can’t urge you enough to make sure you sign up to help Jeffco keep a Board of Education we all worked so hard to get in 2015, and talk to your local legislators to make sure they know what you support and expect next legislative session. Time truly is running out.
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