The Hidden Power Within Local Government. A virtual training. Wednesday, February 28, 7-8 PM, Zoom. Advanced registration required. Image includes an illustrated group of different women voters and the Colorado 50-50 logo.

The Hidden Power Within Local Government

Did you know Colorado has both a Presidential Primary and a caucus? You have probably already received your mail ballot. You can drop it off or vote in person between now and March 5. That takes care of one part of the election.

Another very important part of the election will be happening at caucuses around the state from March 5-9. That’s where you can support local candidates to get on the ballot for the June Colorado Primary. Some caucuses will happen in person and some will be by Zoom. It just depends on what party you’re affiliated with and what county you’re in.

You can become a delegate at caucus to help support your favorite candidates. Delegates go on to the county assembly, the state assembly, and may even go to the national convention. Many people don’t know that if you want to be a delegate, you must attend your local caucus.

Getting candidates on the ballot isn’t the only thing that takes place at caucus. It’s also where people step up to be precinct organizers. These are the folks that do some volunteering to encourage their neighbors to get out and vote.

But that’s not all precinct organizers do. They also choose replacements for some elected officials who don’t or can’t finish their terms. This is also known as a vacancy committee process. Here’s a startling fact: 29 of 100 of our state legislators were chosen by a vacancy committee! Precinct organizers hold a surprising amount of power in Colorado – and the place to become one is at caucus.

Join us for an online webinar on Wednesday, February 28, from 7-8 PM, called “The Hidden Power Within Local Government.” There you will hear from regular folks just like you. You can learn more about:

  • How to attend a caucus
  • What it’s like
  • How to vote at a caucus and help get local candidates on the ballot
  • How to become a delegate
  • How to become a precinct organizer

By the way, we want you to know that participating at caucus and beyond is pretty easy and not that complicated. We just want to break it down for you, since we want you to feel comfortable and good about going.

At Colorado 50-50, our mission is to demystify the process of getting involved in local politics. We want to see as many people participate as possible, because that’s what makes our democracy work! We hope you will join us for this interesting and fun webinar.

Advanced registration is required, and easy to do. Simultaneous Spanish language interpretation will be provided. See you on Wednesday, February 28.

Colorado makes history in 2022 election

Colorado makes history as #2 state in the nation with a female majority in the State Legislature with 51 women out of 100 seats.

Update — February 10, 2023 — One Democratic female State Representative resigned and later pled guilty to criminal charges for lying about her place of residence to run for reelection. Her replacement was male, bringing the number of women down to 50.

Colorado made history in the 2022 election by achieving gender parity with legislators at both at the federal and state level.

For the first time, four of eight Colorado members of the US House of Representatives will be women – a doubling of the current number:

  • Diana DeGette (District 1, Democratic incumbent)
  • Lauren Boebert (District 3, Republican incumbent)
  • Brittany Pettersen (District 7, Democrat)
  • Yadira Caraveo (District 8, Democrat)

This is the first time that Colorado has sent a Latina – Dr. Caraveo – or any woman of color to Congress. It’s also the first time that District 7 will be represented by a woman.

Up to now, only five women have ever represented Colorado in Congress. Besides DeGette and Boebert, the others were Patricia Schroeder, Marilyn Musgrave, and Betsy Markey. 

“It’s amazing that this time has finally arrived,” said Erin Hottenstein, Colorado 50-50 Founder. “Women have been helping to build this state into the great place it is for 146 years and yet we didn’t have our voices equally represented in the halls of power. Now we will.”

At the State Legislature, voters elected 51 women out of 100 available seats.

  • State House – 39 women out of 65 seats
    • 34 Democratic women, 5 Republican women
  • State Senate – 12 women out of 35 seats
    • 10 Democratic women, 2 Republican women

That’s the first time in our state’s history that we have had not only gender parity, but a female majority in the Legislature. The next closest time was in 2019 when we had 46 women.

“We’re excited to see these historic milestones, and we know there is more work to do.” Hottenstein said. “Colorado has never had a woman governor or US Senator, and many cities, including Denver, have never had a woman mayor. 

“We also know that we can’t have a truly representative democracy without more women of color serving at all levels,” she continued.

“Colorado 50-50 looks forward to continuing our work in inspiring and training women to run for office, so that we can break even more glass ceilings,” she said.

AAPI Community Summer Social – Save the date!

Colorado has zero Asian-American and Pacific Islander (or AAPI) people in the Legislature and – if you wanted a number that reflected the population – there should be four. We’re working to change that. Almost a year ago, Colorado 50-50 brought together a group of volunteers specifically interested in seeing more AAPI women in elected office.

Please join us on Saturday, July 17, 10 AM – 12 PM at our Summer Social where you will meet other fabulous people who are interested in promoting AAPI women in leadership! We will be having coffee and donuts at a park pavilion in Broomfield. Location details coming soon. Suggested $10 donation to cover event costs.

Have fun discussing politics and policy. Meet women elected officials and candidates. Bring your checkbook in case you meet some you would like to support financially. Get connected with people working on campaigns, hear what campaigns are like, and discover volunteer opportunities. Come hang out with us!

An RSVP would be greatly appreciated so we can get the right number of donuts!

Record number of women poised to become state house members

State Capitol of Colorado, Denver

For the first time, there will be gender parity at the Colorado State House. What’s more, if a woman wins in one more close race, women will be the majority in that chamber.

Colorado 50-50, a group encouraging women to run for office in Colorado, has been tracking the number of women candidates running in 2018. In state house races, there were 142 candidates, including 62 women candidates, meaning 43.7% of candidates were female.

Currently, it appears that 33 women have won house seats. The race in House District 27 is very close, but since it is a woman vs. woman race, a woman will take the seat. The race in House District 47 is also close and is male vs. female. Ballots are still being counted and elections are yet to be certified, so things could change, but the results are promising.

“For the first time in Colorado’s history, women may be in the majority in the state house,” says Erin Hottenstein, founder of Colorado 50-50. “We got close to gender parity in 2015 and 2016, when there were 30 women serving, but now it looks like Colorado has finally achieved it.”

“We are thrilled that the hard work of these women candidates is paying off,” Hottenstein says. “Voters of all walks of life have responded positively to seeing candidates that mirror their community.”

The state senate is a slightly different story. Even with quite a few new women candidates winning their races, it appears that 12 women will serve in that chamber. The record, according to tallies kept by the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, was 17 women in 2011 and 2012.