Taking the mic at the Local Progress national meet-up at the Colorado Convention Center on August 5, Denver City Councilmember Robin Kniech highlighted some regressive moments in Colorado’s recent history with the progressive politicians, advocates and government workers who’d gathered there.
“In 1992, Colorado was dubbed the ‘Hate State’ because our voters passed a measure prohibiting anti-discrimination ordinances for gay and lesbian individuals. Now, it was overturned by the Supreme Court, but our divided state government also passed laws targeting immigrants, excluding them from government. And we have also had — we still have — a quasi-right-to-work state that’s anti-labor,” Kniech recalled.
But then she began to talk about more contemporary progressive victories in Denver and the state: earmarking significant city dollars for affordable housing, enacting a minimum wage in Denver and across Colorado, and giving undocumented immigrants the right to access unemployment benefits.
After two years of Zoom meetings, the return of the Local Progress convention to an in-person format was an opportunity for progressives such as Kniech to share what they’ve accomplished with people who’d flown in from across the country, including Teresa Mosqueda with the Seattle City Council, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and Christian Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union.