Angela Williams Archives - Colorado Politics
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Ernest LuningErnest LuningFebruary 11, 201813min436

I'LL SEE YOUR BERNIE AND RAISE A JOYCE FOSTER ... The battle of the bold-faced names is on in the House District 9 Democratic primary, where three-term incumbent state Rep. Paul Rosenthal is facing two candidates seeking to dislodge him from the southeast Denver seat. Less than a week had passed since Bernie Sanders — yes, that Bernie Sanders — endorsed Rosenthal challenger Emily Sirota when Rosenthal rolled out a Bernie endorsement of his own from Bernie Steinberg — yes, that Bernie Steinberg — to counter it.


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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandFebruary 1, 201810min236
The point of getting better (or in some cases, any) broadband service to rural Coloradans isn’t about downloading movies from Netflix or checking a Facebook status. It’s about the high school student who stays at school until 8 p.m. because it’s the only place where internet service is fast enough to do homework. The Senate […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchJanuary 25, 20184min5710

The Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado held its annual opening reception this week. Also celebrated as the Historic Eight, this delegation is made up of six House and two Senate members working collectively to create and track legislation focused on Coloradans of color.

The intimate event took place at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood, rightfully so. Five Points is nostalgically known as the “Harlem of the West,” once serving as the epicenter of Denver’s thriving black business and social scenes.

Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado
Three of the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado members who gathered for a legislative preview this week are , from left, Reps. Tony Exum Sr., Jovan Melton and James Coleman. (Photo by Gabrielle Bryant/Colorado Politics)

Legislators, community members and supporters packed the third floor of the library to hear about the concerted effort the BDLC is putting toward policy during this session.

“I know this Black Caucus and, particularly, Janet Buckner, and all of them are actively trying to be sure that our K-12 system is the best it can be for the students they represent,” said Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley.

Sen. Rhonda Fields of Aurora is also working on legislation aimed at helping Colorado kids get access to reduced copay lunches. The Expand Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Act would, “allow school districts to increase access to a healthy meal during school hours for 1.4 million more students. Because hunger knows no age.”

Healthcare, housing, business and technology are also among the issues the BDLC are tackling this session.

“These are people who have their ear to the ground…listening to what people are saying and what they need. Because of that, they have special expertise to devise policy that is cost effective and can really make a difference in the community. That benefits everybody in Colorado. ” said Aaron Harber, host of “The Aaron Harber Show.”

Members of the BDLC are Sens. Angela Williams (chair)of Denver  and Fields, as well as Reps. James Coleman of Denver, Leslie Herod of Denver, Tony Exum Sr. of Colorado Springs, Janet Buckner of Aurora, Dominique Jackson on Denver and Jovan Melton (vice chair) of Aurora.


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Gabrielle BryantGabrielle BryantJanuary 11, 20183min10300

As the legislative session started Wednesday you could feel the excitement and anxiety in both chambers. Priorities were laid out for the next 119 days, including working to improve Colorado’s roads, addressing a projected shortfall in state employees’ pension system, expanding rural broadband accessibility, tackling energy, solving the state’s opioid crisis and ensuring men and women who work at the Capitol feel protected and feel heard amid looming allegations of sexual misconduct.

Simultaneously, the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus, known as the “Historic Eight,” the largest number of black legislators to serve in Colorado at once, is also working on policy more specifically aimed at the advancement of people of color. The contingent is prioritizing education, small business creation, housing affordability and the criminal justice system.

Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora
Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, discusses issues that disproportionately affect Coloradans of color. (Photo by Gabrielle Bryant/Colorado Politics)

“This legislative session will be pivotal to Colorado’s future as we believe what we do in the general assembly will have impacts on this year’s election,” said Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, the vice chairman of the caucus. “It’s important that the issues plaguing African-Americans across our state are not ignored and that our vote is not taken for granted.”

While they make up 8 percent of the legislature, black Coloradans are a mere 4.5 percent of the population, and voter turnout for this demographic has been consistently low in recent elections.

Sen. Angela Williams, D-Denver, who chairs the BDLC, said the group has hired a staff member to aid them in introducing policy and to “keep an eye out for legislation that might appear to be inequitable to our communities of color.”

Specific legislation details are expected to be rolled out in the in the coming days, as lawmakers formally introduce bills.

The BDLC’s annual legislative preview will take place on Jan. 22 on the third floor of the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.

Besides Melton and Williams. the caucus includes Sens. Rhonda Fields of Aurora and Reps. James Coleman of Denver, Leslie Herod of Denver, Tony Exum Sr. of Colorado Springs, Janet Buckner of Aurora and Dominique Jackson of Denver.

(Editor’s note: This story was corrected to reflect that Jovan Melton is from Aurora.)


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Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 28, 20173min443
The African Leadership Group, a 15-year-old Aurora-based organization, welcomed local politicians and honored its volunteer of the year and other members at a gala last weekend at Noonan’s Event Center. Pascal Koki, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast, works two jobs, including a night shift, on top of being a full-time student and mother of […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchDecember 16, 20175min13560

Jason Crow showed some separation the three-way primary in the the 6th Congressional District  Friday with a list of endorsements from Democrats you probably know, if you know much about Colorado statehouse.

He’s facing Levi Tillemann and David Aarestad in the primary for the district that includes Aurora and portions of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties. Incumbent Republican Mike Coffman is facing Roger Edwards in the GOP primary.

“I’m proud to endorse Jason Crow,” state Sen. Angela Williams from east Denver said in a statement. Williams if viewed as a future candidate for higher office and a well-regarded voice on Democratic positions at the Capitol.

“I’ve known Jason and his family for many years. I’ve worked with him in the community and he was one of my first supporters. Jason is as hard working and genuine as they come. Jason knows how to build teams that reflect the diversity of our community and promote inclusivity. He never shies away from the tough fights and knows how to get things done. I know Jason will go to Washington to truly represent the interests of our community and Colorado, not Washington special interests. Our state and country will be a better place once he is elected and I look forward to helping send him to Congress.”

Other Democratic endorsements came from:

  • State Rep. James Coleman
  • State Rep. Mike Foote
  • State Rep. Alec Garnett
  • State Rep. Chris Hansen
  • State Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet
  • Former State Rep. Alice Madden
  • Former State Rep. Joe Miklosi
  • State Rep. Brittany Pettersen
  • Former State Sen. Suzanne Williams

Interestingly, Pettersen was a candidate in the 7th Congressional District this year, until incumbent Ed Perlmutter changed his mind and decided to run for re-election instead of governor. Miklosi lost a close race to Coffman in 2012, and Garnett is the former state party executive director.

“I am honored to earn the support of these amazing public servants,” Crow, an Army Ranger combat veteran, stated. “Their confidence in our campaign and the continued momentum proves that Coloradans are ready for change in Washington. We need servants leaders willing to put partisanship aside and get things done. I’ve never shied away from a tough fight, whether it was serving overseas, or working to help bring the Veterans Medical Center to Aurora.”

In a statement provided by Crow’s campaign, state Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet of Commerce City said, “Jason Crow is the candidate that can defeat Mike Coffman and help take our country in a new direction. Jason has dedicated his life to our country and community, from serving our country in war and fighting for the new VA hospital, to helping those recovering from addiction. Jason’s focus on servant leadership will be a refreshing change to the division and dysfunction in Washington. Jason truly listens and he understands the needs of the people in North Aurora and Adams County. He will be a tireless advocate for families, students, and Seniors. As a representative of the district, I am proud to endorse his candidacy and look forward to working with him to bring new leadership to the 6th.”

Crow’s campaign noted he earlier was endorsed by former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, former Sen. Mark Udall, former Gov. Bill Ritter, former U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, former U.S. Sen. Gabby Giffords, End Citizens United, Pipefitters Local 208, VoteVets and New Politics.

The campaign also has noted previously the backing of Adams County Commissioners Eva Henry, Steve O’Dorisio and Chaz Tedesco, along with Arapahoe County Commissioner Bill Holen, as well as as state Sen. Irene Aguilar and former State Rep. Karen Middleton. Middleton is the executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.


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Peter MarcusPeter MarcusJuly 14, 20173min1640
Americans for Prosperity Sen. Angela Williams
(Photo courtesy of Sen. Angela Williams)

State Sen. Angela Williams has been selected for a leadership development program for state government officials.

The high-profile Council of State Governments’ Henry Toll Fellowship convenes a group of the nation’s “top officials” for a six-day, five-night “intellectual boot camp.” It is a program that has been around for more than 30 years.

“By participating in the CSG Toll Fellowship, I hope to learn advanced strategic planning and innovative thinking skills to move the state forward on issues that benefit the citizens of my state,” Williams said.

The Toll Fellowship is named for CSG founder Henry Walcott Toll. CSG is an organization that works with state official to help shape public policy. It provides networking opportunities in an effort to develop leaders.

For 2017, 48 officials have been selected from 32 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. The officials represent all three branches of government.

This year’s program will be held Aug. 25-30 in Lexington, Ky.

“CSG’s Toll Fellowship is a once-in-a-lifetime leadership development opportunity that has shaped public service careers for decades,” said David Adkins, CSG executive director. “CSG welcomes these new leaders into the Toll Fellows family and we look forward to being a resource for them throughout their careers.”

Previous fellowship programs have included sessions on leadership personality assessment, media training, crisis management, appreciative inquiry and adaptive leadership.

“Continuing leadership development training for state officials is important because it ensures we are knowledgeable about public policy and the ever-changing solutions to state-level policy,” Williams said. “Professional development is important to help state officials to think strategically about solving complex issues and navigate through political environments.”