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Ernest LuningErnest LuningNovember 18, 201718min29980

In the days since additional claims of sexual misconduct by Colorado legislators emerged in a news report, numerous women who have worked with state Sen. Jack Tate, one of the lawmakers accused of improper behavior, have come forward to challenge anonymous allegations about Tate. They say they’re alarmed the Centennial Republican could be unfairly caught up in a scandal they agree is bringing long overdue scrutiny to harassment at the state Capitol.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 6, 20174min4123

Rivalry-free bipartisanship was a feature of the #MeToo Leadership Rally Sunday afternoon on the steps of the state Capitol.

Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R-Thornton, were among the speakers who joined with advocacy groups to draw attention to sexual harassment and physical assault.

Winter is challenging Martinez Humenik in the Senate District 24 race next year. (First, she will meet Thornton City Councilman Adam Matkowsky in the Democratic primary.)

Winter told Colorado Politics Monday that some issues rise above partisan politics.

“I was proud to stand with my rival for the most competitive Senate seat in the state, Beth Martinez Humenick, to bring much needed attention to #MeToo movement,” she said in an e-mail. “Sexual assault and harassment is blind to politics and blind to economic status. We are all impacted by #MeToo. We all need to take action to change our culture.”

Martinez Humenik said the renewed attention #MeToo, a 10-year-old initiative, is receiving is bringing out more victims and more awareness.

“This issue is not a partisan issue, it is a people issue,” she told Colorado Politics. “Sexual assault knows no socioeconomic boundaries, however, ethnic minorities are most often affected. Often individuals in households with domestic violence are also subject to sexual assault.”

She cited statistics that indicate 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are victims of sexual violence at some point, while less than 10 percent are ever reported.

“Individuals with a lifetime of sexual assault are more likely to have chronic health issues. It is the responsibility of all Coloradans to create an environment in their homes, in our schools, in our faith-based community, in police departments, in medical offices and community organizations where survivors of sexual assault can report sexual assault or harassment,” Martinez Humenik said. “We must continue to inform children, teenagers, adults, and the disabled community members, that it is safe to tell. It is very important to work together to make sure that the stigma, the shame, the fear of telling someone else about a sexual assault or a sexual harassment incident that has occurred is ok, that it must be reported to prevent it from happening to others.

“The fear and stigma of reporting a sexual assault trauma or experiencing sexual harassment must end. There are many organizations and resources available to help victims work through their fear, PTSD or other triggers that cause victims distrust and to struggle on a daily basis as a result of experiencing sexual assault. Every person is important and each individual has a voice. I encourage women and men who are victims to speak up, use your voice so the perpetrators of this violence can be stopped. Blaming victims for their assault will not end sexual assault, however, the behavior of the offenders must and will continue to be addressed in Colorado for the safety and well being of all of our citizens.”


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJuly 1, 20176min3370

State Rep. Brittany Pettersen, a Democratic candidate for Congress, and Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, both of Lakewood, were married on Saturday, July 1, in a ceremony in the carriage house and garden at the Governor's Residence at Boettcher Mansion in Denver in front of hundreds of friends and family members. The bride is the daughter of Brent and Stacy Pettersen of Englewood. The groom is the son of Ed and Terry Silverii of East Brunswick, New Jersey.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningMay 30, 20175min2080

House Speaker Pro Tem Jessie Danielson announced on Wednesday she’s running in next year’s election for the Senate District 20 seat held by term-limited state Sen. Cheri Jahn, a fellow Wheat Ridge Democrat, and Wheat Ridge City Councilwoman Monica Duran, also a Democrat, said on Friday she’s launching a bid for Danielson’s House District 24 seat with the support of the incumbent.