A 2024 Legislative Recap from the JCRC

May 9, 2024 | Article, JCRC, Safety & Security

In the shadows of October 7th, the work of JEWISHcolorado’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) at the Colorado State Capitol became more important than ever. This session involved challenges from addressing ceasefire statements and letters to engaging on anti-Israel legislation. We also secured historic new funding for the nonprofit security grant program and continued our important relationship building work. Although your JCRC is active at City Councils, Universities, and other venues, the Legislature remains a big focus. Below are highlights of the last year and the important work the JCRC led.

Relationship Building

  • Invited legislators to and helped plan and coordinate a breakfast and lunch to honor Israeli hostage families at the Colorado State Capitol in February.

  • Secured attendance of public officials including the Attorney General and Denver Mayor at the October 7th vigil held at Temple Emmanuel.

  • Supported drafting and collection of statements from a dozen public officials condemning the October 7th massacre.

  • Supported the draft response, outreach, and 1:1 meetings with 8 legislative members in response to the Black and Latino caucus ceasefire statements including three members of leadership. Including the removal of problematic statements.

  • A public official’s mission reunion in June of 2023 that included 9 public officials.

  • Meeting with the Armenian Community to discuss future partnership on legislation to ensure Holocaust and genocide education is implemented as intended.

  • Hosted a post-October 7th public officials Shabbat dinner with 10 current public officials in attendance.

  • Secured attendance of several public officials and past trip participants at MEN’S Event and the JCRC Leadership Luncheon as well as speaking roles for the Attorney General and Senator Michaelson Jenet at Am Yisrael Chai: A JEWISHcolorado Celebrate Israel event.

Legislative Engagement

  • Spearheaded the opposition to HB24-1169: Repeal Divest from Companies with Israel Prohibitions Law by coordinating testimony, drafting an action alert for members of the community to send to legislators, meeting with each member of the House Finance Committee in opposition with the end result of the bill dying with only one yes in support.

  • Secured an additional $906,591 in the Colorado General Assembly’s FY 2024-2025 budget, HB24-1430. Since its inception, the program has funded 39 security grants, benefiting our community and others.

  • Secured an emergency supplemental of $1M in additional funding for the nonprofit security grant program through the Joint Budget Committee in December 2023.

  • Worked in partnership with the Governor’s Office to develop a proclamation condemning antisemitism.

  • Constant and close communication with the Jewish caucus members, House and Senate Majority and Minority leadership at the Colorado State legislature about how to respond to remarks and problematic anti-Israel amendments offered during legislation under consideration during the 2023 special legislative session.

  • Coordinated strategy to avoid various resolutions related to the conflict in Israel and Gaza. This included working with the prospective sponsors and leadership.

  • Supported and joined on the House Floor for the presentation of the 2024 MLK Jr. Resolution.

  • Tier three support of both SB24-053: Racial Equity Study and SB24-189: Gender-Related Bias-Motivated Crimes.

  • Worked with the proponents of SB24-131: Prohibiting Carrying Firearms in Sensitive Spaces to add language that firearm safe spaces don’t apply to preschools that are attached to a synagogue.

  • Assisted in the development of the Holocaust Resolution and brought members of the community to the Senate Floor for the presentation of SJR-016: Holocaust Commemoration.

  • Responded to outreach and provided feedback on the JCRC’s position related to a ceasefire letter being circulated at the Colorado General Assembly.

  • Hosted a group of Israeli high school students at the capitol including a visit with Senator Michaelson Jenet, Senator Coleman, Representative Weinberg, and a representative from the Governor’s Office.

Your support means that the JCRC will remain a strong voice for the Jewish Community at the State Capitol and in City Council chambers across Colorado.