JCRC: Not In-Person, But Still In Touch & In the Know

May 12, 2020

While the Colorado Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has not been able to continue working in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has stayed connected with state and federal officials and continued to advocate on key issues for the Jewish community. 

April 8 marked the JCRC’s Zoom debut, with the first-ever Virtual Town Hall featuring Senator Jeff Bridges (SD-26) and Representative Emily Sirota (HD-9). Bridges and Sirota discussed how their work has changed under Colorado’s stay-at-home order and answered questions from community members about mental health services, support for small businesses, and what to expect when the legislature returns to work, including the status of the JCRC-supported Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Public Schools Bill, of which Representative Sirota is a co-prime sponsor. 

When JEWISHcolorado learned that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program would open to nonprofits, JEWISHcolorado’s Director of External Affairs Joe Dubroff immediately contacted SBA Regional Administrator Dan Nordberg, a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives and an alumnus of the JCRC 2015 Public Officials Mission. Based on those discussions with Nordberg, JEWISHcolorado was able to share critical information on PPP loans and to provide updates on the program’s rules, regulations, and restrictions with Jewish organizations in Colorado. As a result, many successfully applied for the PPP funds necessary to retain staff during this period of uncertainty.

The JCRC also played an important role in the recent Jewish Council for Publics Affairs (JCPA) Delegates Assembly on issues arising from COVID-19, including successfully pushing for the inclusion of mental health resources in the response to public health crises and—drawing on seven years of experience with voting by mail in Colorado—finetuned language in a resolution on voting rights and elections. Click to read about the Delegates Assembly and the adopted resolutions.

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