Informed by our organizational values, longstanding commitments and current strategic goals, Rose Community Foundation has taken a position on several statewide, Denver and school district ballot measures that would either advance or inhibit an equitable and thriving Greater Denver region. Our endorsements are informed by our policy and advocacy grantee partners and other community-informed organizations, with whom we align strategy and action to improve policy outcomes for those furthest from opportunity. Read on to learn more about the specific ballot measures and our rationale for each position.
STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES
Proposition GG: Amount of Tax Owed Table for Initiatives – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES Proposition GG. If passed, Prop GG would require future ballot measures that impact statewide income or sales tax revenue to include a table showing how the tax increase or decrease would impact individual taxpayers by eight income categories.
Colorado’s ballots currently provide inadequate and unbalanced information for voters entrusted with making tax policy decisions. Direct democracy requires complete information so voters can make informed decisions; Coloradans deserve to know what the taxes they are voting on pay for and how a change will impact their wallets and our communities.
Proposition 121: State Income Tax Rate Reduction – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation OPPOSES Proposition 121. If passed, Prop 121 would reduce the state’s individual and corporate income tax rate from 4.55 percent to 4.40 percent.
This measure represents an extreme and immediate decrease in state resources ($572 million cut in year one), which will reduce funding for public services and programs that support those furthest from opportunity, from education to health care to public assistance. The flat tax cut would also redistribute the lost revenue to taxpayers inequitably: an individual making between $50,000 and $70,000 would save around $54 next year while an individual making $200,000 or more would save $592.
Proposition 123: Dedicated State Income Tax Revenue for Affordable Housing Programs – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES Proposition 123. If passed, Prop 123 would create and fund a statewide Affordable Housing Fund to incent municipal affordable housing development.
Colorado is experiencing a housing crisis. As the demand for affordable housing has steadily increased over the past decade, the amount of housing being built has decreased by 40 percent. Prop 123 is a comprehensive approach to the state’s affordable housing challenges, addressing the full continuum of needs – from homelessness through homeownership – and using various strategies to target support for low- and mid-income housing. The measure aims to mitigate the housing shortage across the state and lower the long-term trajectory of housing costs.
Proposition FF: Healthy Meals for All Public School Students – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES Proposition FF. If passed, Prop FF would fund universal access to school meals by reducing income tax deduction amounts for high-income earners.
No child should go hungry because they can’t afford a nutritious meal. Providing kids with a healthy breakfast and lunch improves their long-term development and makes them more attentive and engaged in the classroom – boosting grades, attendance rates and graduation rates. Yet 44 percent of Colorado families struggle to put healthy food on the table for their children. By eliminating lunch costs and debts for all Colorado public school students, Prop FF would ensure all kids get the nutrition they need to thrive and allow families to focus on other critical needs like housing and utilities.
DENVER BALLOT MEASURES
Initiated Ordinance 305: No Eviction Without Representation – FAILED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES Ordinance 305. If passed, the measure would guarantee free legal representation to Denver residents from the moment they receive an eviction notice through the resolution of their case.
Being evicted can irreparably harm a person’s life, limiting housing and job opportunities in the future and reinforcing cycles of poverty. While landlords have legal representation in virtually every eviction case, tenants in Denver are only represented by an attorney in one to three percent of all cases. Tenant legal representation, or lack thereof, is a key predictor of whether someone facing eviction is allowed to stay in their home. This measure does not create any new rules around eviction, but it does help ensure that fewer individuals are unjustly evicted.
Referred Question 2I: Denver Public Library Mill Levy Ordinance – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES Referred Question 2I. If passed, the measure would create a dedicated funding stream of about $31 million per year for the Denver Public Library (DPL) system.
With 27 locations, distributed in all parts of Denver, DPL is one of the few places that is free of charge, safe and welcoming for everyone. New and protected revenue would diversify DPL’s funding beyond what it receives in the Denver City and County Budget and from fundraising, providing additional stability that would enable the library system to be more strategic and impactful, helping strengthen our libraries today and sustaining them for generations to come. DPL could potentially add more satellite locations and outreach in neighborhoods that currently lack access to library services; expand hours and staffing in higher-need areas; expand services for youth, older adults and job seekers, and improve language access and digital inclusion across its libraries.
SCHOOL DISTRICT BALLOT MEASURES
District 27J (Brighton) Mill Levy Override – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES the District 27J Mill Levy Override. If passed, the mill levy override would increase the district’s revenue by around $17.74 million.
District 27J is the third least-funded school district per pupil in Colorado, receiving only $41 per student in mill levy funding each year. The additional funding would be allocated to improve the safety of students and staff; increase staff and teacher compensation; and expand career and technical education options and staffing.
Boulder Valley School District Bond – PASSED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES the Boulder Valley School District Bond. If passed, the bond would increase the district’s revenue by around $349 million.
The additional funding would be allocated to build a new elementary school in fast-growing Erie (where the only elementary school is already over its enrollment capacity), rebuild an alternative high school that is deteriorating, improve accessibility on playgrounds for children with disabilities, and significantly expand career and technical education offerings by creating new labs, shops and classrooms dedicated to boosting graduates’ career readiness.
Douglas County School District Mill Levy Override* – FAILED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES the Douglas County School District Mill Levy Override. If passed, the mill levy override would increase the district’s revenue by around $60 million.
The additional funding would be entirely allocated to increase staff compensation. Douglas County School District (DCSD) staff are underpaid relative to neighboring districts, and the district has struggled to retain teachers, administrators and other staff. The measure would help DCSD become a more competitive employer and enable more DCSD staff to afford to live in one of Colorado’s most expensive counties.
Douglas County School District Bond* – FAILED
Rose Community Foundation ENDORSES the Douglas County School District Bond. If passed, the bond would increase the district’s revenue by around $450 million.
The additional funding would primarily be allocated to build elementary schools in new neighborhoods that were recently developed and expand two middle schools in neighborhoods that are overcrowded and growing. The bond would also fund maintenance and renewal of existing buildings, safety and security updates, and student programming investments in career and technical education, information technology, and special education.
* Rose Community Foundation’s support for Douglas County School District’s increased funding requests does not constitute agreement with or support for all DCSD policies and procedures. The school board often acts in ways that are contrary to the Foundation’s values, and we oppose efforts to make DCSD less equitable and inclusive. Nevertheless, we believe teachers in the district still deserve reasonable salaries and students in the district deserve less crowded spaces to learn close to where they live.