As the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly wraps up, we look back at how KIPPSters big and small stayed busy this session advocating for legislation wide a wide range of impacts.
Students, family members, and staff were among hundreds of Coloradans at the capitol during Latino Advocacy Day, Charter School Advocacy Day, and Full-Day Kindergarten Advocacy Day. Through it all, they attended policy briefings and trainings on how to share their story and make positive change through the state legislature.
During Latino Advocacy Day, five KIPP Denver Collegiate students participated in a morning of rotating policy briefings about legislation that could impact the quality of life in Latino communities. Students also met with fellow advocates from their districts to lobby their representatives in their office, hallways, and even on the parking lot of the Capitol.
Student Michele Perez said she and her classmates had learned about the legislative process in her AP Government class, but that Latino Advocacy Day helped her understand what actions she could take have an impact.
“We knew what the legislative process was,” Perez says. “But we didn’t have any experience working through it. I thought that we would lobby by talking about any social issue in general, but as a lobbyist you have to be straight on with what you want and know your facts about what specific bill you are advocating for.“
KIPP Colorado Schools also joined the Kindergarten Now Coalition, to stand with families, communities, Governor Polis, and advocacy partners to advocate for statewide funding for full-day kindergarten. One of our dedicated KIPP parents, Shana McNeill, and her daughter, future kindergartner Genevieve, joined us at the capitol to advocate for full-day kindergarten and thank their representatives for their support. Since then, the bill to fund full-day kindergarten passed in the House and Senate and was signed into law by Governor Polis.