“New Era’s quirky approach to politics is refreshing”5280 Magazine
Yesterday, the City of Boulder took a major step forward by submitting their revised plan to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to create a locally-owned, renewable electric utility.
It’s big news: this filing shows that the city has never been in a stronger position to prevail over Xcel Energy’s obstructionist tactics of the last 5 years.
Let’s get technical: This filing represents the culmination of years of research and planning done by a world-class team of engineers, former regulators, policy analysts, and legal experts.
For 5 years, Xcel’s been dragging out this fight, blocking the city’s progress and stalling on providing key information that the city needed to complete their plan.
The PUC ordered Xcel to release that information, so the city was able to complete a detailed plan to separate from Xcel Energy while meeting the voter-approved requirements: increased renewable energy, the same or better reliability as Xcel Energy, at the same or better rates than what Xcel currently offers.
This moment, right here, represents a key milestone in Boulder becoming a world-renowned laboratory for innovation in the clean energy sector, and a model for tackling climate change across the country.
Xcel Energy has been dragging out this fight, rather than listen to the will of voters in both 2011 and 2013. Help us counteract their misinformation by spreading the word of this incredible milestone.
Summary: New Era Colorado Foundation and New Era Colorado Action Fund are seeking outgoing, dedicated, and enthusiastic individuals to join our team to help us register and turn out thousands of young voters for this year’s historic 2016 election! This year, we’re engaging young people on critical issues like climate change, minimum wage, student debt, and more. We’re hiring part- and full-time positions on a rolling basis, so get your application in today!
About us: New Era Colorado is an innovative nonprofit organization that mobilizes young people to move Colorado forward through civic engagement, leadership development and advocacy work.
- Work closely with a team of 5-10 individuals to register thousands of young people to vote along the Front Range
- Participate in weekly team meetings and 1:1 check-in meetings with the Field Manager, as well as evaluations, debriefs, and trainings
- Meet daily and weekly goals for voter registration and pledge to vote postcards
- Participate in voter registration form processing and data entry
- Plan ways to make voter registration, phone banking & door knocking efforts fresh, engaging and exciting to young voters
- Equip young voters with the information they need to cast a ballot and help them make a plan to vote
- Chat up young voters everywhere, every way: by calling them to make sure they know where to go to vote, by knocking on their door to give them a voter guide, and even putting them in a golf cart to head to the polls
What we’re looking for:
- Available to work some weekday evenings and weekends; willingness to work nontraditional hours
- Deep commitment to New Era’s mission of engaging more young people in our democracy
- Excitement for registering young voters and turning them out to vote
- Enthusiasm for working within diverse and underrepresented communities
- Work style that is flexible, respectful and collaborative, and will maintain a supportive, empowering work culture
- Reliable transportation and a driver’s license strongly preferred
- Spanish language skills are a plus, but not required
Please note: We care more about your desire to do the work than whether you have formal or informal experience. We do not require formal education experience. Please submit your application if this job excites you!
- Full time positions are based on an annual salary of $29,000-$31,000
- Part-time positions are based on $15/hour
- Part and full-time positions available on a rolling basis starting late July, ending Nov. 11th
- Organizers report to New Era’s Field Manager
- Some travel required to work out of New Era’s Boulder & Fort Collins offices; occasional travel to Colorado Springs as well (we reimburse for mileage)
- Healthcare and paid time off contingent upon length of employment
New Era Colorado is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome applications from all, and strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and members of the LGBTQ community to apply.
To apply: Please email organizerjobs (at) NewEraColorado (dot) org a single PDF application with a paragraph explaining why you’re interested in this position, a resume, and 1-3 references (name, how you know the person, title, phone, and email.) Interviews are scheduled on a rolling basis. No phone calls please.
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say: This week, I started my new job as New Era’s Executive Director!
Now that it’s official, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and share some thoughts on what’s next for New Era Colorado.
First, about me: I started with New Era as a volunteer in 2010 while I was living in Colorado Springs, though “weird superfan” is probably a more accurate descriptor of my involvement. There’s a photo of me riding the New Era bus in our archives that captured my enthusiasm from those days: grinning and giving a nerdy thumbs up, heading into downtown Colorado Springs to vote early in the 2010 midterm—at the time, there was no place I would’ve rather been.
So I jumped at the chance to join the staff in 2012. Most recently, I’ve served as our Deputy Director, working alongside Steve on organizational strategy and running our major programs.
And before all that, I was one of our organizers, registering thousands of voters and training interns and volunteers. I’ve done my job in many a strange costume, prepared dozens of young people to testify at the legislature, and hand-punched literally thousands of “Vote, F*cker buttons.” Blood, sweat, tears? Check, check, check.
Really, I poured myself a glass of New Era kool-aid long before anyone passed me the pitcher. So I mean it when I say that I’m thrilled to be our second-ever Executive Director.
And what a year to get started: our incredible team is poised to run Colorado’s largest young voter mobilization program ever in 2016. We’ll register up to 50,000 young people to vote for the election, and stay with ‘em until they cast their ballot.
Right now, we’re well on our way to those huge goals—we’ve registered nearly 15,000 voters so far this election cycle!
Stay tuned for more about what we’ve got lined up for this year! In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about New Era’s future, so feel free to drop me a line anytime (really, please do): Lizzy(at)neweracolorado(dot)org.
Lastly, thank you: this organization is truly unique and impactful, and I’m grateful to be part of its next chapter. Thanks for having me.
P.S. None of this would be possible without New Era’s incredible founder, Steve Fenberg – so we hope you’ll join us to raise a glass to his leadership at his going away party next Wednesday – click here to join the host committee. See you there!
Jennifer Williams is a proud Larimer County native who studied Communications and Women’s Studies at Colorado State University. Over the past 4 years, Jennifer has been working on local, state and federal campaigns in Northern Colorado. Jennifer is excited to bring her knowledge of the area and enthusiasm to New Era.
Passions: Getting scrappy in the field, Colorado craft beer, Red Rocks concerts, recruiting more young women to get involved in democracy, and hot sauce
We’ve got a talented crew of Spring Organizers that are registering voters in high schools and on college campuses in 5 counties! These folks have already registered hundreds of young people and we couldn’t be more proud.
We have some big news to share…
When we started New Era 10 years ago, I never expected that we’d grow this quickly, to have the impact we’re having now. We’ve engaged more than a million young people face-to-face, and added well over 100,000 of them to the voting rolls in Colorado. We’ve passed innovative policies to begin tackling our generation’s biggest challenges, and we’ve modernized our state’s elections to make our democracy more accessible for all voters.
But, I’ve always felt that even if we all vote, and even with the best ideas to fix what’s broken, we still need one key ingredient–an ingredient that serves as a catalyst for change more than anything else: leaders.
In other words, we often know what needs to be done–but sometimes we just need more leaders to help with the how.
That’s where Lizzy Stephan comes in. I first met Lizzy in 2010 when she volunteered for New Era in Colorado Springs. She joined our team in 2012, moving quickly from Organizer to Organizing Director to Deputy Director.
And soon, Lizzy will lead from a new role: Executive Director.
New Era’s Board of Directors unanimously and enthusiastically voted to make Lizzy Stephan New Era’s next Executive Director, as of April 18th.
Over the last four years, Lizzy has been the engineer of our most effective organizational innovations. She’s brought our work to a new scale, while making what we do more strategic, data-driven, and systematized. And along the way, she’s trained interns to run voter registration drives in Waldo costumes, prepared dozens of volunteers to testify in front of Colorado’s legislature, and she’s punched thousands of Vote, F*cker buttons. In short, Lizzy bleeds the New Era kool-aid and will ensure we continue to always beat our best. She has the vision and the experience to lead New Era into our next chapter.
I’ve spent ⅓ of my life as New Era’s Executive Director, so it’s bittersweet to transition out of that role. However, I genuinely can’t think of anyone I’d rather have take over the amazing privilege of being the leader of New Era Colorado. I’m confident Lizzy will take this organization to new heights and I’m incredibly excited for the future. As for me, in mid-April I’ll transition into the role of Strategic Advisor for the transition period to help everything go as smoothly as possible and ensure we don’t miss a beat for the upcoming 2016 election.
Until then, I invite you to bombard Lizzy with congratulatory notes and gifs. You can drop her an email here: Lizzy@neweracolorado.org.
Steve & the New Era Colorado Board of Directors
We just kicked off our 2016 voter registration efforts and are excited to announce that we’re already at 1,379 registered voters. Volunteer with us and let’s break youth turnout records this year.
Who are these people? And why are they pointing at the ceiling?
A few short weeks ago, we said a big ‘ol “WELCOME, EVERYBODY!” to our biggest internship class ever. We couldn’t be more excited to work with this crew all spring. Stay tuned to see what these movers + shakers accomplish in the coming months!
In the summer of 2006, I stepped on stage and took the mic at Club Vinyl. I welcomed a big crowd of people who probably weren’t quite sure why they were spending their afternoon at a Denver nightclub. Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon and House Speaker Andrew Romanoff joined me on stage. At that moment, they were probably having serious doubts about their staff’s judgement in adding this stop to their schedules.
The event was the kickoff party for a newly-minted organization, whose purpose was to “reinvent politics for a new generation.” We called it New Era Colorado.
I don’t remember what I said on stage that day. But I do know that I had no idea what the next ten years of my life were about to look like.
In those early days, we took a “fake it ‘til you make it” approach to getting New Era off the ground. Budgeting, fundraising, and management structures were learned via some serious “on the job training.” I was 22 years old. Managed by a board of 22-year-olds. I kept my tie hanging in my closet pre-tied out of fear of not remembering how to do it next time.
Looking back, serving as the Executive Director for New Era has been both the hardest and most meaningful thing I’ve ever done. I feel enormously lucky to have had the opportunity to pour my heart into something like this.
I told myself over the past few years that as soon as I felt like New Era was in a place where it could be handed off, then I would do that so someone else can shepherd the organization into its next ten years. Thanks to the incredibly talented and dedicated staff team, our board of directors, and our generous supporters, I feel that now is that time.
So, here goes nothing: I’m writing to you today to announce that I’ll be transitioning out of my current role at New Era in the spring of next year. This week, the Board of Directors will be kicking off a comprehensive hiring process to find New Era’s next Executive Director.
New Era’s next Executive Director will be inheriting an organization with a track record of always striving to beat its “best”–and a roadmap of how to continue to be one of the most innovative, impactful and fun organizations in the country. Over the past several months, the board and staff have been investing considerable time into creating a strategic plan for New Era’s future. The intention isn’t to write a step-by-step plan, but to articulate a “North Star” for our work–to solidify the values and truths that have been core to our organization’s success–and to provide enough direction for our next generation of leaders to blaze a trail of even more impact.
I don’t know exactly what’s in store for New Era’s next decade, but I do know that it will continue to be an organization that thinks big and takes risks. It will continue to break down the barriers which prevent young people from shaping their own future. It will continue to invite new voices into the political process to be a force for a more fair, just, and sustainable world. And, of course, it will continue mobilizing a generation that will solve the problems nobody else can.
But, I’m not going anywhere just yet. I’ll still be here for several more months and there’s a lot to do to make sure New Era runs the biggest and best statewide young voter engagement program next year. And when I do transition out, I will remain involved in whatever capacity is most helpful.
In the meantime, thank you for helping us “make it.” It’s been an incredible honor. For now, let’s get back to work. There’s more to be done.
It’s been a year since you ignited our Campaign for Local Power and put us on the path to defeat Xcel Energy 2:1.
Since, Boulder’s taken some big steps towards forming our own local electric utility, and we thought you’d want to know about ‘em.
First of all: last week, it came out that Xcel “inadvertently” included campaign expenses in its request to raise rates on Colorado customers. It was almost half a million dollars. Oops?
Now, here’s the quick & dirty version of updates from Boulder:
The city of Boulder is making a ton of progress so far. They’ve taken the first steps towards transitioning the utility’s infrastructure (i.e., poles & wires) from Xcel, and they’re launching a two year-long pilot program to learn more about Boulder’s energy usage so that the utility can better serve our community.
Unsurprisingly, Xcel’s refusing to cooperate–they’re suing the city of Boulder & organizing some sketchy opposition–the latest in its efforts to keep Boulder from creating our own city-owned utility.
Despite Xcel’s shenanigans, things are really moving. It’s incredible. Thanks for helping us get here–we wouldn’t be able to update you on the progress of our local electric utility without the huge swell of grassroots support that powered our campaign to this point.