Making Policy

We’re taking on the biggest issues facing our generation, and when we win, we build a better Colorado for everyone. The decisions our elected officials make now will impact us for the rest of our lives—so our leaders need to take young people, and the issues impacting us, seriously. To do that, we train young leaders to deliver testimony on bills in the Capitol, mobilize students and other young people to make hundreds of calls to their legislators, and, of course, make sure our generation shows up at the polls so they know we can’t be ignored. Through our efforts we’ve passed some of the best pro-voter laws in the country, protections for student loan borrowers, and innovative climate policies

In the past, some of the people most impacted by the decisions made in the halls of the Capitol—young people, LGBTQ people, Black and Brown people, lower-income people—have been excluded from the conversation. Now we have the chance to uplift our diverse and progressive generation and make sure those marginalized voices lead the conversation—while that can’t happen without conscious effort, we’re determined to make it a core part of our work.

We believe that our democracy is stronger when we all participate, so we tear down barriers to access. We believe that bodily autonomy is a basic right, so we fight shame and stigma around abortion. We believe that our economy should work for more than just the extremely wealthy, so we pass policies to make college affordable and make sure everyone receives a living wage. And we believe climate change is a crisis that demands urgent action, so we work at every level of government to reduce carbon emissions. Lastly, we believe that young people have a role in every major fight in politics, so we work with partners and campaigns to make sure young voices are part of every conversation.

Broke AF

Three students hold up photo petitions in support of legislation tackling the student debt crisisOur generation is Broke AF. Forget hot takes about avocado toast, because it’s systemic failures that are crushing us—$1.6 trillion in student debt, low wages and prohibitive housing costs. And these economic challenges are felt most heavily by young people of color, young Black people, young women, and young people in low-income communities.

The impact of our generation’s financial challenges are far-reaching and won’t go away unless we take action. When young people are paying back mountains of student debt, getting paid low wages, and paying skyrocketing rents, they’re prevented from saving for their future, caring for their families, obtaining quality healthcare, buying a house, saving up for retirement, and more.

We’ve already seen major victories tackling student debt with commonsense bills in the state legislature, but it doesn’t end there. While student debt is an urgent crisis, we’re also determined to get to the root of the problem by making college accessible to everyone, regardless of a person’s financial circumstances.

Beyond higher education, we’re supporting other key progressive fights around economic justice, including making sure all workers are paid a living wage and establishing statewide paid family leave.

Fighting for our climate future

Student holds up a photo petition that says "I vote like the earth depends on it"The climate crisis is less than 11 years away from causing irrevocable damage to the entire world. Our generation will directly suffer the consequences of climate change and our government hasn’t done close to enough to address one of the biggest threats of our time. We refuse to accept that.

In Colorado, we’re working to ensure we set  a course of action for the rest of the country to follow, using every tool at our disposal. Our communities have endured the effects of climate change through massive wildfires, extreme flooding, and devastating droughts; and we cannot stand by and watch these disasters grow more severe by the year. That is why we, along with other youth organizations, are leading the way in local and state politics to eradicate fossil fuel emissions and protect Colorado. We can’t wait to be the leaders of tomorrow, we have to start by fighting for our future now.

Abortion Rights are Human Rights

Brazen cohort member Paola teaches her peers at abortion trainingWe envision a Colorado where anyone who needs an abortion can get one safely, in a timely manner, with dignity, respect, and support. That’s why we launched The Brazen Project, a student-led initiative dedicated to ending shame and stigma around abortion and empowering our peers to speak up and speak out about abortion access. We lift up real stories about abortion because we know this is about people, not politics. And when politicians use our bodies as political footballs, their abortion restrictions have the biggest impact on already marginalized communities, including low-income communities, womxn of color, immigrant womxn, young folks, and people with disabilities. 

Our generation is refusing to stay silent. We support students organizing on their college campuses to fight abortion stigma, to build support for abortion access, to share their stories, and to help students to advocate for better policies.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Why not shoot for the stars in our lifetimes? We believe young people will vote at the same rate or *better* than older demographics if we remove the unique barriers to access we face. Voting isn’t everything, but it signals power, and we’re all about leveraging that power to make meaningful change. That’s why we’re so focused on making Colorado the best place to vote in the country.

From our work on the ground registering and turning out voters for more than a decade, we know the ins and outs of Colorado elections. Which means we know exactly how to make voting more accessible—and we’ve made it happen. 

Thanks to our efforts, Colorado’s young voters consistently turnout at some of the highest rates in the country. We’ll continue to look for ways to make more improvements, because we believe everyone should have a voice in our democracy.