Request for Proposals: Equity and Inclusiveness Assessment + Blueprint 

To view this request as a PDF, click here.

Date of Request for Proposals: December 1, 2018
Deadline for Request for Proposals: January 31, 2019

Summary

New Era Colorado seeks a consultant (or pair/team) to work with us to pursue organizational transformation in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek to do a full organizational assessment of our practices around diversity, inclusivity and equity, to conduct trainings simultaneously as needed of our staff (and possibly our board), and to work with us to create a blueprint we can follow to make concrete improvements in each of these areas over the next several years.

About New Era Colorado

New Era Colorado works to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We provide the resources and tools for young people to gain collective power in all levels of the political process, including issue organizing, electoral mobilization, and the legislative process. We’re grassroots, we’re nonpartisan, and we’re empowering our generation to lead Colorado forward. Our three core program areas are civic engagement, advocacy, and leadership development. We run large-scale voter registration drives and voter turnout efforts, train 60+ young leaders through 12-week leadership development programs each year, and advocate for economic justice, election access, climate action and reproductive rights.

We have 11 permanent staff and two offices, one in Denver and one in Boulder. In major election years, our staff grows tremendously to include up to 50 full-time staff and dozens of part-time staff, and we regularly have small teams of full- or part-time organizers for various efforts and campaigns. We were founded in 2006 by a multi-racial group of individuals, though throughout our 12-year history we have been a predominantly white-led organization.

Our staff and board has committed to engaging in work to become a more fully inclusive organization that is capable of effectively advancing equity through all the work we do, and has been planning to embark on this process for a number of years. We underwent an assessment process in 2017/early 2018.  We are restarting this process to achieve a clear blueprint to close the gap between our values and our work.

Our Goals

As an organization, we value diversity, equity and inclusion, but there is a gap between our values and our work. Our current programs, goals, and structures aren’t currently achieving the change we want to see and believe is necessary. We want to be an organization that can fight for shared liberation for young people, but we’re not currently achieving that. We’re aiming to take the first step in a long-term process towards becoming a more diverse, more inclusive organization that is more representative of young people in Colorado and can more authentically and effectively advance equity through all aspects of our work. Long-term, we hope to achieve equity within the organization, especially racial equity, and transform our organization into one that has equity, inclusiveness, anti-oppression, and anti-racism in its DNA. We see individual-level trainings as necessary to pursuing the systemic changes we seek, but hope to focus primarily on systemic change. While race and racism is our primary focus, we hope our process can be broader as well to consider other forms of oppression and how to combat them in our own organization and through our work.

To begin, we are seeking an organizational assessment and assistance with a planning process that can be informed by this assessment, and any trainings that should accompany the assessment and planning processes. This process should create a concrete, actionable plan for organizational transformation. In the future, we hope to work with the same consultant (or team) to provide ongoing support and guidance, but we’re not able to foresee that aspect of the work at this stage.

Description of Desired Outcomes

At the end of the process, we would like to see the following concrete outcomes:

  • Assessment: Multidimensional information gathering with data on our community, our field, and our organization, including a review of internal policies, norms, structures, power structures, workflows, etc…
  • Blueprint: An outcomes-based blueprint for organizational transformation that goes beyond surface level changes to make us more inclusive, more diverse, and more capable of effectively advancing equity through all the work we do. Includes both long term and short term measurable goals to help us achieve organizational change.
  • Training: Increased competency of and fluency among staff and board members in these areas, particularly as is needed to do a proper assessment and blueprint.

Please note: We have a lot to learn about what this process could and should entail for our organization, so we see these desired outcomes as an initial draft but hope to work with the consultant (or team) to better refine the process and our goals.

What we’re looking for in a consultant/team

We would like a consultant (or team) to be our partner and our guide in moving us closer to our goals, though we understand that significant capacity, commitment and leadership is necessary within our organization and that we cannot rely on external folks to do all of the work for us. We hope to take the consultant’s input to determine the length of time within which we work together, and to help us better shape our goals for this process and of course the shape of the process itself.

Our organization is by, for, and of young people. Our staff is young, and we infuse our work with irreverence, humor and flexibility. We are seeking an adaptable consultant with experience in the nonprofit sector and electoral work who believes in our approach and the value of our work—particularly our electoral work, but also our advocacy and leadership development work as well.

Proposal Content

Interested parties should submit the following:

  • Proposed consulting plan, project approach, and rough timeframe
  • Budget
  • A list of past clients
  • Bios (or resumes) of all relevant team members
  • References, with contact information
  • Contact information for all relevant team members
  • Work samples of action plans provided to other organizations

We will review proposals on a rolling basis, and plan to include an interview phase prior to making a final decision. Please submit your proposal as a single PDF to equity@Neweracolorado.org.

The priority deadline for proposals is Tuesday January 15th at 5pm MT, though we are able to be flexible—so if there’s a reason that deadline wouldn’t work, please just let us know.

Budget and Timeframe

Our budget for this phase (assessment, training, and planning) is approximately $12,000-$15,000. We recognize this is an ongoing process, and hope to work with the consultant during this initial phase of our work to plan additional phases (and ongoing work), which we will need to fundraise for. We hope to begin work with a consultant as soon as possible and would like to work with the consultant to develop an appropriate timeframe and timeline.

Contact information

For questions, clarifications, or anything else, please contact:

Lizzy Stephan, Executive Director, Lizzy@neweracolorado.org | 845-551-6843

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Now Hiring: Denver Lead Organizer

Summary

New Era Colorado Foundation and New Era Colorado Action Fund are seeking a full-time Denver Lead Organizer to organize young people to advance our issue campaigns and voter engagement work. This individual coordinates our leadership development programs, grassroots issue campaigns, and our voter engagement work during major election years as well. We are looking for a committed and resourceful individual who is passionate about social justice and young people’s ability to create change, and is enthusiastic about organizing. This position is charged with engaging young people in advancing all of our organizing work, whether it is on an issue campaign at the legislature, a ballot measure, or our voter engagement work. Overall, the Denver Lead Organizer is a core member of our team with significant leadership in driving our work in the city.

This is a crucial moment for today’s young people, who are members of the largest, most diverse, most progressive generation in history. There is power in our generation, and together we need to use it to win progress on the issues impacting us. That’s why our ideal candidate is passionate about mobilizing young people to advance progressive issues, has experience working with diverse and underrepresented communities, is enthusiastic about building political power for young people and translating that power into meaningful victories, and has the enthusiasm to talk to hundreds of young people in a day to register them to vote or get them involved. This position requires a determination to hit goals, resourcefulness, and strong management of multiple projects with significant attention to detail.

About New Era

New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year, we work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights and climate change, and we train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 150,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), and made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power). Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo. We regularly communicate using gifs. Very few of us were cool in high school. We truly believe in the power of young people. Get to know us: Our website | Our Facebook.

Job Activities:

  • Organizing young people to join and lead our issue organizing campaigns, especially around economic justice and specifically student debt reform. Recruit, engage and train supporters to drive the campaigns forward. Responsible for meeting all relevant goals, objectives and priorities in Denver. Play a significant role in all grassroots lobbying activities in Denver, and engage interns and volunteers in Colorado’s legislative session through delivering testimony, attending committee hearings, and lobbying. This includes regularly being in the field talking face-to-face with young people, largely on college campuses.
  • Build and manage a base of volunteers for the Denver program. Engage volunteers in driving our organizing and voter registration campaigns forward, including through recruitment, relationship building, regular communication/outreach, training, events, management, and plugging volunteers into leadership opportunities.
  • Lead the execution of large-scale, volunteer-driven voter registration drives and turnout programs targeting young voters in Denver in major election years (including all aspects of voter registration, phone banks, canvasses, voter guide distribution, etc). This includes hiring and managing a team of 3-6 organizers in 2020. Maintain a regular presence at college campuses, community events and festivals.
  • Lead the Denver section of our spring, summer and fall leadership development programs, recruiting and training a diverse class of interns to learn about organizing and gain hands-on field experience. Lead their classroom sessions, coordinate their field work, and support their development and training. Work closely with the Senior Organizing Manager on the program strategy, goals, and development.
  • Pitch in for “all hands on deck” efforts and other areas of the organization occasionally—including (but not limited to!) the Boulder program, our high school voter registration work, and fundraising efforts.

Here’s a list of knowledge/skills/qualities that our ideal candidate would possess:

  • Deep commitment to New Era’s mission and to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through and within our organization. A determination to engage young people in tackling the issues facing our generation, including economic and racial justice, climate change, and reproductive justice.
  • Passion for increasing participation and leadership among young people of color, and someone who has a commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity through every aspect of work we do. As we’re working to expand our ability to engage young people of color and to make our own organization equitable and inclusive, we are looking for a candidate who has a strong commitment to these values (including fostering a collaborative and empowering work culture).
  • A passion for and experience with engaging people face-to-face on campuses, in the community, through tabling, meetings, and other grassroots tactics,. A strong ability to maintain all relationships through clear, professional communications as well as 100% follow-through and responsiveness.
  • Strategic, creative thinker with strong problem-solving skills & analytical ability (you’ve got ideas, big and small, for how we can better achieve our goals and you regularly troubleshoot your plans and adjust accordingly).
  • Self-starter who shows strong initiative in making improvements to our work, sets high standards for individual and team performance, and is committed to constant improvement of yourself and the organization.
  • Highly organized (seriously) & detail-oriented, with proven ability to effectively and independently manage projects with many moving parts to produce high-quality results in a timely manner.
  • Ability and willingness to work nontraditional hours, including evenings and weekends as needed, to meet young people where they are and when they’re free.
  • Reliable transportation and a driver’s license strongly preferred.

Please note: we care more about your talent, desire to do the work, and your drive and ability to improve every day than whether you have formal or informal experience. We do not require formal education experience. We encourage you to submit your application if this job excites you!

Position details

This is a full-time, permanent position based out of New Era’s Denver office reporting to the Senior Organizing Manager. New Era provides a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage (with 75% of the premium covered by the employer), a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match of up to 3% after 1 year of employment, an annual RTD Ecopass (free public transit!), paid sick and vacation time, a paid sabbatical after 5 continuous years of employment, an annual professional development budget, and enough pizza during election times to make you stop liking pizza for a few months. Salary range is high 30s to mid 40s annualized, commensurate with experience.

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 LGBTQ people to apply.

To apply

Use this Google Form to submit your application materials. In your cover letter, please describe why you want to do this job in particular at New Era, and how you found out about the position. The priority deadline is November 30th, but this position will be open until filled and will be removed from our website once it is filled (if the posting is still up, you can and should still apply!). No phone calls please.

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Now Hiring: Civic Engagement Program Manager

Summary

New Era Colorado Foundation and New Era Colorado Action Fund are seeking a full-time Civic Engagement Program Manager to manage and grow several of our young voter engagement efforts, including our growing high school registration program and our civic engagement partnerships. This person will be a key leader in our civic engagement programming, and will be responsible for high-level program planning, strategy development, relationship and outreach management, and hiring/managing of organizers. This is an exciting opportunity for a highly organized, professional individual with great attention to detail to lead established field organizing programs to mobilize young people, with a focus on young people of color, to participate in our democracy in Colorado.

About New Era

New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We are one of the largest organizations of our kind in the country, and register and turn out tens of thousands of young voters across Colorado. We work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights and climate change, and train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 180,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), and made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power). New Era is of young people, by young people, for all people. Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo. Very few of us were cool in high school. We truly believe in the power of young people. Get to know us: Our website | Our Facebook.

Job Responsibilities

  • (75%) High school registration program planning, strategy, and management | Develop and implement an annual plan for New Era’s high school voter registration program to grow the program’s reach and maximize the number of young people—especially young people of color—that we register, engage and turn out to vote.
    • Drive overall program success and program innovations, and set/track all program goals. Work closely with other departments to leverage program analysis and materials to advance New Era’s organizational goals.
    • Lead outreach, school visit scheduling, organizer hiring/management, and relationship building/cultivation for the high school registration program, including coordination with partner organizations as well as partnerships with school leadership and teachers.
  • (20%) Grow our civic engagement partnerships with community colleges, organizations and local businesses | Develop partnerships to grow the reach of our civic engagement program, prioritizing community colleges in the Denver-metro area. Own civic engagement partnerships with local businesses, including cultivation, program planning, and relationship management.
  • (5%) Organizational and team leadership and collaboration | Contribute to the advancement of the shared goals of the organization and the field team, collaborating and leading on projects as needed—including collaboration with communications, data and fundraising staff.

What we’re looking for

  • Deep commitment to New Era’s mission and to advancing the organization’s goals; determination to tackle the issues facing our generation, including economic and racial justice, climate change, election access, and reproductive justice.
  • Passion for increasing civic participation among young people of color, and someone who has a commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity through every aspect of work we do. As we’re working to expand our ability to engage young people of color and to make our own organization equitable and inclusive, we are looking for a candidate who has a strong commitment to these values (including fostering a collaborative and empowering work culture).
  • Someone who is prepared and able to build relationships with and instill confidence among administrators, teachers, partners, businesses and more. A strong ability to maintain all relationships through clear, professional communications (written and oral) as well as 100% follow-through and responsiveness.
  • Strategic, creative thinker with strong problem-solving skills & analytical ability (you’ve got ideas, big and small, for how we can better achieve our goals and you regularly troubleshoot your plans and adjust accordingly).
  • Self-starter who shows strong initiative, sets high standards for individual and team performance, and is committed to constantly improving upon every aspect of our work.
  • Highly organized (seriously) & detail-oriented, with proven ability to effectively and independently manage projects with many moving parts to produce high-quality results in a timely manner.
  • Willingness to work nontraditional hours (i.e., early mornings for high schools, evenings for field work, and sometimes weekend events). Long hours during election season are common.
  • Strongly preferred but not required: reliable transportation and a driver’s license.

Please note: We care most about your ability to effectively manage a program through strong organizational skills, systems creation, and relationship building. If you’ve got some of this, but not all of it, we’d still encourage you to submit your application!

Position details

This is a full-time, permanent position based out of New Era’s Denver office, reporting to the Organizing Director. New Era provides a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage (with 75% of the premium covered by the employer), a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match of up to 3% after 1 year of employment, an annual RTD Ecopass (free public transit!), paid sick and vacation time, a paid sabbatical after 5 continuous years of employment, an annual professional development budget, and enough pizza during election times to make you stop liking pizza for a few months. Salary range is in the low 40s annualized, commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Use this Google Form to submit your application materials. In your cover letter, please describe why you want to do this job in particular at New Era, and how you found out about the position. The priority deadline is November 30th, but this position will be open until filled and will be removed from our website once it is filled (if the posting is still up, you can and should still apply!). No phone calls please.

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 & LGBTQ people to apply.

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NOW HIRING: Data Manager

For a pdf version of this job description go here.

Summary

We are seeking a full-time Data Manager to work across all aspects of our organization to maximize our effectiveness through strategic data management and analysis. In this role, you’ll build out internal data systems for our organizing, voter registration, fundraising and communications work, and provide strategic direction and management for data usage across all departments, platforms and tactics. This individual will work with our staff to use data to improve our work, drive integration of all of our data systems across departments, and set our data entry, collection and management standards. Whether it’s creating the systems that empower our organizers to quickly follow up with the young people they’ve engaged in the field, coordinating lists and targeting for our statewide voter turnout programs, managing the backend of statewide our voter registration drives, analyzing young voter turnout trends, or ensuring our online actions are reaching the right audiences, you’ll play a key role in nearly every aspect of the work we’re doing. We’re looking for a detail-oriented, strategic thinker who can build easy-to-use systems in response to organizational needs and connect different data uses across departments. If you’re very comfortable using Excel/Google Spreadsheets, you’re a systems thinker, and you can juggle multiple high priority projects at once, we strongly encourage you to apply! We can’t wait to have you on board to take our work to the next level.

About New Era

New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year, we work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights and climate change, and we train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 150,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), and made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power). Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We’ll never miss an opportunity to get a zoomed-in screenshot of you making a weird face in a group photo. We’re fluent in gifs. Very few of us were cool in high school. We truly believe in the power of young people. Get to know us: Our website | Our Facebook.

Job Responsibilities

  • Building and enhancing efficient, user-friendly systems: Create an organized, user-friendly, efficient set of systems and workflows that integrate smoothly and allow us to maximize our effectiveness in our organizing, fundraising and communications. This includes: owning system design for data entry/management, program tracking and analysis, configuration and use of our databases (NGP, VAN, etc), building connections between data sets and systems, and quality control.
  • Providing the data management to make our work happen: Drive and execute all targeting, data cleaning, and more for field and communications programs, including voter turnout, regular volunteer outreach, and ongoing organizing efforts (online and offline)—including phone bank list creation/maintenance/monitoring, voter guide mailing lists, mailer lists, digital targeting, mailing lists, text message lists, etc…Execute data-heavy components of our work, including text message and list building.
  • Support team members’ data usage: Support and empower all teams to use our data efficiently and effectively by providing strategic direction, troubleshooting, training, manuals, list pulling and maintenance for data usage across all departments, platforms and tactics.
  • Voter registration quality control and election year management: Manage and execute all voter registration form processing, scanning and quality control processes and systems. In major election years when there is a higher volume of forms, manage other staff members’ involvement in this process. In major election years, oversee our entire data entry operation (including hiring, etc).
  • Data analysis: Regularly analyze the work that we’re doing and impact we’re having through field data, voter data, and more, identifying trends and areas for improvement. Analyze data collection efforts, program outcomes, etc on a regular basis.

What we’re looking for

  • Strategic and analytical thinker with strong problem-solving skills. Ideally, you can continuously enhance the effectiveness of our systems and tactics to ensure we’re moving efficiently towards the right goals, you troubleshoot your plans relentlessly, and you can translate organizational needs into clear systems.
  • A strong interest in numbers, efficiency, and orderliness—ideally you get immense satisfaction from taking a million moving pieces and putting them in place, and you have ideas for how to make our systems flexible and user-friendly.
  • High level of comfort with spreadsheets (Excel and/or Google Spreadsheets—we use Google for the most part, but Excel skills will translate well), and comfort teaching yourself new ways to use spreadsheets.
  • Highly organized (seriously) & detail-oriented, with ability to effectively manage projects with many moving parts (and datasets with tens of thousands of rows) to produce high-quality results in a timely manner.
  • Self-starter who shows strong initiative, sets high standards for individual and team performance, and is committed to constantly improving upon every aspect of our work.
  • Deep commitment to New Era’s mission and a determination to engage young people in tackling the issues facing our generation, including economic and racial justice, climate change, and reproductive justice.
  • Work style that is flexible, respectful, collaborative and nimble; brings a commitment to maintaining a supportive, empowering work culture. As we’re working to advance diversity, inclusivity and equity within our organization and through our work, a commitment to advancing these three principles is a must.
  • Positive and solutions-oriented—we need people who can celebrate the great things we have, see the places we can improve, and come up with specific ways to help make those changes happen.
  • Bonus points for any of the following: Experience with VAN, NGP, database management, advanced data analysis and management techniques especially as they related to field/campaign organizing.

Please note: What we care most about is that you are a strategic thinker, comfortable with spreadsheets, and eager to continue to learn how to be amazing at this job. If you’ve got some of this but not all of it, we’d still encourage you to submit your application!

Position details

This is a full-time, permanent position that can be based out of New Era’s Denver office (We’d consider our Boulder office as the base for the right candidate), reporting to the Organizing Director. New Era provides a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage (with 75% of the premium covered by the employer), a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with a match of up to 3% after 1 year of employment, an annual RTD Ecopass (free public transit!), paid sick and vacation time, a paid sabbatical after 5 continuous years of employment, an annual professional development budget, and enough pizza during election times to make you stop liking pizza for a few months. Salary range is low to mid 40s, commensurate with experience.

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 & LGBTQ people to apply.

To apply

Use this Google Form to submit your application materials. In your cover letter, please describe why you want to do this job in particular at New Era, and how you found out about the position. The priority deadline is November 30th, but this position will be open until filled and will be removed from our website once it is filled (if the posting is still up, you can and should still apply!). No phone calls please.

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Now seeking: Fundraising Fellow

For a PDF version of this fellowship description, click here.

We’re seeking a part-time fundraising fellow to help us raise the revenue we need to power our work and grow our impact. As a fundraising fellow, you’ll receive unique networking opportunities, one-on-one professional development, and the chance to gain experience in nonprofit development and management.

Working with the development team, you’ll help drive the progress we’re able to make on issues like student debt, abortion rights, and climate change. If you’re an organized, strong communicator with an interest in fundraising, we strongly encourage you to apply. Previous fundraising or events experience is not required—this is an opportunity for professional growth!

About New Era

New Era Colorado is working to reinvent politics for young people, mobilizing and empowering a new generation to participate in our democracy to make Colorado a better place for everyone. We register and turn out thousands of young voters every year, we work on issues like election access, economic justice, abortion rights, and climate change, and we train hundreds of young leaders to create change. We’ve registered more than 150,000 young voters, passed policies like online voter registration, given out more than 60,000+ buttons that say “Vote, F*cker” on them (good, right?), and made two viral videos (This Is Why We Vote; Campaign for Local Power).

Our team is deeply dedicated to social change, and takes the work very seriously—but not ourselves. We truly believe in the power of young people.

Get to know us: Our website | Our Facebook

Areas of Responsibility

  • Ensure that we have up-to-date records to facilitate timely donor responses and decision making.
  • Manage and track all contributions.
  • Manage mailing gift acknowledgments.
  • Manage records maintenance and work with Data Manager to implement best practices.
  • Assist with development stewardship, cultivation, and departmental metrics tracking.
  • Assist with prospect research, data entry, and other departmental administration.
  • Participate in events and networking opportunities that build exposure and support for New Era Colorado. This may include some evenings and weekends.

Position Details

This a part-time, temporary position based out of New Era’s Denver office, reporting to the Development Director. Compensation will be $15/hr, with an expectation for 10-25 hours per week. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We’re looking to start someone as soon as we find the right candidate, so don’t wait to apply!

Apply here.

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Statement on Resignation of Top Student Loan Watchdog

WASHINGTON— Seth Frotman, the Student Loan Ombudsman at the Consumer FInancial Protection Bureau tasked with overseeing the student loan market, resigned this morning. In a scathing resignation letter to Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, Frotman states that the current administration has “has turned its back on young people and their financial futures,” and “abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting.”  

The letter goes on to detail ways the current leadership is “undercutting enforcement of the law…undermining the bureau’s independence…[and] shielding bad actors from scrutiny.”

Charley Olena, Advocacy Director for youth engagement organization New Era Colorado, issued the following statement:

“Seth Frotman’s leadership of the Office of Students and Young Consumers uncovered systematic misconduct, fraud and abuse within the student loan servicing industry, prompting lawsuits and calls for reform across the country. Frotman has been an unwavering champion for the rights of borrowers with student loan debt at the federal level. His departure, combined with his allegations of the Bureau’s reluctance to enforce our laws and hold these servicers accountable, is no less than disturbing.

“Our financial future is at risk. There are more than 761,000 borrowers with over $24 billion of student loan debt in Colorado. Yet instead of protecting their basic rights, Secretary of Education Betsy Devos and Acting Director Mick Mulvaney are leaving borrowers across the nation to the mercy of unscrupulous and unaccountable lenders and loan servicers—some of the most powerful financial corporations in the country.

“As the federal government continues to roll back even the most basic protections for borrowers with student loans, the need for states to step up and act has never been clearer. The tens of thousands of young Coloradans we work with every year consistently name student loan debt as one of the top areas they would like to see elected officials taking action. With protections crumbling at the federal level, Colorado’s leaders have an obligation to take action locally to defend borrowers with student loan debt.

“Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has consistently made it clear that Colorado has an obligation to step up and protect borrowers with student loan debt where the federal government has failed to do so. Earlier this year, she co-authored a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos pushing back against the federal government’s attempted pre-emption of state laws regulating student loan servicers. Her office also supported HB18-1415, a bill that would have brought oversight of student loan servicers in line with other consumer loan providers in Colorado.

“We will fight to ensure that our leaders recognize the critical role they must play in protecting student borrowers and work with them to bring oversight of student loan servicers in line with other consumer servicers that operate in our state. We will continue to elevate the voices and stories of the Coloradans who have been taken advantage of by their student loan servicers across our state and in the halls of the capitol. We will not stop fighting until Colorado has strong protections in place for borrowers repaying student loans.”

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100% renewable energy or bust

Friends,

Because of President Trump, our best chance to fight climate change is on the local level now—where we need to double down.

And here in Colorado, Boulder’s fighting to do just that: pursuing the most powerful tool it has to fight climate change by breaking away from its monopoly energy provider, Xcel Energy, to create a locally-owned electric utility powered by clean energy.

This effort—municipalization—is Boulder’s only real path to 100% renewable energy, and could be a model for climate action for communities across the country!

But this fall, the fight for clean, local power faces a critical test—and we need your help. Boulder voters will decide whether to pass ballot measure 2L, to continue the project’s funding. The climate crisis is only getting worse—we have to stay the course on this huge, precedent-setting fight!

We’ve been fighting for this for years, because municipalization is the type of complex action that the climate crisis requires of us: in addition to changing our light bulbs, we’re changing our electricity provider and we’re taking control of our own energy future—threatening the coal-dominated utility industry in the process.

Boulder voters have long supported this effort because we know we’re running out of time to fight climate change and have to take serious, systems-changing actions.

Here’s the thing: to pass this measure, we’re running a truly grassroots campaign—again—and we need your help.

We’ve already got organizers on the ground talking face-to-face with voters every day, but we need to keep ramping up. Can you donate today to help us educate and mobilize more voters to support this campaign?

This fight, right here, right now, 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. Help us make history—click here to support our campaign today, or here to sign up to volunteer.

Onward,

New Era

P.S. Remember the viral video we made telling the story of this effort in 2013? Walk down memory lane, and then chip in to support this fight!

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Forward on local power!

Friends—

Exciting news: Boulder City Council voted 6-3 last night to stay the course on the campaign for local power!

This means we’ll continue with the utility formation process hearings at the Public Utilities Commission. Council members spoke of the weaknesses in Xcel’s offers, and listened to the overwhelming supportive crowds at the rally and the hearing. Forward on local power!

Thank you to everyone who wrote, posted, showed up, and spoke in favor of staying the course on local power.

The work continues: Now, we need your support at the Public Utilities Commission, which is hearing Boulder’s utility formation plans. They need to know we’re watching and care about them protecting Boulder’s right to municipalize!

Can you send a message to the Public Utilities Commission to support the next step?

A short and sweet note is best, thanking them for their work and asking that they please support Boulder’s constitutional right to form a municipal electric utility! Time is of the essence, so please email them today.

It’s up to the Commission to make Boulder’s constitutional right “real” by creating a realistic path for local power. There are 29 municipal utilities already in Colorado—so this isn’t a new concept—but the Commission has to show the way.

Email the Commission and let them know that you support municipalization in Boulder and defining a path for local power to happen in other communities (short notes are best!).

As a part of the Boulder community, you are leading the charge on climate action with local power as the model. The rest of the country is watching, ready to follow. Let’s go!

Onward,

-New Era

 

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We need you—Campaign for Local Power update

This email was sent to our local power supporters on April 12, 2017.

Friends,

As you know, Boulder’s been working towards the creation of a locally-owned electric utility powered by clean energy for the last several years. There’s a major update in this fight—another delay from Xcel—and we need your help to keep our energy future from slipping back into Xcel’s hands.

The latest: We’re closer than ever, and a big step is coming up: Boulder’s utility formation plan is set to be heard by the utility oversight commission in Colorado. But at the 11th hour, Xcel Energy has released two business-as-usual deals to halt that process!

Now, City Council will vote on whether to abandon this next big step toward clean, local power, temporarily or otherwise.

Make no mistake: What Xcel has put on the table is a bad deal for Boulder, and is another attempt to delay our progress.

Offer #1 is to sign a 20-year contract with Xcel again, with promises—but no accountability—to help Boulder use more clean energy. Offer #2 is to buy their system out for what would amount to 2-3x the price of what it’s worth. (Um, no thank you?)

Voters have spoken loud and clear on four separate occasions that they support the campaign for local power—we’re so close, we have to stay the course.

The clock is ticking, and City Council needs to hear from you before they vote. Can you email them to say you support staying the course on municipalization?

Click that button to compose a message—that email address will go to all council members. A quick note with your name saying you support staying the course and rejecting Xcel’s offers is perfect.

If you’d like more info, click here for our full explainer: what’s happening and why we oppose the delay.

With President Trump moving to undo major climate change mitigation efforts on the federal level, the stakes have never been higher—and bold, local leadership from our community has never been more important. We can’t put our energy future back in Xcel’s hands.

Onward,

Molly, Emma, and the rest of the New Era team

P.S. We need a strong showing at the City Council hearing on Monday—can you join us? Click here for more details.

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Our message to Boulder City Council re: halting the PUC process

The following email was sent to Boulder City Council on April 11, 2017.

Dear City Council,

My name is Molly Fitzpatrick and I am the Organizing Director with New Era Colorado.

We would again like to express our deep appreciation for your persistent dedication to our community and your diligence on the issue of municipalization. I’m writing to reiterate our position, that continuing the PUC process is critically important for our community.

Our community has worked hard on municipalization for years—through so many elections, council meetings, study sessions, city open houses, and all the hard work that the Energy Future staff has done behind the scenes. Our voters made a bold, forward-thinking choice a long time ago, and they have since affirmed their decision on multiple occasions—what we would argue is the gold standard for a meaningful pursuit like this one. The critical moment—the upcoming PUC hearings—is finally upon us, and it is alarming that we would so hurriedly decide to halt that major step after all of this effort. Especially since, given the workings of the PUC, it is highly unlikely that we could simply hit the pause button on the proceedings and resume them as new post-election if voters rejected the settlement option(s)—which we believe they would. Delays are in Xcel’s interest and Xcel’s interest alone, particularly with the PUC hearings in sight.

On the offers themselves: Xcel’s “best and final” settlement options are weak, and ask the city—and our voters, again who have affirmed their choice on multiple occasions—to resume trusting Xcel to negotiate in good faith in the future, despite our city’s long history of challenging negotiations with them in the past. The franchise agreement, in practice, would be business as usual for Xcel. It’s missing critical accountability mechanisms, and offers little certainty in the pursuit of our community’s climate commitments—and in the process, it puts our energy future right back where it was when we embarked down this path as a community: in Xcel’s hands (particularly because the off-ramp options are quite hollow, in our view). The buyout option is a non-starter in our book and, we would guess, Xcel’s—since they couldn’t be under the illusion that Boulder would pay them so much more than the system is worth.

At every turn, our voters have consistently supported bold action in the face of the climate crisis and they’ve affirmed their support on multiple occasions—we’ve already taken this question to the people and given them a chance to voice support for another direction. And as President Trump is rolling back nearly every bit of progress that we’ve worked for at the national level, it is hard to imagine that our community would choose to cower at this time—and let Xcel lead instead, setting the pace for how we tackle a crisis that threatens life as we know it. The PUC process is literally just weeks away—we must stay the course and pursue the goals that voters have consistently supported.

We strongly urge you to move forward with the PUC process, and avoid any sort of compromise on Boulder’s values for a clean energy future.

Sincerely,

Molly Fitzpatrick
Organizing Director
New Era Colorado

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