Healthier kids through public policy
At Children’s Hospital Colorado, our mission is to improve the health of children through the provision of high-quality, coordinated programs of education, patient care, research and advocacy. Child health is at stake in the election this November, so this educational voter guide focuses on the ballot issues and candidates that we believe will have the biggest impact on child health for years to come.
Our advocacy efforts rely on the strength of our Child Health Champions, a group of more than 7,000 patients and families, community members, healthcare professionals and business leaders, working to make a difference in children’s lives. We make it easy to write letters, make phone calls, share social media posts and speak up for kids’ health with lawmakers.
Become a Child Health Champion today:
As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, Children’s Colorado does not support or oppose candidates for public office. At times, we endorse ballot measures in cases where child health will be affected.
Remember: how you vote is up to you. The most important thing is that you vote by November 6.
How to vote in Colorado
Step one: Register
Be sure you are registered and your information, like your mailing address, is up to date. Simply text “CO” to 2Vote (28683) or visit GoVoteColorado.com to get started.
Step two: Watch for your ballot in the mail
Election Day is November 6. County clerks will start mailing ballots on October 15 to 19. All voters registered by October 29 will receive a ballot in the mail. You can register up to and on Election Day, but you’ll need to vote in person if you don’t register by October 29.
Step three: Vote
After your ballot arrives, fill it out and mail it back, drop it off in person or submit it at a polling place. If you prefer to vote in person, or if you registered to vote after October 29, find polling locations in your area by contacting your county clerk. You can look up your clerk’s information at GoVoteColorado.com.
Be a voice for kids
Do you know where the candidates stand on the most important kids’ health issues? Do they know your opinions and ideas? When candidates call you, knock on your door or hold town hall meetings, will you be ready to ask them the questions that count? Here are a few suggested questions for candidates who want your vote:
- Suicide is the leading cause of death in Colorado for children ages 10 to 17. What do you think are the most urgent challenges in our mental health system, and how will you work to improve them?
- Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety often start surprisingly early in life, with 1 in 6 young people having a diagnosable mental health condition by the age of 18. Prevention and early intervention are critical, so what ideas do you have to ensure kids receive quality mental health care as early as possible in life?
- What do you think is the best approach to guarantee all kids have access to affordable, quality healthcare?
Guide to the ballot
The governor’s race
With current Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Denver) term-limited, it’s a big year for Colorado as we elect our next chief executive. Our new governor will have the responsibility of doing what’s best for Colorado’s kids, and we want to make sure that no matter who it is, they’re committed to improving child health in our state.
Here’s who’s running for office and how you can learn more about what they stand for:
Jared Polis, with Dianne Primavera (Democrat)
- Currently serving his fifth term as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district (includes Boulder, northern Colorado and the central mountains)
- Lists the following as his main election issues: economy, energy, healthcare, education, environment, gun violence prevention, transportation, Colorado workers, broadband infrastructure, a dignified retirement, criminal and social justice
Walker Stapleton, with Lang Sias (Republican)
- Currently serving his second term as Colorado’s State Treasurer
- Lists the following as his main election issues: sanctuary cities, Colorado’s pension system for public employees (Public Employees Retirement Association), education, energy and land, transportation, Second Amendment and jobs
Be sure to vote your whole ballot. Races for Congress or governor get the most attention, but local races like state legislator or county commissioner matter just as much and have an impact that’s often closer to home. So take a few minutes to research the candidates and issues on your ballot to make your voice is heard.
Caring 4 Denver initiative
If you live in Denver, you’ll have the chance to vote on a ballot measure that would provide much needed mental health and substance use services to children and adults seeking treatment in the City and County of Denver. Voters are being asked to raise the sales tax by ¼ of 1% — which is 25 cents on a $100 purchase.
If passed, the measure would raise at least $45 million annually for mental health services for children and adults, suicide prevention programs, opioid and other substance use prevention, treatment and recovery programs, affordable housing and case management services.
Children’s Hospital Colorado is encouraging a “YES” vote on the Caring 4 Denver initiative.
Why Children’s Colorado supports it:
- Suicide is the leading cause of death in Colorado for children ages 10 to 17. Solutions exist, but we need new resources now to improve access to quality, affordable, community-based behavioral healthcare.
- No one is immune from a mental health or substance use crisis. By providing critical mental health services, substance use treatment and suicide prevention, we can help children and youth lead healthier, safer lives.
- Although this measure is specific to Denver and there’s still a lot of work to be done across the state in improving our mental health system for kids, we think this is a step in the right direction.
Local mental health-related ballot measures are also on the ballot in Summit, Larimer and San Miguel Counties. We support efforts to better fund youth mental health, so we encourage you to vote “yes” if you live in one of these counties. We believe your local measure will enhance access to mental health for children and youth.
Other ballot measures
You’ll see a number of other measures on the ballot this November, including initiatives on transportation, education, payday loans, campaign contribution limits, private property, oil and gas drilling and more.
Children’s Colorado doesn’t have a position on these measures, but it’s important that you make your voice heard by voting your whole ballot. Be sure to do some research on the ballot measures to help determine how you’ll want to vote. You can do this by referring to Colorado’s impartial and non-partisan “Blue Book” at Colorado.gov/Bluebook, or by researching the websites for each individual ballot measure.
For more information on ballot measures and other election issues in 2018, check out the resources listed below.
Learn about candidates
Find out which candidates are running for office in your area at votesmart.org.
Cast an informed vote on ballot measures
Colorado’s “Blue Book,” an impartial and non-partisan summary of the ballot measures, will be mailed to your home a month before Election Day, and you can refer to it anytime online by visiting Colorado.gov/bluebook.
Just Vote Colorado is a great source of non-partisan information for all things election-related in Colorado.
Be a champion for children
Make a plan for how you’ll vote, and commit to cast your ballot by November 6. Children are counting on you to speak up for them and vote in the election. Learn how to become a Child Health Champion.