Dispatch from Denver: David v. Goliath

by | Oct 25, 2011 | Paid Sick Days

We are just one week away from the deadline for Denver voters to turn in their ballots — and vote YES on Initiative 300. It feels like there is an almost tangible energy in the air (I’ve finally acclimated to the altitude, so I don’t think it’s that). The Campaign for a Healthy Denver kicked off this final week with an eye-opening press event this morning.

The campaign’s event announced the release of a report that documents the opposition’s major funding sources. It turns out that national restaurant chains and business lobbies have contributed significantly to efforts to defeat the local Denver paid sick days initiative. In fact, more than $250,000 of the almost $650,000 raised by Initiative 300 opponents has come from national, out-of-state groups.

The Campaign for a Healthy Denver, on the other hand, is a coalition of 156 Denver-based public health groups, civil rights organizations, women’s organizations, labor unions and forward-thinking businesses. The push for paid sick days in Denver really is a David versus Goliath fight.

The opposition’s spending is reflected in the comments I’ve heard from voters when phonebanking and canvassing. Breaking through the opposition’s messaging has been challenging but, once voters understand why paid sick days are so important, they see why voting yes on Initiative 300 is the right thing to do.

Today’s press event called out the opposition’s big money. We need to spread the word and do our best to make sure common sense prevails so that voters vote YES on Initiative 300!