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As I write this, Denver’s streets are filled with people protesting for the 12th day in a row. I am proud to see so many in our community making their voices heard and speaking out against systemic racism and police brutality while honoring countless lives of black people that have been lost. The conversation about racism, privilege, and policing is at the forefront of the national consciousness. Defy Colorado has always believed in empowering the voices of the unheard. People are taking to the streets chanting and protesting because their voices have been ignored for far too long.

Right now, we have to take action against police violence and support those who were murdered by unnecessary police force. That’s why Defy Colorado has signed on as a corporate sponsor of the Law Enforcement Accountability Act.

The murder of George Floyd has been on my heart. He was callously murdered in the street. It’s obvious that our system failed him as it has so many others and that he was not equally protected under the law. As a white woman, I do not know what it’s like to be a black man or woman interacting in the system. I do not live the Black American experience. However, as the Executive Director of Defy Ventures Colorado, I closely observe the criminal justice system and the way it routinely disenfranchises people of color and fails the men and women who have been incarcerated. I feel a calling and urgency to support our black community and to do everything I can to support the Law Enforcement Accountability Act.

Black lives matter and here’s how to make a difference.

We have to stop police brutality. Colorado moved one step closer this week as Representative Leslie Herod introduced The Law Enforcement Accountability Act (Colorado Senate Bill 20-217). The bill’s goal is to increase police accountability and mandate body cameras on all police officers, require public reporting on policing, rein in the deadly use of force by officers, and prevent the rehiring of officers terminated for excessive force. It also ends qualified immunity. If you support this bill, Defy Colorado has made this quick guide to advocating for it to your representatives. As Barack Obama said, “Aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices.” This is our opportunity to turn passion into legislation.

Step 1: Find your Colorado state representative

Step 2: Email, call, and tweet your legislators about your passion for ending police brutality and supporting Black Lives. Encourage them to vote for this bill. Need sample emails of tweets? The ACLU has also prepared a social media toolkit that can be found here.

Step 3: Email, call, and tweet Governor Jared Polis about the importance of qualified immunity. You can find sample tweets in the ACLU’s activists’ guide linked here:

Step 4: You can fill out a call to action here.

Thank you for believing in equality for all people and for joining us as we support the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Here’s to believing that 2020 is the year of togetherness, change, and community like we have never seen before.

In support and solidarity,

Stacey Putka

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