Democracia Ahora Issues Statement on Defeat of Colorado Senate Bill 170

PUEBLO, CO- (April 7)- On Monday, April 6, 2009 the Colorado Senate voted to defeat Senate Bill 170, which promoted tuition equity legislation, on a 18-16 vote. Isaac Medrano, Democracia Ahora’s Colorado State Director offered this statement in response:

Yesterday’s vote was deeply disappointing to all who believe in tuition equity and access to higher education for immigrant students and youth. It was also a loss for the state of Colorado, for when Colorado K-12 graduates cannot afford college tuition and thus cannot attend college, we as a state are diminished.

We elect our state officials to tackle complex policy issues with common sense solutions. In fact – this year, Latinos represented 13% of Colorado’s electoral turnout. Yet Senators who voted no on SB 170 chose to turn their backs on the very people who put them in office. They rejected fair, practical and economically sound policy in favor of the politics of fear. We are disappointed; but we are not discouraged.

At Democracia Ahora, we are committed to ensuring tuition equity for immigrants. We also know that these issues do not exist in a vacuum. Indeed – it is issues such as this one, and the callous response from our state legislature – that will motivate immigrant communities and our allies to register, vote and become more active in our democracy than ever before.

We thank Senator Romer and Senator Tapia amongst the 16 senators that voted yes on SB 170 for strongly advocating for equal access to higher education for all Colorado high school graduates. We elect public officials to be leaders, visionaries, and agents of change. As disappointed as we are, we know that with continued work and struggle there will be equity and justice for all Coloradans.

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