Actress Jennifer Lawrence backs Colorado ballot measures on gerrymandering| Endorsement Watch
Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence threw her support this week behind a pair of Colorado ballot measures that would change the way the state draws congressional and legislative lines.
The “Hunger Games” and “X-Men” star sits on the board of RepresentUs, a national organization that fights public corruption. She released an online video urging voters to affirm Amendments Y and Z, bipartisan measures that aim to end gerrymandering.
“It’s wrong when politicians pick their voters,” Lawrence says in the video. “Y and Z will fix the system so Colorado voters pick their representatives, not the other way around. That’s why it’s supported by a coalition of Republicans, Democrats and independents, including every living Colorado governor.”
Actor and bodybuilding pioneer Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former Republican governor of California, promoted the amendments at an event Saturday in Denver with Colorado’s Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, saying it’s time to “terminate gerrymandering.”
“Colorado is really leading the way for the nation to un-rig our system — we are pioneering a new wave of grassroots power to hold our elected officials accountable,” said Dan Silbaugh, a leader of the Denver chapter of RepresentUs, in a release.
The constitutional amendments haven’t drawn organized opposition but face a high hurdle, needing the support of 55 percent of voters under a requirement approved in the 2016 election.
Here are some of the other Colorado candidate and ballot measure endorsements announced recently:
• Former Vice President Joe Biden last week endorsed the five Democrats running in the battleground state Senate districts that will likely determine which parties controls the chamber after the election.
The candidates winning Biden’s support are state Sen. Kerry Donovan, who is running for a second term in central Colorado’s Senate District 5 against Republican Olen Lund; Tammy Story, who seeks to oust Republican incumbent Tim Neville in Senate District 16; state Rep. Faith Winter, who is challenging Republican state Sen. Beth Martinez Humenick in Adams County’s Senate District 24; state Rep. Jessie Danielson, running for the open Senate District 20 in Jefferson County against Republican Christine Jensen; and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen, running in Jefferson County’s Senate District 22 against GOP nominee Tony Sanchez.
Biden, who is considering a run for president in 2020, said in a statement he was proud to support the women, touting their “grit, determination and courage.”
• State Reps. Jim Wilson, R-Salida, and Larry Liston, R-Colorado Springs, last week endorsed fellow Republican Chance Hill, an attorney and former CIA agent running for the University of Colorado Board of Regents from the 5th Congressional District.
“Chance cares about representing ALL five counties in the district — including our rural counties,” Wilson said in a statement. “He understands that access to online classes and affordability matter to the residents of Chaffee County and Fremont County, and I know that he will fight hard for our best interests and for the UCCS campus as well.”
Noting that the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs campus sits in his district, Liston said in a statement: “Chance truly understands how vital the CU System is to our state’s economy — and especially the important role that UCCS plays in our region. The long-term health and vitality of Colorado Springs and much of southern Colorado depends on a vibrant UCCS.”
Hill is running against Democrat Tony Wolusky for the open seat.
• The Outdoor Industry Association, a Boulder-based trade group representing 1,300 companies, this week endorsed Democrat Jason Crow, who is challenging five-term Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District.
“We believe Jason will be a strong advocate for Colorado’s land and water, will take meaningful action to combat climate change and will be a champion of the 6th Congressional District’s $2 billion outdoor recreation economy,” said Amy Roberts, the organization’s executive director.
Crow welcomed the group’s backing.
“Public lands in Colorado and across the west are under assault in Washington,” Crow said in a statement. “That’s a threat to our economy, our planet, and our Colorado way of life. I’m proud to stand with the Outdoor Industry Association in defense of the spaces that make our state a great play to work, live, and play.”
• A group of religious leaders have banded together to endorse Amendment 73, a ballot initiative to raise taxes on high-income residents and businesses in order to fund education.
The endorsers include the Colorado Council of Churches, Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, Together Colorado, the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado and the Colorado chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women.
“It is so vitally important in today’s society to have a comprehensive public education system and for this reason we support Amendment 73,” said Adrian Miller, executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, in a statement. “The Christian faith tradition calls on us to care for the least of these. Our children, especially those most vulnerable, need our support.”
• Earthworks Action Fund, the political arm of environmental nonprofit Earthworks, last week endorsed Emma Pinter, a Democrat running for Adams County commissioner.
“(Pinter) knows that a clean environment is critical for Colorado’s health, safety and way of life,” said Lauren Pagel, the group’s political director, in a statement. “And her work as Westminster city councilor shows she knows that a clean energy future is necessary to protect our clean air and water.”
Pagel pointed to Pinter’s role making Westminster the first city in Colorado to win the “Platinum Solar City” designation.
Pinter is running against Republican Larry Hoy for the open seat.