The Jewish Community Relations Council, JCRC, advocates at the State Capitol for healthcare, social justice, education and other policies upholding our Jewish values. We are pleased to recognize 2019 policy advancements that will positively impact Colorado and the Jewish community.
“The JCRC ensures our shared Jewish values are well represented at the State Capitol. This year we were successful in advocating for low-income families and education advancements, and we thank Colorado’s legislative leadership for taking strong measures that benefit Colorado families,” said Alice Forshner, Chair of JCRC’s Advocacy Committee.
Among the 15 critical bills the JCRC tracked this legislative session, member organizations point to a few policy highlights:
- HB 1013: Child Care Expenses Tax Credit Low-Income Families. This tax credit provides up to $500 for families making less than $25,000 annually to help pay for childcare expenses. JCRC advocated for reauthorization of this bill for many years and is thrilled to see this tax credit become permanent.
- HB 1262: State Funding for Full-Day Kindergarten. JCRC joined the Full Day Kindergarten Now coalition to support this bipartisan effort to support Colorado’s young children. Funding full day kindergarten through the state will free up resources to provide more preschool slots, give districts more flexibility in their budgets, and save parents who pay kindergarten tuition up to $500 per month.
- SB 230: Colorado Refugee Services Program. This bill codified the existing Colorado Refugee Service Program, allowing it to receive state and federal funds in the future. The program provides financial and medical assistance to refugees in Colorado.
The JCRC also worked with state legislators and community organizations on the following policy actions:
- Secured bipartisan sponsorship for the 2019 Holocaust Remembrance Resolution on the House and Senate Floors by Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Representative Hugh McKean, Senator Joann Ginal, and Senator Bob Gardner. Several legislators took time out of a crowded agenda near the end of session to share their stories at the podium of family members impacted by the Holocaust and to call for an end to discrimination and hate speech in today’s world.
- In partnership with the Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, JCRC advocated for a proclamation by Governor Jared Polis recognizing April 2019 as Genocide Awareness Month.
- Last October, JCRC and the National Council for Jewish Women, NCJW, hosted a Candidates Forum at Temple Emanuel. Over 600 community members attended and heard from candidates running for U.S. Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Attorney General, the state legislature, and representatives of state ballot initiatives.
- JCRC introduced a Young Professional Delegation from Ramat HaNegev for a Happy Hour with state legislators and a tour of the State Capitol.
- This December, JCRC will host the 9th biennial Public Officials Mission to Israel for state legislators.
“Advocating for sound policy and community services is a key role played by the JCRC on behalf of the Jewish community,” Forshner said.
The JCRC (Jewish Community Relations Council) advocates for policy issues that affect the Colorado Jewish community, represents these views to the Jewish community and to the general community of Colorado, and organizes the Jewish community in times of crisis. JCRC consists of more than 40 member organizations, 15 at-large members, and is affiliated with the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).