Organizations Applaud Signing of Nonprofit Security Legislation

(DENVER) – JEWISHcolorado, its Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), and more than 100 coalition partners applaud the signing today of HB22-1077 by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, creating a state nonprofit security grant program for qualified nonprofit organizations at high risk of a terrorist attack. Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Iman Jodeh, and Senators Kevin Priola and Chris Hansen were the bill’s sponsors.

The program will operate within the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) and will further enhance the physical security of Colorado’s faith-based and charitable organizations. JEWISHcolorado and the JCRC amassed a coalition of more than 100 organizations that backed the bill.

JCRC chair Matt Most thanked the sponsors and coalition members for coming together in a bi-partisan and broad community effort to gain passage of the legislation. “Threats towards non-profit institutions have only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, targeting all faiths. Unfortunately, we are living in a time of widespread threat to minorities, houses of worship and non-profits. We have seen time and again the loss of life – most recently in Buffalo, NY—from hateful, racist, white supremacist, and antisemitic acts. This effort sends a clear message that Coloradans will stand together to protect and raise up our statewide community and all peoples.”  

The legislation allows for nonprofit organizations to apply for funding to pay for security upgrades on their buildings, preparedness exercises, training, planning, and contracting with security personnel. Demand for these funds has skyrocketed after the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh (2018) and the Christchurch New Zealand Mosque shooting (2019). In 2020, the annual federal budget for the program was $90 million. However, despite the increased threats from extremist activityfederal NSGP funding to Colorado declined significantly.

Grant projects must be feasible and effective at reducing the risks for which the projects were designed and cannot be used for inherently religious activities. The initial budget for the Colorado NSGP is $500,000, with a maximum award amount of $50,000 per organization.

Eleven other states have created programs to supplement the federal program, augmenting the security of even more organizations in their states. “Programs like this are more important than ever to ensure that all Coloradans are safe while participating in community events or in their places of worship,” said JEWISHcolorado President and CEO Rabbi Jay Strear.

DHSEM will closely track the federal program and will assess applications. Upon FEMA’s award notifications, Colorado DHSEM will notify those organizations who did not receive federal funding that will be eligible receive state funding.

The Colorado State NSGP is supported by the following coalition of organizations:

  • ·       ACE: Arts, Culture, and Education at the Boulder JCC
  • ·       African Leadership Group
  • ·       Agudath Israel of Colorado
  • ·       Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region
  • ·       Armenian National Committee of America — Western Region
  • ·       Asian Chamber of Commerce of Colorado
  • ·       Asian Pacific Development Center
  • ·       Aspen Jewish Congregation
  • ·       Auraria Higher Education Center
  • ·       Aurora, Colorado Branch of the NAACP
  • ·       Bais Menachem and Chabad Lubavitch of Colorado
  • ·       Beth Jacob High School
  • ·       BMH-BJ Congregation
  • ·       B’nai B’rith Colorado
  • ·       B’nai Havurah
  • ·       B’nai Vail
  • ·       Boulder JCC
  • ·       Catholic Archdiocese of Denver
  • ·       The Center on Colfax
  • ·       Coloradans for the Common Good
  • ·       Colorado Catholic Conference
  • ·       Colorado Council of Churches
  • ·       Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC)
  • ·       Colorado Islamic Center
  • ·       Colorado Muslim Society
  • ·       Colorado Nonprofit Association
  • ·       Colorado Resilience Collaborative
  • ·       Colorado Sikhs
  • ·       Congregation Bonai Shalom
  • ·       Congregation Har Hashem
  • ·       Congregation Rodef Shalom
  • ·       Congregation Zera Abraham
  • ·       Craig Hospital
  • ·       Denver Academy of Torah
  • ·       Denver Community Kollel
  • ·       Denver Jewish Day School (DJDS)
  • ·       The Denver Kehillah
  • ·       Downtown Denver Islamic Center
  • ·       East Denver Orthodox Synagogue (EDOS)
  • ·       The Efshar Project
  • ·       Einstein Academy
  • ·       The Golda Meir House Museum
  • ·       Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance
  • ·       Hadassah Denver
  • ·       Hadassah LEA (Littleton-Englewood-Aurora)
  • ·       Hillel Academy of Denver
  • ·       Hillel of Colorado
  • ·       Hindu Temple and Culture Center of the Rockies
  • ·       Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
  • ·       Islamic Center of Fort Collins
  • ·       Islamic Society of Colorado Springs
  • ·       J Street Education Fund, Colorado Chapter
  • ·       The Jewish Experience
  • ·       Jewish Community Relations Council, a program of JEWISHcolorado
  • ·       Jewish Family Service of Colorado
  • ·       Jewish Life Center: Chabad Denver North
  • ·       JTown
  • ·       Judaism Your Way
  • ·       Kavod Senior Life
  • ·       Metropolitan Denver North Islamic Center
  • ·       Mikvah of East Denver (MOED)
  • ·       Mizel Arts & Culture Center
  • ·       Multicultural Mosaic Foundation
  • ·       Muslim Family Services of Colorado
  • ·       Na’aleh Denver
  • ·       National Council of Jewish Women – Colorado Section
  • ·       Northeast Denver Islamic Center (NDIC)
  • ·       One Colorado
  • ·       Out Boulder County
  • ·       Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
  • ·       Ramah in the Rockies
  • ·       Rocky Mountain Rabbis & Cantors (RMRC)
  • ·       Rose Community Foundation
  • ·       South Denver Islamic Center
  • ·       Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC)
  • ·       Temple Beit Torah – Colorado Springs
  • ·       Temple Emanuel Denver
  • ·       Temple Sinai Denver
  • ·       The Tipi Raisers | Ti Ikcsiya Pa Slata Pi
  • ·       Together Colorado
  • ·       Village Exchange Center
  • ·       Western Center for Russian Jewry (WCRJ) Synagogue and Community Center

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