Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Colorado caucus/assembly process is a funny thing. It is supposed to be a way for neighbors to gather, discuss issues and candidates, and nominate their choice of candidate to represent their party on the ballot. 

But now that gathering is cancelled, what do we do?

Right before we adjourned, the General Assembly passed legislation allowing parties to hold virtual assemblies to nominate candidates for the June primary ballot, so that delegates can participate remotely--something the parties would not have considered pre-coronavirus .

Denver Democrats, here is what you need to know.

Delegates to Denver's County Assembly will receive an online ballot via email this Thursday, March 26th, and will have until this Saturday, March 28th at 3 PM to submit the ballot.  There are NO proxies allowed due to the nature of the virtual meeting.

If you would prefer to receive a mailed paper ballot or cast your vote by phone on Saturday, March 28th, please email chair@denverdemocrats.org, or call (303) 830-8242.

Denver delegates should have received additional instructions and information by email. If you have not received this, please email chair@denverdemocrats.org.

Each county conducts its own assembly and many have already been completed. If you do not live in Denver, you can f ind your county's assembly date here .

I know that this is a different process than folks are used to. But it's necessary. 

It is absolutely critical that we maintain social distancing as much as possible. It is what will flatten the curve and minimize the spread of the virus.  With 116 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, confirmed cases in Colorado have increased to 591 with 7 deaths.

Please take care of yourselves and those you love. Continue to extend patience and kindness to each other as we navigate this new territory.

We will get through these extraordinary times together.

Boldly Forward,

 

P.S. In an attempt to keep folks informed, I will be sending more frequent updates. As always, follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram for updates on COVID-19.
Stay Informed  with reliable, up-to-date information on COVID19. For general questions, call (303) 389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911. For written answers in English, Spanish (Español), Mandarin (普通话), and more, email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

You can find a list of telehealth providers and nurselines here For information on COVID19 en Español  click here  (Provided by Denver Health). 
Economic Relief

Governor Polis has recently taken the following executive actions:

Expediting payment of unemployment claims.

Asking companies to allow for up to 90 days in the determent for payment for mortgages, and  landlords not to charge late fees for rent until April 30. 
 
Ordering law enforcement to  not use resources to respond to foreclosures or evictions. Note: the  federal government has ordered a suspension of foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions for at least two months for the 28 million mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
 
Asking utility companies not to shut off service for people who cannot pay. Denver Water, Xcel, and Comcast/Xfinity have already agreed not to shut off service.
 
Extending the state tax filing deadline to July 15, without caps or limits. (The federal tax filing deadline was also delayed until July 15th). 

Other economic relief measures: 

Denver artists whose incomes have been affected by the cancellation of events, classes, performances, and other creative works can apply for up to $1,000 grants and loans through the IMAGINE 2020 Artist Assistance Fund. Learn more.
Additional COVID-19 Updates from the Governor

Non-critical workplaces in Colorado are required to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%, unless an  employer can ensure their workers are no closer than 6 feet away from each other.  The order does not apply to critical businesses, including health care, infrastructure, manufacturing, restaurants and bars, trash collection, mail services, auto repair, and the news media.

Governor Polis has created the Innovation Response Team to rapidly manufacture critical medical supplies in short supply.

Restaurants will be able to temporarily sell alcohol for take-out or delivery. This website lists Metro Denver and Boulder restaurants that are offering take-out, delivery, curbside pick-up and drive-through options.

Suspension of all elective and nonessential surgeries and medical procedures, to free up equipment, including ventilators and personal protection items for medical staff.

All hair salons, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors and massage parlors are CLOSED through April 30th.

Connect for Health CO Open!
 
You called for it and we answered! You can NOW sign up for health insurance through the Colorado Health Exchange. This special enrollment window will close on April 3rd. Thank you for reaching out (you know who you are).
Resources for Seniors 

Senior shopping hours. Stores have begun dedicating certain hours for seniors, click here for the full list. 

Show our seniors some love and support. Read  7 ways to boost your loved one's morale here (provided by AARP).

Transportation  for seniors. The Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council is providing transportation options for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Older Adult Resource Directory. An extensive directory of contact information, including benefits (social security, medicare), emergency services, nutrition & meals and healthcare. 

Food pantry schedule. A listing of over 30 Denver food pantries with hours and contact information.

Denver Regional Council of Governments Aging and Disability Resources. A collection of resources including guides to in-home healthcare, transportation, and legal assistance.
Paying Rent & Utilities

Denver's Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance (TRUA) program can help you pay utility bills and up to 80% of your rent. (Denver residents only). 

Xcel Energy, Denver Water and Comcast / Xfinity Wifi have suspended utility shut-offs for non-payment.

T-Mobile has announced that they will not terminate service because of inability to pay, they will waive any late fees and they will open up Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. 
Small Businesses & Workers

Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2 million as part of the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Denver small businesses impacted by COVID-19 closures and social distancing measures can seek cash grants of up to $7,500 from a $4 million relief fund created by Mayor Hancock and the City of Denver. Apply here.

If you have been laid off due to a business closure related to COVID-19, are experiencing wage reductions or are working fewer hours, you can file a claim here

Employee resources from the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, including information on paid sick leave.

Business and employee resources from the Colorado Restaurant Association.

Denver has announced initial Economic Relief Package for Business and Employees. Read more about these packages here
Mental Health

Mental Health Colorado has updated its resource page with useful information for those who are struggling with mental health or substance use challenges.  

Colorado Crisis Services. If you are more seriously concerned about your own mental health or that of someone close to you, you can call the Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 or text "TALK" to 38255.

National Crisis Text Line. Text SHARE to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor. It's completely free, confidential and available 24/7.

Maria Droste Counseling Center. Providers are now able to connect virtually with their clients in their homes, using a secure video platform.

Denver Metro Counseling  is providing  online therapy

Denver Therapy Match. Search for Denver providers here.

Open Path. For additional reduced rate options

Psychology Today. Search for statewide providers here.
Food Assistance for Students  and Families

Denver Public School students and family members  can receive free meals at twelve sites in a "grab-and-go" system. Breakfast is available from 8-9 a.m., and lunch is available from 12-1 p.m.

The locations are: 
  • Abraham Lincoln High School, 2285 S Federal Blvd
  • Valverde Elementary School, 2030 W Alameda Ave
  • Joe Shoemaker School, 3333 S Havana St.
  • Place Bridge Academy, 7125 Cherry Creek N Dr.
  • Cowell Elementary School, 4540 W 10th Ave
  • North High School, 2960 Speer Blvd
  • STRIVE Prep - Sunnyside, 4735 N Pecos St
  • Bruce Randolph School, 3955 Steele St
  • Denver Center for International Studies - Baker, 574 W 6th Ave
  • Manual High School, 1700 E 28th Ave
  • The Evie Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St
  • The Montbello Campus, 5000 Crown Blvd
In addition, Food for Thought Denver  will be providing Powersacks at all twelve locations, every Friday, until circumstances change. Each Powersack will contain enough food for a family of four for two days. They are available for anyone in need, not just DPS students.

Hunger Free Colorado has set up a Food Resource Hotline for anyone who needs help locating food. Call 855-855-4626, M - F (8 am - 4:30 pm) to find school meals, food pantries, and SNAP and WIC enrollment.

Students who do not live in Denver can find nearby locations to pick up breakfast and lunch  here.
Childcare and Resources for Parents

If you are a health care professional or work in public safety, and need childcare, you may be eligible to receive it through the  Emergency Childcare Collaborative . To apply, click here . If you are a provider, click here

How to talk to your child about COVID.
Help Colorado Now : If you would like to donate or volunteer in the fight against COVID-19, head to www.HelpColoradoNow.org

Blood donors needed. Donor eligibility here . Make an appointment here.

With the increased concern over COVID-19, people are calling 911 for reasons other than a medical emergency, including asking for general information about COVID-19. People should call 911 ONLY with a medical emergency. 

Do not call 911 if you are seeking general medical advice or wish to be tested for COVID-19. 

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), consider a telehealth visit or nurseline advice before seeking in-person care. Ask your primary care provider if they offer telehealth visits.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has provided the following guidance to people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:


For people with mild symptoms: Early on, symptoms may feel like a common cold, including a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness.
  • People who are not at high risk of severe illness may not need to be evaluated in-person or tested for COVID-19. Not everyone with symptoms or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be tested right away. 
  • If you have mild symptoms including a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or suspect that you were exposed but are not able to be immediately tested, please stay home and avoid contact with others. Isolate yourself until:
    • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that's 3 days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
    • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
    • At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • Use over-the-counter medication to treat mild symptoms. There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19. While this illness can be severe and require hospitalization, most individuals recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking pain and fever-reducing medications.
For people with more serious symptoms, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath:
  • Continue to self-isolate.
  • Call your health care provider if your illness becomes more severe, especially if you are experiencing shortness of breath. Your provider may recommend you be tested for COVID-19.
For people with severe symptoms: (severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)
  • Call 911 and tell the dispatcher your symptoms. 
  • Do not wait for a COVID-19 test to call 911 in the event of an emergency.
  • Call 911 for:
    • Symptoms of heart attack or stroke
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Choking
    • Difficulty speaking, walking, or seeing
    • Severe allergic reactions
    • Confusion, dizziness, or disorientation
    • Sudden, severe pain
For more information visit the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's website.
College Students and Higher Education

Meeting Students' Basic Needs During COVID-19.  Many students are wondering how this transition will affect their ability to put food on the table and pay bills. This guide offers a few of the ways that institutions are stepping up to meet students' basic needs in this moment of uncertainty (provided by CoPIRG Foundation).
Paid for by Leslie Herod for Colorado. Contributions are limited to $400 every 2 year election cycle from individuals, sole proprietorships, LLPs, LLCs and state PACS and $5,350 from small donor committees. Contributions from corporations, labor unions, foreign governments and non-US citizens are prohibited. Contributions are not tax deductible. Donations from registered Colorado lobbyists or principals of lobbyists are prohibited during the legislative session running from January 8th to May 6th, 2020 and any email or donation page from this campaign is not soliciting a contribution from lobbyists or principals of lobbyists. 

Leslie Herod for Colorado
leslie@leslieherod.com
303-866-2959
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 322
Denver, CO 80203