The Political Impact of Nonprofits in Colorado Springs

Colorado is a state that allows certain nonprofit organizations to operate games of chance, such as bingo and raffles, to raise money. However, the group must be at least five years old and only unpaid volunteers can direct the games. Climate impacts are taken into account when making all organizational decisions, from granting grants and investments to daily operations. According to Corky Kyle, executive vice president of the Colorado Bingo Charity Association, changes to the charitable gaming law have been minimal since it was first enacted in the state constitution in 1958. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs who are women, people of color or who live in rural Colorado receive very little capital.

The April 4 elections saw Mobolade gain momentum with two high-profile supporters, including Sallie Clark and former Colorado Springs City Council Speaker Tom Strand, who ran for mayor in the first round and both are Republicans. In response to national and local conversations and challenges surrounding racial equity, Gates education and communication staff initiated and organized a webinar for youth and teachers focusing on racial justice and mental health. The Gates Family Foundation and the Natural Resources program recognize that the people most affected by climate change are the underrepresented communities in many of the organizations they support. Everyone comes to Colorado Springs for one reason or another, but if history tells us anything, one factor is the city's overwhelming political position. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, the previous year in Colorado saw some of the issues that Gates Natural Resources program staff have been exploring and learning about become more prominent.

In 1992, Colorado Springs made national headlines when local religious leaders promoted a state bill to prohibit homosexuals from being part of a protected class, which voters approved but was overturned by the U. S. Supreme Court. Gates, Lyra Colorado and a coalition of partners (RESCHOOL Colorado, Empower Schools, Donnell-Kay Foundation, Colorado Succeeds, ROOted Denver and Daniels Fund) launched the Educational Innovation Fund, a K-12 initiative to support agile and creative responses to meet student needs in the wake of COVID-19. This fund recognizes the significant gap that continues to exist in terms of resources for underrepresented communities. To address this gap and generate resources dedicated to addressing important long-term conservation objectives, Gates invested in the Trust for Public Land. Early projections show that by 2050 Colorado Springs will surpass Denver as the most populated city in the state.

In partnership with YouThroots, Gates created a remote philanthropic fellowship for 18 to 24 year olds who are interested in learning more about the work of foundations and nonprofit organizations. Multi-year commitments to land trust organizations Keep It Colorado and Montezuma Land Conservancy will maintain and increase their capacity to promote policies in accordance with land conservation needs and opportunities while highlighting the history of land conservation and its challenges. The political landscape of Colorado Springs has been greatly impacted by nonprofit organizations over the years. From promoting bills that protect certain groups from discrimination to providing resources for underrepresented communities, these organizations have played an important role in shaping the city's political environment. With their continued efforts towards conservation initiatives and educational programs, nonprofit organizations will continue to have a positive impact on Colorado Springs' political landscape.

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