(Pueblo, CO) -- If you didn't know, maybe you should. There's a group of folks looking out for the interest of rural Colorado. Action 22 is a non-partisan membership driven organization which serves as a voice and leader for action on public policy for 22 Southern Colorado counties.
This weekend, they met for the annual meeting in Pueblo, of which SECPA and SECOM were a partnering sponsor.
Action 22 President Sara Blackhurst told the group of attendees that the organization has been busy this past year. Running down a few of the things accomplished she mentioned a broadband project for the San Luis Valley, taking action on 13 pieces of legislation, work on water resources and moderated debates of political candidates. She said what makes them strong in fighting for the 22 counties in southern Colorado is their diversity and non-partisan work to better our communities.
Blackhurst stated they have focused on water, the economy, energy and public safety.
She said that's why she feels the name of this year's meeting, "Enduring Colorado" is such a good fit. There's still much work to be done, however.
"Societies grow great when old men plant new trees in whose shade they shall never sit." It was a quote placed on all of the tables. Blackhurst said she feels it embodies what they are trying to accomplish with Action 22.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Wiser made the trip to Pueblo to address the group. He said that making Colorado safer is a job for all and if we can start from the premise of goodwill, we will be great. He used the example of two supreme court justices, Justice Ginsberg and Justice Scalia who couldn't have been more different but their friendship and mutual respect allowed for great work to be done.
Wiser mentioned other important goals for the state of Colorado. The state attorney general said water, broadband and public safety are big concerns for his office and need to be a priority.
He broached the subject of difficulties Colorado has had to recruit, train and retain law enforcement.
La Junta Mayor Joe Ayala stood to address Attorney General Wiser when he asked for questions and concerns. Ayala explained he is very concerned with the fentanyl crisis affecting small communities like his. He asked if there was something in the works to lower the amount of possession for charges.
Other speakers included Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young, Action 22 Chief Operating Officer Brian McCain, and Caroline Trani of CHFA with a housing update. Colorado residents Anakacia Shifflet shared a personal story on enduring long term Covid, Trinidad Mayor Phil Rico spoke on crime and judicial reform, and Governor Jared Polis finished out the panel with his thoughts on what is important to Colorado right now.
Saturday continued with CU Regent at large Heidi Ganahl, Journalist Marianne Goodland with a talk on saving the Colorado river. Green energy, solar power was addressed by Mike Kruger, Farm Bureau was also on the schedule to talk.
If you would like to watch any of the above mentioned talks, we have shared the livestream to our Facebook page, Southeast Colorado Power Association. If you aren't following us, please do so for regular content about things that affect you as a SECPA member and news of Southeast Colorado.
Here are a few photos from Friday's event.
(CU Regent at large and Gubernatorial Candidate Heidi Ganahl speaks to meeting attendees)
(map of the Southern Colorado counties involved with Action 22)
Representative Rod Pelton who is running for Senate seat district 35 joins Otero County resident Michelle Gardner and Congressional representative Travis Grant from Ken Buck's office.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis addresses the Action 22 meeting
Action 22 President Sara Blackhurt shares the mic with Governor Polis to give all candidates present ONE minute to share something with the crowd.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Wiser
Action 22 COO Brian McCain with an exciting announcement