Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

Public Policy Is A Powerful Tool for Change

Our Advocacy Is Data-Driven, Nonpartisan, Trusted

WFCO’s data-driven and nonpartisan approach to public policy advocacy has earned us recognition as a trusted voice and leading advocate for Colorado women and their families at the Capitol. Furthermore, when we combine the work of our WINcome direct-service grantees with the work of our public policy advocacy grantees, the impact for Colorado women is magnified.

Through a gender-, racial-, and economic-lens, our public policy and advocacy work includes monitoring legislation, sharing research, participating in and leading coalitions, meeting with legislators and policy partners, and activating our statewide network to elevate issues with local legislators and put the solutions we’ve identified into law. Since 2018, we've hosted an annual lobby day and/or virtual advocacy trainings to empower women to become ardent advocates for Colorado women and their families.

It's about people, not politics

Since 1987, WFCO and our public policy partners have helped pass more than 50 measures that have achieved the following:

 

Our Top Policy Wins

WFCO Vice President of Programs, Louise Myrland, speaks at the steps of the Denver capitol in support of Equal Pay Act. Many women stand behind her holding Equal Pay Act signs

Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

WFCO not only advocated for its passage in 2019, we co-hosted educational webinars with the Colorado Women’s Bar Association to help the community understand its impact and prepare for implementation in 2021. Employees and jobseekers praise the law for features such as requirements to include pay ranges on job postings and other states and municipalities across the country follow Colorado’s lead in requiring pay transparency. Employers are still adjusting to the changes. We remain committed to ensuring the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act is workable for employees, jobseekers, and employers alike and to supporting equal pay efforts beyond Colorado.

 

An asian caregiver cares for her elderly relative

Paid Family & Medical Leave

Voters passed Proposition 118, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, on the 2020 statewide ballot. The program is an investment in all Colorado employees to be able to access this resource when they need it most. Premiums will start being collected in 2023 and benefits will be available to workers beginning in 2024. WFCO remains part of the FAMLI Coalition, led by 9to5 Colorado and Colorado Fiscal Institute (both are WFCO grantees), to ensure equity is at the center of the process. In the 2022 legislative session, we’re supporting a financing bill that will help the program prepare to launch. In advance of the program launch, WFCO is proud to have updated our own policies to offer our staff 12 weeks of fully paid family and medical leave. 

 

a group of preschool children sit in front of their teacher while smiling

Universal Pre-Kindergarten

Voters said yes on the 2020 statewide ballot to taxing nicotine products to fund universal free preschool for 4-year-olds starting in fall 2023. WFCO is working with many partners to strengthen and retain the early care and education (ECE) workforce to make this law a reality. In 2021, we helped pass a bill that improves retention and educators’ salaries to increase capacity for the sector. We also supported the Anna Jo Garcia Haynes Early Education Act to create a Department of Early Childhood at the state level. This session, we are advocating for a refundable tax credit for early childhood educators.

 

2022 Legislative Priorities

With the pandemic still casting a shadow over Colorado's economy and many women and families still struggling to get by, WFCO pinpointed three areas for the 2022 legislative session. 

  1. Making work work for women
  2. Increasing women's access to basic needs
  3. Ensuring that women statewide have access to the full range of reproductive health information, care, and justice

 

See Our Public Policy Priorities and Results Over the Years

An assortment of postcards written to legislators lay on a table after an Advocating for Impact training

Advocating for Impact

WFCO works with legislators and our lobbyists throughout the session to pass bills that create meaningful change for women. But we can't do it without you! Join our statewide network of advocates by attending our "Advocating for Impact" trainings. Free and open to the public, these two interactive virtual sessions will give you tools and guidance for becoming more engaged in the legislative process and making an impact for Colorado women and families. Spanish interpretation and closed captioning are available for both trainings. Our free Advocating for Impact trainings, at only 1.5 hours each, are a quick, fun, and inspiring way to:

  • Learn about opportunities to shape the communities you live and work in
  • Develop skills and confidence to inform and advance legislation
  • Strengthen your own networks
  • Join the movement to build more equitable systems and a stronger Colorado for us all.

Learn More

 

Womanifesto 

The Womanifesto 2020 cover thumbnail

WFCO created our ballot guide, The Womanifesto, with statewide input from a diverse group of Coloradans committed to elevating opportunities for women to strengthen our state.

Learn More

 

Civic Engagement Guide

How do you make your voice heard? Read our civic engagement guide. This page will help you find resources for voting, research ballot issues andvote with women in mind candidates, learn about the legislative process, and engage in advocacy.

See Our Civic Engagement Guide


Join Us

WFCO invites you to join us in leading systemic change on behalf of women and their families. Through a unified voice we can influence positive community outcomes. Stay tuned for updates before, during, and after the session, and in the meantime, here's how you can help support our advocacy efforts!

  • The Womanifesto. Download and share our nonpartisan voter handbook.
  • Help inform the conversation. Share WFCO’s recent research that is informing our advocacy work.
  • Vote and advocate. Read our civic engagement guide to learn how you can make a difference, from voting to how to contact your legislators.
  • Join us to learn more. Attend an upcoming community education event and sign up for our eNewsletter to receive information and updates.
  • Follow and share. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for policy updates throughout the year.
  • Share your ideas with us. Let us know when you see a challenge in your community that could be improved by a policy change, email us at wfco@wfco.org.

Find Us on Social Media (#WFCO)

Join our social media network by engaging with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and by watching our videos on Vimeo.

        

Get Our E-Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive updates on our work, statewide events, research, and much more.

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