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Referendum 1A needed

This is a letter of support for Referendum 1A. Over the years, I have served on many task forces that identify community needs and attempt to fill gaps in services, including the Early Childhood Initiative. One of the glaring gaps in the community is child-care affordability and capacity. Another is limited access to health care. It is not just a poor, uneducated population who needs quality child care. At least 60 percent of mothers in this county must work to make ends meet. Public servants, such as firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses and other help professions attract young, committed individuals who want to start families or who have small children. Without childcare, they cannot work. There is already evidence of a recent work force shortage. Studies also show that parents who can be comfortable knowing that their children are in quality care are also more productive at work, absenteeism decreases and job satisfaction is higher. If we dont invest in developing a system to support our work force, we lose out economically. Expanded capacity benefits all families, their employers and the community. I urge you to join me in voting yes on 1A. Tsu Wolin-Brown, Eagle-Vail

To the editor, I was very inspired by the article by Todd Stewart about the beetle kill. I’ve lived in Vail and Edwards for two years and have felt downtrodden by the money driven, environmentally devastating attitude that seems to drive the valley. We need more positive, globally responsive vision in this valley!Best Regards, Amber L. Wittwer, LEED Accredited Professional

It appears that many of the ads, letters, and phone calls in opposition to Referendum 1A are coming from a political organization calling itself Coloradans for Economic Justice. Its worth knowing a little bit about those who are trying to convince all of us that they know whats best for local children.According to our Secretary of State, Coloradans for Economic Justice is an unincorporated nonprofit association formed Sept. 12, 2006 with a Principal Office Address at P.O. Box 8623, Avon. The organizations legally designated contact is attorney Ryan Richard Call, reachable at the law firm of Doyle Zakhem Suhre & Lilly, 700 17th Street, Suite 2000, Denver. On the Doyle Zakhem website, Mr. Call is not listed as one of the five attorneys with the firm. However, Mr. Call is referenced in various news articles as an attorney for the Trailhead Group, a powerful and wealthy Republican political committee known for ugly campaign ads directed at Democrats. John Zakhem, partner at Doyle Zakhem who says he specializes in campaign finance and election laws, is also an attorney for the Trailhead Group. Mr. Zakhem also represents the state Republican Party. Conservative website ToTheRight.org described Mr. Zakhem as the “attorney for practically every Republican campaign and conservative cause in the state.” While testifying recently in a lawsuit, Mr. Zakhem is quoted as stating My job is to win elections for Republicans.”So Coloradans for Economic Justice is actually a Denver law firm thats known for nasty and misleading campaign practices and whose attorneys sell their legal services to anyone and everyone willing to cast themselves or their cause as conservative. Now theyre masquerading as concerned local citizens and telling us not to be thoughtful about how we might best support Eagle County families and children. Theyre playing a game of petty and manipulative politics that I find repugnant. Even more offensive, theyre playing this game at the expense of children.Is this the official position of all area Republicans? Do you want your party to take this position for you? And what about the Avon P.O. Box? Is an individual or organization in Eagle County paying these people? If so, who are you and why dont you have the courage to speak up and say what you want to say openly and under your own name?Look at the list of endorsements for 1A. Those are local people knowledgeable and concerned about supporting local children and families. More importantly, those are people with enough integrity to use their names and speak up for what they believe. There are Republicans and Democrats and independents on that list. I find it reprehensible that someone would exploit petty partisanship rather than encourage all of us to take a serious and thoughtful look at what the referendum can do for children and families. It may be politics as usual for this law firm and their faceless client(s), but I take my role as a voting member of this community too seriously to fall for that.Mary Lou Keller

As far as early childhood education is concerned, its the best of times; its the worst of times, to paraphrase Dickens.Its the best of times because never before in our history have we been made so aware of the importance of the early years; never before have we put so much effort into coordinating the childs physical, social, emotional and intellectual well being; never before have we identified special needs and provided needed treatment from infancy; and never before have we accepted the notion that all cognitive development is based on sound socio-emotional development making it our responsibility to provide high quality, relationships based experiences from the day the baby is born.Its the worst of times because, in spite of all our accumulated knowledge, we fail to provide the funds needed to assure that we are putting into practice what research studies have shown us is crucial to the growth and development of young children. Its the worst of times because the state of our country makes two working parent families a necessity. And single parents have no options. The Womens Liberation Movement gave women a choice, but the welfare legislation took that choice away from poor and single parent families. These conditions have resulted in a dire need for child care while parents work. In addition, families with one or two children need to provide socialization opportunities for their children. A good community takes into account all the needs of its residents. And children cared for outside their home, deserve and must get the best possible care our communities can afford.Residents of Eagle County have an opportunity to make that happen. Voting yes on Referendum 1A will help provide needed funds at a very low cost … less than $1 per week per family, a pittance when compared to the benefits gained. Vote yes on 1A.Bertha Campbell, Retired Chief, Bureau Child Development and Parent Education, NYC Department of EducationBasalt

I was disheartened to see negative 527-style politics arrive in Eagle County in opposition to our campaign for Eagle Countys children.The ads are part of the dark side of American politics that voters rightfully loathe, a combination of scare tactics and false statements attacking the plan to spend 95 cents per week on early learning opportunities for Eagle Countys children.The Eagle County Cares for Kids Campaign is committed to a positive campaign describing the programs and costs of aiding our children. Apparently, the opposition finds it necessary to hide behind a Denver law firm to avoid responsibility for the negative campaign. As a professional in the field and a parent myself, I know first hand the benefits that a YES vote on 1A can provide for parents and children through increased access and quality of child care, family support, and preventive health care services that will save all of us money over the long run.Unlike our anonymous opponents, we are proud of our supporters and pleased that so many of them have contributed funds. We are even more gratified that they have given us permission to run their names names that the community knows and trusts in our advertisements.We are confident that Eagle County voters will side with their childrens doctors, teachers and business leaders in supporting a program that benefits us all financially and socially. I trust that the voters will see the mean-spirited attack ads for what they are an attempt to scare the voters without addressing the merits of referendum 1A.Please vote early, starting October 23rd, or on November 7th for referendum 1A. Thank you. Karen Simon

I am saddened and outraged to hear on the radio negative ads against referendum 1A, paid for by a law firm out of Denver. Using scare tactics and untrue statements they are attempting to tell us that we shouldnt spend as little as 95 cents per week to help the children of our community. Why would a Denver law firm be interested in telling our community how to spend a few dollars? I have to conclude that they were hired by someone local that is ashamed to be bashing an initiative that would do so much good for our children, so they need to hide their identity. As an early childhood educator I understand the good that 1A can to do. I know first hand the benefits qualified child care providers can have on childrens early experiences. As a parent of two children I know how difficult it can be to raise children here in our valley without the support of a parent resource center, something 1A could provide. For such a minimal investment from our tax payers of less than 95 cents per week 1A can do a lot of good for our children. I resent an outside law firm intruding into our community to tell us what to do. There are many people here trying to provide good early childhood development experiences for our children. Look at your neighbors, your childrens teachers, their doctors and other supporters of 1A and see the good they are trying to accomplish with the passing of 1A. Listen to your heart, and do what is right for children and families, vote yes on 1A. Jeanne McQueeneyEarly Childhood Partners


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