April 12, 2012
Dear Speaker McNulty and Members of the House:
We, members of the PICO Colorado Clergy Action Network (PICO CAN), are writing to urge your support and passage of SB 15, Colorado ASSET. As a diverse, interfaith, non-partisan group of clergy and faith leaders from throughout the state, we speak from the convictions of our faith and, in many cases, from the real life concerns of the people in our congregations and communities.
Without taking funds from state and while increasing the revenues of our local colleges and universities, Colorado ASSET will make college more affordable for all high-achieving, high school graduates while increasing the quality of our workforce. It makes no sense to abandon the investment that Colorado has already made in immigrant children with K-12 education, especially when these youth are so close to reaching their productive capacity.
At a time when Colorado is desperate for economic growth, our youth are waiting to spark our economic engine. It makes no sense to charge these students five times more than traditional in-state numbers denying them higher education or driving them to colleges in bordering states. These other states will benefit from our investment by offering our young people an affordable higher education.
Beyond that and, most important, the sacred texts of our great faith traditions compel us to treat immigrants in our midst with dignity and equality. As faith leaders who are called to work for justice, we believe that the financial barrier faced by young, undocumented students is an injustice, adding unnecessary burdens as they seek to further their education and contribute to the state which they call home.
We are encouraged that bipartisan support is growing for Colorado ASSET and urge you, this year, to make the long deferred dream of these deserving students a reality by passing the bill.
Thanks for your consideration.
Clergy and Faith Leaders of Metro Organizations for People (MOP) & PICO CO Clergy Action Network (PICO CAN)
Fr. Steve Adams, Pastor, St. Pius X, Aurora
Rev. Bonita Bock, ELCA Clergy, Denver
Rev. Nelson Bock, ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod, Denver
Rev. Charles E Butler, Retired Clergy, Pueblo
Rev. Bill Calhoun, Presbyterian minister, Denver
Rev. Paul Carlson, Pastor, Our Savior’s Lutheran, Denver
Rev. Dr. Neema Caughran, Center for Inner Peace, Pueblo
Fr. Bert Chilson, Pastor, St. Therese Catholic Church, Aurora
Rev. Mary Ann Dimand, The Rocky Mountain Conference, The United Methodist Church, Arvada
Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Rosebury, Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Lafayette
Rev. Malcolm Himschoot, Minister, United Church of Christ, Denver
Rev. Kim James, Senior Pastor, Wesley UMC, Pueblo
Rev. Robert Kippley, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Canon City
Rev. Bill Kirton, Retired Clergy, United Methodist Rocky Mountain Conference, Denver
Rev. Daniel Klawitter, Co-Chair of the Order of Deacons, Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church
Anna Koop, Sisters of Loretta, Denver
Rev. Paul Kottke, Senior Pastor, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver
Rev. Gary Wolfer, Pastor, University Park United Methodist Church, Denver
Rev. Laurene M. Lafontaine, Parish Associate, Montview Blvd Presbyterian Church, Denver
Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, United Church of Christ, Denver
Rev. Dr. Terry A. Purvis-Smith, Pastor, The United Church of Idaho Springs, Idaho Springs
Rev. Margaret Redmond, Pastor, First African Methodist Episcopal, Pueblo
Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman, Jewish Community Relations Council and Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council
Rabbi David Segal, Aspen Jewish Congregation, Aspen
Rev. Jennifer Soule-Hill, Pastor, Family of Christ Presbyterian, Greeley
Rev. Nate Soule-Hill, Pastor, Family of Christ Presbyterian, Greeley
The Rev. M. Catherine Volland, Assistant Rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Denver
Rev. Dr. Louise Westfall, Senior Pastor, Central Presbyterian Church, Denver
Dana W. Wilbanks, Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics, The Iliff School of Theology, Denver
Fr. John Ozella, St. Pius X, Pueblo