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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Community Leaders,
Kara here with the Governor’s Community Engagement team! In an effort to continue to provide you with an official update from the Governor’s office, below are some updates and information that the Governor provided. We appreciate your support in helping to share these updates with your network.

Quick Links to Stay Up to Date

Topline Update

The State currently has 55,993 cases, 1,927 total deaths (1,835 are due to COVID), and 6,902 hospitalizations out of 682,339 completed tests. Every death is a tragedy. There are families mourning across our state today and we keep them in our thoughts.

In terms of new cases, 7 of the last 14 days have had a downward trend in the 7-day moving average of newly reported cases. And in terms of hospitalizations, 8 of the last 14 days have a downward trend in the 7-day moving average of new hospitalizations.

This case data is broken down by various categories, is updated daily, and can be found here.

The past couple of weeks have been encouraging, but we cannot let our guard down; we need to double-down on what’s been working and remain extra vigilant about wearing a mask, maintaining our distance, avoiding large gatherings, and washing hands regularly.

Wildfires Update

  • Colorado is currently grappling with 8 large fires across the state. There are also numerous small fires, and new ones start daily. The following are wildfires currently burning in Colorado:

    Pine Gulch: 135,920 acres, 47% contained.

  • Grizzly Creek: 32,060 acres, 61% contained.
  • Cameron Peak: 21,017 acres, 0% contained.
  • Williams Fork: 11,726 acres, 5% contained.
  • Lewstone: Good news. This 168-acre fire is 100% contained and evacuations have been lifted!
  • Thorpe: Mostly on USFS land, 160 acres, 50% contained and evacuations were lifted last night.
  • East Fork: Near Las Animas County, 108 acres, 30% contained and no threat to homes or infrastructure.
  • Willis Creek: Near San Isabel, estimated 40 acres, 50% contained.

We all need to continue to do our part by following the fire ban as we will still be in danger of starting new fires if the dry, hot weather continues.

Energize Colorado Gap Fund

Governor Polis was joined by bill sponsors Senators Jeff Bridges and Faith Winter, along with Kent Thiry, Co-Chair of Energize Colorado on Wednesday, to announce the upcoming launch of the Gap Fund application. The application will go live on Monday, August 31.

The Fund will provide more than $25 million in loans and grants, and will be targeted to small, minority-owned, and rural businesses and nonprofits that have been hardest hit by the statewide shutdown and that have limited access or no access altogether to other means of financing through federal, state, or local programs. Sole proprietors, businesses and nonprofits with less than 25 full-time employees can apply for up to a $15,000 grant and a $20,000 loan for a possible combined total of $35,000 in financial assistance.

The application was designed to be as user-friendly as possible. There will be a wide range of assistance available to help individuals complete the application, including by phone, email, and online chat through the website. Small businesses and nonprofits that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic are encouraged to visit EnergizeColorado.com starting on Monday to apply for funds.

This ambitious proposal represents a holistic effort by both Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature coming together to provide much-needed relief to small businesses and nonprofits across the state that are reeling from the pandemic. The Gap Fund would not have been possible without strong partnerships with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Economic Development Commission, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, and community and nonprofit micro-lenders around the state.

The administration is thankful for the bill’s sponsors, State Representatives Mary Young and Perry Will, as well as State Senators Faith Winter and Jeff Bridges, for crafting this bill and working to get it across the finish line, as well as private sector partners that have stepped up to support our small business community.

This proposal passed both chambers of the state legislature unanimously. That’s no easy feat, and it’s a testament to the hard work and commitment of countless Coloradans.

Evictions Task Force

On Wednesday, the Governor issued an Executive Order to establish a temporary task force with the Department of Local Affairs that examines housing instability due to COVID-19 hardship. The goal is to develop concrete, actionable recommendations to ensure Coloradans remain stably housed in the coming months. Members will report directly to the Governor and the Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs, and their recommendations will be due within 30 days of their first meeting.

This task force will consist of 10 individuals from diverse backgrounds spanning housing, development, advocacy, banking, and local government. These members will collaborate closely with the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, the Strategic Housing Working Group, and the Governor’s office, and focus on addressing landlord and tenant relations, improving methods for connecting Coloradans to key services, alleviating financial hardships facing Coloradans due to COVID-19, while boosting capacity of existing housing resources and organizations.

The economic impacts of COVID-19 have been severe and have spared few. Coloradans were forced to take drastic action back in March to reduce the spread of the virus, which included a statewide shutdown and widespread business closures. Had we not acted, tens of thousands more Coloradans would have lost their lives. It was the right decision.

Unfortunately, that necessary action to save lives came with economic consequences that have destabilized many Coloradans’ financial livelihoods.

The process of getting Coloradans back to work and stably housed is gradual and must take evolving public health conditions into account. Many Coloradans continue to experience substantial loss of income and wages as a result of business closures and layoffs, and this hinders their ability to keep up with rent payments and other bills. And at a time where the home is the safest place to be, providing housing for all must be prioritized.

It’s important to note that this task force represents only one part of the ongoing discussion. In February, the Division of Housing announced the formation of the Strategic Housing Working Group that will advise on Colorado’s affordable housing needs and will bring forth a comprehensive response to our long-term housing crisis.

Indoor Visitation

In March, the state placed significant restrictions on the ability for loved ones to visit senior facilities because the risk of COVID-19 is so high for older Coloradans, but he also knows this doesn’t come without a cost. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and missing loved ones are just some of the effects that have impacted our most vulnerable population’s mental health.

As it currently stands, compassionate visits may be conducted under limited circumstances, and visits may occur outdoors, but not every person can go outdoors for a visit, and this means that some of our older adults who most need the support from loved ones haven’t been able to see them in a very long time.

To increase emotional support for residents of senior living facilities, the Governor announced the release of new draft guidelines that allow for indoor visitation under limited circumstances. The proposed policy was posted on Wednesday, and will be finalized next week. CDPHE is accepting public comments through Friday.

The proposal outlines that indoor visits be conducted under very strict conditions. This is a fine balance between ensuring that our older adults are protected and reconnecting our older adults with their loved ones. With careful, preventive measures in place, we can continue to expand visitation opportunities to ensure that all Coloradans get the support they need and deserve.

Our state’s recovery efforts during this unprecedented crisis must be inclusive. This means supporting our businesses so they can access capital and thrive, caring for our older residents who are experiencing loneliness and isolation, and making sure Coloradans have a roof over their heads.

We’re all in this together, and we’re not going to leave anyone behind. The Energize Colorado Gap Fund, Special Evictions Prevention Task Force, and the new guidelines for visiting senior facilities all represent our deep commitment to that guiding principle.

State of Colorado Job Openings

We are looking for new individuals to fill the following positions! Please feel free to share these openings with your networks.

Chief Information Officer and Executive Director – Office of Information Technology, Office of the Governor

Housing Development Manager, Department of Local Affairs

  • Description: Under the mission of DOLA and the Division of Housing, this position exists to develop new funding programs and policies to meet Coloradans’ affordable housing needs and implement funding programs to ensure services and housing reach the intended recipients throughout Colorado. The position manages, plans, and coordinates the Division’s statewide Grant and Loan programs to assist local governments, housing authorities, for-profit developers, and non-profit developers in planning, prioritizing, and financing affordable housing programs and projects.
  • Application Closing Date: 9/16/2020
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2843401/housing-development-manager

Budget and Policy Analyst, Office of State Budgeting and Planning

  • Description: Manage the budget of one or more state agencies, identify and advance creative, cost-effective, and evidence-based solutions to public policy problems. Provide rigorous quantitative and qualitative analyses on the major issues facing our state and communicate results and recommendations to policymakers. OSPB analysts are expected and trained to become leading experts on the issues and agencies in their portfolios.
  • Application Closing Date: 08/31/20
  • Apply: https://agency.governmentjobs.com/colorado/job_bulletin.cfm?JobID=2839148

Chief of Staff and Strategy, Secretary of State

Professional Land Surveyor- Denver Metro, Department of Transportation

  • Description: The primary purpose of this position is to ensure plans and legal descriptions comply with state statutes, department policy, and contract stipulations. Other primary functions require development and certification of right-of-way plans, by signing and stamping plans. This position also conducts project control, topographic and land boundary surveys, relating all coordinate information to geodetic coordinates using published control.
  • Application Closing Date: Continuous
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2689076/professional-land-surveyor-denver-metro

Staff Attorney, Colorado General Assembly – Senate

  • Description: The OLLS facilitates and supports the legislative work of the General Assembly and protects the General Assembly’s organizational interests without participating in its politics. We draft legislation for all 100 state legislators, and we conduct legal and related public policy research for and provide legal advice to the legislators and the other nonpartisan legislative staff agencies.
  • Application Closing Date: 08/28/20
  • Apply: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/colorado/jobs/2839018/staff-attorney

State Boards & Commissions Openings

We are continually looking for qualified candidates to serve on almost 300 boards and commissions that oversee a large variety of subjects and make a wide range of decisions affecting your day-to-day lives as Coloradans. These boards are a tremendous opportunity for Coloradans to help govern and give back to the great state of Colorado. You can find upcoming openings for September and October below:

September 2020:

  • Colorado Secure Savings Program Board
  • Correctional Industries Advisory Committee
  • Fire and Police Pension Association
  • New Energy Improvement District Board
  • Nursing Home Innovation Grant Board
  • Nurse Physician Advisory Task Force (NPATCH)
  • Property Tax Administration, Advisory Committee
  • Workforce Development Council
  • Opioid Crisis Recovery Funds Advisory Committee
  • Healthcare Insurance Affordability Enterprise

October 2020:

  • Governors Revenue Estimating Advisory Committee
  • Petroleum Storage Tank Advisory Committee
  • State Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Council
  • Statewide Independent Living Council
  • Water Resources and Power Development Authority

To apply, fill out an application at this link. To see other Boards and Commissions openings for the rest of 2020 and part of 2021, you can visit this link.

If you have any questions about Boards and Commissions, please contact Nikky Patel, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions by email at:
gov_officeofboardsandcommissions@state.co.us.

We greatly appreciate your help to share information during this crisis, and we will continue to send regular updates. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or needs from our office. My cell phone is 720-982-5204. Thank you for doing your part.

We are all in this together!

You can view the Governor’s press briefings and listen to his full remarks here.

Thanks,
Kara
Deputy Community Engagement Director

200 E Colfax, State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203 
https://www.colorado.gov/governor/