An Open Letter to Governor Polis Regarding the COVID Pandemic

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18 Nov 2020

Dear Governor Polis 

It’s time to lead.  It’s time to stop deflecting the decision making about public health during the pandemic onto local agencies, and stand up as our elected leader.  Your actions, or lack of actions, are creating a dangerous partisan divide among Coloradans.  It’s time to lead.  It’s time to make the science-backed choice and bring all government and agencies together to do what’s best for citizens. 

We educational support professionals in Jefferson County Public Schools (JESPA) risk furloughs and layoffs now that the district is returning to mostly remote learning, but we risk our lives when we stay in school.   

We applaud your recent effort to start a special legislative session to focus on providing needed support for the unemployed and families.  It’s a step in the right direction.  Yet, even as you convene this session, our district is currently deciding how many of us to furlough and for how long.  We are the people you claim to want to support; we need more leadership from you and we need it now.   

It’s time to lead.  Please call for coordination from all levels of government and all agencies from the top down.  Please demand that all agencies, school districts, employers, and government give us clear, science-based directives that prioritizes public health over economic progress, including financial supports for school districts keep workers like us employed. Please do what’s right for citizens now.   

It may be difficult to close up the economy right before the holidays, but your decision to delay that only causes more overwhelm to our hospitals and death to our citizens, and prolongs the period of time which we will be unemployed as the pandemic rages out of control.  You have the power to lead, and we need your leadership now.   

Sincerely, 

Lara Center, JESPA President on behalf of the roughly 4,000 educational support professionals of Jeffco Public Schools 

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