Legislative Legal Services denied our CORA request on Colorado HB19-1110 on media literacy

I called Governor Polis’s office after Legislative Legal Services denied our Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request today (6/12/19) for documents relevant to the Constitutionality of HB19-1110 signed by the Governor on June 3. They wrote that those documents are considered to be working documents and not subject to public access.

The “Citizen Liaison” in the Governor’s office returned my call in a timely manner. He listened to my concerns and challenges to the Constitutionality of the bill, but continued to defend it “on behalf of the Governor’s office.”

I suggested that the State look to their teachers in each of our communities as they are the educators on the ground; they could form focus groups in every district, engage the teachers, students, communities rather than a bill that grants 13 political appointees to come up with a media literacy curriculum, as if every town, neighborhood, and school is exactly the same. They are not. The “committee” is an old school approach to a new media opportunity, which makes no sense. Nothing I said mattered.

So, looks like I’ve exhausted every avenue accessible as a Citizen; the ACLU being the only option left in the basket. The ACLU says it can take up to eight weeks to review requests due to their current backlog. I submitted the request to them on May 22 as suggested at the Federal Court’s Pro se Clinic, which I attended in Denver, so there’s still a possibility — albeit a long shot — to get real answers.

What is most certainly becoming clear to me is just how inaccessible and incomprehensible are the laws for the very Citizens who are expected to respect and abide by them, which brings even more importance to the nonprofit media podcast network series I’ve been developing since October 2018.

We shouldn’t be victims of the law; rather we should be protected by the law, imho. All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope the ACLU has answers for us. Otherwise, lawmakers can do anything they want, as if the Constitution doesn’t exist. And without that, what protections do we have? Come on ACLU, eager to hear from you!

 

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