Colorado Rights Blog


  • Cedric Watkins is a father, uncle, entrepreneur-in-training, and a vital community pillar for many others. While behind bars, he has tirelessly devoted himself to serving his peers and his community. He developed gang disaffiliation programs for other incarcerated individuals and is currently involved with Defy Ventures. He sends letters and calls his daughter as much as he can.

    Cedric is currently in prison at Sterling Correctional Facility. He was convicted of aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping, theft and sentenced to 80 years; no one was seriously injured or killed. For comparison, a person convicted of second-degree murder in Colorado faces a maximum sentence of 48 years. Cedric has already served 20 years and has fully rehabilitated during that time.

    It’s time to bring Cedric home: Redemption is real. Clemency is compassion.

  • On November 21, 2016, 13 Aurora police officers responded to a simple noise complaint at Alberto Torres’s home. As happens all too often, Aurora police officers escalated this minor issue into a brutal affair. They beat Mr. Torres solely because he delayed exiting his garage to ask his wife to interpret for him. With that beating, the lives of Mr. Torres and every member of his family were changed and he has yet to recover. ACLU of Colorado fought to obtain justice for Mr. Torres, and Aurora has now paid him $285,000. But money is not justice, and the brutality of the Aurora Police Department against people of color has continued unabated.

    It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Imagine, if instead of 13 officers being dispatched to Mr. Torres’s home for a noise complaint, the City of Aurora sent a civilian-led response team to check on his welfare and ask that he and his friends lower their sound, resulting in a non-violent solution to a minor issue?

    ACLU Settles Case With Aurora After Police Brutalize and Unlawfully Arrest Alberto Torres

  • Hope is a discipline. It’s a commitment that together, we can create a more perfect union. We won’t rest until we fulfill the promise of equal rights for ALL people in the United States.

    Join us in our fight to fulfill this promise and move forward with hope by donating to the ACLU of Colorado. Your donation supports the ACLU’s strengths that make our work effective and collaborative.

    Donate now at

  • Anthony Martinez is 84-years-old and suffering from renal failure, as well as other serious medical conditions including dementia. He is currently incarcerated in the Sterling Correctional Facility, site of one of Colorado’s largest COVID-19 outbreaks with almost 600 active COVID-19 cases. He and his family are understandably terrified that he will catch the virus and die.

    In the midst of this public health crisis, incarcerated people as vulnerable as Anthony, could and should be immediately released to safely live out their remaining years with family.

    Read more about Anthony Martinez and other at-risk incarcerated people. 

Coalition Launches Campaign to Oppose Voter Suppression Effort

DENVER – On Wednesday, civic engagement, youth empowerment, and immigrants’ rights activists will launch their Campaign for Real Election Protection to oppose Amendment 76, an anti-immigrant measure that disenfranchises 17-year old voters and confuses immigrants who have become citizens. Amendment 76 would reverse Colorado’s recent legislative efforts to empower 17-year olds to vote in the state’s primary elections by changing one word in a key provision of Colorado’s Constitution. The coalition states that Amendment 76 would suppress youth voter participation and turnout in future Colorado elections, and cause fear and confusion in the immigrant community.

“Many immigrant voters, who can rightfully participate in our democracy because they have gained their citizenship, could be dissuaded from using their voting rights if Amendment 76 passes,” said Raquel Lane-Arellano, Policy Director for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Action Fund. “Amendment 76 is a blatant and racist attack against Colorado immigrants with a clear attempt to draw out anti-immigrant voters.”

If passed, Amendment 76 would not change any laws or rules about citizenship requirements to vote; instead, it would immediately take away the right of nearly 24,000 17-year olds to participate in primary elections and tens of thousands more every year after that. Election access advocates and youth civic engagement groups passed legislation winning the 17-year old primary voting change in 2019. Amendment 76 would reverse the progress Colorado has made to ensure one of the country’s most secure and accessible election systems.

“Voting fraud is so rare that it makes up 0.0024% of votes nationwide, and non-citizens already can’t vote,” said Campaign for Real Election Protection Campaign Manager Julian Camera. “That’s how we know that Amendment 76 is about suppressing voter turnout, not stopping fraud.”

Amendment 76 made its way onto the ballot with out-of-state funding from Citizen Voters Inc., a Florida-based political action committee (PAC) that has been pushing similar constitutional language changes state-by-state. This amendment is a part of a larger national anti-immigrant movement spreading unfounded and xenophobic narratives that undocumented people are fraudulently voting in elections — a narrative widely perpetuated by the Trump administration.


WHAT: A virtual press conference launching the No on 76 campaign.

WHERE: Virtual via ZoomRegister for the press conference here or use this link to join.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 11:00 a.m.

WHO: Speakers will include:

Denise Maes, Public Policy Director of ACLU of Colorado

Amanda Gonzalez, Executive Director of Colorado Common Cause

Thandi Glick, Student

Miriam Arneros, Voter

Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez

The coalition calling on Coloradans to vote NO on Amendment 76 this November includes: CIRC Action Fund, Project VOYCE, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Progress Now Colorado, New Era Colorado, Colorado Common Cause, America Votes, Colorado Working Families Party, Indivisible Colorado Action Network, COLOR Action Fund, Conservation Colorado – Protégete, Student Voice Student Vote, SEIU Local 105 and ACLU of Colorado.


Register for the press conference here or use this link to join.

For more information on the No on 76 campaign, follow the campaign on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or email at


The ACLU of Colorado is the state’s oldest civil rights organization, protecting and defending the civil rights of all Coloradans through litigation, education and advocacy.

DENVER ­– El miércoles, activistas de participación cívica, empoderamiento juvenil, y derechos de los inmigrantes lanzarán su Campaña por la Protección Real de las Elecciones para oponerse a la Enmienda 76, una medida antiinmigrante que priva a los votantes de 17 años y confunde a los inmigrantes que se han convertido en ciudadanos de votar. La Enmienda 76 revertiría los recientes esfuerzos legislativos de Colorado para capacitar a los jóvenes de 17 años para votar en las elecciones primarias del estado al cambiar una palabra en una disposición clave de la Constitución de Colorado. La coalición afirma que la Enmienda 76 suprimiría la participación de los votantes jóvenes y la participación en futuras elecciones de Colorado, y causaría miedo y confusión en la comunidad inmigrante.

“Muchos votantes inmigrantes, que pueden participar legítimamente en nuestra democracia porque han obtenido su ciudadanía, podrían ser convencidos de no usar sus derechos de voto si se aprueba la Enmienda 76”, dijo Raquel Lane-Arellano, directora de políticas del Fondo de Acción de la Coalición de Derechos de los Inmigrantes de Colorado. “La Enmienda 76 es un ataque descarado y racista contra los inmigrantes de Colorado con un claro intento de atraer a los votantes antiinmigrantes.”

Una conferencia de prensa virtual anunciará que la campaña se llevará a cabo el miércoles 23 de septiembre a las 11:00 a.m. Los oradores incluirán estudiantes, inmigrantes, la directora ejecutiva de Causa Común Amanda González y la representante Serena González-Gutiérrez.

Si se aprueba, la Enmienda 76 no cambiaría ninguna ley o regla sobre los requisitos de ciudadanía para votar, sino que eliminaría inmediatamente el derecho de casi 24,000 jóvenes de 17 años a participar en las elecciones primarias y decenas de miles más cada año después de eso. Los defensores del acceso a las elecciones y los grupos de participación cívica juvenil aprobaron una legislación que ganó el cambio de votación primaria de 17 años en 2019. La Enmienda 76 revertiría el progreso que Colorado ha logrado para garantizar uno de los sistemas electorales más seguros y accesibles del país.

“El fraude electoral es tan poco común que representa el 0,0024% de los votos en todo el país, y los no ciudadanos ya no pueden votar”, dijo Julián Camera, gerente de campo de Campaña por la Protección Real de las Elecciones. “Así es como sabemos que la Enmienda 76 se trata de suprimir la participación electoral, no de detener el fraude.

La Enmienda 76 se introdujo en la boleta electoral con fondos de otros estados de Citizen Voters Inc., un PAC con sede en Florida que ha estado impulsando cambios de lenguaje constitucional similares estado por estado. Esta enmienda es parte de un movimiento nacional antiinmigrante más amplio que difunde narrativas infundadas y xenófobas de que los indocumentados están votando fraudulentamente en las elecciones, una narrativa ampliamente utilizada por la administración Trump.


QUÉ: Una conferencia de prensa virtual anunciará que la campaña No al la 76.

DÓNDE: Virtual a través de Zoom. Regístrese para la conferencia de prensa aquí o use este enlace para unirse.

CUANDO: Miércoles 23 de septiembre a las 11:00 a.m.

QUIEN: Los oradores incluirán:

Denise Maes, a directora de póliza pública de ACLU of Colorado

Amanda Gonzalez, a directora ejecutiva de Colorado Common Cause

Thandi Glick, Estudiante

Miriam Arneros, Votante

Representante Serena Gonzáles-Gutiérrez

La coalición que pide a los residentes de Colorado que voten NO a la Enmienda 76 este noviembre incluye: CIRC Action Fund, Project VOYCE, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Progress Now Colorado, New Era Colorado, Colorado Common Cause, America Votes, Colorado Working Families Party, Indivisible Colorado Action Network, COLOR Action Fund, Conservation Colorado – Protégete, Student Voice Student Vote, SEIU Local 105 and ACLU of Colorado.


Regístrese para la conferencia de prensa aquí o use este enlace para unirse.

Para más información, sigue la campaña en FacebookTwitterInstagram, o correo electrónico a


La ACLU de Colorado es la organización de derechos civiles más antigua del estado, y protege y defiende los derechos civiles de todos los habitantes de Colorado a través de litigios, educación y defensa.

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