*Updated Nov. 14, 10 a.m.
Election day is always exciting. We were so pleased that so many of the ballot measures that we supported passed. Denverites and Coloradans came out to support our climate, our libraries, and our neighbors. That was great to see.
As a philanthropic organization that truly cares about our community, we have made the decision to lend our voice to important issues that will make our community better. One way we do this is by speaking up about issues in the legislature or on the ballot like we did this fall for the midterm elections. The Denver Foundation spoke up about several ballot measures that impacted housing, climate, and funding for important services, like K-12 education. You can read more about our 2022 ballot guide here. Below is an overview of the fall election results, including ballot measure outcomes and how elected official outcomes may shape Colorado policy moving forward.
As officials continue to count votes continue across the state, there are resounding themes that highlight the policy-making we will likely see going into 2023. One key theme is consistency in the state legislature’s composition: all statewide elected officials (Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State) retained their positions. The Colorado Senate and House remain in Democratic majorities. U.S. Senator Michael Bennett won re-election at the federal level and will serve a third term as the senior senator from Colorado.
As of now, roughly 2.4 million Coloradan have voted in the midterm elections, which represents almost half of the eligible voters using their voices to speak up on critical issues. In Denver, officials have counted 54.18% of eligible voters’ ballots.
Looking at policy measures before voters in Metro-Denver and Colorado, voters demonstrated a desire to be more informed of the impacts of tax changes through their approval of Proposition GG, a legislature-referred ballot measure adopting new requirements to present such information directly on the ballot. Conversely, Proposition 121, a reduction in the existing state income tax was approved by voters, a measure The Denver Foundation opposed due to its impacts on the state budget. Lastly, voters approved Proposition 123, a measure that retains existing tax revenue to create dedicated funding to preserve and build affordable housing across Colorado.
Denver voters expressed their support for further investment in libraries through their early approval of Referred Question 2I, a modest property tax increase to grow the Denver Public Library system to increase services and resources for job seekers. Voters also demonstrated their commitment to climate action by approving a requirement for various entities to provide recycling and composting services by saying yes to Initiated Ordinance 306. Additionally, council-referred Ballot question 2J, which was approved by roughly 70% of voters, will allow the City of Denver to keep excess sales tax revenue to fund climate programs.
Below is a recap of the current status of the ballot measures The Denver Foundation took a position on and their impacts. You can read more about the ballot measures in our 2022 ballot guide here.
2022 Ballot Measure Results by The Denver Foundation
As we head into the 2023 legislative session and municipal elections, The Denver Foundation will continue to educate on and advocate for policy change that will create a racially equitable Metro Denver. We will keep you apprised of our efforts over the next year through our quarterly policy newsletter, which you can sign up for here.