Democratic women legislators call out Gov. Polis


In a recent mid-week edition of The Denver Post, a guest commentary on the Opinion page appeared, written by three female Democratic stalwarts in the general assembly entitled, “Colorado women expect better from our allies.” 

Sen. Julie Gonzales represents SD34 in Denver.

The ally to whom the legislators were referring was Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the state’s top Democrat, whose name is often mentioned in conversations about higher office, specifically the nation’s highest office.

The piece was penned by Sen. Julie Gonzales, Majority Whip, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Chair of the Senate Legal Services Committee; Rep. Meg Froelich, Chair of the House Transportation, Housing & Local Government Committee; and Sen. Lisa Cutter, who sits of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and the Senate Transportation & Energy Committee.

It stated, “Words matter. Representation matters. To the great disappointment of the Democratic Women’s Caucus of Colorado, our governor failed to demonstrate an understanding of that in a series of recent public comments and actions.”

Sen. Lisa Cutter represents SD20 in Jefferson County

While they credited Polis with being “a thoughtful and compassionate man who cares about the people of Colorado,” they pointed to his recognizing Focus on the Family “for the good work they do in the community,” at an event he attended celebrating the election of Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade. The writers noted that Focus on the Family has “actively worked to undermine progress on reproductive health care,” and other values the Democratic Women’s Caucus holds dear.

They also pointed to the governor’s response to a question he was asked on a recent cable news show about how he would handle someone challenging the legitimacy of his marriage, noting he did not respond to the question, rather stated that abortion was “bad” and the number of abortions should be minimized.

The writers made it clear that the voters of Colorado have repeatedly affirmed that abortion is health care and any decisions on the subject belong to a woman and her doctor alone, without inclusion of “politicians’ moral judgment.”

Rep. Meg Froelich represents HD3 in Denver and Arapahoe Counties.

Senators Gonzales and Cutter, along with Representative Froelich, also took Governor Polis to task for responding to a question from a local reporter about the problems associated with the rollout of the state’s universal preschool program by accusing parents who were expecting to receive that promised benefit of wanting “free child care.” 

The Villager reached out to Representative Froelich, who represents south Denver, Englewood, and Sheridan, to get a better understanding about the issues raised in the guest commentary and to find out whether she and her colleagues had received a response to it from the governor. She told us, “I’ve said my piece with that. Not elaborating.”