An endorsement for 1A | AspenTimes.com

An endorsement for 1A

Dear Editor:

I am writing to encourage all Pitkin County voters to cast your vote in support of Referendum 1A in this year’s election. Election Day in Pitkin County actually comes in the form of a mail-in ballot this year, due in to the clerk’s office by Tuesday, Nov. 1. Your ballot should be in your mailbox starting this week.

A yes vote on 1A will ensure that Pitkin County’s Healthy Community Fund, due to sunset in 2012, remains in place for another six years. This dedicated property tax, which began in 2002, provides a source of stable funding to local nonprofit organizations that deliver a wide variety of essential and desirable community services.

This fund, which helps agencies leverage other grant dollars, is needed now more than ever in the face of severe federal and state cutbacks affecting agencies’ budgets. The moneys raised support health and human service and community nonprofit programs to assist Pitkin residents and workers in so many important ways. Here are just a few examples of the work the Healthy Community Fund supports:

– case management and counseling support to help families in medical, financial, mental health or substance abuse crisis,

– legal aid, family planning and preventative health services,

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– services for seniors,

– support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault,

– enrichment programs that protect the quality of our natural resources, and

– after-school and early literacy programs.

Funds are available to organizations through a comprehensive application and review process organized by a dedicated volunteer citizen grant review committee. Agencies must outline their purpose and plan for use of the funds with great care and with attention to outcomes they are working to achieve. The county provides program oversight through report reviews, site visits, and technical assistance and training to help agencies achieve their missions.

It’s time to actively support the health of our community through a yes vote on Referendum 1A on your mail-in ballot!

Mitzi Ledingham

Snowmass Village