Faith leaders sharing 'In Plain Talk' video to get Coloradans talking about budget
Faith leaders across the state will begin using the Bell's Colorado's Budget: In Plain Talk video to help spark a statewide conversation about the budget and our fiscal challenges.
The Colorado Council of Churches, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry and Metro Organizations for People will be sharing a special version of the video with more than 1,000 faith communities across the state. The Rev. Andrew Simpson of African Methodist Episcopal provides an introduction.
"I know a budget shows a state's priorities and is a reflection of our values as society," Simpson says. "How do we stop the most vulnerable amongst us from being hurt by budget cuts? What are the values we as faith community share when looking at a budget?"
"We hope this video will help facilitate conversations around our state's priorities and lead to more engagement across Colorado," he continues.
The Plain Talk video, produced by the Bell Policy Center and ProgressNow Colorado, uses broad strokes to paint a picture of how the state gets and spends its money. It then offers options but proposes no specific solutions for fixing our broken fiscal system – that's where Simpson and faith leaders want church, synagogue and mosque members to weigh in, to start talking about the kind of state they want Colorado to be.
Faith leaders hope their congregations will be champions in learning and talking about budget and fiscal issues. Since Colorado voters make the major decisions about taxes and fiscal policy, it is important that these conversations start with them.
The Bell is working to engage groups and individuals across the state. We believe it is important that these discussions take place in living rooms and back yards as well as at PTA meetings, town hall gatherings and service club luncheons.
The video has been viewed more than 2,300 times by visitors to the Bell's and ProgressNow's websites, and customized versions have been created for more than a dozen groups. In addition, there is a Spanish-language version of the video.
We also have complied a Plain Talk video tool kit to help individuals and groups use our video and have productive conversations and presentations. The tool kit includes a Video Companion, handouts with summaries, discussion items and FAQs.