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OPPORTUNITY MATTERS 2012-2013 Annual Report The Bell Policy Center

Research • Advocacy • Opportunity


Opportunity matters. Whether it’s opening the door to young people who will be the first in their families to attend college, helping working families get a little more money to help make ends meet or helping seniors prepare for a healthy retirement, opportunity makes a difference to Coloradans of all ages. Here at the Bell, we’re

passionate about helping all Coloradans achieve these moments of opportunity in their own lives. With expert policy research and analysis, we advocate

for policies that help children grow up strong, young people prepare for good jobs and working families save for the future. Wade Buchanan We build bridges and coalitions within the progressive community and with business groups, faith communities and other concerned citizens to work toward solutions for our most pressing challenges. We spark conversations across the state on what we can do, together, to address the fiscal and budget challenges that affect us all. And we get results. In these pages, you’ll hear about some of the doors we’ve helped to open, as well as some of the lasting impacts of our work. Of course, none of our work would be possible without the support of our many partners and supporters.

Thank you for investing in a state of opportunity for all. Warm regards,

Wade Buchanan President

The Bell Policy Center’s

GATEWAYS TO OPPORTUNITY The gateways are a series of experiences and events that build on one another and accumulate over the course of a lifetime, making it possible for families and individuals to realize their full economic, social and personal potential. We promote public policies that help more Coloradans pass through the gateways and enter the Cycle of Opportunity. We also focus on fiscal and budget issues, because we believe the public sector is an essential partner with private and community groups in making Colorado a state of opportunity for all.

1. A healthy birth. A healthy pregnancy leading to a healthy birth is the first gateway to a life of opportunity. A baby who is born healthy is likely to enjoy more opportunities in life than one not born healthy.

9. A financially secure and healthy retirement.

2. A safe and stimulating early childhood. A child who

A secure and healthy retirement should be the reward for a life of hard work and contribution to family and community.

8. Earning a decent living and building wealth. Individuals and families who earn enough to be self-sufficient and to build assets are more likely to enjoy financial stability through retirement and be able to pass on opportunities to future generations.

is nurtured emotionally and stimulated intellectually during the first years of life is much more likely to develop the self-confidence and cognitive abilities that will lead to greater opportunities throughout life.


7. A healthy adult life. Those who enjoy sound physical and

mental health or are able to get adequate treatment when they need it are likely to be more productive, advance faster in their careers, earn higher incomes and enjoy a better quality of life throughout their adult years.

3. Building a solid base for literacy. A

child who masters literacy skills in elementary school will enjoy many more opportunities in life than a child who does not master these skills.

4. Establishing a healthy lifestyle in childhood and adolescence. Kids who

develop healthy habits early are more likely to enjoy good health throughout their adult lives and into their senior years.

5. Leaving high school with a diploma and the skills to succeed. Graduating from high school

6. Access to education and training for adults. Those who have access to

affordable colleges or technical schools can obtain the knowledge and skills to become more productive members of the workforce with financially successful careers.

marks the beginning of one’s passage to adulthood. A high school diploma represents the successful acquisition of the knowledge and skills needed to function in the working world or to pursue further education and training.

Bell Policy Center 2012-13 Annual Report





• Protected more employees from discrimination at work • Addressed unfair hiring practices

• Expanded in-state tuition to all qualified Colorado students • Updated the school finance formula



• Provided tax credits to lift low-income working families out of poverty and promote opportunity for future generations

• Expanded access to health care • Helped more seniors stay in their homes longer, saving the state money


We testified 27 times on 17 different bills. 12 of the 13 bills we supported passed. All 4 bills we opposed failed.


A LONG TIME COMING, A REWARDING VICTORY On April 29, 2013, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) bill into law, giving qualified undocumented Colorado high school graduates access to in-state tuition at Colorado higher education institutions. The Bell Policy Center was a longtime member of the Higher Education Access Alliance (HEAA—many members pictured below, along with Sen. Michael Johnston, one of ASSET's sponsors), which led the effort to pass this legislation. Senior Policy Analyst Frank Waterous, the tall guy in the back row, testified for the bill and was a member of the HEAA steering committee

“Going to college shouldn’t be contingent on good fortune, but rather the ability to succeed. Now everyone can have that opportunity.” Marco Dorado Finance major University of Colorado-Boulder “ASSET ensures that motivated and hard-working young people who want only to pursue their dreams, develop their talents and use them to contribute back to our communities can do so, and weave themselves into the broad American fabric.” Frank Waterous Senior policy analyst Bell Policy Center

Motivated and hardworking young people can pursue their dreams. 4_Bell Policy Center 2012-13 Annual Report

WE LIKE THESE NUMBERS 19% : Percentage of Colorado juniors and seniors participating in concurrent enrollment, which allows students to earn college credits while still in high school. A recent report from the Lieutenant Governor’s office shows that this program, which the Bell helped to develop and pass in 2009, has seen increased participation by students of color, and that students participating had higher grade-point averages, higher retention rates and higher credit-hour accumulation than their peers. 12

Maureen Rudy Colorado Adult Education Professional Association

1 2

10 12

3 4


$50 million-plus:

Amount saved annually by hardworking Coloradans thanks to payday lending reforms championed by the Bell over several years. Now, workers have a minimum of six months to pay off these high-cost loans instead of a couple of weeks, and borrowers can avoid getting caught in a cycle where debt keeps growing.





unique visitors

14,279 1,017


Number of to the Bell’s website,, active subscribers to our emails, our Twitter followers, and our Facebook followers at the end of 2012.These numbers continue to grow, as more Coloradans turn to the Bell for critical information on the policies that affect them.The Bell also extends its reach and supports the work of its coalition partners by developing and sharing tools tailored for their audiences.


More than 20: Number of coalitions, task forces

and working groups in which the Bell actively participates to advance opportunity in Colorado. Collaboration is central to the Bell’s work and essential to successful policy work.


“Much of the research CAEPA used to help frame our Fact Sheet came from Bell as we developed a platform to advocate for awareness of the needs of adult learners throughout Colorado and the benefits to our state's economy.”

“A very successful program, which was due in no small part to your preparing the tone of the presentation to fit our local audience while still covering all bases of the multitude of complex information contained in the [Affordable Care Act] in a relatively short period of time.” Nancy Ball League of Women Voters of Montrose County

Approximate number of people reached through the Bell’s health care presentations from September 2012 – May 2013, including presentations on the Affordable Care Act and on long-term care issues resulting from the aging of the baby boom generation.The Bell’s expert staff regularly speaks about key policy issues to a variety of audiences.

COLORADO: BOOM OR BUST The Bell Policy Center par tnered with ProgressNow Colorado and Colorado Public Television (Channel 12) to produce Colorado: Boom or Bust, an hour-long program designed to help the public understand Colorado’s budget challenges and to begin a conversation about possible solutions. More than 48,000 people viewed the television program during each of its two airings, and the Bell is continuing the conversation with a series of social media tools and videos tailored for different audiences. Bell Policy Center 2012-13 Annual Report_5

THE BELL POLICY CENTER 2012 DONORS Thank you! This list represents donors to the Bell Policy Center from January 1 through December 31, 2012. If we have made an error, please contact the Bell Policy Center development office at 303.297.0456, x219 or

Foundations and Organizations Bohemian Foundation Brett Family Foundation Chambers Family Fund The Colorado Health Foundation Colorado Trial Lawyers Association The Colorado Trust Community First Foundation Community Foundation Serving Boulder County The Denver Foundation Gill Foundation The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Colorado Rose Community Foundation The Women's Foundation of Colorado Working Poor Families Project, which is supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Kresge foundations.


Bell Policy Center 2012-13 Annual Report

Individuals and Family Foundations Paul Aaker Jean Aaro Anonymous Debra Armbruster Joanne Arnold Bamboo Fund Letty Bass David Becher K. Holly Bennett Michael Brewer Patricia Brewster-Willeke Mark & Mary Buchanan Will Burt Gerald and Elizabeth Caplan Carl Clark, MD Richard Collins Tom and Noel Congdon Ken Connell Peter and Joan Dawson Deane Family Fund Jean Dubofsky Tracy and Michael Ehlers Mariana Enriquez Cheryl Fellows Catherine Gates Christopher Gatzke Ellen Gille Peggy Gonder Rhondda Grant Cortney Green Janet Grimmett Richard Grosz Stephanie Gustafson Kathleen Hallgren Linda Hamlin Kaaren Hardy Sue Henry Sigrid Higdon Jean Hodges Andrew Hornbrook

Gail Klapper Toni Larson Mollie Cross Leone Jane Lewenthal Margaret Anne Long Susan Arnold Mitchell Sue and Bill Mohrman David Mungo Roweena Naidoo Dee Perry Sarah Pingel Patsy Pollock Ed Porritt Dr. Dean Prina Rudy & Alice Ramsey Foundation Barry Douglas Roseman David Ruchman Serendipity Fund Way Shen and Christopher George Linda Shoemaker Peter and Mary Shultz Charles R. Smith Van R. Smithson Angela Stavropoulos Lizzy Stephan Julie Strawn Andrea Streff Timothy Sweeney Penfield W. Tate III John and Carson Taylor Paul B. Thayer Drs. Rick A. Voorhees and Alice Bedard-Voorhees Charles White Lucinda Willard Marla Williams Kenneth A. Wilson and Nancy Commins Stephanie Winfield James Wood Joe Zimlich


Temporarily restricted


$477,687 935 496,141

$571,662 –– (496,141)

$1,049,349 935 ––




Expenses Program services Management and general Fund raising

814,951 145,680 83,654

–– ––

814,951 145,680 83,654

Total expenses




Increase in net assets




Net assets, beginning of year




Net assets, end of year




Revenue and support Contributions Other income Net assets released from restrictions Total revenue and support


Figures based on audited financial statements prepared by Johnson Kightlinger & Co. Full audited financials available upon request. The Bell Policy Center is a nonprofit organization under IRS section 501(c)3, EIN 84-1550841. Contributions to the Bell Policy Center are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

Bell Policy Center 2012-13 Annual Report


2013 BOARD OF DIRECTORS D. Scott Martinez, Chair Deputy City Attorney City and County of Denver Kathleen Beatty, Treasurer Professor and Dean Emeritus University of Colorado at Denver School of Public Affairs Lauren Arnold Chief of Staff Gill Foundation Michael Brewer Senior Philanthropic and Political Adviser P. Barclay Jones Director, Leadership Resident Academic Program at Williams Village University of Colorado Linda Morton Former Mayor of Lakewood Kelly Nordini Political Consultant Penfield Tate III Shareholder Greenberg Traurig LLP We also gratefully acknowledge the service of outgoing board member Tim Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer, Gill Foundation.

BELL POLICY CENTER STAFF AND FELLOWS Wade Buchanan, President Meridith Antonucci, Public Interest Policy Fellow George Awuor, Policy Analyst Ellie Driscoll, Summer Intern Kathleen Hallgren, Policy and Program Assistant Abigail Hinga, Director of Outreach Rich Jones, Director of Policy and Research Julie Pecaut, Director of Development Elaine Rumler, Director of Operations Bob Semro, Policy Analyst Alison Suzukamo, Public Interest Policy Fellow Frank Waterous, Senior Policy Analyst Joe Watt, Director of Communications We also gratefully acknowledge the work of our former staff and fellows from 2012-13: Alec Arellano, Program Assistant Mollie Cross Leone, Director of Development Calleigh Durr, Fellow, Regis University Sarah Lipscomb, Social Work Fellow, University of Denver


Bell Policy Center 2012-13 Annual Report

The Bell Policy Center’s mission is to make Colorado a state of opportunity for all — a place where all people can build better lives for themselves and their families. The Bell Policy Center conducts research and analysis on public policy issues, develops policy recommendations and advocates for policies that promote opportunity for all Coloradans. The Bell is nonpartisan and nonprofit. The Bell Policy Center 1905 Sherman Street, Suite 900 Denver, CO 80203 (303) 297-0456 the-bell-policy-center Annual Report design by Jim Mascolo

Bell Policy Center Annual Report 2012-13  
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