Secretary Williams reaches out to homeless

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks to veteran Randall McCoy, who outlined what he thinks can be done to help people like him from becoming homeless, during an event Tuesday in Aurora. (SOS picture)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talks to veteran Randall McCoy, who outlined what he thinks can be done to help people like him from becoming homeless. (SOS picture)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams reminded the homeless Tuesday they have the same right to vote as anyone else.

Williams participated in an event in Aurora organized by several outreach groups designed to tap into the network of homeless people.

“The fact that you have no fixed permanent home has no bearing on your right to vote,” he said, at the event held outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

While Williams was speaking a man chanted “Donald Trump! Donald Trump!”

“You know, the wonderful thing about America is we get to make the decision about who our president is going to be,” Williams responded. “No matter what candidate you support, you have a right to be involved. And you should be involved. Our goal in the Secretary of State’s Office is to make sure you have the opportunity to participate and to make those decisions.”

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Special Olympics Colorado shares with Colorado Secretary of State’s Office

Colorado Secretary of State staffers Caleb Thornton, Kelsey Klau and Karen Tollefson participate in a timed word search relay as part of celebrating the Olympics and Special Olympics Colorado this week at the SOS office. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State staffers Caleb Thornton, Kelsey Klaus and Karen Tollefson participate in a timed word-search relay as part of celebrating the Olympics and Special Olympics Colorado this week at the SOS office. (SOS photo)

It’s been an Olympian kind of week at the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, complete with daily trivia about the international event and a fundraiser lunch for Special Olympics Colorado.

The office on Thursday watched a short presentation about Special Olympics Colorado and participated in the lunch.

“I was surprised to learn that many of the athletes have challenges with their health care and that Special Olympics is the world’s largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities,” staffer Kris Reynolds said.

“Special Olympics has the Healthy Athletes program, which educates athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and help them identify problems that may need, such as dental care. For example, on Sept. 17th Special Olympics Colorado has a flag football tournament and are asking for dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistance and dental students to volunteer to give free screenings.

Megan Toohey, director of development, athlete Kyle Visser and Victoria Paterson-Maiman, community partnerships manager, all from Special Olympics Colorado. (SOS picture)
Megan Toohey, director of development, athlete Kyle Visser and Victoria Paterson-Maiman, community partnerships manager, all from Special Olympics Colorado. (SOS picture)

“I thought I was educated about what Special Olympics did but after Thursday I realized I knew very little and I founds that I was amazed by the organization and its athletes.”

The staffers learned that athlete Kyle Visser learned to swim in three years and also participates in many other sports.

He spoke about his 16-year-involvement with the Special Olympics and the positive impact it has had on his life. The special-needs athlete competes in several events throughout the year.

The event was arranged by the SOS’ Employee Relations Committee. The ERC served hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks for SOS employees, and donated $377 to Special Olympics.

“We provided an opportunity for members from different areas throughout the office to get together in share in a memorable experience,” staffer Abbas Montoya said. “I think that this epitomizes what the SOS ERC is all about.”

One Colorado honors Ted Trimpa (again!), Kristin Strohm and others

Attorney and lobbyist Ted Trimpa will finally receive his sward from One Colorado. (Photo by CyrusMcCrimmon/The Denver Post /Provided to SOS)
Attorney and lobbyist Ted Trimpa will finally receive his sward from One Colorado. (Photo by CyrusMcCrimmon/The Denver Post /Provided to SOS)

One of my last stories for The Denver Post was a front-page piece on gay activist Ted Trimpa and how he changed Colorado and a nation.

Trimpa was going to be honored a year ago with a lifetime achievement award by One Colorado, the state’s largest advocacy organization for gay and transgender rights.

The more Trimpa and I talked in 2015 for the story the more I realized his life is a best-selling book. I still feel that way. I mean, a Kansas farm kid ends up helping President Obama develop his policy toward Cuba?

Kristin Strohm with The Starboard Group. (Starboard photo)
Kristin Strohm with The Starboard Group. (Starboard photo)

And the story is proof that Colorado history repeats itself. Trimpa has worked on ballot measures involving cigarette taxes and oil-and-gas development, which are issues again this year.

But Trimpa had to miss his own party because of a medical emergency so he is receiving the award this Saturday at One Colorado’s annual gala, which honors allies for the cause.

In addition to Trimpa, One Colorado is honoring GOP fundraiser juggernaut Kristin Strohm of The Starboard Group. Among her clients: Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

She was a founding member and served on the board of Coloradans for Freedom, the group that successfully organized conservatives to advocate for the passage of civil unions at the state legislature. She is credited with guiding another client, Congressman Mike Coffman, into changing his views on gay rights.

Also receiving awards from One Colorado are Nita and Rudy Gonzales and the Gonzales family and Matthew Huron.

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El Paso County clerk to open office at Fort Carson

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams(Carol Lawrence, The Gazette/Special to the SOS)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (Carol Lawrence, The Gazette/Special to the SOS)

Fort Carson on Thursday will become one of the few — if not the only — military post where a clerk-and-recorder’s office is operating on base.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and El Paso County Clerk Chuck Broerman will be on hand for the grand opening.

Having a clerk’s office on base will allow Fort Carson’s military personnel, staff, contractors and retired military a convenient location to register to vote, record an official document, get a marriage license, obtain a driver’s license and title their vehicle, among other services. Others are welcome to visit the office after getting a day pass at Gate 1.

“When I was out running for office I heard people say, ‘How come governments don’t work together?'” Williams said. “Well, this is a case where government worked together.”

In addition to the clerk’s office, the Mountain Post Soldier Center, as it is called, also will offer an array of services for those stationed at Fort Carson.

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Our own Hilary Rudy, Class of 2016

Hilary Rudy, deputy director of elections for the Colorado Secretary of State, speaks to county clerks at their summer conference earlier this year. At her side is Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell. (SOS photo)
Hilary Rudy, deputy director of elections for the Colorado Secretary of State, speaks to county clerks at their summer conference earlier this month. At her side is Chaffee County Clerk Lori Mitchell. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s deputy elections director, Hilary Rudy, will be honored Friday as one of the top designated election officials in the country.

She will be be known as a “certified elections/registration administrator” or CERA.

That sounds bureaucratese but just think of it as the elections version of getting “made.” But in this case, the ranking comes only after lots of study by the Colorado Secretary of State staffer.

Rudy will receive the designation at a ceremony in Philadelphia Friday.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams  dealt with Rudy in 2011 when he became El Paso County clerk and recorder. He was sworn in as secretary of state in 2015.

“When I had tough questions about specific issues, she was always the one I called,” he said. “I’m glad she continues to provide excellent support for our 64 counties. Colorado clerks across the state look to Hilary Rudy for guidance.”

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