NALEO chief asks Secretary Williams’ help in “saving the census”

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, right, again commits to encouraging Coloradans to participate in the 2020 census. He met this week with Arturo Vargas, chief executive officer of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, and Gillian Winbourn and Rosemary Rodriguez of “Together We Count.” (SOS photo)

The head of a national Latino organization visited with Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams this week to talk about the importance of an accurate count for the 2020 census.

Arturo Vargas, the chief executive officer of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, enlisted Williams’ help to make sure Colorado residents are counted.  Williams explained the governor’s office handles the census, but that he would do everything he could so that Colorado gets its “fair share of everything from highway dollars, to housing, to community development block grants, to everything else that is out there.”

As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America each decade counts its population. Vargas and Williams agreed that the message to Coloradans to participate is critical

“If you tell me it’s my civic duty,” Williams said, “it’s not as compelling as saying that this will help fix that road in front of your house or this will help a clinic or help provide funding for this various issue and tying it into something they care about.”

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Secretary Williams accepts award from Colorado Nonprofit Association

Michael Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, on Tuesday accepted awards from Renny Fagan, right, the president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, at an association workshop at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel. (SOS photo)

As a statewide elected official, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is regularly asked to present awards during the Colorado Nonprofit Association conferences, but the tables were turned Tuesday when it was Williams up on stage accepting an award from CEO Renny Fagan.

He joined three state lawmakers and another state agency, the Colorado Department of Revenue, who also were honored with Impact Awards for their help passing a bill this year that allows Colorado taxpayers the opportunity to donate all or part of their tax refund to any nonprofit registered in Colorado.

Three lawmakers share a laugh before being honored Tuesday for their work on a bill that allows Coloradans to donate part or all of their income-tax refund to any registered nonprofit. From left to right, Reps. Jim Wilson, R-Salida, and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver. (SOS photo)

“I think one of the things that Mike Hartman over at the Department of Revenue and I have a common is we’re looking for ways in government to say ‘yes’ as opposed to ways to say ‘no.’ I think both of us are very proud to be a part of this process,” Williams said.

This time, the secretary did not break down.

Also honored was Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver, and Reps. Jim Wilson, R-Salida, and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, who sponsored Senate Bill 141 in the 2018 legislative session.  SB 141 authorizes a new line on the tax form for 2020 called the “Donate to a Colorado Nonprofit Fund,” which allows Colorado taxpayers to donate part or all of their income-tax refund to any nonprofit registered in Colorado.

The effort was several years in the making.

“We’re all here celebrating a kind of a Super Bowl victory, but we had a couple of losing seasons in this deal,” Wilson said, of his and Court’s initial efforts. “A liberal lady and a conservative cowboy working together, what could go possibly go wrong with that deal?”

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Coloradans celebrate Taiwan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams helps the Republic of China celebrate its 107th birthday, along with Director General Jerry Chang and Congressman Mike Coffman, who represents a number of Coloradans with ties to Taiwan. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Congressman Mike Coffman and others gathered Friday night in Denver to celebrate Double Ten Day commemorating the events that led to the creation of Taiwan, America’s close friend and ally.

“The United States has been, is and will always be Taiwan’s closest partner,” said Director General Jerry Chang, with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver.

Ian Silverii, the director of ProgressNow, and Shirley Chang, with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver, at the Double Ten celebration Friday night. (SOS photo)

When his assistant, Shirley Chang, who is no relation, introduced the secretary of state she got a laugh from the crowd. She called Williams “our good friend” and said he was “most popular.”

Williams mentioned his visit to Taiwan a year ago, and how impressed he was with the nation.

“Taiwan is an example of the type of leadership and freedom that we all seek throughout the world,” he said.

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Pueblo organization wows Secretary Williams, other visitors

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams recently toured Pueblo Diversified Industries, a community resource for people who have disabilities and other challenges. From left to right, board member Michael Shoaf, Williams, board chairwoman Holly Hanson and David Pump, the president and CEO of PDI. (SOS photo)

Amazing. Inspiring. Exciting. Awesome. Incredible. Innovative.

Lots of vowel words were used when recent visitors described Pueblo Diversified Industries.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams toured the facility last week and came away impressed with PDI, a Colorado nonprofit and community resource for people with disabilities and other challenges.

“One of the best parts of the tour was when we saw flight crew check lists books  — they make those there . Someone else visiting the center happened to be a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot and said she, ‘Hey, I used those,'” Williams said.

“It really was an amazing and inspiring tour. They help people with diverse abilities.”

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To the web and beyond — Colorado governments win digital awards

Douglas County Assessor Lisa Frizell and Secretary of State Wayne Williams were among the Coloradans who picked up awards Friday night in Austin, Texas, from the Center for Digital Government. (SOS photo)

Secretary of State Wayne Williams joined other Coloradans in Austin, Texas, Friday night where they were honored for their sophisticated digital efforts in the fields of elections, real estate assessments and other services.

The Secretary of State’s office, the Douglas County Assessor’s office and Larimer County government were among the winners in the Center for Digital Government’s 2nd annual Government Experience Awards.

“It was an honor to be a part of that awards ceremony and learn what other states, counties and cities are doing digitally to save taxpayers’ money and enrich and secure the lives of the people they serve,” Williams said.

“As the chief elections officer for the state, I am gratified that our efforts at implementing a risk-limiting audit to ensure ballot accuracy continues to be recognized for making Colorado the safest state to cast a vote.”

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