Colorado’s elected leaders reflect at prayer luncheon

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Denver City Council members Debbie Ortega and Albus Brooks at the Colorado Prayer Luncheon Thursday. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Denver City Council members Debbie Ortega and Albus Brooks at the Colorado Prayer Luncheon Thursday. (SOS photo)

Secretary of State Wayne Williams and other elected officials on Thursday participated in the 29th annual Colorado Prayer Luncheon, which attracted nearly 1,000 people..

The featured speaker at the event was Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations.

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS picture)
State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and Secretary of State Wayne Williams. (SOS picture)

Among those present at the Colorado Convention Center’s Four Seasons Ballroom were Gov. John Hickenlooper, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, state Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton.

State lawmakers as well as members of the Denver City Council also attended.

“It was wonderful to have gathered together people from many different dominations,” Williams said. “I know I appreciate the prayers from Coloradans.

Secretary Williams addresses Colorado Social Legislation Committee

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, flanked by Denver elections director Amber McReynolds and Rep. Su Ryden, at the Colorado Social Legislation Committee lunch Monday. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, flanked by Denver elections director Amber McReynolds and Rep. Su Ryden, at the Colorado Social Legislation Committee lunch Monday. (SOS photo)

By Keara Brosnan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams outlined his legislative agenda, explained why he supports a presidential primary bill and discussed the selection of Dominion as the state’s new voting vendor when he spoke this week to the Colorado Social Legislation Committee.

This topic at  the CSLC week’s lunch  concerned elections; the other two panelists were Amber McReynolds, Denver’s elections director, and Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, who chairs the committee that hears most election measures.

Williams said he was warned before the 2016 session it would be difficult to get bills through a divided legislature in an election year. But so far things have gone well, he said, and one measure last week passed the Democratic-controlled House 65-0 and the Republican-controlled Senate 34-0.

“We’ve actually got some things done that needed to get done,” he said.

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Wayne Williams’ new title: Grandpa

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams holds his first grandchild, Mikaya Rose.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams holds his first grandchild, Mikaya Rose.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams this month added another title to his name: Grandpa.

Mikaya Rose Williams was born March 11, weighing in at 7 pounds 14 ounces and measuring 20 inches. Her parents, Gregory Alaric and Cassidy Williams, could not be more excited.

Gregory Alaric and Cassidy Williams and their daughter, Mikaya Rose.
Gregory Alaric and Cassidy Williams and their daughter, Mikaya Rose.

The secretary and his wife, Holly, traveled to Utah last week to visit their first grandchild.

He joked that every now and then he was able to get their granddaughter away from Holly so he could hold her.

Wayne and Holly Williams have four children: Sean, Gregory Alaric, Lindsey and Wendy.

At 3:24 a.m. on March 12, Lindsey posted of a picture of herself and her niece on her Facebook page: “Oh, Mikaya Rose, you are so beautiful! I’m so glad you are here. I love you sobriña!”

Colorado Nonprofit Association honors those who help make their communities better

Lobbyist Ruth Aponte, Christine Marquez-Hudson, the president and CEO of The Denver Foundation, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and lobbyist Edie Busam at the Colorado Nonprofit Association's awards lunch today.
Lobbyist Ruth Aponte, Christine Marquez-Hudson, the president and CEO of The Denver Foundation, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and lobbyist Edie Busam at the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s awards lunch today.

Bill Hana, a fixture at the state Capitol for years, received a standing ovation today when he was awarded the Public Service Lifetime Achievement award from the Colorado Nonprofit Association at its annual awards gala.

Bill Hanna was the recipient today of the Colorado Nonprofit Association's Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bill Hanna was the recipient today of the Colorado Nonprofit Association’s Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gov. John Hickenlooper presented the award to Hanna, who is crediting with helping “shape the public service, nonprofit and political landscape of Colorado since his arrival in 1971.” Hanna was well known for his legislative work for the state Department of Human Services and now is the legislative liaison for the United Veterans Committee.

Hanna was one of several award recipients today at the lunch, which was held at the Denver Marriott City Center as part of Colorado Nonprofit Association Week. Renny Fagan, the president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, kicked off the event by noting the the impact of nonprofit organizations on the state.

Renny Fagan, the president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, and Sen. John Kefalas, who along with Sen. Kent Lambert, were honored as Lawmakers of the Year.
Renny Fagan, the president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, and Sen. John Kefalas, who along with Sen. Kent Lambert, were honored as Lawmakers of the Year.

Sens. John Kefalas, a Fort Collins Democrat, and Kent Lambert, a Colorado Springs Republican, received the Legislator of the Year awards from the group.

Lydia McCoy, board chairwoman of the Colorado Nonprofit Association and executive director of Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation, compared their work to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

She said sometimes the constant fundraising and other duties can be overwhelming, but think of what Colorado would be like if nonprofit groups were not there to help out their communities.

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Secretary Wayne Williams helps honor legendary civil rights attorney

An Alabama attorney whose clients included Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. received a prestigious honor recently, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams couldn’t be happier.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and civil rights legend Fred Gray. (NASS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and civil rights legend Fred Gray. (NASS photo)

Williams voted for attorney Fred Gray of Alabama to receive the National Association of Secretaries of States’ Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award for political courage. Gray was recognized at NASS’ winter conference in Washington D.C. last week for his lifelong service to civil rights.

“I proudly accept this award on behalf of all the clients who, during the last 61 years, trusted me to handle their legal cases. Many resulted in breaking down the walls of segregation and changing the landscape of America — with an impact around the world,” Gray said, according to a NASS news release. “I am pleased to continue to fight for equal justice, until all of God’s children are truly free.”

Read moreSecretary Wayne Williams helps honor legendary civil rights attorney