Secretaries of state learn about messaging in the Big Easy

Secretaries of state attending a workshop in New Orelans take a selfie in Jackson Square on Thursday. In the back, second to left, is Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is holding the camera.
Secretaries of state attending a workshop in Louisiana take a selfie in Jackson Square on Thursday. In the back, second to left, is Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is holding the camera. (SOS photo)

Secretaries of state — including Colorado’s Wayne Williams — and communication staffers from 20 different SOS offices are in New Orleans for a two-day “connect & collaborate” conference.

Among the presenters at the event: Twitter and Facebook officials who provided invaluable tips for how secretaries of state can get out their message on voter registration and other issues — and have a little fun.

The workshop was put on by the National Association of Secretaries of State and hosted by Louisiana SOS Tom Schedler and his staff. NASS’ Kay Stimson led the workshop “Negative Publicity & Hostile Reporters.” I chuckled when I read the title. We’ve had some of the first, very little of the latter.

Read moreSecretaries of state learn about messaging in the Big Easy

Secretary Williams announces 2016 Go Code Colorado challenge winners

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and members of three winning teams that competed in the Go Code Colorado challenger. (SOS photo by Judd Choate)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, center, and members of the winning teams that competed in the Go Code Colorado challenge take the stage at the Seawell Ballroom Thursday night in Denver . (SOS photo by Judd Choate)

Have you ever hired someone who looked great on paper but once in the job, not so much?

There’s an app for that.

Dalton Patterson and his family had plenty to cheer about after his team, Hively, was one of the winners at the Go Code Colorado challenge Thursday night. From left to right: Amberleigh, 11 months behind held by her dad, Dalson, 7, Dayton, 9 and Amber Patterson. (SOS photo)
Dalton Patterson and his family had plenty to cheer about after his team, Hively, was one of the winners at the Go Code Colorado finale. From left to right: Amberleigh, 11 months, and her dad; Dalson, 7; Dayton; 9 and Amber Patterson. (SOS photo)

One of the award winners in this year’s Go Code Colorado challenge was Hively, a Colorado Springs team that created a platform for companies to connect with potential employees based on personality match.

“We plan to revolutionize the way companies hire,” said Dalton Patterson of Hively. “Hively finds talent you need with personality that fits.”

Go Code Colorado is a statewide business app challenge housed in Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office.

The award-winning challenge — the first and only statewide effort of its kind — brings together a community of entrepreneurs, business partners and software developers to use public data to solve business problems.

“This year’s challenge was the best yet,” said Andrew Cole, the program manager for Go Code Colorado. “The ideas and presentations were powerful examples of the value of public data when put in the hands of creative technologists.”

Read moreSecretary Williams announces 2016 Go Code Colorado challenge winners

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock: “I love this city”

House candidate James Coleman, Larry Mizel, Shayna Coleman and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at the Mizel Institute's annual dinner. Hancock was this year's honoree.
House candidate James Coleman, Larry Mizel, Shayna Coleman and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at the Mizel Institute’s annual dinner. Hancock was this year’s honoree.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock delivered an emotional address to his family and the city he loves while being honored at the Mizel Institute dinner Wednesday in a room filled with power brokers.

“Tonight I accept this honor on behalf of the people of Denver who dared to give this kid a shot at his dream,” Hancock said.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his longtime friend, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. (SOS photo)
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his longtime friend, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. (SOS photo)

“I accept on behalf of the team I serve with every day in the foxhole, giving everything they have for the people of this great city. And I accept on behalf of my wife and children who bear an unequal burden so that I may live my dream and serve the people of Denver.”

The mayor’s wife, Mary Louise Lee, a renowned performer, earlier belted out a song to her husband.

Among those in attendance were Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, state Senate President Bill Cadman and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and his wife, former state Rep. Wilma Webb.

Read moreDenver Mayor Michael Hancock: “I love this city”

Colorado Springs city clerk elected vice chair of national elections board

Colorado Springs’ city clerk, Sarah Ball Johnson, has been elected vice president of a national elections group that makes recommendations to the Election Assistance Commission to help it carry out its mandates.

Colorado Springs City Clerk Sara Ball Johnson.
Colorado Springs City Clerk Sara Ball Johnson.

Johnson’s election occurred earlier this month when the Board of Advisors, a permanent advisory committee established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, met in Chicago for its annual meeting.

“It’s a really great group, a really good group,” Johnson said. “because it’s made up of election officials and different activists from the different appointing authorities … so it’s a really varied board.”

Johnson, 46, was nominated to serve on the board almost a decade ago by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who now is the Senate majority leader. She said she worked for him “years and years ago” before being hired by the Kentucky State Board of Elections for 17 years, seven as the executive director.

She has served as as the city clerk in Colorado Springs for four years. As such, she serves as custodian of city records, processes business licenses, runs city elections and helps staff City Council meetings.

She worked closely with Secretary of State Wayne Williams when he served as El Paso County’s clerk and recorder.

“Sarah has been a great addition to Colorado,” Williams said. “Working together, we made voting easier for our citizens and ensured the integrity of the process while keeping costs down.”

HAVA mandates that the EAC test and certify voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conduct research and administer a national clearinghouse on elections that includes shared practices, information for voters and other resources to improve elections, according to a news release from the organization.

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.