One of the best things about riding the 16th Street Mall shuttle is you run into folks you know, including Tom Noel, a lover of history, particularly Denver and Colorado history.
It turns out Professor Noel, or Dr. Colorado as he is known, on Monday was hitching a ride to his barber so he would look spiffy for Colorado Day today when Noel and other members of the new State Historians Council will be introduced to the public at History Colorado. Noel will lead the group.
I was happy to introduce Noel to my boss, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, who asked, “What’s a state historian?”
Did you know that 93.5 percent of Coloradans are insured? Well, they are. It’s right on the wooden U decorated by the Colorado Health Institute.
The health policy think tank sliced-and-diced and glue-sticked an annual report and the result is a wonderfully decorated U filled with data.
The back features columbines, the state flower, and the sides have information, too. That comes as no surprise because the work was done by Brian Clark, the associate director of visual communications for the Colorado Health Institute, and a former designer for the late, great Rocky Mountain News. In on the project was another Rocky alum, Deb Goeken, the vice president of communications for CHI.
Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams handed out the U’s as part of the UChooseCO campaign to help inform unaffiliated voters that for the first time they can participate in Tuesday’s primary election, and to remind them they can only vote one ballot. If they vote both, neither will count.
The only thing I knew when I started decorating my wooden U is that I would paint it turquoise and put my “I want my Rocky” pin on it.
Then I scoured through my dresser drawers and visited craft and hobby shops. On a road trip to Jackson and Grand counties with Secretary of State Wayne Williams I bought a “I ♥ Colorado” key chain to glue to the side of the U. “I think I’m up to $60,” I told the boss.
The secretary is handing out the U’s as part of the @UChooseCO campaign to educate unaffiliated voters that they can participate in the June 26 primary election, but they can only vote one ballot. The campaign has a web page, Facebook page, a Twitter account and its own hashtag, #UChooseCO.
See that “L” on top of my U next to the miniature telephone? I was thinking of spelling “Lynn” out on one of the U legs but the block letters were too big. I liked the L next to the phone because I am always on one. The sack of letters cost around $7 and I’ve got a whole bag of them.
I particularly like the dogs. Those were plastic buttons from Michaels and I cut the backs off with a wire cutter I borrowed from our IT department. I also bought a tiny dog food and water bowl, but decided not to use it.
Colorado Secretary of State Williams is handing out the wooden U’s as part of the office’s UChooseCO campaign, which stresses to unaffiliated voters that they can’t vote both the Democratic and Republican ballots they will receive for the June 26 primary. They have to pick just one ballot. If they vote two, neither will count.
The Webb group’s Josh Miller went all out. He ignored the colored markers in the UChoose box and bought paint. The result is a U with Denver’s logo, a tennis shoe and a shoelace.
After all, the story of Webb and his size-12 sneakers is a part of Colorado’s political history.
Out of money in his first race for mayor, Webb announced he would campaign on foot, spending the night in supporters’ houses as he traversed the city, traveling only by bus. The press corps, robust in those days, followed to see if Webb was keeping his word.
At the time, Webb was third in polls that gave him only 7 percent of the vote.
Webb went on to serve three terms as Denver mayor, and was succeeded in 2003 by brewmeister John Hickenlooper, who now is governor of Colorado — and who has yet to decorate his wooden U!
Argh. I blew it. This was to publish on Saturday. So pretend it’s Saturday when you read it.
One of the cool things about Colorado Secretary of State’s UChooseCO campaign is seeing how the wooden U’s that have been handed out are decorated. I thought former Rocky Mountain News cartoonist Ed Stein would, well, draw cartoons. I figured former Denver Post editorial page editor Dan Haley might go with a pop culture reference.
I guessed wrong.
The U’s are part of a campaign to inform unaffiliated voters that they can now automatically participate in primary elections without having to affiliate with one party or another.
Unaffiliated voters also are being told DON’T SPOIL IT. They will get two ballots, one for Republican candidates and the other for Democratic candidates, but they can only vote one. If they return both, neither ballot will count.
We asked those who received the wooden U’s to show off their work on Twitter and other social media venues.
“Luddite that I am I don’t get hashtags (I know, so 20th Century),” Stein wrote.
Every day between now and the June 26 primary we will highlight a wooden U or two. Recipients were asked to consider their values when decorating or to just have fun. Some clerks highlighted their counties.