COLORADO SPRINGS — The Citizens Project champions equity, diversity, and the separation of church and state, locally.
“We do a lot of civic engagement work, and making sure that every single person in the Pikes Peak region has the opportunity to participate fully in our government, in our democracy, they have the information they need. And we really encourage them to make their voice heard,” said Deb Walker, executive director of the Citizens Project.
The small nonprofit has been doing both advocacy and watchdog work in the Pikes Peak region for the 27 years.
“The resources that we provide are non-partisan. So, that means we never tell people who to vote for and we certainly don’t endorse political parties. A lot of times, different news outlets, certainly the two local papers will provide endorsements. But they’re giving you their opinion about who to vote for, whereas we just ask candidates all the same questions and we provide their responses as they give them to us,” Walker said.
The nonprofit works to ensure local policies and laws passed are inclusive.
“We want to make sure that people of all religions, all races, LGBTQ students feel as though they feel safe in our public schools. So, we do education and we respond to incidents in our public schools. Because we believe that the public space is for every single person here,” Walker said.
Through local elections, the Citizens Project reaches nearly 180,000 people in their efforts to make every voice heard.
“Every single election, we have our election education resources. And we knock on the door of under-represented voters. We call people, we send them postcards to make sure that they understand that their voice matters,” Walker said.
The Citizens Project will begin monitoring the state legislature in January and will begin doing census work this Spring.