Organizational / Press Release

Youth Power in Action: New Era Colorado, the State’s Most Effective Youth Organizing Nonprofit, Launches Independent Expenditure and Small Donor Initiatives

January 11, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2024
CONTACT: Camila Navarrette, Camila@NewEraColorado.org, (323) 423-5898

Youth Power in Action: New Era Colorado, the State’s Most Effective Youth Organizing Nonprofit, Launches Independent Expenditure and Small Donor Initiatives

DENVER, CO — New Era Colorado Action Fund, a 501c(4) social welfare organization associated with the 501c(3) New Era Colorado Foundation, announced the launch of two new political entities: the Young People For All People Independent Expenditure Committee and the New Era Colorado AF Small Donor Committee. While both programs will build and expand young people’s political power by electing Youth Agenda Champions to state and local office, each committee has a distinct role:

  • Young People For All People will expand upon New Era Colorado Action Fund’s electoral outreach work by organizing and mobilizing young voters in key state and local races to elect Youth Agenda Champions, passing progressive ballot measures, and defeating ballot measures that harm young people’s priorities.
  • New Era Colorado AF Small Donor Committee will work alongside endorsed Youth Agenda Champions in both primary and general elections and provide candidates with contributions from grassroots donors to win their races and co-govern with young people.

The launch of these two entities comes after three national elections with historic youth turnout (2018, 2020, 2022), where New Era turned out their base of young people, 18-34 year-olds in Colorado, consistently at double-digit points higher than the state youth average. Both committees will prioritize candidates and Youth Agenda Champions who identify as young, Black, brown, Indigenous, and/or people of color. As the programs evolve, New Era Colorado Action Fund hopes to recruit members of its base to run for local and state offices across the state.

“Through the past few years at the legislature, we’ve learned that a Democratic trifecta does not necessarily yield bolder action on the Youth Agenda. We realized that if we want to see Youth Agenda Champions elected into office, we need to do the work to get them there,” said Nicole Hensel, executive director of New Era Colorado Action Fund.

“Young people are some of the most effective organizers in the state, and New Era Colorado has grown into one of the best youth organizing groups in the country. As we continue to mobilize around issues like abortion access and economic justice, it’s vital that young people know which candidates are true advocates for our issues,” said Christina Soliz, deputy director of New Era Colorado Action Fund. “We’re excited to launch the Young People For All People Independent Expenditure Committee and connect with young voters on campus, at their doors, digitally, and in every way we can to talk about the issues that matter and the candidates who will best represent them.”

“We know that the issues, not political parties, motivate young people–so if candidates want our votes, they need to defend our priorities outside of critical election cycles. New Era Colorado Action Fund will be endorsing candidates for the first time in 12 years because the political moment necessitates that we uplift, support, and elect candidates committed to representing young people. We also know that money rules politics–so we’re getting in the game by making direct contributions to endorsed candidates, funded directly by our members,” said Hensel. “A small donor committee is just one way young people can show up as players in the political process with money, time, and shits to give. The New Era Colorado AF Small Donor Committee isn’t beholden to a corporation or political party; it’s for young people, fueled by young people, driven by the state’s most effective youth organizing nonprofit, and will fight for the candidates who will advance the rights of all people.”

“We’ve built into our system, and our financial system, a new way for people to organize and collectively build momentum and power,” said Senator Julie Gonzales in her remarks celebrating the launch of the New Era Colorado AF Small Donor Committee and Young People for All People Independent Expenditure Committee. “When you start to see within the nature of our political system, you start to see the power of organizing reflected in our campaigns–and then that changes the way that young people are taken into account and taken under consideration under the Dome.”

Please contact Camila Navarrette, New Era Colorado’s Communications Director, regarding inquiries about Young People, For All People, New Era’s independent expenditure committee, at Camila@NewEraColorado.org. Please contact Natasha Berwick, New Era Colorado’s Political Director, for inquiries about the New Era Colorado AF Small Donor Committee at Natasha@NewEraColorado.org.

New Era Colorado Action Fund is a 501(4) nonprofit organization that organizes young people to win on the Youth Agenda through elections and policy to ensure that elected officials are held accountable to the Youth Agenda before and after elections.