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Adrienne Benavidez

Adrienne Benavidez
Adrienne Benavidez

Fines for Colorado schools with Native American mascots start in June. But no one has the power to enforce them.

About a dozen schools have been told by the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs to jettison mascots that appropriate American Indian imagery.

Politics and Government

Colorado school dropped its Native American mascot but can’t get off list with others facing hefty state fine

The state Commission of Indian Affairs declined to remove Avondale Elementary School from list of noncompliant schools facing $25,000 monthly penalty 


Colorado governor tells geographic renaming board to consider easier-to-pronounce alternatives

Gov. Jared Polis said "dots and dashes" made it hard to say Mestaa’ėhehe Mountain — leading one board member to label the governor's position "problematic"


Despite partisan rhetoric at the Colorado Capitol, just 4.4% of bills this year passed along purely party lines

The analysis, the second such study conducted by The Colorado Sun in three years, once again indicates more bipartisanship in the Colorado General Assembly than might be expected

Politics and Government

New Colorado law banning most American Indian mascots forces schools to confront cultural shifts

Critics resisting the new rule cite tradition, state overreach and the high cost to change team names like Redskins, Savages, Indians and Warriors. Some plan to sue to keep the mascots.


Opinion: Legislation to reduce Colorado’s jail populations makes sense for safety and social justice

Arrests should be reduced because jail is a dehumanizing and often traumatizing experience that violently disrupts families and communities, and can destroy lives.

Opinion Columns

Colorado legislature advances effort for tougher toxic emissions monitoring at polluting companies

Law would expand who must report after industries found altering totals to avoid hitting thresholds in benzene, other dangerous substances


Indigenous students say they need more from Colorado universities. An in-state tuition bill is a first step.

Senate Bill 29 would require higher education institutions in Colorado to charge in-state tuition to any student who is part of a federally recognized American Indian tribe that lived within the state. Fort Lewis College already waives tuition for Indigenous students.


Coalition demands fence line monitors, tougher caps at Suncor to protect Colorado communities

Activists and legislators from Denver and Pueblo want the state to put teeth into environmental justice for communities of color.


Air quality improved slightly during the stay-at-home order. But Colorado still has a serious pollution problem.

Officials have until June 2021 to meet a ground-level ozone compliance deadline set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.


George Floyd has revived a Colorado effort to change how police-involved deaths are investigated

Stalled legislation born out of the fatal Colorado Springs police shooting of 19-year-old De’von Bailey last year may now get a second look in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and protests in Denver.

Politics and Government

Colorado has had 201 police-related deaths since 2014. Lawmakers want a better way to investigate them.

The statewide Independent Monitor Program would investigate law enforcement-involved deaths. But it’s unclear if the yet-to-be introduced bill will advance once the “coronavirus pause” is over.

Politics and Government

State lawmakers, Denver council members urge governor to do more to help homeless through coronavirus

Eighteen lawmakers and a handful of other elected officials on Saturday sent Gov. Jared Polis a letter to mobilize the National Guard to help and dramatically increase available motel and hotel spaces for people to self-isolate/quarantine


Against uncertain backdrop, the tax overhaul backed by Colorado’s governor and state lawmakers limps ahead

Gov. Jared Polis announced a task force in January to study the state’s tax breaks, building on the General Assembly’s efforts, but it may stall

Politics and Government

GOP blasted Democrats for the 2019 legislative session. But they supported nearly every bill, analysis shows.

A dozen Republican lawmakers, led by Sen. Kevin Priola, sided with the Democratic legislative agenda the vast majority of the time

Sun Investigation

The 2019 legislative session in Colorado explained in 5 graphics

An analysis of votes in the House and Senate shows Republicans split and Democrats in alliance on the 460 bills passed this year

Politics and Government

An effort to ensure Colorado police and sheriffs aren’t carrying out federal immigration law has drawn Polis’ concerns

House Bill 1124 codifies a court ruling preventing jails from holding people just on immigration offenses and would prevent Colorado police from working on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But it started out much more sweeping

Politics and Government

Colorado’s prison budget nears $1 billion as inmate population grows. Frustrated leaders wanted action yesterday.

An early uproar about a supplemental budget bill shows the intensity behind the criminal justice debate this legislative session

Politics and Government