Advice for County Commissioner Meetings
When and Where:
Meetings on Monday's at 9am at 544 Rood Ave, Grand Junction (double check Mesa County Commissioner site for Cancellations).
Important Email Addresses:
Email topic suggestions at the bottom!
Mesa County - firstname.lastname@example.org
State of Colorado - email@example.com
Mesa County Commissioners:
Janet Rowland – firstname.lastname@example.org
Cody Davis – email@example.com
Scott McInnis - Scott.McInnis@mesacounty.us
Watch the Last Meeting (search archives if necessary):
Meeting on 11/1: View meeting video here.
Meeting on 10/25, public comment begins at 1 hour 26 minutes. View meeting video here.
What to Avoid Talking About *When Speaking for Stop the Mandate*:
1. Election integrity - This is a very important topic and we need people to speak up about it however they feel led, but please don't conflate this issue with the vaccine mandate. It dilutes the point you're trying to make and cuts into an already very short time. If this is your main concern, please stick to it! Just please don't try to cram two very big topics into three very short minutes.
2. The vaccine not being a real vaccine, the vaccine being fast-tracked, the vaccine being a jab that doesn't actually protect. While all these things are true, all three commissioners are vaccinated so we already know they feel differently and honestly, their status shouldn't matter. A lot of our support is vaccinated. We as a whole (regardless of vaccine status) believe in an individual's choice to choose what they feel is best for themselves. They won't hear us if we spend our time going off about the vaccine at large. We want to spend time talking about what they may have control over, stories of our family or friend (especially if local) who were hurt and why we should look into this more, etc. are totally appropriate.
What to Focus On Instead:
The focus should be on the mandate and how it is stripping people of their freedoms. That freedom to choose what goes into our body is not something government should even get to debate on, let alone govern on. These rights were God-given and cannot be taken away unless we allow it. As far as vaccine effects go, unless you have a personal story (avoid "I have a friend who has a friend" anecdotes if you can) or are in healthcare and have seen first-hand the ill effects the vaccine has, it's better to stick to how the mandate will kill jobs/economy, kill healthcare quality, and ultimately kill people.
Other Notes on Speaking:
Practice beforehand - Personal stories are really powerful! You have three minutes maximum during your time to speak and they can't answer you until the very end. Bring bullet points so you can accomplish what you want to say!
The commissioners want the actual people to come tell their own stories. Be respectful to the commissioners and thank them for their position. Healthcare, share the stories you share with us of other healthcare discriminating against employees and patients for their choices. They only hear stories of patients requesting for vaccinated staff and that's not a representation of what a large part of us actually want.
Good Questions to Ask:
Remember, they can't answer during your speaking time but leave them with things to consider:
“Is the health department even trying to track adverse reactions to the vaccine?”
“How are hospitals recording vaccinated patients?”
"Are the commissioners aware that facilities are denying rehab to patients released from hospitals that aren't vaccinated?"
Keep making them aware, so they can’t say “I didn’t know”. Inform them!
Approach them from a perspective of the mandate is too strict instead of stopping it completely. Yes, we want to stop it completely but that isn't necessarily in their power right now. So let's attack this thing from all angles (like our opposition does!) and know what each arm of government is capable of accomplishing and in our pleas, ask them to use their relationships, their speaking abilities, their leadership, their ties to the press, their authority over funding, their courage to do what's right and set an example for the rest of the counties in Colorado.
Notes on Emailing:
We need them to write a letter to Colorado Department of Health and Governor Polis – we are going into a busy season and terminating hundreds of employees in our small town. Healthcare will not just slow down, but people will die in droves. On top of unnecessary deaths, we will have unsafe work environments and unnecessary accidents due to overworked staff. We are already seeing vaccinated staff resigning in large numbers because they’re overworked. They have personal relationships with hospital CEOs, CMOs and are part of deciding the funding for Mesa County Public Health (Jeff Kuhr).
Don't let them pass the buck and suggest they have no pull. We're not asking them to bust into hospitals or people's places of work and tell them what to do but we are asking them to inform the public at large that they do not agree with this government overreach and give businesses the backing they need to seek other alternatives. Have these hospitals been told they have the support of our county if they wanted to push back on these harmful mandates? Have they truly been presented with an alternative to mandating the vaccines? Instead, they are now themselves mandating an unlawful and unethical order. Every hospital in Mesa County, without exception has more than 10% of their staff seeking exemptions. Commissioners may say they can't tell businesses what to do, but government is telling businesses what they can and cannot do and it's their job to speak out against government overreach in their county, not just comply.
Lastly, we need to bring transparency to these covid numbers. We need a formal audit. Is the hospital really overrun or is the 8th floor shut down at St. Mary's because they don't have the staff anymore to staff it? Are the unvaccinated really the most hospitalized covid patients or are the people hospitalized just vaccinated and still under the 14 days to be considered "fully vaccinated" and counted as "unvaccinated" instead?
Can you imagine the impact if Mesa County ran an audit that uncovered what we all have suspected and the precedent it would set for the rest of the country? The numbers on the health department data dashboard are so unclear and giving the public the wrong impression. This only breeds fear while also breaking down trust in the institution. For instance, there is no shortage of beds at hospitals. 30% of them are available but there’s not enough staff to support them so they don’t get counted.