Colorado Common Cause

A nonprofit organization

$26,212 raised by 185 donors

100% complete

$15,000 Goal

Colorado Common Cause fights for a better democracy. Since 1971, we have worked to break down barriers to voting, ensure that every vote is counted as cast, reduce the impact of special interest money in the political process, and promote open government and high ethical standards in government.


"I love Common Cause because they work to protect and strengthen our democracy in so many ways. For example, by making it easier for people to register and vote, Common Cause strives to make a government reflective of and reactive to the needs of its citizens. Similarly, by working to implement public financing of elections and to enhance transparency for campaign contributions, Common Cause helps level the playing field so more people can run for office, and increase public confidence in the work of our elected officials." - Martha Tierney, Chair, Common Cause Board of Directors

"I support Colorado Common Cause because I truly believe in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. They help give voices to those that would otherwise go unheard and help make sure that our elected leaders are truly representatives of their constituents. This ensures that our democracy can sustain these very challenging times and provide equitable opportunity to realize the American Dream." - Eunice Brownlee, Colorado Common Cause Board of Directors

"I love Common Cause because they fight for the same things that I have fought my entire professional life for: accountability, transparency, and ethics in government, all for the purpose of building, rebuilding, and maintaining public trust and confidence in government and in our democracy." - Jeff Hart, Chair, Colorado Common Cause Board of Directors

"For almost 50 years, Common Cause has been our voice: speaking up for democracy, for ethical, open and accountable government; speaking up for fair elections and against all efforts to impede our right and ability to vote; and, speaking out against the corrupting influence of big money in politics. I remember when John Gardner founded Common Cause. I am a proud member and supporter of this great organization." - Dian Callaghan, Colorado Common Cause Board of Directors

"I support Colorado Common Cause because the organization makes a difference in this state. It's made voting easier for everyone, forced meetings of elected officials out of closed rooms, decreased lobbyists' ability to influence legislators, and more. It's been around for over forty-five years and has an astounding record of accomplishments in this state!" - Carol Peeples, Colorado Common Cause Board of Directors


Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard as equals in the political process.

Background Statement

Common Cause was founded in 1970 by John Gardner, who served as the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson before going on to found Common Cause. He said: "We are going to build a true "citizens" lobby - a lobby concerned not with the advancement of special interests but with the well-being of the nation."

Colorado Common Cause is proud to be the first state chapter of our national organization. After our founding in 1971, we successfully passed the nation's first "Sunshine Law," which requires all meetings of two or more members of any state public body to be open to the public (if public business is being discussed). Over the next forty years, we helped drive democracy reforms throughout the state, including:

Multilingual Ballot Access for All Citizens (2021): Established statewide ballot access and translation support for communities previously shut out of the electoral process due to language barriers.

Automatic voter registration (2018): Working in partnership with the Secretary of State and Department of Motor Vehicles, we oversaw the implementation of automatic voter registration - which will make our voter registration system more efficient, secure and accurate.

Modernizing our election system (2013): We played a significant role in drafting and passing voting laws that require all eligible voters to receive a mail ballot, register to vote through and on Election Day, and more.

Strengthening Ethics in Government (2006): We helped draft and pass Amendment 41, which bans gifts from lobbyists to legislators, places a $50 limit on gifts to public servants from non-lobbyists, and established an independent ethics board.

Statewide Campaign Finance Reform (2002): We led the campaign to pass a strong and comprehensive ballot initiative that limits campaign contributions and spending, and ensures full disclosure of the money spent in our elections.

Open Government Process (1998): The GAVEL (Give A Vote to Every Legislator) Amendment prevents the arbitrary pocketing of bills by committee chairs, the killing of bills in the House Rules Committee, and the practice of the binding caucus (forcing lawmakers of the same party to vote together) prior to full floor debate.

Protecting Consumers (1984): Colorado Common Cause worked with a broad coalition to create the Office of Consumer Counsel at the Public Utilities Commission, to represent residential, small business and agricultural utility ratepayers before the PUC.

Motor Voter Law (1984): Passed as a ballot initiative by the voters of Colorado, this law permits voter registration in driver license facilities. The measure significantly increased voter registration in Colorado: from 59% of eligible voters in 1984 to 82% in 1988.

The Nation's First Sunset Law (1976): This nationally-acclaimed legislation was drafted by Common Cause members in Colorado and has since been adopted by 35 other states. The law reviews and terminates government agencies that cannot justify their continued existence.

Transparency in Campaign Spending (1974): This law established, for the first time in Colorado, that candidates and political committees must publicly disclose their campaign contributions and spending before an election.

Organization Data


Organization name

Colorado Common Cause

other names

Colorado Common Cause

Year Established



Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Organization Size

Large Organization


1410 Grant Street Suite C106
Denver, CO 80203

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US



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