Our dedicated staff bring their diverse perspectives, experiences and expertise to CCLP’s mission every day. To reach our legal department, call 303-573-5669 ext. 304. For media inquiries, please dial extension 311.

Lydia McCoy

Lydia McCoy

(she, her)

Chief Executive Officer

lmccoy@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Organizational strategy and leadership, nonprofit management, coalition-building and community engagement, public policy advocacy, advancing inclusion and equity.

Bethany Pray

Bethany Pray Esq.

(she, her)

Chief Legal and Policy Officer

bpray@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Regulatory and administrative law; medicaid eligibility, benefits and services; due process protection for benefit recipients; behavioral health parity in public and commercial health coverage

Bruce Barnum

Bruce Barnum

(he, him)

Partnership Advancement Director

bbarnum@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Community engagement, organizational development and strategy, grant writing, events and fundraising campaigns

Charles Brennan

Charles Brennan

(he, him)

Income and Housing Policy Director

cbrennan@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Quantitative research and data analysis, geographic information systems, housing and urban development, data visualization

Milena Castaneda

Milena Castañeda MSW

(she, her)

Policy Fellow

mcastaneda@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Health equity, state benefits, Indigenous rights, immigration, racial justice, mental/behavioral health & addictions, community engagement, advocacy

Karly Kaufman

Karly Kaufman

(she, her)

Communications Coordinator

kkaufman@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Communications & marketing, social media, community engagement, gender politics, intersectional feminism, advocacy

Anthony Lux

Anthony Lux

(he, him)

Communications Director

tlux@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Constituent engagement, marketing, outreach and strategic messaging

Andre Mansion

Andre Mansion PhD, JD

(he, him)

Associate Health Policy Director

amansion@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Mental health and substance use disorders, research methodology and data analysis, behavioral health care, marginalized populations and intersectionality

Sancia McLennon

Sancia McLennon

(she, her)

Office Manager

smclennon@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

office management, paralegal, administration

Kesi Relyea

Kesi Relyea

(she, her)

Operations Director

krelyea@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Business operations, bookkeeping, human resources, IT support

Chaer Roberts

Chaer Robert

(she, her)

Emeritus Advisor

crobert@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Coalition building, tax policy, workforce development, access to skills training

Morgan Turner

Morgan Turner

(she, her)

Community Engagement Director

mturner@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Community engagement, outreach, program planning and implementation, economic development, community-driven advocacy

Angelita (Angel) Vazquez

Angelita (Angel) Vazquez

(she, her)

Senior Development Manager

avazquez@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Fundraising, event planning, data management, community engagement

Katherine Wallat, Esq.

Katherine Wallat Esq.

(she, her)

Legal Director

kwallat@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Community-based lawyering, civil litigation, equitable enforcement of legislation, administrative advocacy, facilitation and community education

Laura Ware

Laura Ware

(she, her)

Advocate

lware@copolicy.org

Areas of expertise:

Policy advocacy, program design and systems integration, direct service delivery, digital equity, job training and workforce development, supportive housing, coalition building, community outreach

HEALTH:
HEALTH FIRST COLORADO (MEDICAID)

To maintain health and well-being, people of all ages need access to quality health care that improves outcomes and reduces costs for the community. Health First Colorado, the state's Medicaid program, is public health insurance for low-income Coloradans who qualify. The program is funded jointly by a federal-state partnership and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing.

Benefits of the program include behavioral health, dental services, emergency care, family planning services, hospitalization, laboratory services, maternity care, newborn care, outpatient care, prescription drugs, preventive and wellness services, primary care and rehabilitative services.

In tandem with the Affordable Care Act, Colorado expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2013 - providing hundreds of thousands of adults with incomes less than 133% FPL with health insurance for the first time increasing the health and economic well-being of these Coloradans. Most of the money for newly eligible Medicaid clients has been covered by the federal government, which will gradually decrease its contribution to 90% by 2020.

Other populations eligible for Medicaid include children, who qualify with income up to 142% FPL, pregnant women with household income under 195% FPL, and adults with dependent children with household income under 68% FPL.

Some analyses indicate that Colorado's investment in Medicaid will pay off in the long run by reducing spending on programs for the uninsured.

FOOD SECURITY:
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)

Hunger, though often invisible, affects everyone. It impacts people's physical, mental and emotional health and can be a culprit of obesity, depression, acute and chronic illnesses and other preventable medical conditions. Hunger also hinders education and productivity, not only stunting a child's overall well-being and academic achievement, but consuming an adult's ability to be a focused, industrious member of society. Even those who have never worried about having enough food experience the ripple effects of hunger, which seeps into our communities and erodes our state's economy.

Community resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, exist to ensure that families and individuals can purchase groceries, with the average benefit being about $1.40 per meal, per person.

Funding for SNAP comes from the USDA, but the administrative costs are split between local, state, and federal governments. Yet, the lack of investment in a strong, effective SNAP program impedes Colorado's progress in becoming the healthiest state in the nation and providing a better, brighter future for all. Indeed, Colorado ranks 44th in the nation for access to SNAP and lost out on more than $261 million in grocery sales due to a large access gap in SNAP enrollment.

See the Food Assistance (SNAP) Benefit Calculator to get an estimate of your eligibility for food benefits.

FOOD SECURITY:
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC)

Every child deserves the nutritional resources needed to get a healthy start on life both inside and outside the mother's womb. In particular, good nutrition and health care is critical for establishing a strong foundation that could affect a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Likewise, the inability to access good nutrition and health care endangers the very integrity of that foundation.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Research has shown that WIC has played an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs, resulting in longer pregnancies, fewer infant deaths, a greater likelihood of receiving prenatal care, improved infant-feeding practices, and immunization rates

Financial Security:
Colorado Works

In building a foundation for self-sufficiency, some Colorado families need some extra tools to ensure they can weather challenging financial circumstances and obtain basic resources to help them and their communities reach their potential.

Colorado Works is Colorado's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and provides public assistance to families in need. The Colorado Works program is designed to assist participants in becoming self-sufficient by strengthening the economic and social stability of families. The program provides monthly cash assistance and support services to eligible Colorado families.

The program is primarily funded by a federal block grant to the state. Counties also contribute about 20% of the cost.

EARLY LEARNING:
COLORADO CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CCCAP)

Child care is a must for working families. Along with ensuring that parents can work or obtain job skills training to improve their families' economic security, studies show that quality child care improves children's academic performance, career development and health outcomes.

Yet despite these proven benefits, low-income families often struggle with the cost of child care. Colorado ranks among the top 10 most expensive states in the country for center-based child care. For families with an infant, full-time enrollment at a child care center cost an average of $15,140 a year-or about three-quarters of the total income of a family of three living at the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) provides child care assistance to parents who are working, searching for employment or participating in training, and parents who are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program and need child care services to support their efforts toward self-sufficiency. Most of the money for CCCAP comes from the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Each county can set their own income eligibility limit as long as it is at or above 165% of the federal poverty level and does not exceed 85% of area median income.

Unfortunately, while the need is growing, only an estimated one-quarter of all eligible children in the state are served by CCCAP. Low reimbursement rates have also resulted in fewer providers willing to accept CCCAP subsidies.