Supporters on Thursday said they dropped off more than 10,000 signatures for an initiative that would provide funding for mental health services through a tax proposal.
A release from state Rep. Leslie Herod said she and other supporters of The Caring 4 Denver campaign dropped the signatures off at Denver Election on Thursday. The ballot measure seeks to provide more funds for mental health and addiction services to the city. Herod announced the campaign in the spring.
Herod was joined by Melanie Stritch, a mother in recovery, and President & CEO of Mental Health Center of Denver Dr. Carl Clark on Thursday at Denver Elections to discuss the ballot measure. The measure would seek to raise $45 million by increasing the sale and use tax rate by a one-quarter-of-one-percent (or 25 cents on a $100 purchase).
As we previously reported, this would be an unusual move since almost all of local sales tax goes toward a general fund and only a small portion of city sale taxes are set aside for specific purposes.
“I am not just a recovering alcoholic – I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a soccer coach, a first-time college student,” Stritch said in the release. “I am also living proof that there is a solution to addiction and mental health issues and this measure will mean more solutions for more people in our community. ”
Herod said in the release she’s “amazed by the positive response” to their petition efforts.
“People from all walks of life have come together to support mental health and addiction treatment for our friends, family members and neighbors,” Herod said. “We have countless stories of people walking past one of our volunteers until they hear the words ‘mental health & addiction’ and they stop in their tracks and turn around to find out more. We have been thanked over and over for the work we are doing. It is truly inspiring.”
Supporters needed to collect at least 4,700 valid signatures to get the measure on the November ballot. The money raised could be used for counseling, in-patient treatment, school services and prevention, harm reduction and recovery programs, according to the release.