Should Colorado be the first state in the country to provide universal health care for its residents? Should the state legalize assisted suicide for the terminally ill?
On Friday, The Gazette revives its popular Community Conversations with a public forum on these two life-changing issues facing Colorado voters.
Co-sponsored by Ballotpedia, the online political encyclopedia, the 6 p.m. discussion at Slocum Commons on the Colorado College campus will feature four of the state's preeminent experts on the two ballot initiatives. The event is free and open to the public.
T.R. Reid, chairman of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care and author of the best-selling book, "The Healing of America," will debate Amendment 69 with State Treasurer Walker Stapleton.
State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt and state Sen. Mike Merrifield, both of Colorado Springs, will debate Proposition 106, which would legalize assisted suicide. Merrifield sponsored assisted-suicide legislation in the state legislature after the death of his father. Klingenschmitt is a televangelist and religious-right activist.
Joey Bunch, the Gazette's award-winning senior political correspondent, will moderate both discussions. Audience members will be able to ask questions of the panelists. The 45-minute sessions will be videotaped and available on Gazette.com and Facebook Live.
The forum comes just as Colorado is beginning to vote. Ballots were mailed out to more than 3 million registered voters Monday and must be returned by Election Day, Nov. 8.
The Gazette began a series of Community Conversations in 2013 to bring residents, newsmakers and government and business leaders together for discussions of the most pressing issues of the day.