I attended a press conference this morning where Governor Ritter was to announce three new pieces of legislation that directly effect the “creative” workforce. I know NOW why they didn’t really get the word out about this event, and why they probably waited until the last minute to announce the press conference… because they must have known deep down, that a simple press release to local media outlets would have been more than sufficient to deliver this information to the public.
I understand that they wanted to publicly acknowledge the business owners and legislators who have worked long and hard gathering data, statistics and foundational information for this legislation, and that they really wanted to garner community support for the bills, (apparently, creative enterprises are Colorado’s 5th largest employment sector! Almost as large as biotech/biomedical and IT/Telecom), but their efforts were fairly transparent and the bills ultimately only affect a very small percentage of creatives in a few creative segments. It took a half-hour for the speakers to step up one at a time and talk about what they do and their personal role in each piece if legislation. At the end Governor Ritter stepped up to the podium for Q+A and realized no one had yet explained what the new legislation was. We were all still waiting, patiently, for the information we came for. Below is almost verbatim what Ritter summed up in the last three minuted before Q+A.
“Associated Press – January 5, 2010 1:54 PM ET DENVER (AP) – Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and state lawmakers announced three new pieces of legislation on Tuesday to help create jobs in Colorado’s film, arts and other creative industries.
Ritter says a recent economic analysis shows that creative industries support 186,000 jobs in Colorado, making it the fifth-largest employment sector and among the fastest growing job clusters in the state.
The bills would merge the Colorado Council on the Arts, Art in Public Places and the Office of Film. Another bill would require contractors for all new state buildings to spend 1 percent on public art and another that would allow the state to provide $300,000 in incentives even if a film company doesn’t comply with a law requiring 75 percent of a non-payroll budget in Colorado.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited that creative enterprises are growing and thriving in Colorado, and that our state government is acknowledging the contribution we make to the local culture and economy, I just think they should save the big press conferences for legislation that affects bigger community segments, and utilize press releases for info like this.