DENVER — As well more than 1,000 people descended on Capitol Hill Sunday to protest Gov. Jared Polis’ stay-at-home orders and the mandatory shut down of what Polis deems non-essential businesses, both those behind Sunday’s gathering and others — including a former gubernatorial candidate — were readying those in attendance for much more of the same if Colorado isn’t reopened for business soon.
Greg Lopez, who lost his bid for the Republican nomination for Governor to Walker Stapleton in 2018, was passing out flyers Sunday and talking to protesters about rallying the troops across the state to get Colorado’s economy back up and running. Lopez has announced his intent to run again in 2022.
“This is not about one county,” Lopez said. “We have a greater purpose. This is about energizing all 64 counties and getting support for businesses and families in all 64 counties.”
Lopez’s organization, “Game Changers,” seeks to recruit, organize and mobilize individuals across Colorado to support businesses opening and getting Coloradans back to work, said Lopez, who is the former director of the Colorado District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Lopez is also the former president of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the former mayor of Parker.
“I can’t just stay silent anymore,” Lopez said. “The fear has caused our leaders to make some poor decisions that are killing our economy. Hundreds of thousands of families are crippled and afraid of what the future holds for them.”
Lopez adopted the Greek folklore bird The Phoenix for the “Game Changers” logo, representing rebirth from ashes and symbolizing renewal and resurrection, similar to what Colorado faces in rebuilding its economy and rebounding from the shut down, Lopez said. He wants Coloradans to display it on the windows of their businesses and homes as a show of support for reopening the economy.
One group that launched out of Lopez’s vision was May Day Colorado. They too were handing out flyers announcing support for businesses opening on May 1 in an attempt to redefine the meaning of the holiday from one that celebrates socialism and communism to one that celebrates liberty and the free market ideals the United States was built on.
Lopez is traveling across the state encouraging local groups such as May Day Colorado to adopt his plan and get businesses up and running as soon as possible through the actions he says are simple to implement, cost effective and realistic.
“We are killing our communities with these lockdowns and fear,” Lopez said, adding he believes its time to get back to business. “This is about hope. This is about the power of the people focused on relationships, and bringing hope back to the communities.”
The ReOpen Colorado event appears to have proven to be successful with many hundreds of participants on the lawn of the capitol, and hundreds more in their cars blocking traffic around the capitol. There were no arrests and the protest remained peaceful, state police said.
Complete Colorado captured the event in photos: