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Research

Common Sense Institute (CSI) strives to develop insightful and educational research on the most critical debates facing Colorado. CSI employs rigorous research techniques and dynamic modeling to evaluate the potential impact of issues on the Colorado economy and individual opportunity. CSI provides elected officials, policy makers and Coloradans with facts and data-driven analysis to help make informed decisions about the biggest issues facing the state. CSI research has also sparked innovative policy solutions and bipartisan, solutions-based discussion about the future of Colorado.

The Common Sense Digest
Homelessness Ecosystem Analysis Phase 2

Homelessness Ecosystem Analysis Phase 2

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Homelessness is a visible outcome of a system that does not consistently work for everyone. This report is the result of efforts to understand the systemic factors that impact homelessness in the Metropolitan Denver area through a human-centered systems design lens.

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: September 2021

Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: September 2021

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Although September job growth was lower than what is needed to achieve a full recovery by January 2023, adjusted for population growth, Colorado reached an important recovery milestone last month. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the labor force participation rate for Colorado mothers exceeded its pre-pandemic level.

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Homelessness Ecosystem Analysis Phase 2

October 22, 2021 • 78 min read


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Homelessness is a visible outcome of a system that does not consistently work for everyone. This report is the result of efforts to understand the systemic factors that impact homelessness in the Metropolitan Denver area through a human-centered systems design lens.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: September 2021

3 min read


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Although September job growth was lower than what is needed to achieve a full recovery by January 2023, adjusted for population growth, Colorado reached an important recovery milestone last month. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the labor force participation rate for Colorado mothers exceeded its pre-pandemic level.

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Potential Reach of Proposition 119 “The Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program (LEAP)”

October 19, 2021 • 11 min read


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Proposition 119 on the 2021 Colorado ballot proposes to establish the Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program (LEAP).

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Are Denver Taxes Too High? The Fiscal Impacts of Ordinance 304 “Enough Taxes Already”

October 12, 2021 • 7 min read


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Ordinance 304 or the “Enough Taxes Already” ballot initiative proposes to cut the City of Denver’s sales tax from 4.81% to 4.5% and impose a cap at the latter rate.

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Proposition 120: What Voters See, May Not Be What Voters Get

October 5, 2021 • 7 min read


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Proposition 120 – “Property Tax Assessment Rate Reduction” proposes to permanently reduce the statewide property tax assessment rate for several classes of property.

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Dollars and Data 2021

September 29, 2021 • 25 min read


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If Colorado is to have a substantive public discourse about how to improve educational outcomes, there needs to be a common understanding of how K-12 public education is funded in the state. This study analyzes statewide and regional trends in K-12 revenues and spending over the past decade to help ground conversations in facts.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: August 2021

September 17, 2021 • 3 min read


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In April 2020, Colorado lost over 360,000 jobs, experienced the worst month of economic performance in its history, and launched into a deep and abiding recession. A little over a year later, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that, though Colorado’s workforce has already endured the worst of the recession and is ahead of pace to recover fully by 2023, much progress remains to be made.

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Homelessness Issues on the Denver 2021 Ballot: Ordinance 303 and Referred Question 2B

September 14, 2021 • 3 min read


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This November, Denver voters face two ballot measures related to homelessness: Initiated Ordinance 303: “Let’s Do Better” and Referred Question 2B: Denver Housing and Sheltering System Bonds as part of the RISE GO Bond.

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Colorado Jobs and Labor Force Update: July 2021

August 20, 2021 • 3 min read


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The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) jobs and labor force data shows that, while the state has made significant progress from the April 2020 low points, achieving full recovery will take significantly more time.

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The Economic Footprint of Homelessness in Metro Denver

August 4, 2021 • 31 min read


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Common Sense Institute has partnered with several local organizations and leaders to conduct a three-phase project to understand the many challenges and types of homelessness. This is Phase one of this project and is focused on the current resources dedicated to the homeless in Metro Denver.

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