Family Economic Security | The Bell Policy Center

The Bell Policy Center promotes public policies that help families get ahead and stay ahead economically. Economic security for families is key to making Colorado a state of opportunity for all. Barriers to family economic security include:

  • Stagnant family incomes. Family incomes have failed to keep pace with economic growth since the late 1970s. 
  • Rising child care costs. Low- and moderate-income families face big challenges including the high cost of child care.
  • Limited education and training. More than 430,000 working-age Coloradans lack high school diplomas, preventing them from moving up and earning higher wages. 
  • Shrinking savings. More than 750,000 working Coloradans have no option to save for retirement at work. 
  • Predatory lending. Bad lending practices continue to slow the accumulation of assets by families and strip wealth from those who can least afford it.

The Bell takes on up to a half-dozen efforts at a time to enhance family economic security, and over the years we’ve helped families win some major victories. These include a higher minimum wage, a huge reduction in the cost of payday loans and a significant expansion of protections against workplace discrimination. 

Current priorities:

  • Enhance retirement savings. Develop a secure option for more workers to save for retirement.
  • Help children and their parents. Develop two-generation strategies that tie education and training opportunities for parents with early childhood education opportunities for their children.
  • Increase the minimum wage. Further increase the state minimum wage to keep pace with basic needs.
  • Stop predatory lending. Protect borrowers from a wide range of predatory lending practices.


May 5, 2017
One of the most egregious takeaways from the vote Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives is that the GOP law is primarily a $600 billion tax cut. Instead of trying to rein in health costs, the bill is just a plain-old cost shift. Big health care busine...
Apr 21, 2017
Thursday, May 18 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mile High United Way The Bell Policy Center and Mile High United Way invite you to celebrate the release of The Opportunity Handbook. The debate over economic opportunity — who has it, who has lost it, and how we promote it — is raging in America.  The Handbook shares new data showing the costs of...
Apr 19, 2017
Everyone agrees that America faces a retirement crisis.  Working families and people of all ages are not saving enough for their later years.  The best way to save for retirement is to put away a little out of each paycheck throughout your working life.  But 45 percent of private sector workers in Colorado in their prime working y...
Mar 30, 2017
Today the U.S. Senate voted to make it harder for cities to create retirement programs for workers who can’t access them elsewhere. A similar measure that could interfere with state retirement programs could come before the U.S. Senate any day now. We’re grateful that U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet voted against HJR 67 today. Unfortunately, U.S. Sen. Cor...
Mar 29, 2017
Natalie O'Donnell Wood, a senior policy analyst with the Bell, testified on March 28 in favor of HB 17-1253, a bill that proects seniors from financial abuse. Here's her testimony: The Bell supports HB 17-1253, which amends the Colorado Securities Act to require certain financial professio...