DENVER – Tired of the twice-a-year clock change, a Lakewood couple is making a jump into politics with a ballot question asking voters to permanently put Colorado on Mountain Daylight Time.
While some ballot initiatives are big operations with paid signature gatherers, this one so far includes only 35-year-old Sean Johnson and his wife, Teri.
“She wants to change it yesterday,” said Johnson, who works as a personal trainer and nutritionist and has never been involved in a political campaign before.
With three children, Johnson said his wife has an especially difficult time adjusting twice a year to a new schedule.
It’ll be a heavy lift to get the proposal on the ballot. After going through the legal formalities and getting approval for the initiative’s wording, they’ll have to collect at least 86,105 signatures to put the question on the November 2016 ballot. The signature-gathering process is likely a year or so away.
Johnson said he’ll ask grocery stores to allow him to gather signatures at their premises. He also plans to have friends and family help, but he knows he’ll need more volunteers to succeed.
“I’m hoping that enough people actually will want to change this,” he said.
Colorado’s Mountain Daylight Time runs from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, when clocks are moved back an hour. Clocks move forward again in March.
Johnson argues that staying on Mountain Daylight Time would reduce missed appointments and help businesses. He cites a 2009 study from the Psychological Association that found that the time changes lead to a slight increase in workplace injuries. Plus, Johnson said, children would have an extra hour of sunlight to play outside during the winter months if Colorado is always on Daylight Time.
Hawaii and most of Arizona are the only places that don’t participate in daylight savings.
In 2011, Republican state Sen. Greg Brophy proposed a bill that, like Johnson’s proposal, would keep Colorado permanently on Mountain Daylight Time. Lawmakers rejected the bill, citing programming costs to the state Department of Revenue to make the change permanent.
Johnson will speak to legislative attorneys about his proposal Dec. 9.