The Vern Bickel Award for Grassroots Leadership goes to Kim Monson
Denver – Independence Institute, a Denver-based free-market think tank, announces its presentation of the Vern Bickel Award for Grassroots Leadership Award to radio talk show host Kim Monson of Lone Tree. This award is typically presented in conjunction with Independence Institute’s annual Founders’ Night dinner, which has been canceled for this year.
The Vern Bickel Award for Grassroots Leadership Award is given annually to one grassroots leader in memory of Vern Bickel, who passed away in August 2000. Bickel left a legacy of community activism, political mentorship, and heroic challenges to political correctness. Often from behind the scenes and without seeking credit, Bickel was the “Johnny Appleseed” of the economic and personal freedom movement in Colorado. He provided great financial and personal leadership for the Institute, the Colorado Union of Taxpayers, and the TABOR Amendment. Independence Institute recognizes a Colorado activist each year who embodies all that Vern Bickel brought to the fight for freedom.
Kim has been a constant voice on the radio for 7 years. She hosts the Kim Monson Show on KLZ 560 AM, as well as America’s Veterans’ Stories, where she has interviewed over 120 World War II veterans. She is also the founder of “Tapas and Topics,” which she started in 2012 to provide a forum for women to talk about the important issues affecting their lives. What began with 12 women in Kim’s living room, “Tapas and Topics” now impacts over 1,000 women in 7 counties in Colorado.
Karen Levine, a Denver real estate broker, has been part of “Tapas and Topics” for several years now. She says:
“When I first started participating, I found that I was among very smart, bright, and compassionate women and that I was pretty ignorant about much of the subject matter discussed. But I kept attending and over time I was getting educated. At each bi-monthly meeting I attend, I find that I learn more about the current issues and have been able to formulate my personal opinions about those issues and find my voice. In finding my voice, I am able to share with others outside the group in an appropriate fashion and get them thinking about the issues and why they should care. I feel more empowered and better educated because of my involvement.”
Kim is well known for speaking around the state, and she is a sought-after emcee for events such as the annual US Constitution Week in Grand Lake, CO. She has also moderated forums across Colorado, most recently at the Aurora Mayoral and City Council forum.
Kim regularly publishes voter guides during election season, helping her audiences look at ballot issues from her unique viewpoint: If a ballot issue passes, will freedom be enhanced for ordinary citizens, or will it increase the force of government? In other words, freedom vs. force. Kim has helped so many reshape their thinking when considering how to vote.
Most recently, Kim co-founded “Vino and Veritas” — a study of the Federalist Papers. In its inaugural year, the series gathered dozens of individuals from all over Colorado, for a year-long study in three separate locations along the front range. She will soon start Salon Series with Kim Monson with the first theme being, “The Three Punches to Knock Down Democratic Socialism.”
“It’s safe to say that Colorado politics would not be the same without Kim Monson,” said Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute. “Kim sees a problem to be solved, a message to be communicated, and has never said, ‘someone should do something about that.’ Kim jumps into the fray over and over again, and Colorado is a better place for her being here. We look forward to formally presenting Kim with the Vern Bickel Award for Grassroots Activism when this lockdown is over.”