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Denver Business Journal – Q&A with Otten Johnson: Promoting corporate citizenship through civic engagement

Aug 23, 2022

Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC (Otten Johnson) understands its responsibility as one of the leading law firms in Colorado. Beyond providing legal advice on issues of real estate and land use, Otten Johnson is an active, committed citizen of the state. The firm understands what it means to be a good neighbor.

For years, Otten Johnson has been recognized for its community engagement work. We sat down with the Otten Johnson team to learn more about the motivations behind the firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, particularly its voter-engagement initiative in 2020.

Here’s what we learned.

Tell us a bit about your company's background in CSR. What are the main CSR activities your company engages in?

We feel a duty to help make the world a better place for everyone, and we do that not just through donating to good causes but also by providing pro bono legal work, educating our employees and others on their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and shining a light on all the ways in which businesses can engage with their communities in a positive way. As we like to say: being active citizens of the city and state we call home is really an extension of the work we do in the areas of real estate, land use and the law. Our main activities include underwriting, volunteerism and internal education.

Tell us a bit about your voter engagement initiative in 2020. What inspired this initiative? Do you plan on incorporating this work into future CSR efforts?

Otten Johnson launched its Voter Rights & Action Campaign in the summer of 2020, to promote justice and equality in our nation. It was in response to George Floyd’s murder, but also other unrest and dissatisfaction with the way our political system was responding at the time. The goal was to help ensure that all voices are heard through elections. Our stated goal: “(we) will actively support and join the movement to make our elections — at every level — more accessible, fair and representative of the entire U.S. population.” In addition to donating money and time, we launched an internal education series on how elections work and what makes them secure, what Colorado’s record was compared to other states in promoting access, what other states were doing and how our employees could get involved. We were fortunate to have national experts speak to us virtually, as well as Colorado election officials.

What excites you about the future of Otten Johnson's CSR work? What advice would you give to other corporations looking to engage in CSR work in the community?

Our engagement is expanding as new needs arise and new employees join us and bring their own passions and dedication with them. We continue to tell other smaller businesses to not be discouraged about their impact. Every little bit matters.

Good Works Colorado is brought to you by Delta Dental of Colorado, a nonprofit dental insurance company dedicated to making Colorado better through Mile High Smile Power™ — the investments we make to deliver on our mission of improving the oral health of the communities we serve. Our Smile Power is amplified by fellow companies dedicated to being strong corporate citizens like those named to the Civic 50 Colorado, the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large companies in Colorado as determined by True Impact’s adapted national Civic 50 survey.

Click here for a link to the article on the DBJ website.