I live in North Boulder in the Holiday Neighborhood with my wife Cherry, my two children Jasper and Eliza, and our two dogs Pepper and Curry.
We moved here in 2003 soon after our son was born to raise our family in Boulder. My first involvement in civic issues was as president of the Holiday Neighborhood HOA where I helped to coordinate community events and run the neighborhood Eco-Pass program. I then applied to the city's planning board twice, and was appointed the second time in 2011.
I ran for City Council in 2015 and was elected to a four year term. For the last four years, I’ve been busy working for housing affordability, for improved cycling, pedestrian, and transit facilities and safety, to support entrepreneurs, small businesses, arts, culture and non-profits, for social justice, and to fight climate change at the local level.
I have worked hard on the issue of homelessness in my last 4 years on council. The coordinated entry system was a major step forward for our system of services because it prioritizes exits from homelessness to housing and also prioritizes services to folks based on need and connection to the community instead of the lottery system at the shelter previously. The Path to Home navigation program run by Bridge House was also an important added service for folks experiencing homelessness. We also need to create additional transitional housing, because of course the ultimate solution to homelessness is housing. I am advocating for including that housing whenever the city has the opportunity. I do not support lifting the camping ban because I think our public spaces shouldn't become campgrounds especially where there is no sanitation, but I do think it is important that there always be a safe, warm, and legal place to sleep somewhere in town on cold nights in the winter.
I am a big supporter of our inclusionary housing ordinance, which requires that 25% of all new housing is affordable, or requires enough cash-in-lieu money to be paid to create or preserve the same amount or more affordable housing in another location. We recently upped the percentage from 20% to 25% and added a middle income component as well.
We should continue to offer different housing options as well. I'm glad we changed our Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations last year to make them easier to create, and I would support additional ADU options, such as allowing tiny homes as ADU's, or allowing both attached and detached ADU's on one parcel. ADU's are a great housing option because they typically rent at 80% of other similar market rate spaces, and they allow for family members to live together while still having some separation from each other.
Boulder is blessed with a strong economy, with many high quality jobs and a strong retail sector. But our continued success is not guaranteed -- look at the experiences of the Rust Belt cities for examples of formerly thriving cities that have not maintained their success. We need to make sure they we maintain the ability for small businesses and quality employers to stay successful. That means not passing regulations that would prevent modest expansions of office spaces in our business districts, or trying to drive jobs out of the city. Instead, we should look for ways to make it easier to run a small business in Boulder, like for example creating an ombudsman position at the city to assist businesses with applying for permits and going through the regulatory process.
From a development perspective, we should focus remaining development potential on adding much needed housing, while still allowing some space for local businesses to grow and thrive.
I do support the formation of the municipal utility. Climate change is the existential threat of our times. In order to meet our carbon reduction goals, we need to have 100% renewable electricity in our power supply. Right now, the Muni is the only clear path forward for Boulder to achieve 100% renewables. But, our role on city council right now is to be stewards of the project. A majority of Boulder voters in 2017 approved the city to determine the details and financials of the municipal utility. We need to figure out the exact costs necessary to form the utility, and once those are determined, put the issue to the voters for the final go/no-go decision.
Some of our key issues are:
--The high cost of housing. We need to support the creation of additional housing with a focus on affordability and development along our major transit corridors, and support more flexibility in housing types, like ADU's and tiny homes.
--Transportation and traffic. We should continue to improve our walking and pedestrian infrastructure and safety to provide people with better alternatives to driving in a single occupancy vehicle. I've also worked hard to secure funding for the first stages of bus rapid transit to Longmont along SH119 and east along Arapahoe Ave/SH7.
--Being safer, more welcoming and inclusive to people from diverse backgrounds. We often hear from people of color in our community that they feel unwelcome or unsafe in Boulder. We all need to work together to make our town more inclusive. One important step we're taking right now is the formation of Police Oversight Board, which council is on track to create in the next few weeks.
Boulder is already doing an enormous amount locally to combat climate change. You can read about all of the city's efforts at https://bouldercolorado.gov/climate
I will highlight three areas that are particularly promising:
1) Practicing regenerative agriculture on our open space agricultural properties. This improves eco-system health and also removes carbon from the atmosphere and sequesters it in the soil.
2) Moving to a circular economy. A substantial portion of emissions comes from construction waste, food waste, and discarding of other materials. We're working on expanding the 6400 Arapahoe site that houses Eco-Cycle and Resource to include other zero waste activities.
3) Linking our transportation and land-use to make us a more sustainable community. If people can live near where they work and where they shop, they will have a lower carbon footprint. We should look for more opportunities to create walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods in places with good biking and transit options.
I arrived in Boulder at the age of 22 and have lived in the stunning beauty of our city for 44 years. I attended the University of Colorado at Boulder graduating in 1974. As a single dad, I raised son Andrew and daughter Gabrielle and coached football, baseball, and basketball for the YMCA and North Boulder Little League. I have always been involved in our beautiful community and have always been interested in motors. Over the span of my time here, I headed two small businesses in Boulder: Andy's Towing in the early days and Smooth Motors on Folsom Street until 2017, our locally-owned and family-owned and operated small business for 35 years. My time in Boulder has made me completely dedicated to the preservation of our invaluable Open Space and what remains of "open space" within City limits. I favor slower, more measured growth. It seems that the public is not sufficiently engaged nor informed and that Council seems to have inadequate understanding of specific projects and their consequences in terms of transportation and infrastructure before votes occur.
Boulder is lucky to have several strong organizations to help those who need a meal and a clean, comfortable place to sleep or help with food for their family. Organizations such as EFFA, Bridge House and the homeless shelters have made a significant and positive impact on the welfare of the homeless population in the city. Greater strides are needed to accommodate homeless families with children as with Boulder Housing Partners and similar programs. The city, the state, and citizens who are able to donate to them must support these organizations. With the bottom line being public safety, any violent behavior needs to be addressed by law enforcement. I do favor the present "camping ban" that is in place and feel strongly that our precious Open Space should not degrade into camping areas for the homeless.
I worry about the character of the city and that all we love about Boulder will disappear as massive projects spring up all over, displacing beloved small businesses, blocking views, and representing an intrusive force rather than an inclusive force. Instead of stuffing large projects into the city center, I favor building larger projects toward the east where there is capacity for more people and cars. Dramatically better east/west transportation systems such as along Arapahoe are a vital part of the future growth picture.
Regarding Accessory Dwelling Units, rules have been greatly loosened in the last couple of years; it is already easy to build an ADU in your backyard. I like a more moderate approach and do not favor putting an ADU in every backyard. With the enormous growth we see all over town, I'd like to see slower, more considered growth focusing on subsidized affordable housing for our workers and middle and low-income families. Creating affordable housing is important!
Boulder provides great variety in restaurants, retail, and recreation. If Boulder is allowed to continue the kind of gentle, local economic development of the past, it will continue to do well. I would like to see the focus on supporting local small and medium-sized businesses. Support for local small businesses is important to keep them vital and productive and they represent an important part of Boulder's appeal. Rather than continuing to incentivize large corporations to locate here, Boulder should support local businesses and focus on its conspicuous housing and transportation needs.
I prefer that locations in the center of town not become overwhelmed with tall apartment buildings and monolithic hotels. When out-of-state financiers are involved in building in Boulder, we have a problem. Their lack of relationship with the city—other than financial—makes for the type of development we're seeing on 30th Street. There is little effort to make it attractive because they invest only.
I must admit to going back and forth on this question! Originally I was pro on the question of municipalization and voted twice in favor of working toward our own power system. Lately, I am beginning to wonder about municipalization with the expense, time involvement, and uneasiness about the City's ability to run and administer the system. We have voted twice to continue with this effort, but there will be another vote on the muni. Additional facts will be displayed for our analysis. Xcel is not making any great strides toward renewables, and Colorado is too dependent on coal burning for our energy. From this point of view, it would be helpful to have our own muni. If analysis determines that we can do significantly better for the environment with our own muni, I'd be in favor. The ultimate decision should be voters', however.
I prioritize funding for our crown jewel, Open Space. There are some hard questions concerning open space funding. One, I think taxes for open space should be proprietary. They can only be used for Open Space and Mountain Parks. Two, open space funding should go to preservation first, recreation second. The massive usage of OSMP may demand more sources of revenue. Charging vehicles that use open space and put great wear on the trails, etc. should be looked at as sources of money for their maintenance and repair.
I also prioritize affordable housing in areas that are logical for development. Boulder will not be able to build its way to better affordability. When recent multi-unit buildings came on line on Boulder’s University Hill, the rents jumped appreciably. As the city has densified, the housing prices have increased, as have the rents. I will continue Boulder’s very successful affordable housing program. We should up the developers from a current 25% to 35%.
Boulder has long led the way to a cleaner environment with measures such curbside pick up of recycles and compost, charging for plastic bags, offering receptacles in public places & in our famous green businesses for recycles and composting, monetary incentives for solar panels. We can do a lot more. New development should be required to install solar panels. Another area I identify in particular is transportation where exciting steps could be taken to get people around town and between cities. Particularly difficult corridors are Boulder to Longmont and of course Highway 36 to Denver. I would like to see the City work with Longmont, Broomfield and Denver to arrive at some better transportation options. If we can't have light rail, how about a tram with cities working together to finance in order to alleviate the extreme traffic bottlenecks and reduce single-car driving into and out of Boulder? I favor measures to improve the quality of our air, our water, our open space and our city.
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I have lived in Boulder since the age of 2 and my family has been here for over 4 generations. I attended Foothill, Casey and Boulder High School. I graduated from FRCC with an associates degree and earned a degree in Finance with a minor in Marketing and Accounting from CU. My wife and I married 8 years ago and we decided to raise our family in Boulder.
Without question, homelessness is a very serious problem that’s facing cities across America. Addressing homelessness is a challenging task that involves sensitivity on all fronts, and I applaud the city of Boulder’s efforts to address homelessness thus far.
I believe that a critical component to addressing homelessness is to provide job training and placement, mental health and addiction services that are properly resourced and adequately funded. The Bridge House Ready-to-Work program represents an outstanding pathway out of homelessness. It provides transitional housing and job training for formerly homeless individuals. I am fully supportive of this type of program.
I fully support the camping ban. It is a public safety issue to have people camping throughout our city and open space
I believe that residential growth in Boulder should be affordable housing, and focused on first responders, educators, and nurses, giving them the opportunity to live within the communities they serve. It’s important to ensure that the growth we have solves problems, instead of making them worse.
On the residential side, I believe developers of market rate housing should build 35% of their residential units as affordable housing, an increase of 10% over our current requirement. Additionally, I propose earmarking 10% of this for middle-income residents. However, many residential developers pay a cash-in-lieu fee rather than building the affordable housing onsite of their new development, and this fee is currently lower than the true cost to builders. Naturally, developers choose to pay almost entirely cash in lieu. I would raise the cash in lieu fee to en-courage residential builders to build affordable housing.
I do not think ADU's or more density is the answer.
I want to work with the business community and community leaders to develop a long term Economic Plan. This would allow us as a community to design what we want our business infrastructure to look like and we would have a road map as to what businesses we want to attract. We would have a proactive plan, as opposed to having to be reactionary. This plan would include what businesses we want to attract and see shape our community, what types of businesses are vital to our community and even if we should look at affordable commercial space options for long term essential businesses.
First and foremost I support finishing the process of separation and condemnation so that we as a community can put the Muni to a vote. Boulder voters have voted twice to move the process along and I think we should have a final vote.
I also support the Muni, but not at all costs. I think it is a good idea to move to renewable energy sources as fast as possible. I think it is a good idea to take control of our energy needs. I like saving between $20 and 35 million on our energy cost as well as keeping $100 million in our community.
But, this all depends on what the cost is and what return on investment we can get. I also think the communication needs to be much more clear with the community about the process and what it takes to get us to a final cost.
Boulder has many pressing issues, Climate Change, Growth and Development, Transportation, CU South. I think most of these issues stem from one area, and that is Community Engagement.
The first step would be to set up better methods of soliciting public opinion and communicating the results without resorting to sweeping generalizations. I would like to see the city focus on quantifiable statistical questionnaires and analysis that captures the wants and needs of our citizens.
City decisions and policies should reflect the will of the people. Public input must be a high priority. If elected, I will never forget that I am on council to serve the people of Boulder. Therefore, public input will be a major guiding principle in my decision-making.
The city also needs to include citizens much earlier in the process. Residents have repeatedly told me that they feel we are brought in at the end of a process when it’s too late to make any difference.
I think that the city of Boulder is doing a great job with their Climate Initiative Team. One of the projects they are working on is the Muni, which will give us full control of our energy needs and will allow us to get to our goal of 100% renewable energy faster then the 2030 goal. But the team is also working on reducing food waste, solar grants and solar gardens to name a few. I learned that if we as a society were to completely do away with last and wasted food it would be the equivalent of removing 34 million cars from the road. I would support growing what the Climate Initiative Team already does
We also need to address our transportation issues. With 60,000 in-commuters coming into Boulder everyday we need to find a better way to get them to their locations with less impact on the roadways and with less emissions. Incentivizing car pooling, setting up a shuttle van system that can get larger numbers of workers to their jobs and continuing to find ways to bring us Light Rail.
A fifth-generation Coloradan, Benita Duran comes from a family with roots in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, who always worked hard to lift up the next generation. She was born in Pueblo. The daughter of Mexican, Native American, Irish and French ancestry, coal miners, farmers, laborers, skilled craftsmen, formal and informal health care providers and strong independent women, Benita is the first woman in her family to hold a Master's Degree. She has been a resident and homeowner of Boulder for 26 years, moved from Denver for a position in the Boulder City Manager's Office to further her interests in local government management and community engagement.
Education - BA Economics, DU/MPA Public Admin, CU.
Former Bldr Assist.City Mgr., former VP and Director Govt Affairs- for an environmental engineering firm; and former Executive Director of Community Engagement, Denver Public Schools. Started local government career as campaign staffer, then intern, then aide to Mayor Federico Pena, responsible for neighborhood, city employee and women's initiatives, and later was director of the employment and training program for the construction of DIA. She started her own consulting business in 2015 in Boulder and is the Principal/CEO of Duran Public Affairs Consulting. Her business is focused on community development projects throughout the state.
She is an active community volunteer. She is a current member of Boulder Community Health Board of Directors, State Economic Development Commission and State 20th Judicial District Nominating Commission. Past Board Member of Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Community Foundation Boulder County, YWCA, Attention Homes, Intercambio de Communidades, Family Learning Center, Mi Casa Resource Center, and Colorado Common Cause. Former Board Member of International City County Management Assoc. (ICMA). Member of City's Commercial Linkage Fee Task Force (2015).
Mother of one son, Miles Gilbert, who is in his third year at University of Puget Sound. As a volunteer, worked on researching early childhood education and mapping for Boulder County ballot item in 2008-2009. She has been involved in Colorado ballot initiatives related for public education funding, environmental and infrastructure issues for decades.
As a past Board member of the Boulder Shelter, I have direct observations of what this organization and the other homeless serving organizations invested in and retooled to better work in partnership with the city and county human services to address the issues of homelessness. In a three-year process, it helped educate and inform the roles each organization plays and where the gaps were/are in services to this population. For steps to take, I would continue on the path we are on. Data is showing that the improved coordinated entry program that provides assessment is working and the navigation services along with the Shelter's housing first focus is proving to be successful. Recent update referenced many successful outcomes and a commitment to expand some elements. Stable housing is a key component to success here. I support the camping ban for safety and security of our broader community. I am open to exploring safe, clean and secure camping sites in certain areas of city.
Diverse people from all walks of life should be able to find their way to a home in Boulder. I see ADUs as an important element to addressing our housing crisis. Council provides leadership to help support workforce and seniors. Living/sleeping where one holds a job also helps address climate crisis and transportation woes. Seniors who desire to continue be here in houses too large for one or two, are struggling for answers here, too. Making it easier, practical, safe and efficient to create these spaces that are attached to a house, or inside a house, is sustainable; and it leverages our existing infrastructure. The vision I have for an ADU is that it can serve a diverse population -- caregivers, single parents, educators, and many others. Two things to do: remove the saturation limit of 20% on ADUs; and two, on large lots, allow up to two ADUs - one interior and one exterior. These are changes that do not harm to neighborhood character and can be thoughtfully applied.
Maintaining the fiscal health of our city, being a good steward of public investments; and safety of residents and visitors - are envisioned elements of economy development. The University of Colorado, along with small businesses, entrepreneurial industries; health and federal research facilities are key to the economic heartbeat here. For long term vision and sustainability overall: 1) maintain positive working relationships and make it easier to do business; 2) Support of the Hill hotel and related renewal. This area should be a revitalized economic generator for future generations. Hill hotel is an anchor and sends a signal that the lights are on and open for business. 3) Focus on relieving pressure on general fund by supporting the library district, shift tax to property tax and expand user base. The vision relieves pressure on general fund to support deferred, overdue infrastructure improvements and funds transportation and mobility improvements for economic stability.
Support and voted in favor because I believed that it was/is feasible and will have generational and far reaching impacts. And I( have continued with this belief though know now that it is more complex than anticipated. Xcel credits Boulder today for getting them to move towards more aggressive goals, but this wasn't the reason for taking this on. I support how critically important it is for our climate action agenda and know that all eyes are on Boulder. The council will have some major decisions to guide in bringing this forward to a vote. I support this. Climate action knows no geographic boundaries. What we are doing through a democratic vote is attempting to put our money, intelligence and resources behind an effort that has not been done in contemporary time. My interest is in transparency and public education as we proceed. We lead by example. I want to focus on educating ourselves on impacts and energy independence at a neighborhood level - in English and Spanish.
Good governance and more collaboration to address the interrelated issues of housing-transportation-climate crisis-economic health-social equity conundrum of our present time. As candidates we have similar talking points, but what I am uniquely bringing to this opportunity is my deep knowledge and experience of local government systems and processes, having invested over 30 years in this arena. Being one who has had the privilege of working her entire career in public sector and in leading non-profit boards, I believe I can help improve communication and collaborative efforts that lead to actions and reduce inefficiencies, slow downs and moratoria that we've seen applied in the past. We have stalled and delayed on some key issues - like addressing the flood mitigation issues of south east Boulder residents and visitors. I see this as a priority that can be addressed in the first months of a new Council for not only the life safety and sanity of 3500 residents, but for all of us.
Do everything possible to align resources and programs for more diverse housing options so people don't have to commute in/out of Boulder and thus reduce vehicular emissions. Best way to provide more options for people to have a job and a place to call home in our city. Variety of approaches here -- from relaxing ADUs saturation limits, to allowing more unrelated folks to share a house, to supporting creative and thoughtful approaches to density along major corridors -- like Alpine-Balsam and phase two of Boulder Junction. Not only is this an improvement to the living environment, but makes it possible for someone to ride their bike or walk to their workplace, and reduces VMTs. It builds a stronger city -- of people who are invested in the community where they spend their day and night. We retain our community values and are stronger in our actions when we all feel more connected to this place. 2) Utilize and support the staff professionals devoted to the city's enviro/energy plans.
I am an attorney, an educator at Front Range Community College, and an activist. I also am mom to 3 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 new puppy, and have been married for 22 years. I graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with a BA in Psychology, and earned my JD from Notre Dame Law School, magna cum laude, in 2000.
As an attorney, I gravitate towards jobs that allow me to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. I’ve dedicated my professional career to fighting for asylum seekers, individuals with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, abused children, and elderly persons.
As an activist, I’ve dedicated my most recent efforts to fighting for gun violence prevention, obtaining flood mitigation where it’s urgently needed, preserving our democracy, and getting women and people of color elected to office.
As an educator, I encourage students to seek out knowledge, to always consider ways in which our current systems can be improved, to lean into the hard questions, to ask for help when road blocks are encountered, and to patiently work through the thorny problems. I seek to do the same in my personal and professional life.
As a mom, I’m imperfect. I try to let my kids know they are loved and that I am proud of them, and to make amends as quickly as I can when I fall short. They’re unique, awesome individuals; I feel lucky to share this journey with them.
Why I am running:
I'm running for Boulder City Council because I am passionate about local politics, and seek to make positive contributions to the city I love and proudly call home. Even though we are living through some trying times, both locally and nationally, I am committed to ensuring that we come out the other side of our current struggles better than we went in.
To get there on the local level, Boulder needs leaders who will embrace and emphasize facts, data, and transparency. Issues ranging from housing opportunities to flood mitigation require us to face facts head on.
We are at a historic crossroads in terms of our global climate crisis and our country’s social justice inequities. Remarkably, though, we are also in a time of unprecedented awareness around these issues, and we are fortunate to live in a community that is collaborative and innovative in problem-solving. I am running for City Council because I believe we can turn our problems into opportunities.
On the record:
Our policies should center on dignity, safety, and setting people up for success. Experiencing homelessness decreases lifespans by 20-30 years. Last year in the City of Boulder, 17 homeless individuals died, which indicates to me that Boulder’s solutions to homelessness are inadequate. There is also a palpable health and safety fear by Boulderites around individuals experiencing homelessness. (See Daily Camera article, October 3, 2019). We have ongoing issues of human feces and needles being left in or near places like playgrounds, creekside, and libraries. My emphasis on compassionate solutions does not minimize well-founded health and safety concerns. Evidence indicates that the solution to homelessness is, not surprisingly, housing. Coordinated entry is working well, but we also need to build in humane solutions for people who are eschewing it. I favor the emergency shelter opening at higher temps, robust day services, and more regional and state-wide collaborative approaches.
I began representing detained asylum seekers in 2018, in response to our national lack of compassion for fellow humans seeking sanctuary. The collective clamoring for a wall, to block those in need from receiving desperately needed help, conflicts with my core beliefs. Our country is not too “full” to respond with compassion on a national level; likewise, I believe Boulder is not too “full” to respond with compassion on the local level. People who work in Boulder, and especially people in core service industries such as teaching, policing, nursing, and food services, often cannot afford to live here. That is untenable, inequitable, and undesirable. I don't believe Boulder can house EVERYONE who currently works in Boulder or simply wishes to live here - but we can accommodate some. Towards that end, I support tiny homes, ADUs, rezoning and incentivizing housing in industrial zones, and accelerating affordable housing availability along transit corridors.
We should nurture and empower our world-class economy by sustaining an environment that fosters entrepreneurship, creates conditions for small businesses to thrive, cuts red tape/unnecessary bureaucracy, works in partnership with companies that are the foundation to our resilient business ecosystem, and helps women and minority business leaders overcome barriers to success. We have ambitious values, as demonstrated by our $350+million City budget. Buying and maintaining Open Space and a robust Parks and Recreations Department is expensive. As is flood mitigation. And muni litigation. To afford our values, we need quality economic drivers in our City. Our economic vitality is tethered to a healthy business climate. A healthy economy is a big piece of a healthy Boulder!
I voted in 2017 for Boulder to move forward with municipalization, because the climate crisis is urgent, and I favor my local government as the supplier of energy. I trust Boulder to charge a fair rate, and to be accountable to local consumers. Moreover, our climate crisis demands creative and urgent action, and energy municipalization would allow Boulder to fly towards our goals (including 100% renewable electricity by 2030). 2 years later, however, the equation has changed. Muni efforts to date have cost over $20 million, and Xcel acquisition costs are predicted to cost $150-215 million. Meanwhile, Xcel committed last year to move to 80% carbon-free electricity by 2030, and 100% by 2050. We are waiting on the full financial picture to unfold, but at some point, there could be a price point that is illogical, in light of Xcel’s new commitments. The voters will decide whether to move forward, likely in 2021.
1. Flood mitigation at South Boulder Creek. We need to treat this as the urgent health and safety matter that it is, identify ASAP where the property owners (CDOT/CU/City) have alignment, and move forward.
2. Making our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. This means more fully-protected bike lanes and paths, reducing speed limits (“20 is plenty” is shown to reduce fatalities), and engineering streets for slower speeds.
3. Affordable housing. See answer to Campaign Q2.
4. Climate crisis. The climate crisis is here, and Boulder is far from immune. See next answer/Campaign Q6.
5. Good governance. Stakeholders, including staff and constituents, need to be treated with respect and dignity, and facts and data must underpin decisions. The needed culture-shift (evidenced by the 9/2019 Tipton report) will flow from leaders who respect expertise, eschew micromanaging, commit to transparency, follow data irrespective of preconceived notions, and focus on the most critical priorities.
Recent estimates project that we have 12 years to save our planet from climate catastrophe. This means that aspirational or baby-steps won’t cut it. Most of us have cheered Greta Thunberg and raised our fist at the federal government for not doing more. But retweeting Greta and cursing DC won’t create change. Boulder must face facts head-on, and lead on resiliency solutions and finding the most environmental path forward. Energy consumption and sources play a big role in that. Single occupancy vehicles will have to give way to alternatives, at some point in the near future. Housing and land use will need to follow environmental principles, as defined by experts. Should the city send staff or council members on planes to participate in conferences? Should city events include meat/dairy products? It’s an exciting time with our new climate mobilization action plan coming online, and a great opportunity for Boulder to walk the talk.
Bachelor of Political Science, University of Florida; Master in Applied Human Rights, York England; Worked in development and human rights for 4 years; Former United Nations Human Rights Officer
Homeless programming is about protecting men, women, families, and children. Boulder has done a lot to protect the homeless population. However, until every person in the community is secured no one is secured. The City should increase funding for housing and sheltering services; it should provide emergency walkup shelter year-round; and the City should provide eco-passes for people experiencing homelessness. I believe we should educate those who are homeless on how to find services rather than enforcing a campaign ban.
Barriers to affordable housing are against human rights principles. We have to work to ensure that every person who wishes to live in Boulder and aspires to contribute to the City’s economy has that opportunity. Affordable housing plays a major role in all the forms of inequality we see and experience in Boulder. The inability of working-class citizens to reside within the City limits negatively affects the community's jobs and housing balance. Additionally, the lack of affordable housing has serious and detrimental public health and environmental consequences. Consequently, as a Council-member I will advocate for increasing the housing stock in Boulder through environmentally friendly, responsible, and equitable policies. I believe we should consider mixed-used and work hard to expand on relaxing our ADU policies. Also we have to consider how we use space in Boulder.
The economy is the backbone of every society. Local leaders have an important role to play in ensuring an economy that works to protect and provide economic access to every member of the community. As a member of City Council, I will partner with local employers to provide effective transformative workforce training. Additionally, I will support policies that ensure diversity in the labor force.
The use of fossil fuels is a pressing environmental issue in Boulder. We need to move closer to clean energy sustainability if we want to protect Boulder for the next generation. Clean, local, affordable, reliable power is possible. In sum as a candidate for Boulder City Council, I will support the municipalization process for as long as the people of Boulder are in favor of it. I believe that municipalization is about the voice of the people.
Our current land use prioritizes high-speed mobility in the use of cars. The use of cars fosters both urban and suburban sprawl. As an elected leader, I will push for housing development that is transit-oriented. As a member of Council, I will champion policies that reduce dependency on cars such as better bike paths and pedestrian walk ways. Additionally, I will prioritize road space for biking. I believe in open space management by balancing preservation, conservation, and recreation.
We need to be aggressive in tackling climate change. According to the United Nations, cities consume 78 percent of the world’s energy and produce more than 60 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Heading the call, on day one as a member of City Council, I will advocate for better equipped charging stations for electric vehicles in Boulder. I will collaborate with local employers to create work hubs and remote working opportunities for in-commuters. As a Council-member, I will seek innovative tools to ensure that we as a City fall and stay below the limiting threshold of 1.5 degree Celsius as it relates to global warming. Better energy programing such as retrofitting of older homes, better bus services and transportation services that support walkers and biking. On day one I will work with City Staff to create a government public bike-sharing scheme in collaboration with CDOT and leading companies in the transportation industry to provide free bicycles at RTD lots and near bus routes.
Corina Julca has lived in Boulder for five years and in Colorado for ten. She moved to the U.S. from Peru after winning a spot in the immigration lottery. In Peru, Corina worked as a high school teacher and college instructor. She is now a full-time mom, raising her son and daughter, together with her husband. She finds there is much to love about Boulder, especially its parks and the Open Space.
Her first exposure to the rough and tumble of politics came when she volunteered for a mayoral campaign in her hometown of Trujillo. More recently, she became involved in the struggle to prevent displacement in Boulder’s Opportunity Zone, part of what is widely regarded as a tax scam by the Trump administration. Corina and her family live in a rented apartment in the Opportunity Zone. She is trying to prevent large-scale displacement of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents and small businesses.
As a Latina, Corina is concerned about the linguistic obstacles the Spanish-speaking community faces and hopes to serve as a bridge. She plans to help immigrants in these hard times.
In Peru, Corina engaged in a variety of volunteer opportunities. “Most of the volunteering there is not through organizations. You do things yourself or form a small group.” Her focus was on raising money for hospitalized children and rescuing stray dogs. In Boulder, she volunteers at her daughter’s elementary school.
What is Corina looking forward to on the campaign trail? “I can’t wait to get to know lots of people, talk with them directly. I much prefer this to being on a stage.”
On the campaign trail, I've been hearing a lot of discussions about the homeless and transient populations in Boulder, the addiction crisis, the housing crisis, and the mental health crisis. The problems are dealt with at the city, county, state and federal levels. Proposed solutions range from lifting the camping ban, which would allow homeless people to sleep on streets and in parks at night, to incarcerating drug users who shoot up heroin or meth in public. As a council member, I'd want to help the homeless population while recognizing that Boulder's parks and creeks were an incredible place for children and adults to relax before the needle scare. I think the solution lies in a combination of providing sufficient shelter and transitional housing, drug-based rehab and mental health service to the homeless, while instructing police to arrest hard drug users, who then enter a court system that will channel people into rehab instead of prison, saving lives in the process
There are a number of steps Council can take to enable low and fixed-income individuals and families to live in Boulder. The most immediate pertains to the Opportunity Zone, which is under a temporary development moratorium. This census tract qualified as a location for investors to pay no taxes on capital gains (as long as they meet certain requirements), because it is home to many low income residents. As a result, the apartment buildings in this area are at high risk of demolition and gentrification. The first step Council must take is to preserve these buildings by purchasing them or paying for options to buy them. This will prevent large-scale displacement.
Additionally, Council should prioritize the construction of affordable units on property it owns, for example the Alpine Balsam site. I also believe large employers should be required to contribute affordable housing. With regard to ADUs, permitting should be conditional upon a deed restriction on rent, making them affordable.
On many levels Boulder's economy is doing extremely well. It has a 2.7% unemployment rate. It is a destination for large tech companies to open offices. But what is a success for some people makes life much harder for others. We know exactly what is happening here, or will soon happen, by looking at Silicon Valley: unaffordable housing, private buses for tech workers, increasing homelessness, long and awful commutes.
The question seems to assume that development is positive. But maybe stability, inclusivity, support and safety nets are the measure of success -- not growth. My vision is to support small, local businesses. I want to make sure that the constant closing of favorite stores, restaurants and service providers stops (or slows down). With rents so high, this is difficult and involves creating permanently affordable commercial spaces. As a council member, I will also try to create an incentive program that reaches agreements with landlords who commit to stable rents.
I support Boulder's goal of powering the city's electricity with 100% renewable energy by 2030. This is an ambitious and admirable goal, and is so important because of the climate crisis the planet faces. Therefore, I support the municipalization of the electric utility in Boulder. It is hard to see how Boulder would be able to switch entirely from the current coal and gas sources of energy used by Xcel without the muni. That said, the final decision should be left to the voters through the ballot. Voters empowered City Council to gather information and put a price on municipalization and then to return to the voters for approval (or rejection of the idea).
In the event voters reject the muni, I will support alternative solutions with the goal of switching to renewable energy at maximum speed.
The most urgent issue facing Boulder is the huge pressure by large banks, corporations and developers to change the city rapidly. This is apparent in the arrival of tech corporations that want to continue to expand, contributing to the environmental and congestion problem of over 60,000 commuters a day. The demand for housing in Boulder keeps driving up the prices, making it impossible for middle-income families to buy here and increasingly, even to rent. Good houses are scraped for mansions. The Opportunity Zone, a Trump tax giveaway, was progressed without City Council's knowledge. The residents of the city are losing control.
As a council member, I will insist on full transparency in all of the City's plans. I will make sure the City represents the needs of its residents. This can be done by implementing new procedures for city staff and by making changes to management. I also propose that council members should be more available and informed through hiring personal assistants.
Local government has a huge role to play in combating climate change. As a council member I will work on a number of fronts. First, I will take steps against fracking, including instituting a fracking ban (testing the limits of SB-181) and working with the County to prevent the enormous oil and gas pads that are threatening East Boulder County and the air we all breathe.
Second, I will tackle regional and local transportation problems. I will work to get FasTracks back on track, collaborating with Longmont to pressure RTD. I will push for free bus routes in Boulder, and if this increases the number of riders, I'll expand the program. I'll work to introduce shuttles instead of large buses on routes that are less popular. I will work to increase biking safety, as outlined in the Tranportation Master Plan.
Third, I'll work to discourage the practice of scraping good buildings -- part of the throwaway culture destroying our planet -- by imposing substantial demolition and gutting fees.
Nikki came to Boulder nine years ago after earning her master’s degree and lobbying for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality under former Governor Jennifer Granholm. She landed here by chance but immediately knew Boulder was the community for her.
She bought a home, started a business, joined a church, and began serving her community -- then on the board of the Community Action Programs of Boulder County, and now as a commissioner on the Boulder Housing Partners board and a member of the Boulder Chamber’s Community Affairs Council.
Her business, McCord Consulting Group, provides board of director governance, diversity, and recruitment services to for- and non-profit boards, and leads diversity and inclusion initiatives for organizations.
She wants to bring her experience and common sense approach to City Council -- to bring people together, get things done, and ensure that marginalized communities are at the forefront of her decisions and are not left behind.
As a city council member, every vote I make will be through a social justice lens built from my own experience and input from marginalized communities. Housing is a human right. As a commissioner on the Boulder Housing Partners’ board of the past six years, I am proud of the work that we have done to provide permanently supportive housing for unhoused residents at 1175 Lee Hill and what we will provide to this population at the 30th and Pearl site. I do not believe the city should criminalize homelessness while not providing adequate housing to those in our community who need it.
As a city councilperson, I will create 256 units of affordable housing per year to meet the city’s 15% affordable housing goal by 2035. In one year alone, Boulder Housing Partner created more than 250 units of affordable rental housing. As a city councilperson I will have the opportunity to create affordable rental and homeownership opportunities through ADUs, tiny homes, co-ops, community land trusts, and other innovative solutions. As a city councilperson, I want to alleviate that stress by meeting and exceeding the 15% affordable housing goal.
As a minority woman small business owner in Boulder, I’m especially concerned about Boulder’s economic development. Economists believe our country is headed toward another recession. Even though Boulder wasn’t impacted as severely by the last recession, there’s no guarantee that we will survive in the same way we did previously. Here is one strategy I would champion as a city councilperson:
Use local businesses; after the flood our community came together and neighbors helped neighbors. As we prepare to weather this upcoming recession, the city should prioritize utilizing local suppliers, with special consideration for minority owned suppliers.
I believe it is council’s responsibility to pursue a diversity of options to address climate change. As the lobbyist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, I worked with our director to limit permits to coal fired power generators while simultaneously advancing incentives for alternative power generation. As a lobbyist representing the Building Owners and Managers Association in Michigan, I negotiated the burden my client would bear to reach the Renewable Portfolio Standards agreed upon by the state and the utilities. During that negotiation, the business community agreed to bear more of the burden so that residential customers - particularly low-income customers - were not disproportionately impacted. My focus is to ensure vulnerable communities are protected while we negotiate any solution to achieve Boulder’s renewable energy goals.
The most pressing issue facing Boulder is the ability for marginalized individuals to feel safe in the community. There are people who are still marginalized based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and age, among others. As a city council member, every vote I make will be through a social justice lens built from my own experience and input from marginalized communities. I will amplify marginalized voices by not making assumptions about them or their concerns. As a member of a marginalized community, I know what it feels like for purported allies to make assumptions about me. I have joined city boards because vulnerable voices were missing and I vocalized serious issues. I have Spanish speakers in decision making positions on my campaign team and my materials are in English and Spanish. I will take the lessons I’ve learned running an inclusive campaign and apply them to my role as a city councilperson.
One way that we can address climate change is to reduce in-commuting. One way to address in-commuting is to provide more affordable housing options for those who in-commute. I plan to create 256 units of affordable housing per year to meet the city’s 15% affordable housing goal. As a candidate who is not seeking endorsement from any interest groups, I have the freedom to make decisions that benefit the entire community, taking into account the voices of vulnerable populations. I’m not interested in creating ‘ghettos’ in Boulder...places where all affordable housing exists in one area of town. Boulder Housing Partners has done an excellent job of integrating aesthetically pleasing affordable housing within the community. I plan to continue that tradition. I’m willing to consider good faith concerns when it comes to developing affordable housing to respond to climate change and I’m willing to negotiate how we get there as a community.
While I can’t say that I was born in Boulder, I can say that Boulder is my home. I arrived in 1977 for the rock climbing, cycling, food, and culture. I stayed and went to CU and graduated with a BFA. I worked at the Spoke (bike shop), Novan Energy (solar energy), and various other Boulder companies.
For 32 years I was an owner and partner at Marketing Technologies, a technical sales company marketing US made custom parts from US manufacturers to US equipment manufacturers. This has given me an understanding of how companies, both large and small, work, survive, grow, thrive and sometimes fail.
I met Jill, my wife of 36 years and partner in life here. We feel fortunate to have raised our two kids, Molly and Reed, here in this community that we love so much. Our family has settled and grown in Boulder, including our children and their spouses, our two grandchildren, elderly parents, and siblings.
I actively examine all aspects of my life and my impact on the planet. While not always successful, I am committed to my personal goals for the environment, my community and the greater world. I know Boulder:
• From preschools to senior centers.
• By having lived in rentals on the Hill and in Goss Grove to single family homes in Central and North Boulder.
• Because my work experience spans roughneck in the oil field to solar sales, from retail to manufacturing and ultimately building a local business with a 30+ year history in Boulder.
• From volunteering in schools, to serving on boards and commissions, to getting dirty building trails, to being
a lifetime blood donor to driving for Meals on Wheels.
I currently serve on the City's Transportation Advisory Board and have recently served on the Transportation Funding Working Group and the Campaign Finance Working Group.
I am a strong supporter of our Coordinated Entry system and the efforts of our county-wide Homeless Solutions for Boulder County team. I am also a supporter of the proven “Housing First” model. The combination of Navigation Services and Housing-Focused Shelter have proven to be effective. Let’s build on those successes. No program will completely solve a homelessness problem that is driven in part by a nationwide housing shortage, inadequate healthcare equity, and federal policies that actually exacerbate our local problems.
While I understand the desire of some to end the camping ban on moral grounds, I support keeping it in place. Our community shared spaces need to be shared by all of Boulder.
I would support the city having a legal and safe campground as we used to have (a KOA near the current Western Disposal site).
I support the work of Boulder Housing Partners. They have been highly effective at using funds collected from development leveraged with federal and other funds to build and buy affordable and low income housing.
Changing our land-use codes to be flexible for current homeowners who want to build a duplex, ADU, granny flat etc… is a key element of this. The benefits are well demonstrated for the elderly homeowner on a fixed income, allowing them to age in place, and those new ADUs will be more affordable for our workforce and student populations.
We will never sprawl our way into affordability; let’s acknowledge that. We will never house every incommuter; let’s acknowledge that too. Most importantly let us do what we can to accommodate those that teach our children, fight our fires, police our streets, staff our city offices; these people are integral to our community. Let’s do all that we can to have them be our neighbors.
Long term “visions” for economic development tend to be wrong because of rapid change in the marketplace. My long and short-term vision is one where economic development happens within the confines of clear, certain, and well-defined parameters that are understood by the citizens and the business community.
We cannot and should not govern on an ad hoc basis with council personalities citing things they like and don’t like. This stifles creativity, results in design by committee (which rarely if ever works well), and creates frustration and uncertainty in the business community. Our local small business owners bear the burden created by these ad hoc decisions.
Boulder has unique drivers of economic stability including: our Open Space system, Downtown Mall, Chautauqua, CU, federal labs, a culture of sport and health, and creek paths, etc We must build on our success with more: open space maintenance, car free spaces near shopping and dining, and event programming outside of downtown.
After being an initial muni supporter, I am now opposed. I think a utility is a fine role for city government. I wish we had formed a muni a hundred years ago when we had the chance. We didn’t. There is no sense in looking back. We need to look forward and ask what are our real goals, to have a muni—just because, or to do whatever we can to ameliorate the effects of climate change by reducing our GHG emissions. At the moment we’re getting neither.
Let’s end our muni effort and commit ourselves, money, time, and staff resources to four areas of action:
1. Owning the production of large scale clean power.
2. Subsidizing commercial and residential solar for low and middle income residents and building owners willing to commit to having energy affordability as part of their leases.
3. Using funds from the muni effort to address GHG emissions from transportation which make-up about 30% of our citywide emissions.
4. Active carbon sequestration on city agricultural open space properties.
Affordable Homes: Make more permanently affordable homes along transit corridors, in complete 15 minute walkable neighborhoods.
Transportation: Fulfill the vision of our newly updated Transportation Master Plan by making walking, cycling, and taking transit safe, convenient, and affordable. This is the best way to both reduce congestion, achieve Vision Zero and reach of GHG reduction goals.
Meet our climate goals: See the Muni above
Less regressive methods of taxation: Most city revenue comes from regressive sales tax. We need to be creative in looking at taxes and fees that tax the wealthy in our community rather than the poorest. We need to lobby the state for legislation that allows cities to look beyond sales tax as their primary funding method.
Open Space Maintenance: We must shift away from a department focused on acquisitions to focusing trail maintenance and visitor infrastructure. Better maintenance will result in better conservation values and better user experiences.
End the muni effort and focus on GHG reductions now. See above.
Change our land use patterns and zoning to allow more efficient use of limited land in town so that we can have more people that work here, live here.
Fund and fulfill our adopted 2019 Transportation Master Plan. Make cycling and walking safe— period. Guide our own transportation destiny outside of the RTD system by developing our own routes and forming a transit district within Boulder county with our sister cities. Focus our transit subsidies on those to whom it will make the greatest difference.
Quickly initiate carbon sequestration efforts on our OSMP agricultural properties.
Grant shares in community solar gardens to those of limited income in the city so that our low income residents can enjoy the benefits of owning solar and experiencing lower bills.
I am a scientist, a dancer, a landlady, a Life Coach, an activist, and a devoted public servant. I have a Bachelor of Science in Risk Management from DePaul University. I’ve lived in Boulder for 10 years and I received my teaching license from CU's School of Education in 2014. I worked as a public servant teaching high school math for 4 years in public and private schools in the area including Watershed, Boulder High, and the Temple Grandin School. I enjoyed teaching others how to solve math problems and now I would like to try my hand at solving bigger civic issues. The valuable skills I have gained as a teacher will serve me well as your advocate. I am patient, adaptable, imaginative, great at teamwork, a life long learner and a good communicator. I have a track record of leaving no student behind. I make sure each voice is heard and everyone gets what they came for. I will do the same for the People of Boulder. I ask a lot of questions to get the core of the issues. I received mediation and cooperative training from many summers in Michigan at the Circle Pines Center. There I was trained in Peace, Social Justice, Environmental Stewardship, and Cooperation. The greatest work can be accomplished when people are at peace with one another working toward a common goal. Cooperation cannot exist until all people have the same basic rights. I vow to educate for social justice to create a more cooperative world. I helped open the Dill Pickle Food Coop in 2006 and it is still a thriving grocery store in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. In the summer of 2018 I joined the BoCo Democrats and served as an Area Coordinator for the party. I helped ensure we had a great turn out for the vote for my four precincts. All my experience and knowledge will serve me well as your next councilwoman. I love Boulder. I became a woman in these foothills and I want to give back to the land that shaped me. My heart has grown here and running for office is part of my personal evolution. I will be a voice for the voiceless. I would like to be your advocate for the environment, equity and diversity, and the arts. I just can't do this alone. I need your support and your vote to get to where I need to be to enact positive change and make Boulder an even Sunnier place.
303 919 1852
The homeless are about to get an upgrade in Boulder. The Attention Homes project is amazing and will take forty-one 18-24-year-olds off the street for life. It's transitional housing and has a proven track record of effectively teaching at-risk youth the skills needed to secure permanent housing. On top of this great resource, I would like Boulder to open a shelter for Women and Children only. I am also interested in putting at least one more bathroom with a sharps collector along the creek path. I would like to see sharps collectors in the public bathrooms on Pearl and 13th as well as in Eben G Fine Park. I am ok with the current camping ban.
Imposing Rent Regulations is the best long term solution for Boulder to help low and fixed income individuals to be able to live here happily. I had my rent increased by 62% over just a couple years I believe that is quite unfair. We should have regulations in place ensuring a set percentage increase per year. In the meantime, I am pro loosening the ADU restrictions and upping occupancy to 4 unrelated people in certain neighborhoods in Boulder. I would also like to see freshmen and sophomores housed on campus mandatorily. And lastly, I would like to impose an occupancy tax for units that are empty.
Our economy is strong in Boulder. But we can do more to support the small business sector and working-class people who work for wages. My long term vision is to put rent regulations in place and then once that's established prioritize affordable housing for municipal workers. We value local food and local businesses, let's take this value to the Boulder municipal job force. This will have a ripple effect and over time will lessen the number of commuters and therefore carbon emissions. I would also like to see the minimum wage rise in Boulder to $15 per hour, this will help with living costs. I am also a proponent of small business Sundays. I would like to close down corporate stores on Pearl st on Sundays giving a chance for the Mom and Pop shops to sell their wares without competition one day a week. I would also like to see a permanently affordable artist coop on pearl street where many artists can make and sell their wares while we watch from the windows.
I am pro the municipalization of the electric utility. I would like to help the muni effort move forward with informed oversight and proper planning. I believe we need a condemnation law expert to help succeed in this effort. It's the biggest issue the city is facing in the history of its lifetime and I would like to help it go smoother.
I would like to protect the Arts and Artists in Boulder and help write legislation that will ensure we devote space in all our new developments for this important Community Benefit.
I am pro a neutral third party Police oversight program in Boulder and believe it should be contracted out to the Denver Independent Monitor, as they have a fantastic track record.
We need flood mitigation now and I will do everything in my power to ensure a compromise at CU South to make moves on this pressing issue.
I would like to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
I would like the support of all the council members to petition the state, with a show of force for the power to enact rent regulations.
I would also like to enact a Single-Use plastics ban, ensuring no more single-use disposable plastics enter our trash stream.
I am pro a Hotel on the Hil.
I am Pro turning the library into a Library district.
We need to get the Municipalization of the Utility up and running. With the power of electricity in our own hands, we can then ensure the use of renewable energy sources to get our carbon emissions under control. It has been proven to do so in other municipalities. We should also do more to disincentives gas-powered cars. We need tax breaks for buying hybrids or fully electric vehicles. If we imposed rent regs then more city workers would live here and we would have fewer commuters, therefore, less carbon released into the air.
Susan is a recently retired professional engineer and business executive, who spent her career inspiring people to achieve big, innovative ideas. Now, she is passionate about standing up for the things that make Boulder great, as directed by the people who live and work here. The top priorities on her list are:
1. Better management of growth, development, and traffic.
2. Respecting and protecting Boulder's natural beauty and getting more serious about climate action.
3. Fostering a diverse, vibrant and sustainable community that is accessible for people of all economic levels.
“My parents instilled in me that you should leave a place better than you found it. I came to Boulder 25 years ago to raise my son in a place where he could ride his bike to soccer practice, a place that was inclusive enough that I would see his teachers at the grocery store and our mailman at the coffee shop, and a place that was dominated by our respect for the beauty of the outdoors. It worked out great for both me and my son, and I want to do my part to ensure it continues to be a great place for future generations of Boulderites.” Susan Peterson
• Founder of the business sales program at Renewable Choice Energy, where she was instrumental in the sale of wind energy certificates to Whole Foods, nationwide.
• Former Chair of Thorne Ecological Institute, where she helped bring the City, the school district and the non-profit sector together to change Sombrero Marsh from a dump to an environmental education center.
• Former PLAN-Boulder County board member.
• Co-founder of “The Blue Line”, a non-profit corporation informing Boulder residents about political, controversial and provocative city and community issues
• Activist for fair distribution of subsidies to underprivileged children at Columbine Elementary during the 6 years her son spent there.
• Retired engineer and marketing executive with 40 years of worldwide experience leading teams to great success in structural engineering, electronic design automation, telecommunications and renewable energy.
With regards to people experiencing homelessness in Boulder who are seeking assistance, I would support Boulder’s Permanently Supportive Housing program. It just makes sense to me that giving people their own place to be and assistance to stay there is a great first step to solving a wide range of issues that generally lead to homelessness.
With regards to people experiencing homelessness who are NOT seeking assistance, I would work towards creating an environment in which both the homeless and our citizens feel safe. I am no expert on homelessness, but I do know from talking with local law enforcement, that a significant percentage of our police work is related to issues with the homeless, particularly in the summer. I have also heard from numerous concerned citizens during the course of this campaign, that they and their children do not feel safe in many public spaces. It just does not seem fair to sacrifice the safety and well-being of our citizens for the freedom of a few.
I think it’s critical to the health and vibrancy of our community to provide housing for a range of economic needs, and for a range of housing types. I would advocate for the following measures:
• Increase Inclusionary Zoning requirements from 20 to 25% for low income and 5 to 10% for middle income.
• Increase the Cash-In-Lieu percentage from 75% of the cost to build on-site to a minimum of 100% to eliminate the economic incentive to create segregated low-income housing communities.
• Increase Commercial Linkage Fees to at least $60 per square foot to subsidize workforce housing.
• Support the middle income down payment assistance program.
• Make the review process for Accessory Dwelling Unit exceptions more neighborhood focused and easier.
• Prioritize building a range of market-rate and permanently affordable housing on all city owned sites, like Alpine-Balsam. Note that by affordable I do not mean densely built apartment buildings”.
Boulder’s economic vitality is, and always has been, driven by our ability to attract and retain a great, creative workforce just by nature of our natural beauty and the community we have carefully crafted around it. My long-term vision is that we continue to protect the elements that draw the best and brightest to our valley, and that we don’t get distracted by the quick and easy capitalization of Boulder.
I believe that municipalization of our electric utility is one of most impactful things we could do for future generations of Boulder and beyond because:
• embracing 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible is the most impactful thing we can do to reduce our carbon footprint
• installation of a more modern, resilient, distributed energy grid that allows for sharing from multiple sources of generation, like rooftop solar across the city, which makes us more resilient to emergency and natural disaster
• electricity is a basic human need in this day and age, so it’s a social justice issue,too. Providing electricity to those families and individuals in our community who can least afford it by sharing across the grid allows us to be more equitable and supportive as a community.
• re-investing the profits associated with electricity generation and distribution into our own community rather than into the pockets of Xcel shareholders and executives is a good investment in our future
• Housing diversity – the key to a vibrant community is having people from all walks of like working and living together in community. See the steps I would take to foster this, above.
• Climate change – the less obvious but most threatening to our well being and that of future generation. See the steps I would take to reverse this, below.
Maybe it’s the engineer in Susan, but she’s a big fan of addressing the few things that can have the biggest impact first.
Priority One: transition to clean, green generation of electricity and a modern, local distribution grid ASAP. Burning fossil fuels to produce electricity is the number one creator of GHG in our community and around the world. It is estimated by the NRDC that each metric ton of CO2 produced costs a City about $40 in health, maintenance and resiliency – so reducing our carbon footprint could actually pay for itself.
Priority Two: reduce transportation impacts, the second biggest producer of GHG:
• Reduce in-commuting by:
o Providing a greater range of affordable housing and housing types so that some commuters can live here
o Providing better mass transit options and work with local large businesses to provide financial incentives for using it
o Distributing some jobs to other regional employment centers
• Increase non-polluting modes of transportation
I've lived in Boulder for 13 years now, 10 of them as a renter. Since graduating from CU in 2010 I've had to hold at least two jobs in order to keep up with the cost of living and save for the down payment on the small one-bedroom condo I now own. That reality led me to get interested in Boulder's housing issues. I've spent the last two years as a member of Boulder's Housing Advisory Board and now serve as Chair of the board. I've utilized this time to learn all about our housing policies, issues, and potential solutions. I've worked with city staff and fellow board member to mold this new board into a functioning and helpful space to deal with these housing issues.
While on the Housing Advisory Board I've also served on our only standing committee, the Engagement Committee. We've done our best to reach out to members of the community who are not heard from frequently so we can learn about their experiences and help generate ideas to deal with their housing concerns. We've started doing listening sessions, sessions where we invite specific group of people, like permanently affordable housing residents, out to tell us about their experiences. This has provided us with great insight into things we otherwise would not have known about and allows residents a chance to be heard.
In 2016 I was a delegate for Bernie Sander's campaign. This was my first entrance into politics and made me want to get involved at the local level to ensure that more regular working people were driving policy, not major business interests. I decided it was important to get involved so I took the leap to run for City Council in 2017. While I was unsuccessful that time, it gave me insight into how I could contribute and showed Council that I was worth appointing to the Housing Advisory Board. I also got involved with PLAN Boulder County so I could learn much more about the wide range of issues facing our home, not just housing.
Professionally I've spent most of my time as a marketing manager at a company called SparkFun Electronics. I also coached CU's rowing team for four years, and was a doorman at The Walrus for four years. Recently I've made a change in employment and now work for a small local honey company called Bjorn's Colorado Honey. I still do some consulting work with my former company to keep up with the bills while running for Council.
All of these experiences have only further helped enforce my desire to live in Boulder and provide more housing affordability while maintaining all the things that make our city unique. I believe only by building the type of housing we need, permanently affordable housing, will we make a dent in our housing crisis. The free market has failed to provide the type of housing that will ensure low and middle-income people can remain in Boulder, and I'd like to reverse that trend. I'd also like to continue supporting our Open Space program, maintain our height limits, and ensure that Boulder's future is not determined by commercial interests.
I think it's important to say that the homeless population and the transient population are two different groups that require different approaches. I do believe we need to provide more resources to those who are trying to find a job and get into a home. Inequality continues to grow both here, and I think it is important to help as much as we can when people fall on hard times and become unhoused.
The transient population is very different, and I think we should try and find new solutions to mitigate the increased transient population. Many people in this group aren't seeking jobs or housing, but looking for services to sustain them. This is where better oversight of our programs comes in to ensure they're being utilized to make progress toward improving the community. I am not in favor of removing the camping ban, but I do want to ensure we are taking care of basic needs like public restrooms, enough trash removal service, and places for people to store their possessions.
In order to reach Boulder’s newly adopted goal of 15% permanently affordable housing by 2035, we will need to use a variety of tools: tapping into new development, re-designating some existing housing, and requiring large corporations to do their share in contributing to employee housing. One of the first actions the new Council takes should be to explore expanding the inclusionary housing minimums to 10% for middle income households and 25% for low income households. We should also aim to expand programs like the down-payment assistance program to help first-time home buyers and convert existing housing stock into deed-restricted permanently affordable homes. Finally, we should work towards purchasing the rights of first-refusal on aging condominiums and apartment buildings that may be selected for redevelopment. These properties can converted to permanent affordability, preventing units from becoming high-end apartments and averting a spike in property taxes on surrounding neighbors.
Boulder needs to shift its focus away from attracting large corporations and make sure our small business community is well supported. While we have taken major steps to make business pay its own way with commercial linkage fees and other impact fees, more can be done to make sure large businesses are paying for their impacts. Potential solutions to right this imbalance include a head tax on corporations with over 100 employees in Boulder, funding the affordable housing program and improvements to our transportation infrastructure, all while maintaining Open Space.
Rising rents on small business spaces have created the need for permanently affordable or subsidized commercial space. These spaces are necessary to keep Boulder’s entrepreneurial spirit alive. We have all seen the dozens of small business that were operating for decades close down because of increased rents for retail space. Unless we provide the help necessary, our city won’t have a place for local business.
I am in favor of putting municipalization on the ballot again for the voters to decide on when the assets worth has been assessed. I see no other means for us to reach our clean energy goals in the time we have allotted for ourselves. I also think it's important that we have control of our energy grid, as Xcel is a for profit company with no enforcement for their carbon reduction promises. I think it's best in the long term for Boulder to have control of their own utility, especially in case of natural disasters. This is one of those issues where Boulder needs to keep fighting since de-crabonizing is part of our soul, and we want to ensure we're doing our part to ensure the future of our planet is secure.
Boulder faces so many issues that need attention, but my main areas of focus would be on preserving our current residents and making sure they are being heard. Densification as a means to achieve affordable housing has not proven to be successful in cities with high job growth. Rather, it often has exacerbated the lack of affordability and increases traffic. Rapidly rising housing prices and rental rates in Boulder are driving out the middle class and lower-income residents. I intend to make sure big businesses and large developments are paying more into our affordable housing and transportation funds. These funds can help relieve skyrocketing rents, housing prices, and property taxes. We can also use this money to improve our infrastructure so we can reduce traffic and maintain our Open Space.
I believe it's very important to me that we change our city's engagement process to residents have more input early on. This way projects will be partnerships, not burdens.
Along with pressing forward on municipalizaiton, I think it's important to try and ban fracking within city limits and help to get it out of Boulder County as well. The best way to keep everyone safe and decarbonize is to leave the carbon in the ground. I think it's also important that we do far more carbon capture in the city. Increasing our tree canopy and switching out public lands grass with natural grass and plants would help immensely, and help our pollinators in the process.
We must also hold RTD accountable for the broken promises of mass transit. Right now we're paying for a train we may not get until past 2050. At minimum we should get that money back to use on our own systems, unless we get the train and bus services that we actually need to reduce our single occupancy vehicle usage. We must join with our surrounding cities to take legal action and ensure we have outcomes that will actually help our transportation systems and climate.
I first came to Boulder in 1980. I was a young climber at the time, and I fell in love with a city that combined breathtaking physical beauty with a population of committed, creative people. It was many years before I was able to move here, and during that time I was a real estate attorney and later a real estate developer in New York City, in which capacity I specialized in the adaptive reuse of 19th century industrial buildings into modern residences. I generally worked in Landmarked districts; I have a very strong interest in historic preservation. I am pleased to note that I never demolished a building to replace it with a modern glass and steel structure. In Boulder I was a member of the advisory committee to the City Council on commercial development linkage fees. It is this background in housing, zoning and land use issues that I want to bring to Council, where I hope to make a positive contribution to the analysis and resolution the many issues that have become so contentious in our public debate. I believe I will bring a measured, common sense approach to the issues affecting our community and attempt to reach solutions that will benefit all of us.. In my personal life I have been previously active in politics as an anti-war activist in the '70s, a voter registration activist in Mississippi on behalf of Charles Evers, the first African-American candidate for state-wide office since Reconstruction, and a speechwriter for a U.S. Senator. I have been together with my wife for more than 33 years (although married for only 22; our decision-making process was a bit slow) and still climb when I can (a bit limited during the campaign, of course). I am sad to report that time has not enhanced my skills at that activity. My education consists of a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Columbia University.
I fully support our many programs to deal with homelessness in Boulder, and if the financial climate were more robust, I would support an expansion of those programs with increased funding. Organizations such as Bridge House, Effa and the Homeless Shelter are performing important work for our community. We must also lobby the State for increased funding for programs to treat drug addiction and mental health issues, as a significant portion of the homeless population suffers from either or both of these problems. However, I also believe in more enforcement against inappropriate or violent behaviors that make our population feel unsafe or threatened. We have to make sure that our public spaces are safe and welcoming for all residents of Boulder. And I support the camping ban on Open Space land. Open Space is the most precious resource that we have, and the defining characteristic of Boulder. Its conservation and preservation are a very high priority for me; I oppose Open Space camping.
Obviously, affordable housing is the critical component of support for low-and fixed-income families and individuals. And I am particularly interested in providing more housing for families. We need to expand the toolbox for creating affordable housing. Inclusionary zoning requires the construction of 2-3 units of market rate housing in order to provide 1 unit of affordable housing. In a city where land is scarce and the potential for additional housing is limited, we need strategies to change that ratio. We still have a few city-owned and under-utilized real estate assets in town that can be repurposed for predominantly affordable housing, and I would support doing so. I also believe we should try to provide more municipally owned manufactured home communities. With City ownership, vulnerable residents would no longer face arbitrary and punitive evictions or uncontrolled rent increases. ADUs are useful, but only one tool in a broader strategy.
My long-term vision for economic development in Boulder is based on measured growth that is oriented toward that which benefits the community, not merely benefiting out-of-state investors. It is no accident that some of the largest recent development projects in town (the Reve, the Parc Mosaic, for example) have been funded by companies that have little or no connection to the community. And the Opportunity Zone creates yet a further incentive for institutional capital to invest here. I want future growth that emphasizes small start-ups in such growth industries as those facilitating the transition to clean energy over Class A office space. Finally, we need to get over the panic every time a firm locates in Louisville or Longmont instead of Boulder. Economic development is a regional issue, and every success for our neighbors does not mean the start of Boulder’s economic decline. We currently have 60,000 more jobs than residents to fill them; our economy remains strong.
I am a supporter of the municipalization process for two primary reasons. First, I believe it would be the most consequential action we can take towards meeting our 2030 environmental goals. Xcel is still heavily dependent on coal for its energy in Colorado, and as a State we still obtain 54% of our energy for coal, which ranks us 39th among all states in terms of coal reliance. That is unsatisfactory. And Xcel’s promise to convert to renewable energy by 2050 is merely a promise, of no greater weight than the promise that we would now have a light rail connection to Denver. In addition, the people of Boulder have chosen more than once to pursue this path, and those votes need to be respected. This community has spoken that this is a process that they want to see carried through and the costs put before them for their final decision. We should do so, and let them choose our ultimate path. I trust the judgment of Boulder's voters on this critical issue. Allow them to exercise it.
There are general issues such as creating affordable housing, properly funding Open Space maintenance (I support Ballot Measure 2I) and combating climate change, which I have address below. On a more specific level, we must try to revitalize our conversations with CU to try to reach agreement on the CU South project so that we can finally provide flood protection for the communities most vulnerable to flooding. However, we must also recognize the complexity and difficulty of this negotiation; those who promise immediate results are not really acknowledging that reality. Parties at the table include Open Space, CDOT, EPA, the State Engineer and the Army Corp. of Engineers. And CU has not been a cooperative partner so far, making a number of unreasonable demands that only serve to slow the process down. I am committed to getting it done, and I regard it as an issue of the first priority, but I will not over-promise and under-deliver on this highly complex issue.
Reducing climate change begins with the muni, but there is more that we can do. We can incentivize passive solar design in our large-scale development projects. This design philosophy (imported from Europe), has proven so successful and cost effective that in New York it is now utilized on large-scale affordable home projects. We can try to work with RTD to improve our bus system to encourage people to leave their cars behind. We can similarly work with our sister cities, such as Longmont, to greatly improve mass transit between us. We can work to improve practices on our agricultural lands to foster carbon sequestration. We can embark on a substantial tree-planting program within the City to offset the impacts of so much concrete surface area. And we can foster more adaptive reuse of existing buildings to lessen the environmental impacts of demolition and replacement with new structures.
In 2011, on my 50th birthday, I retired after 25 years as a lawyer and a senior telecommunications company executive, so that I could dedicate all of my time in service to my adopted hometown of Boulder. Over the next few years, I assumed leadership positions with a variety of Boulder nonprofit and civic organizations. I served as chairman of the city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. I served as president of the Boulder History Museum, secretary of the Dairy Arts Center, and treasurer of the Colorado Chautauqua Association. I am a founding member of the Downtown Boulder Foundation and of the Rainbows Over Pearl Pride Month initiative. I read to kindergartners through the YWCA Reading to End Racism program, and I am an adjunct professor at the CU law school. My wife, Katy, and I volunteer as caretakers at Boulder’s historic Columbia Cemetery, and as leaders of the Conference on World Affairs.
But my proudest accomplishment in the eight years since I retired was leading the planning, design, and funding of the Museum of Boulder, and serving as its chairman. Since the new $10 million museum opened last year at the former Masonic Lodge at Broadway and Pine, more than 60,000 visitors have learned about Boulder’s history and its innovation and leadership in science, technology, natural foods, and athletics. Families have invented together in the museum’s maker space. Young children learn by playing in the children’s discovery area. And we bring the world to Boulder in the traveling exhibit space, with new interactive displays every few weeks.
After I was elected to city council in 2015, I accepted appointments as the council’s liaison to Boulder Housing Partners, the Downtown Business Improvement District, the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, the National League of Cities, two sister city committees, and to the city council’s audit and retreat committees. During my four years on council, I have focused much of my effort on low-income and middle-income housing, approving the creation of more than 500 units of low-income housing and co-authoring the middle-income down payment assistance program that will be Issue 2-I on this fall’s ballot. I have worked closely with the city’s service providers as they implemented a coordinated entry program that has helped more than 600 people exit homelessness in less than two years. I have successfully advocated for a significant increase in funding for culture and the arts, now more than triple the level than when I first joined council. I have fought for the prompt construction of effective flood mitigation facilities on South Boulder Creek. And, I have required the city staff to provide more budget transparency and fiscal restraint, ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and efficiently on those services that our community needs and desires.
I am a lawyer, a businessman, a fiscal conservative, and a social liberal. I am a historic preservationist, a patron of the arts, an environmentalist, and a musician. I have traveled to 52 countries and all 50 states. I am a teacher to 5-year-olds and a professor to 25-year-olds. I have been a devoted husband for 36 years (and counting), and I am the father of two fine young men. I am a community leader and, for the past four years, an elected official. I am here to serve the community. I seek this opportunity to continue my service.
Since I was elected to city council in 2015, I have been a leader in requiring that we provide effective and compassionate service to the unhoused in our community, while ensuring that the members of the 99 percent of our community who are housed are able to live in a clean and safe environment. I was an advocate for the creation of our coordinated entry program in October 2017, allowing our homelessness service providers to direct people to the housing services they need, based on the causes of their homelessness. In the two years since that program was launched, more than 600 people have exited homelessness in our community. We currently provide 210 emergency shelter and transition beds, and we increase that number to more than 280 during the cold winter months. As long as we provide shelter for those who need it, I believe that Boulder should continue the policy, embraced by hundreds of cities across the country, to prohibit overnight camping in Boulder’s parks and open space.
As a commissioner on the board of Boulder Housing Partners, I have approved the creation of hundreds of new units of permanently affordable low-income housing over the past four years. As a city council member, I voted to reform the rules around co-ops and accessory dwelling units in Boulder, increasing the availability of these market-affordable housing options. And I have supported the creation of more than 100 units of permanent supportive housing units for the formerly homeless, including at the Attention Homes facility for at-risk youth in downtown Boulder. In partnership with council colleague Sam Weaver, I created the city’s middle-income down payment assistance program which, if approved by the voters this fall, will help about 100 people who work in Boulder, live in Boulder.
First, unlike most cities, Boulder does not need to create tax incentive or other governmental interventions to encourage businesses to start or grow here. It happens pretty organically, due to Boulder’s natural beauty and access to a smart and well-trained work force. With that said, there are geographic areas in Boulder than need some assistance, most pointedly Diagonal Plaza and the Hill commercial district. At Diagonal Plaza, city staff and city council are working with the owners of the various parcels to attempt to create a critical mass of space that will accommodate a new, mixed-use community of affordable housing and neighborhood-serving retail. On the Hill, we are working with property owners and investors to build a new hotel that will both serve the new CU conference center that is being constructed across the street, and which will be a year-round anchor for Hill businesses that suffer with the seasonality of student customers.
I have always been opposed, because I believe that Boulder will be more successful in addressing climate change by collaborating with electric power providers, rather than suing them. After nearly a decade of litigation, in which we have spent more than $22 million in taxpayer money, we have not made much progress. And while slightly more than 50 percent of the voters authorized the continuation of the municipalization endeavor when we last checked in with them in 2017, much has changed since then. Xcel Energy has significantly reduced its reliance on fossil fuels, with an achievable plan to do more in the coming years. In parallel, last spring, the state legislature added material requirements for renewable energy use for all electric providers in the state. In light of these changes, and in light of the city’s lack of success in progressing the municipalization effort, I believe that city council needs to check in with the voters again, in either 2020 or 2021.
The two most pressing issues are housing and transportation. I have written elsewhere in this questionnaire about housing, so let me focus on transportation. We have $21 million in deferred capital investments in the city’s transportation systems. On top of that, we are underfunding the city’s transportation operating budget by $23 million per year. This money is needed to repair and maintain our streets, provider safer pathways, sidewalks, and crossings for our cyclists and pedestrians, and fill in the gaps where RTD can’t or won’t provide adequate transit services. In 2020, we will need to look at ways to fund these shortfalls, likely involving some sort of tax for the voters to weigh in on. If we don’t, Boulder will continue to fall further behind in providing safe and convenient ways to get around, regardless of the mode of transportation.
Locally, I support the Partners for Climate Mobilization initiative, as set forth in the Climate Mobilization Action Plan approved by my council colleagues and me on July 9, 2019. Through these partnerships and funding sources, Boulder can be a leader in meaningful and replicable climate action in several areas, including reducing vehicle carbon emissions, through solar installations, in natural gas conversions in homes and businesses, and with innovative carbon sequestration techniques. Nationally, I believe that the city should support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763). I am a member of the Boulder chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which is a nationwide organization seeking bipartisan support for the Carbon Dividend Act. By spreading the gap between the cost of carbon and the cost of renewables, individuals, companies, and governments will make the conversion to carbon-free sources much more quickly.