1.7 Editor's Pick
October 22, 2019

Elephant Journal endorsements for Boulder City Council: Junie Joseph, Adam Swetlik, Corina Julca, Mark Wallach, Susan Peterson, Aaron Brockett.

Note: these have also been posted to Next Door, Facebook, groups, Instagram and stories—so we’re not independently sharing this blog, though you are welcome to—thus the limited viewcount! ~ ed.

Elephant’s Voting Suggestions for a less-Nasty, Cleaner Air, more Inclusive Boulder.

Here’s Elephant’s final slate-less endorsements for Boulder City Council. Our goal: to put aside slates and the kind of nastiness we see on Next Door, Facebook, Twitter—and find those with hopeful, practical, bold visions for this place we’re grateful to call home (and wish we could afford a home in, for many of us).

Good luck and appreciation to all candidates, and may Boulder remain bold in its confrontation of climate change and affordability on all fronts before it’s too late! Let’s continue to be an example city as we confront a newly terrible foe: the doubling of real estate prices and pollution of our air by wildfires and fracking.

Let’s continue to be a magical community of connection for scientists, students, farmers, natural products entrepreneurs, Buddhists and yogis, tech, social activism, the arts, and small businesses.

Let’s prioritize density in affordability in all developments, as well as innovative, green building. Let’s get folks out of their cars, where they’ll be happier and healthier. Let’s do all we can to help public transport, and stay bold in our ongoing efforts to wrest control and profits from Xcel. We got this?

Elephant has hosted forums, debates, and made endorsements for many years. We generally care about continuing Boulder’s remarkable legacy as an experiment that has made us environmentally-responsible, one of the happiest towns in the world, fun, and accessible (which has become much harder). We are not anti-growth, but we’re more “pro-community-driven development”–which is not the same as pro-developer-driven development.

  1. First of all, vote! You should have your ballot. If you don’t, call (anyone know the number) and find out how to proceed (anyone have better info here?).

2. Secondly, don’t vilify folks (unless they’re vilifying folks). It’s okay to call out aggression, just as you would a road rage driver, but let’s not fall into aggression in this town we’re lucky to call home. We have real differences–in a town where real estate prices have doubled overnight, that’s bound to happen. But we can listen, and meet face-to-face. Let’s not fall into the toxic online meanness that has sickened our national discourse. That’s on you, and me, and all of us, individually. Take a breath.

3. It’s clear to me that Slates, however well-intentioned, end of dividing us–when we all have common inspirations: inclusion and climate change, which are intimately connected. We have common “enemies”–yuppiedom, homogeneity, boring for all, leading to more and more having to drive in to work in this community, and the overwhelming urgency of addressing climate change with everything we got.

Generally, my two priorities are climate change, and affordability! Several of our wonderful candidates view Muni as, potentially, too expensive. Our children and grandchildren, if they could pull the levers of democracy back in 2019, would beg us to take any and all action against climate change’s advance. Climate change can’t be something we view as addressable if convenient. Any meaningful effort now will be cheaper now that for our children or their children.

Overall, grateful for so many caring folks willing to serve. When will Boulder pay our City Council properly, so that other than wealthy/retired/and/or workaholics working on fumes can serve our lovely town’s many needs?

My first endorsement is Aaron Brockett:

“Just met with Aaron Brockett at a quiet new cafe in town (shhh). Talked in some depth about building affordability and protecting what we have in Boulder. He’s solid and focused on that.

Talked in some depth about Muni, climate change, and the process–he’s solid, not waffly, though open to new information (as we all should be, instead of pre-judging or not listening).

Talked about the tone of politics in this town–how to go forward as a community without rancor, but with healthy and passionate disagreement. He serves a key (and sometimes lonely) role as someone on Council who can bring both sides together, and help keep the Council functional and aligned in its service of all of Boulder.

He was my first endorsement, and my easiest—he’s a clear choice for Boulder City Council.

However you vote, vote! Ballots are out!” “My third endorsement was my first, this round–he’s clearly one of the too-few who can bring Boulder citizens’ admirable passions back together in harmony and galvanize real action around urgently needed affordability (community, not developer-driven density), alternative transportation (with millions streaming into Colorado and our air quality already fracked it’s all the more vital) and climate change/municipalization (though he’s a bit waffly on it).

He knows his stuff and I’m genuinely grateful for his service.

Ladies and Gentlemen…Aaron Brockett!”

On Ballot measures, agree with Bob, an amazing community member: Boulder: Ballot Measures.

“There are four ballot measures that deserve your support as well. Colorado Prop CC, which would retain revenue for transportation and education, a no-brainer; Boulder Ballot Issue 2G, which would put a 40% tax on vaping products; Boulder Ballot Issue 2H, which would extend the Open Space tax and fund Long’s Gardens; and Boulder Ballot Issue 2i, which would fund middle income housing down payment assistance. All of these are worthy of support.

Ballots are arriving this week. However you stand on the issues, please be sure to vote. Thanks for your commitment to the city we love.”

~ Bob Morehouse

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My second endorsement? So impressed with Corina Julca.

She’s a mom of two, living in the Opportunity Zone—ironically those who would develop the Opportunity Zone…

(such a Trump view of affordable communities–it connotes opportunity for investors given tax breaks, not opportunity for citizens or small business owners)

…don’t realize that it’s home to much of our remaining affordability, she’s struggled to find an affordable two-bedroom and the OZ was it for her, now it stands to be mined for $$$ by outside investors/developers, killing one of the last areas for inclusivity, which cuts down on commuting/pollution and enriches our community which is in danger of drowning in boring, richy-rich homogeneity.

She’s running, she said straight out, despite being intimidated by English not being her first language (her English is great).

Through the conversation she impressed me more and more on her curiosity, her energy, her kindness, her willingness to learn, her lack of loyalty to Slate-ification of Boulder, her passionate caring for Muni as a social justice issue and for affordability.

It’s high time we have more Latino community representation on Council and in our City—I can’t wait to see her serve a kinder, more responsible Boulder, if given the chance.

Third endorsement. Proud to endorse Adam Swetlik.

He cares about affordability, climate change, and is both young enough to try bold solutions and experienced enough to understand the lay of the land. He’ll bring Boulderites together, and push us forward.

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Fourth endorsement. Met with Susan Peterson yesterday morning. We go back. Good to see her running again. She’s smart, analytical, decades of experience in green/tech/engineering, and she brings that analytical mind to City issues. She gets the details behind the issues, and is therefore less idealogical than some of us can get when we “believe” in something and become ready to “fight” for it, even if it’s fighting with our own community.⁠

She sees climate change as a real thing happening now and more and more, not theoretical, not later. She therefore gets the importance of municipalization, which addresses up to 80% of our emissions unlike more cosmetic but wonderful eco projects. Right now, with Boulder’s shifting demographics and priorities following, many doubt the importance of municipalization, or addressing climate change fully. Many see Xcel as a more willing partner—ironically because Municipalization has dragged them forward, though not nearly far enough.⁠

Susan prioritizes building affordability, though I’d like to see more density along with her biophilic philosophy. She’ll be great—she has the time, caring, energy, and heart. ⁠

She’s got my endorsement, and Elephant’s. She’s not just “eco,” or one one side, despite the presence of slates. She’s got integrity.⁠

Also met with Brian Dolan, good guy, and Mark McIntyre, love him on transportation. I don’t know Brian well enough to vouch, and Mark’s anti-Muni (not just ambivalent, he’s clearly against), but both are great humans and I appreciate their smarts, caring, and willingness to run.⁠

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Met with Susan Peterson yesterday morning. We go back. Good to see her running again. She’s smart, analytical, decades of experience in green/tech/engineering, and she brings that analytical mind to City issues. She gets the details behind the issues, and is therefore less idealogical than some of us can get when we “believe” in something and become ready to “fight” for it, even if it’s fighting with our own community.⁠ ⁠ She sees climate change as a real thing happening now and more and more, not theoretical, not later. She therefore gets the importance of municipalization, which addresses up to 80% of our emissions unlike more cosmetic but wonderful eco projects. Right now, with Boulder's shifting demographics and priorities following, many doubt the importance of municipalization, or addressing climate change fully. Many see Xcel as a more willing partner—ironically because Municipalization has dragged them forward, though not nearly far enough.⁠ ⁠ Susan prioritizes building affordability, though I’d like to see more density along with her biophilic philosophy. She’ll be great—she has the time, caring, energy, and heart. ⁠ ⁠ She’s got my endorsement, and Elephant’s. She's not just "eco," or one one side, despite the presence of slates. She's got integrity.⁠ ⁠ Also met with Brian Dolan, good guy, and Mark McIntyre, love him on transportation. I don't know Brian well enough to vouch, and Mark's anti-Muni (not just ambivalent, he's clearly against), but both are great humans and I appreciate their smarts, caring, and willingness to run.⁠ ⁠ #bouldercitycouncil #bouldercolorado #rosettahall #xcel #elephantjournal

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My fifth endorsement is Mark Wallach. I confronted him about his past editorials, and he gave me a thoughtful, sincere response that satisfied my concerns. That said dear friends of mine are still concerned about his tenor in some meetings and those old editorials, and I will keep my eye on him should he win and serve.

He’s a smart, capable guy with lots of experience and I’m honored that he’s willing to serve such a tough seat (City Council offers all of the notoriety with none of the respect as a State or National politician).

He’s a supporter of seeing muni through (even if you’re against it, don’t take climate change seriously, it’s good bargaining chip against Xcel and a reason they’ve begun slowly greening) (Mark is pro-muni unlike many others) and tackling climate change with everything we’ve got, I’ve grilled him about bike lanes, density, affordability and he’s answered everything thoroughly.

Note: his old editorials and some of his behavior, I’ve heard, were a bit nasty and…not what we need. I grilled him about those editorials and he thoughtfully answered the charges to me and others directly. We all have a right to learn and change our minds, and if he goes back on that, I won’t support him, as I won’t with Bob.

However you vote, Boulder citizens, vote!

Ballots are in your mailbox already.

 

I welcome all comments and suggestions, as long as constructive. Long live Boulder, and may we continue to be a remarkable city willing to be self-critical, no vicious, and confront the great obstacles–climate change, affordability–boldly.

Hopefully this is helpful, and if you disagree, I respect you! ~ Waylon

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So effing impressed with Junie. She’s got my, and Elephant Journal’s, full-throated endorsement. Concerns: she’s new to Boulder, she’s in law school and serves on two boards and Council is exhausting with meetings until 1 am and twitter and facebook hate and folks bothering you wherever you go, she’s supported by a bunch of good folks who don’t prioritize (in my view) climate change as an emergency, but as a mild sore to apply salve to. Junie and I met for an hour this morning, and she not only genuinely addressed those concerns but wholeheartedly explained her support for affordability and Municipalization. She’ll be amazing. She’s committed, and she knows how to work her hours in the day while taking care of herself. Junie for Boulder City Council! ⛰ Yes, I’m concerned about her commitments—two boards, Law School, but she’s impressed upon me her commitment and she’ll need every ounce of it to ramp up on all the tough details that lie behind every issue, like housing.

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