Daily Camera (Boulder)

Rachael Rollins vs. GOP


Boston is one of the few major cities in the U.S. in which violent crime dropped in 2021. The most startling statistic was the decrease in homicide, which fell by nearly a third.

These numbers are extremely inconvenie­nt for Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mcconnell, a Kentucky Republican, who is trying to block the appointmen­t of Rachael Rollins as U.S. attorney for Massachuse­tts. Rollins is currently the district attorney of Suffolk County, Massachuse­tts.

Mcconnell this month intoned against Rollins for being “soft on crime,” apparently because she has instructed her prosecutor­s to focus their attention on the county’s most dangerous and serious offenses. Too bad for Mcconnell that her approach may be showing extraordin­arily positive results.

Too bad, too, for GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who lumped Rollins in with other Democrats whose actions he claims have “resulted in a historic increase in murders.”

And too bad for GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who went on a long rant against Rollins during her nomination hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee last month for not prosecutin­g crimes like trespassin­g and shopliftin­g.

Rollins has been among President

Joe Biden’s smartest appointmen­ts, and if her nomination is finally approved, she would become the top federal prosecutor in Massachuse­tts, handling cases involving national security. Cruz’s complaints about nonprosecu­tion of shopliftin­g are a non sequitur.

So what’s really going on here? One clue is the Senate Republican­s’ treatment of two previous Biden Justice

Department nomination­s earlier this year. As with Rollins, they tried to turn back the appointmen­ts of civil rights champions Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general and Kristen Clarke as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division. They ultimately were confirmed on the Senate floor.

It’s worth noting that all three lawyers are women. Two are Black, one is of Indian descent. Their careers have focused on equal justice.

Elected Republican­s continue to hitch their political wagons to the most reactionar­y segments of U.S. policing, which feel threatened by “defund” rhetoric. Mcconnell, Cotton, Cruz and others have followed their lead by making the specious assertion that Democrats have indeed stripped police of resources, when in fact, in almost all U.S. cities, law enforcemen­t funding continues to increase or hold steady.

Biden’s nomination of Rollins, while hardly radical, represents a threat to the Republican narrative about Democrats and crime.

The point is that when GOP senators claim that Rollins’ policies increase crime, they’re just making things up to justify blocking one of the nation’s most successful criminal justice leaders.

Biden has other U.S. attorney positions to fill as well, including in the Central District of California, which covers Los Angeles and six other counties. He should pick more people like Rollins: lawyers who are smart, tough, principled, innovative and effective. They will get Republican pushback. And if they stay the course, they will overcome it and we will all be better for it.

City Council

Vote for qualified candidates

This election season we have some dynamic and qualified individual­s running for City Council. I want to share who I feel will gently steer Boulder in the best direction on issues like affordabil­ity and environmen­tal stewardshi­p while enhancing the great things we love about our city.

Matt Benjamin has been a creative, positive, and productive influencer in our community over the years. His background in science and education informs his passion for policies that will protect our planet and keep Boulder at the forefront of environmen­tal innovation. He values creating vibrant/walkable neighborho­ods, promoting housing affordabil­ity, and accelerati­ng green transporta­tion solutions, and offers collaborat­ive, solution-focused approaches to solving Boulder’s most daunting challenges.

Lauren Folkerts chairs the city’s Design Advisory Board (DAB). In my work on city boards and commission­s, I’ve seen her collaborat­e effectivel­y with other community leaders toward excellent public policy outcomes. Lauren’s experience as an architect will bring excellent perspectiv­es to the council in areas that affect our built environmen­t. She has a great eye for what makes neighborho­ods inviting and walkable.

Nicole Speer’s experience at CU’S Institute for Cognitive Science, along with her long track record of volunteeri­ng in the community, has provided her with incredible insight that will help her steer our community in the right direction. I’m excited about her ideas for addressing Boulder’s challenges around affordable housing. Nicole will push hard toward solutions for making Boulder more inclusive.

Dan Williams is an attorney who volunteers for the ACLU of Colorado. Dan brings enthusiasm and a unique set of skills to the mix of candidates for Boulder City Council. He has outlined forward-looking goals with solutions that will be crucial to Boulder in addressing challenges around transporta­tion, climate change, social justice, and housing affordabil­ity.

I hope you will join me in supporting these great candidates. fur and fur sales won’t impact local businesses. It most certainly will. A significan­t number of businesses in Boulder will be impacted along with other unintended consequenc­es.

Many have realized 301 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The Boulder Chamber, the Downtown Boulder Partnershi­p, and others are urging a NO Vote. Here’s why.

Because of the ambiguous and inconsiste­nt language used in the measure, many popular shearling and fur items, such as Uggs, alpaca, and felt hats could be interprete­d to be banned.

The Boulder Chamber says they are concerned about the impact on local retailers who carry shoes, boots and hats that incorporat­e natural fibers. “The proponents claim these products weren’t targeted for the proposed ban, but the initiative’s language creates a concerning level of ambiguity.”

While there are few exemptions, the ballot measure reads, “It shall be unlawful to manufactur­e, sell, display for sale, distribute, or trade for monetary or nonmonetar­y considerat­ion any Fur or Fur Product in the City.”

If the proponents really believed that no businesses would be impacted by 301, then why run the measure in the first place? Because 301 is an effort by outside interests and extremist groups to use Boulder as a test for a larger agenda of “total and complete animal liberation,” as the proponents have said.

The Boulder Chamber recognized this fact when they wrote, “We are troubled by the trend of national advocacy groups using Boulder as a proving ground for their untested measures.”

There are numerous problems with 301, but at the heart is consumer choice. If local consumers oppose buying fur products, then they should vote with their dollars and not buy them. But don’t think that fast fashion of cheaply made synthetic plastic-based clothing that ends up in a landfill after a season or two is doing the environmen­t any favors.

The leaders of the Boulder business community and local retailers who will most certainly who will be impacted will not be fooled by this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Vote NO on 301.


A poorly designed measure

Just as with the “Make America Great Again” slogan, “Bedrooms Are For People” (Propositio­n 300) has exactly the opposite impact of what a cursory read of the title implies. This poorly designed ballot initiative will only serve to increase housing costs and density at the expense of our neighborho­ods. There are NO provisions for affordabil­ity and NO limits on the number of bedrooms that can be added to a house!

An architect friend of mine recently ran me through this scary, but realistic, land planning scenario. He used a typical residentia­l lot in the Aurora 7 neighborho­od to show how easy it is to add a substantia­l number of bedroom units to a singlefami­ly home. The result was creating a stealth dormitory with 11 bedrooms that could easily increase the income potential of the property by 350%. The siren song of this level of profitabil­ity will lure even more investors and developers to Boulder, thereby dramatical­ly increasing land values in our last affordable family neighborho­ods. It could happen in anybody’s neighborho­od, driving families out of neighborho­ods to the demise of our neighborho­od elementary schools that have been seeing a substantia­l drop of enrollment because of the unaffordab­ility of housing. It will drive out older residents on fixed incomes who had hoped to spend their retirement years in the community they raised their children in.

Mayor Sam Weaver said it best. “Ballot Measure 300 is an inflexible, misguided approach to increasing rental occupancy that will sacrifice middle-income housing for investor-driven stealth dormitorie­s in Boulder’s few attainable ownership locations. While it is backed with appealing slogans, Ballot Measure 300 is a clumsy tool that will be deeply divisive and rife with unintended consequenc­es that will be very hard to correct.”

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