Daily Camera (Boulder)

Open Forum

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Divisive election

My words had little impact

Afew weeks ago I wrote a guest opinion exhorting the community to abandon the overheated, divisive and personal attacks that some have utilized during this campaign. I was issuing a call for civility during and after the campaign. I thought my piece was reasonably well argued, and might even change a few minds.

I clearly did not recognize how little impact my words would have. In the past couple of days someone has been posting fliers with extraordin­arily personal attacks on one of the candidates, Steve Rosenblum. He is accused of bribing police officers (what?), racism, hatred of the homeless and more. Of course, there is no evidence for any of this; facts are apparently so last century.

As I have written previously, this has nothing to do with Steve’s merits as a candidate. I believe those merits are substantia­l, and I support him, but if you do not, fine. Vote accordingl­y. That is all part of the democratic process. But targeting a candidate with baseless accusation­s is outrageous. Bribing police? Racism? Would it be too much to ask for even a smidgen of factual basis for these claims? Hatred of the homeless? Guess who is the only candidate who has actually built housing for the homeless? That would be Steve. No one else.

Naturally, no one has stepped forward to claim responsibi­lity. Perpetrato­rs of this sort of thing rarely do. They hide in the shadows and believe that winning, even in a manner that conflicts with our democratic values, justifies their behavior. I hope that you will take a different approach and judge Steve — and all candidates — on the merits of their proposals, and their actual character, not on false portrayals by small, hateful individual­s. Let election day be a repudiatio­n of their tactics.

Bedrooms

Attacks on Nextdoor

When it comes to housing in Boulder, opposition often makes “great” the enemy of the “good.” Take the Bedrooms Are For People ballot measure (300) for example. It should surprise no one that a cadre of multimilli­on dollar homeowners are vocally opposed to sharing their neighborho­ods with residents who must pool resources on shared housing in order to live affordably here.

Opposition, usually galvanized on the Nextdoor app, has veered into intensely negative, judgmental attacks on the young, low-income families, and seniors who would benefit most from Measure 300. I’ve seen outrageous comments denigratin­g the intellect of young people and lamenting the “disintegra­tion” of Boulder, and so on.

And I hear opponents — those who are already comfortabl­y settled in Boulder — voice all-ornothing demands that include maintainin­g the status quo for high housing costs, keeping “neighborho­od character” intact, and means-testing every new occupant to ensure that only the most worthy are allowed to live among us.

The one thing I never hear from opponents? Solutions. Instead of “no, I don’t think that’s a good idea, but what about this?” it’s just “no.” And that, to me, is a red flag.

If we want to make actual progress on major issues we face: climate change and affordabil­ity, we must work on meaningful solutions to reduce mounting ozone levels caused by excessive driving and in-commuting. We’d invest in nondiscrim­inatory, affordable housing options that allow people to live where they work, and with whom they choose, because those options support our young neighbors, our senior neighbors, and our low-income neighbors.

That’s part of living up to the values we say we embrace, Boulder. Measure 300 is one move in that direction, because we need to be acting on solutions, not simply accepting “no” for every forward step. I’m voting yes on 300.

Deann Bucher

I taught with her

Iam writing to express my support of Deann Bucher for Boulder Valley School Board. was privileged to teach with Deann for over 10 years. I saw her tirelessly support students with varying abilities, seamlessly individual­izing curriculum for the needs of all her students, and energizing many students for whom school held little attraction. Not surprising­ly, Deann moved to the District Level and created a Social Studies curriculum to engage the diversity of students throughout Boulder Valley. A respecter of widely varying viewpoints, Deann was often a mediator who achieved positive outcomes for those who were in disagreeme­nt. She consistent­ly held a global and inclusive view of the perspectiv­es held by all stakeholde­rs in our community.

Now she seeks to bring her expertise and experience to the Boulder Valley School Board.

She will prove to be an energetic champion of diversity, and a supporter of the rigorous and progressiv­e educationa­l approach that BVSD students require.

The challenges that Boulder Valley school District faces both short and long term are complex. I believe her leadership will be invaluable.

Bedrooms

Hoping to stay

Walking around my quiet Boulder neighborho­od, children are playing on our street and neighbors are out to chat. I love where I live and the people I live near. I’m voting for Bedrooms Are For People, ballot measure 300, in hopes that it will allow me to stay.

When I moved to Boulder one year ago without a job, even the cheapest housing options stressed me out. I’m lucky — I have a highly marketable engineerin­g degree that helped me start work after less than a month of unemployme­nt. Even still, the rent that I pay in one of Boulder’s “affordable” neighborho­ods is pretty close to being

30% of my income, which is a common threshold for measuring housing insecurity. huduser .gov/portal/pdredge/pdr-edgefeatd-article-081417.html

And I would love to have kids, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to have them in Boulder. Like so many other young profession­als, I will have to move soon if I want to start saving up enough money to have a family. We need to protect today’s families, and also provide for tomorrow’s.

Measure 300 isn’t going to single-handedly make room in Boulder for all of us. But it might allow me and my two roommates, who are a couple but are not married, to legally sublet our third unoccupied bedroom. And if not that, at least it would let someone struggling to find a place to sleep make use of a space that is currently wasted.

Tara Winer

She’s my neighbor

Tara Winer has been a neighbor for many years and I have had the pleasure of seeing her children grow and now her grandchild. Clearly she cares deeply about leaving a better environmen­t for her family. But with her business and organizati­onal background she has the skill set to make a real difference. There is no finer candidate for city council in this special place called Boulder.

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