You haven’t heard much from us lately, mostly because we’ve been busy working our way through the arduous co-op licensing process, and helping others do the same. But we’ve got a very important City Council election before us, and in Colorado, you can register to vote right up until Election Day (more on how to do that at the end of this post).
The short version is we strongly support
Eric Budd, Jill Grano, and Jan Burton.
More details on why and what’s at stake for co-ops in this election below!
We got a new co-op ordinance passed in January, but since then there’s been organizing against co-ops behind the scenes. Opponents are trying to get the new law interpreted in a way that makes it unusable. We need your help to ensure that the next Council is supportive of affordable, sustainable, shared housing.
At their first meeting on November 21st, the new Council will give city staff direction on how to implement the co-op ordinance. If Council is not supportive of cooperatives, it’s possible that our first round of co-op licenses will also be the last.
We have organized our endorsements into 3 categories: Support, Consider, and Avoid. Remember: you can vote for a maximum of 5 candidates. If you vote for more, all of your city council votes will be tossed out.
Eric Budd (YES)
Eric has been a strong supporter of co-ops for years, dedicating many volunteer hours to passing the new law enabling cooperative housing. He’s also been an outspoken critic of Boulder’s restrictive occupancy limits, that prevent unrelated people from sharing a home. He’s done this work because he believes in it, even though he owns his own home (a small condo). He sees the affordability, sustainability, social equity, and community building benefits of this way of life. We have no doubt that Eric would be a strong co-op ally and a thoughtful voice on Council.
Jill Grano (YES)
Jill has served on the Thistle Communities board, so she has direct experience creating affordable housing. She has also been a strong advocate for Boulder’s mobile home communities. Even when faced with hostile audiences, throughout her council campaign Jill has been unwavering and eloquent in her support for cooperative housing. As an openly queer mother of two, she has experienced firsthand the challenges of redefining the meaning of family, a theme that resonates with many of us who see our cooperatives as a chosen family.
Learn more about Jill at https://www.jillforcitycouncil.com
Jan Burton (YES)
Jan is running for re-election. Over the last two years she has been a strong voice for housing generally on Council. She has specifically called out the exclusionary nature of zoning on several occasions. She has been consistently supportive of housing cooperatives and allowing small backyard cottages, carriage houses, and other modest dwellings that re-use existing homes more efficiently. We very much hope to see her re-elected this year — hopefully for a four year term this time!
You can learn more about Jan at https://www.janforboulder.com
Mark McIntyre (MAYBE)
Mark isn’t a candidate we have a lot of direct experience with. However, we like what we’ve heard him say on the campaign trail, including openly calling Boulder’s occupancy laws unjust. He seems like he would be a strong proponent of community housing, and enabling different types of households to share space. He is strongly supported by Betsey Martens, former Executive Director of Boulder Housing Partners, whom we highly respect on housing policy more generally.
Learn more about Mark at: https://www.markforcouncil.com
Sam Weaver (MAYBE)
Sam is a thoughtful incumbent whom we worked with directly on the new co-op ordinance. However, he is politically aligned with those who are actively opposed to our vision of abundant, affordable, community housing. To his credit, once he was presented with the policy details and data supporting our proposal, he stuck to his principles and voted to support the co-op ordinance. Unfortunately, some of the additional complexity and restrictions Sam introduced to the ordinance late in the process have made obtaining a co-op license much more challenging than it needs to be. If Sam is re-elected we think he’ll continue to be a moderate proponent of co-ops.
Learn more about Sam at: https://sam4council.wordpress.com
Ed Byrne (MAYBE)
Ed is a local land use attorney who is supportive of cooperative housing. He volunteered to work with us on an initial re-write of the dysfunctional co-op law that had been on the books since the mid-1990s. He’s also been openly critical of the city’s occupancy limits for unrelated people. While Ed is a proponent, we feel he has not gotten as much support this year as he did when he ran in 2013, and came in 7th. In such a hotly contested election splitting the vote is dangerous, which is why he isn’t getting our strongest recommendation.
Learn more about Ed at: http://byrneforcouncil.com
Mary Young (NO)
Mary strongly encouraged co-op advocates to “show up” in the civic process and get the laws changed when she was running for council in 2013. We took her advice seriously, putting in thousands of volunteer hours over the next 3.5 years. She also stood up for co-ops when the occupancy crackdown started in 2015. We were incredibly disappointed when she chose not to support a workable co-op ordinance. Mary claims support our values of diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment for the low income people of Boulder, but like Sam she is politically aligned with anti-co-op advocates and organizations. Mary says that the ordinance as passed was not enough of a compromise, but the kind of law she claimed to be willing to support would not have actually enabled housing co-ops. Mary also began her political career in Boulder by leading the opposition against the creation of a co-housing community in her neighborhood, on the site of the old Washington school.
Cindy Carlisle (NO)
Cindy has frequently used the cooperative housing ordinance as an example of “insufficient” and “poor” public process, despite the fact that co-ops were a major topic of discussion during the city’s long and wide-ranging Housing Boulder process, despite the many long public hearings on the ordinance itself, and despite the fact that housing cooperatives have been on the front page of the Daily Camera more than a dozen of times over the last four years. Cindy has given every indication that, if elected, she will attempt to repeal the new law or render it unusable. She has also been openly against changing Boulder’s occupancy limits. Former mayor and outgoing councilmember Matt Appelbaum, who served with Cindy on a past council, has said that she “will simply be a PLAN conduit, and represent the rich, elite neighborhoods of west Boulder.” We have every reason to believe he is correct.
But how do I vote?!?
You should have received your mail-in ballot already. If you haven’t, until Monday, October 30th, you can still update your voter registration online at govotecolorado.com and receive a mail in ballot. Colorado has same-day voter registration, so even if you don’t manage to update your registration by Monday, you can still register to vote and vote in person at one of Boulder’s voter service centers right up until election day, Tuesday, November 7th. Those voter service centers are at the County Clerk’s office (1750 33rd Street), and the CU Environmental Health & Safety Center (1000 Regent Drive, Room 220).
These endorsements were a consensus reached by the BoCHA Advocacy Committee members who chose to participate in the endorsement process. Participants included:
- Alāna Wilson
- Cedar Barstow
- Christina Gosnell
- Lincoln Miller
- Neshama Abraham
- Phillip Horner
- SarahDawn Haynes
- Sean Collins
- Zane Selvans