A reason to celebrate

Democracy still alive and well when citizens overcome corporate money


The growing corporatization of America, the control that major companies and their lobbyists have over our elected officials, the back-room deals struck between the wealthy and the powerful.

These are things that can make one lament the power of the almighty dollar in this country, and sometimes cast doubt on whether the democratic republic our forefathers envisioned is still in there somewhere, under all of those bought votes.

The cynical among us might be tempted to give up in the face of uphill battles against well-heeled corporate interests. After all, what chance does the little guy have when taking on the Xcels, Monsantos and Encanas of the world?

Well, if a handful of local examples of democracy in action in recent years are any indication, the power of the people is still alive and well, at least in Boulder County.

In honor of the Fourth of July, Boulder Weekly decided to take a look at some of the inspiring grassroots efforts we have seen lately, efforts in which good, old-fashioned activism and volunteerism, against all odds, overcame extremely well-funded corporate opposition.

From fracking to municipalization to, of all things, a fiber-optic network in Longmont, we have seen several instances recently of the will of the common folk emerging victorious, despite tremendous challenges posed by industry and its money.

We hope this package restores your sense of confidence that democracy, at least on the local level, continues to thrive. 

About face, by Jefferson Dodge

Municipalization battle, by David Accomazzo

Longmont fractivists overcame $443K campaign to pass ban, by Elizabeth Miller

Fiber power, by Steve Weishampel