Letters 10/15: On voting and endorsements

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Current Commissioners on 2020 candidates

Serving the people of Boulder County for the last eight years has been the honor of a lifetime for both of us, but like a long distance relay race, due to term limits, it’s time for us to pass the batons to the next set of commissioners. While it’s sad to say goodbye, the departure is made easier knowing that we can hand them off to two very capable and committed candidates: Marta Loachamin and Claire Levy.

As a small business owner, teacher and housing advocate, Marta has firsthand expertise with budgeting, management and communication, as well as a passion for tackling housing affordability and resilience. If elected, she will be the first commissioner of color ever elected in Boulder County, and will use her lived experience to further progress on racial equity, climate justice and outreach to underserved populations in our county. 

Claire has served as a state representative, assistant county attorney and executive director of a nonprofit organization focused on poverty solutions, gaining a wealth of applicable skills and experience. As a policy advocate and community activist, she has focused on a range of issues from criminal justice reform and environmental protection to minimum wage and civil rights.

Both Marta and Claire prioritize outreach to and representation of all of Boulder County’s residents, and ensuring that government is fair, transparent and responsive.

While we’re proud of what we accomplished, there are many urgent challenges left to address, including continuing our efforts to help the County recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackle the climate crisis, fight against racial injustice and expand affordable housing opportunities. Marta and Claire are the right candidates to carry on this critical work and more.

Elise Jones and Deb Gardner, Boulder County Commissioners

For a National Popular Vote

We were very disappointed to see the Boulder Weekly come out against Proposition 113 in its Oct. 8 editorial endorsements. This is a proposition that came after the duly elected state legislature passed the bill through both houses and the duly elected governor signed it. It’s on the ballot because U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s personal political action committee and astroturf groups pushed the referendum clause of the state constitution to force the issue.

As the Weekly stated, choosing the president should happen by national popular vote. On this, we agree.

The Electoral College maintains a racist distribution of voting power. The particular way that Electoral College votes are unequally distributed means that, per sociologist Sean Darling-Hammond, a white person has 1.02 votes for president, while a Black person has 0.98 votes, and a Hispanic person has 0.93 votes. Putting a president whom a majority of Americans voted against into office isn’t the only injustice of this outdated system — the racial injustices it inflicts on our country are too big to ignore.

The Weekly argued that a constitutional amendment is a more procedurally correct way of replacing the Electoral College with a popular vote. This “right way” is similarly structured, by the same overt 18th-century racism that gave us the infamous Three-fifths Compromise, to give more weight to white voices.

A constitutional amendment requires ratification in at least 38 states, giving leverage to the whitest, least populous, states. By suggesting we wait for an amendment likely to never happen, the Weekly suggested that we leave things unchanged.

The Weekly’s call for maintaining the status quo becomes therefore a call to delay advancing racial justice. If it is true that justice delayed is justice denied, we think all ethical Coloradans must vote for Prop 113.

Kit La Touche, Allison McCarthy and Kim Hoff/via internet

Avoid buyer’s remorse

Don’t let a monopoly keep its hands in your pocket. Avoid buyer’s remorse. Get the facts: empowerourfuture.org. Vote no on 2C (Xcel franchise). 

Chris Hoffman/Boulder

For Marta Loachamin

As a newly elected City Councilor for the City of Lafayette, I urge you to vote for Marta Lochamin for County Commissioner.

I have studied and practiced leadership with local scientists, strategic thinkers, innovative visionaries and young leaders just starting their careers. Today, I see a need for humanity to bring our three-legged stool of sustainable existence back into balance. A couple of the legs need shoring up and the third is trembling under the load. Those legs are equity, environment and economy. Marta has already shown leadership in supporting these critical societal needs. She created a path to housing for disenfranchised victims in the 2013 flood, participated in natural disaster preparedness planning for the county, and is a single mother, while running her own business. She has demonstrated the ability to identify problems, gather the necessary resources and then fix those problems; she sets a vision and sees it to fruition. Her efforts span our county’s physical, language and cultural boundaries. 

In an era of rapid anthropogenic global climate change. Marta’s broad skill set is imperative. The ripple effect of changes to our globe’s climate system will impact everyone. I have learned that systemic and institutionalized barriers to people of color must be removed, and our population engaged in helping humanity adapt to our Earth’s shifting climate regimes. Enacting a process of engagement will require cultural brokers. I love Marta’s comment that she is here to lead, not sit on a diversity board. She not only is a culture broker, she ensures new ones are trained. Leaders like Marta help all residents get the help they need but also be empowered to help themselves.

Tim Barnes, Lafayette City Councilor

For Prop 114, wolf reintroduction

I am writing with my fervent hope that we can all come together in our support of Prop 114, the Wolf Reintroduction measure currently on the ballot. As a native New Yorker, my family spent our summers traveling to Estes Park and then on to Yellowstone and Glacier to see wildlife that had long disappeared from the east coast. I always wanted to live in Colorado to experience wildlife and the natural world. Prop 114 takes an important step in restoring the wolf population and therefore the natural ecosystem’s fragile balance that is critical in maintaining the Colorado we love. 

Twenty-five years of research from wolf restorations in Yellowstone National Park and Idaho highlight the successes of wolf reintroduction. Bringing wolves back to Colorado is essential to rectifying the assault on this species of past generations — it is our duty as stewards of the natural lands and residents of Colorado. In fact, a great majority of Colorado residents agree with me on this measure, with a recent Colorado State University survey finding that over 84% of Coloradans support wolf reintroduction. This support is consistent throughout the state, signifying its legislative strength. 

I hope all will look to the scientific data regarding wolf interaction with livestock and ranchers rather than entertaining the falsehoods being spread by fearful anti-wolf contingents. In the Northern Rockies, far less than one-tenth of 1% of livestock that live in wolf-occupied counties are lost to wolves. In the rare event this does occur, Prop 114 provides fair compensation for losses. I urge everyone who is a Colorado resident and cares about the future of our beautiful, wild Colorado to support Prop 114 and restore the natural balance of our fragile ecosystems. I hope everyone will join us in endorsing this important step in ensuring Colorado beauty and diversity is here for generations to come. To show your support for this crucial legislation, add your name at the link below. wolfactionfund.com/endorse-our-campaign

Carol Neustadter/via internet

Endorsement of Loachamin

I wholeheartedly endorse Marta Loachamin as a candidate for Boulder County Commissioner. Marta has been a contributor to the betterment of our county community for a long time. 

Being a county commissioner is about more than overseeing budgets and road projects. It is about improving the lives of the people in Boulder County. 

Marta is an advocate for the underserved in this county and is an entrepreneur and businesswoman. She is a bilingual speaker who has served numerous community service organizations, including the board of United Longmont Hospital, as a consultant to the Community Foundation and as a member of the Hispanic Wealth Project. 

For the first time in Boulder County history, we have an opportunity to seat a Latina leader on the Board of County Commissioners. It will be a significant step towards the representation of a larger percentage of county residents. Boulder County is more than a collection of privileged upper-income subdivisions.  

It is more important than ever that the Boulder County government benefit from diverse leadership. Marta has made a practice of giving back to the community. Her dedication and passion for doing so are rooted in the sense of personal responsibility. Her background is uniquely varied, inclusive of her link to the immigrant experience. She, more so than the other candidates, understands how finance, investment, and property ownership significantly impact a family’s life. Her perspective isn’t about growing businesses as much as it is about growing families. 

Geoffrey W. Simpson/Boulder