Letters: May 7, 2020

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Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Council’s accessibility issue

Boulder City Council’s recent special meeting, in which they voted on a city-wide mask mandate, left out 8.6% of the population — those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Five days and three emails after the last City Council meeting, the April 28 video recording still lacks captions. I believe now more than ever, our city needs to pay attention to accessibility. As audio is the only way to access Council meetings at this time, captions and transcripts should be of upmost importance. Furthermore, as there are times when video audio is not ideal, this issue goes beyond the hard of hearing. With no way for the public to comment on audio quality during the broadcast, there must be a way to ensure what was said can be clearly understood when reviewed later.

Even when captions have been provided for City Council meetings, the quality is often nonsensical. Take for example a portion of the April 7 meeting. At 12:27 the speaker says, “We need to amend the oil and gas, uh moratorium…[cuts off partially]”. The caption at that point reads, “BABY CRIB MARTIANS SO MOVED TO THEIR SECOND.”

In contrast, the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education has been able to provide fairly clear captions. Their meeting, held at the same time as City Council’s meeting on April 28, had captions available the very next morning. If the school district is able to provide this level of access, why can the City not rise to the challenge? One email response I received suggested it was due to lack of manpower and furloughs. Should those that work on accessibility not be a top priority for our city? Please join me in advocating for greater accessibility and transparency in Boulder City Council meetings.

Shelby Bates/via internet

Now’s the Time

I’ve never been an activist, a leader or a reader. It took a pandemic to wake me up. If you share even one of my shortcomings, then this message is for you.

We have the time now. Time to listen. Time to reflect. Time to discern. Time to challenge our assumptions, so that this November we can vote for the presidential candidate that’s best suited for the office. Why do nearly 49% of Americans believe that President Trump is doing a good job? Let’s examine what might be behind our beliefs and driving our decision making.

One could listen to any single speech by President Trump and believe it to be true. But try listening to his presentations repeatedly to discern inconsistencies. Think critically, not politically. Mr. Trump claims that the New York Times has “All the news that’s not fit to print.” Perhaps he would be correct if truth and accuracy were not issues. Having watched Trump’s daily press conferences since mid-March, I discovered that his words and actions matched consistently with the Times reporting.

I challenge you to set aside political assumptions and look for the truth. Ask hard questions and allow time to answer them. Seek and find what is honest and life affirming. Be bold and creative. Be a critical thinker. Our survival is at stake.

Vote with confidence in November for the person who best reflects the truth because you have spent the time to discover it for yourself.

Rosalind Moulton/via internet