Letters 3/24/22

Your views: Signed, sealed, delivered...

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Correction: In the article “Choosing how to heal” (Weed Between the Lines, March 17, 2022), we incorrectly stated that if both psilocybin initiatives end up on November’s ballot and both receive enough votes to pass, the one with the most votes “wins.” The correct verbiage is “the initiative with the most votes would prevail in all particulars in which there is a conflict,” according to C.R.S. §1-40-123(2). 

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Support the library district

I support the creation of a library district for Boulder County. 

I am a senior African American woman who has lived many years in unincorporated Boulder. I was brought up in the Jim Crow South of North Carolina where everything, including libraries, was completely segregated. Topics often came up in the classroom that I wanted to know more about.  Usually the very small school library could not fulfill that desire. What I wanted to know might be in the white public library, but unfortunately, I was not allowed to use the white library.  I learned early on that there is a connection between illiteracy, education in schools, and education through available library use.   

When libraries finally opened their doors to people other than whites, it was a bittersweet joy: we could now read newspapers and magazines without having to buy a subscription; check out any book we wanted; and even ask the librarian to buy a book that it did not have!

I imagine that the doors of all libraries in the U.S. are now open to people like me as well as other diverse and underserved populations in the 21st century. However, there are still barriers that prevent optimal use and growth of our libraries: barriers that can be surmounted by a small increase in property taxes so as to rehire laid-off staff, more needed staff, attack illiteracy in Boulder through the Boulder Reads Program, and maintain buildings and resources to a safe level. 

A library district for Boulder County would ensure that more people could make use of the pleasures that so many of us enjoy and take for granted.  

Annette Dula/Boulder

In response to ‘Brittle Cities’

In response to Sam Becker’s article about affordable housing in Boulder (News, “Brittle Cities,” March 10, 2022), I have these things to say. For some reason the writing focuses on Boulder City and County, possibly because that is where the most recent tragedy affecting housing occurred, with the strongest emotional appeal. Mr. Becker says, “…the history of unaffordability in Boulder dates back to settler-colonialism and genocide of Indigenous peoples.” Well, this statement applies to unaffordability everywhere in the U.S., not just Boulder. Why is there a need to say, “…to conserve formerly inhabited land (seasonally inhabited by Indigenous peoples) for recreation, …wealthy residents (European Americans, I presume) purchased open space…(which now) forms a moat around the city.”  How is this different from any wealthy person purchasing multiple acres of land, stolen from Indigenous peoples, as private property or farm or ranch land? Is that land considered a “moat” around their house? It doesn’t appear to help the situation to try and “white elite” guilt people into endless development. Open Space preserves the land, not just for recreation, but for flora and fauna, for nature and soil and a buffer from continuous asphalt and cement.  

When addressing affordable housing, why is it rarely suggested to repeal the ban on rent control in Colorado? That would have kept the greedy landlords from raising home rentals from “$2,400 to $3,000 or more” monthly after the fire.  Why is more, denser development (“building out and building up”) often suggested as a solution to housing unaffordability? I’ve seen so many apartments and big houses built, or being built, in Boulder City and County recently (think Google campus, now-unoccupied office complexes [which could be turned into affordable housing], apartments replacing mobile homes, buildings razed and replaced by apartments [infill], apartments above businesses, giant homes on tiny lots, etc., etc.). How can there be a housing shortage? Oh, yeah, it’s “affordable” housing shortage. Honestly, I don’t want to look up at the foothills to see them covered in houses, if I could see them at all behind the “infill and vertical development.” 

I do agree with Mr. Becker’s suggestion to encourage the governments to “take steps to prevent rising housing costs, including rent control, rent stabilization, and other methods to prevent gentrification and stabilize property values.” Property values have soared so much that some people are being property-taxed out of their long time (as in parent’s childhood) family homes. I’m sorry if these ideas cut into the profits of landlords (who often live out of state), realtors and developers. Perhaps you, too, can find a smaller, more affordable home. Yes, we could also encourage building simpler, smaller homes that require less energy to build, heat, cool and power, and that would leave more space for increased tree density, too.

Perhaps endless population growth and building/development is simply unsustainable, especially in a state suffering such drought and extremely poor air quality. As more people are realizing that, housing costs and availability may return to some semblance of rational on their own…?

R. Lawrence/Boulder

Senator Bennet cares about the children

Special thanks to Senator Bennet for caring enough about America’s children to call out Congress for not extending the Child Tax Credit (Letters, “Finding a way forward on the Child Tax Credit,” March 10, 2022). Once again families across America are choosing between rent and food. How many children must suffer before Congress takes action? Let’s put the pressure on by demanding the 51 members of the Senate who ignored children and families to take action. Pass Senator Bennet’s letter on to friends in other states and ask them to make sure their senators support this critical initiative for America’s future, all children and families will be grateful.

Willie Dickerson/Snohomish, WA

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