Let’s start where we agree and see how far we go

By Jonathan Singer

You’ve heard from my boss, John Tayer, on these pages about the Boulder House’s position on two of the most high-profile issues facing our community in the 2022 election, namely the proposed library district and the effort to repeal the annexation of CU South. In a nutshell, the Boulder House is saying, vote “no!” And that’s the basis for some pitched campaign battles for what we think are principled positions in favor of our economy and our community.

Maybe it’s because I’m the newest addition to our political programs team, but the much nicer task falls to me to explain where the Boulder House is urging you to vote ‘yes’ on the 2022 ballot. .

When I started my work at the Boulder Chamber four months ago, I wrote an article stating, “Let’s start where we agree and see how far we go.” I think we can all agree that Boulder is one of the most beautiful, innovative and thoughtful cities in the world. We also recognize that while our economy remains strong, there are clear needs we need to address, from housing affordability and transportation mobility to public safety and economic opportunity. As for how we approach these issues…well, the Boulder Chamber thinks these 2022 ballot measures point us in the right direction:

“Yes” on Boulder County ballots, numbers 1A, 1B and 1C.

Ballots 1A and 1B focus on wildfire mitigation and emergency response, issues that inspire a clear degree of sensitivity this year and hit hard. The Marshall fire is unfortunately only the most recent example of the personal and economic devastation that continues to endanger our community. The modest tax increase of 0.1% (a penny on a ten dollar purchase) will help prevent these dangerous occurrences and provide added security for our visiting tourists, who enjoy our beautiful foothills and waterways, and enter sometimes a little above their heads.

Ballot number 1C is the continuation of a successful 0.1% transit tax that built more bike lanes and footpaths, paid for road safety improvements and made transportation safer. accessible and affordable for our seniors and people with disabilities. The opportunity to provide our workforce with sustainable and convenient mobility options was a key reason the Boulder Chamber chose to support this measure. Frankly, our only qualm was that the county wasn’t looking for a more ambitious tax to address this great need and the possibility of securing state and federal matching funds. But as I said before, let’s start where we agree.

‘Yes’ on Boulder Valley School District Bond – Ballot Number 5A

With one of the highest post-secondary graduation and success rates and a strong AA+ Moody’s rating, BVSD is recognized statewide and nationwide as a leader in education. But the needs of the school district and the economy are changing. To create a skilled workforce ready for the 21st century economy, we need the infrastructure to inspire, motivate and support our students. This new $3.5 million bond will allow the school district to create a Grad+ program that gives all students the opportunity to engage in workplace learning, receive industry certifications, and earn university credits. The Boulder Chamber believes this is an investment in our future workforce that will pay long-term dividends to our economy and our community.

‘Yes’ to Investment in Affordable Housing – Proposition 123

In Boulder, homeownership is beyond the means of more than 60% of our residents. If our businesses are to continue to attract a diverse and competitive workforce, we need innovative solutions that create more housing than they can afford. By authorizing the state to commit 0.1% of all income taxes (equivalent to an annual total of $300 million) to an affordable housing fund, Proposition 123 will provide local governments and nonprofit organizations with nonprofit the ability to build 10,000 affordable homes a year, without raising taxes. As proof that housing is an issue with broad social and economic impacts, we are pleased to join a broad coalition in support of Proposition 123 that includes civil rights organizations, developers, labor unions, government leaders health industry and bankers.

With so many questions on the ballot this election, we know it will be difficult to decide where you stand. It was certainly a difficult task for the political leadership and the board of directors of the Boulder Chamber. Keeping an eye out for investments that we believe effectively address the priority concerns of our economy and our community, we hope you will join us in voting ‘yes’ to the above measures.

Jonathan Singer is the Senior Director of Political Programs at the Boulder Chamber.

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