Social Justice & Local Policies
While working to register African-American voters in rural Mississippi in the 1970s, I saw firsthand how racism, segregation, discrimination, and poverty can make entire communities invisible and unrepresented in our political system. It is an experience that has never left me.
The conversations we are having today about race, gender, immigration, poverty, privilege, discrimination, and social justice in Boulder and across the country are important and necessary. At the intersection of these issues, I see the pursuit of economic justice—the enactment of local policies and practices that promote inclusion, diversity, sustainability, social and economic mobility, and the health and wellbeing of Boulderites of all ages, races, income levels and backgrounds.
The policies I support reflect my commitment to economic justice, including housing policies that create affordable low- and middle-income housing and community planning that is driven by local needs not outside special interests. It is well established that poorest among us are also the most adversely affected by the effects of climate change and poor transportation, which is why I also support the municipalization of our electric utility to reduce our carbon footprint and transportation solutions that improve access to jobs and services.
To achieve greater economic equality and diversity we desperately need more affordable housing. But this will not occur simply by building more housing. Without smart planning, we will only produce more high-end housing. As someone who was a developer, I have the expertise to navigate the complexities of public-private partnerships and zoning and housing laws to achieve what all proponents of social justice in Boulder want: more low and middle-income housing and protections for our most vulnerable community members, such as manufactured home residents who are being pushed out of their communities. Economic justice hinges on developing and enacting smart housing policy. And that is what I intend to do as a member of Council.
I also believe that we must promote greater economic justice through creation of a proper minimum wage, protection of our manufactured home communities, and enhanced policies to increase employment opportunities for people of color in City government, and for minority-owned businesses to provide goods and services to the City.
When I think about my days in rural Mississippi, it is shameful that nearly 50 years later we live in a country where the wealthiest grow wealthier while the poorest grow poorer. I know that this is not what Boulder stands for.
The meetings I’ve had with Boulder community groups, civil servants, businesses, residents, advocacy organizations, and fellow candidates have only strengthened my belief that there is more that unites us than divides us. Boulder is beautiful, distinctive, and poised to lead local and regional change that reflects our progressive history and values. It is time we come together.