, 80 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
New thread: Human Relations Commission recommendations for expanded voting, bias motivated crimes and gender-inclusive language in the city charter
Clay Fong, from the HRC, presenting.
Before council on the voting is the question of whether to move forward those measures on a ballot measure, or wait for a citizen-led initiative for them.

Council has before said it's more appropriate for residents to do.
Some data suggests that younger voting increases long-term election turnout. Start 'em young, is the thinking, and it will be a lifelong habit.
The city might want to coordinate with the county on this, bc it will make it easier logistically .
A tiny service dog in the audience just let out the loudest yelp. If you heard that sound on the video at home, that's what it was. Like a really high-pitched squeak.
One issue with non-citizen voting is that, when you apply for citizenship in the U.S., there is a q "Have you registered to vote?" So it could get ppl into trouble with the feds. That will need to be figured out, Fong says.
Given that other cities have done this, should be a relatively easy fix to find.
Morzel: "I'm interested in seeing this (but) having a citizen process is a better one. It's a way to have a dialogue, and ppl are more involved so when initiative appears on the ballot, ppl are more informed."
Jones: Who is gung-ho about either of these two efforts?
Fong: There were some groups who have expressed grassroots interest last year, but since then, no one has reached out "so it's hard for me to gauge who is motivated around this."
Yates asks Lynette Beck about the recent change for citizen petitions making the ballot, and when the deadline is?
Around 4,500, and Aug. 7
Golden had this on their ballot recently, Jones said. How did that go?
Fong: It was not as much of a citizen-led process as it could have been. It's arguable that the lack of public engagement didn't do the initiative any favors
Jones: Any sense of # of eligible voters?
Fong: Needs researched
Jones: On non-citizen voting, protecting their data "would be paramount." What guarantees do we have on that?
Carr: We don't think we can protect voting records, which under state law are public. No exception we can think of to protect them.
SF did this for school board elex, and found that ppl who vote tend to be legal residents, like green card holders, but not citizens.
Nikhil Mankekar, HRC Chair, says there is a group coalescing around non-citizen voting. (Didn't catch the name of it.) But they will have something to council in the next month or so.
Brockett: To elim difficulty of city v county voting, we would need to get every city in BoCo plus the county on board, right?
Yes, Fong says.
Morzel reading Young's comments. She does not support council leading this; citizens should. Echoes Mankekar that a group is leading non-citizen voting charge. And YOAB (Youth Opportunities Advisory Board) may be pursuing `16-yo voting, Weaver says.
Weaver: "These are both going to be controversial enough." References Golden's failed efforts. "I think these can be pretty worthy, but they're going to need a groundswell of support."
"That's the right way to go about it, bc signature gathering and coalition building will serve to elevate it in people's consciousness."
Morzel referencing a failed attempt to allow undocumented residents on boards and commissions. It passed the second attempt, bc public engagement was better.
Yates echoes that citizen initiatives are better than council push. "But it does sound like there's work to do, so I'd like to instruct staff to be helpful, do research."
"If a group comes to you and asks for help sorting through these issues, I'd like to suggest that staff and our legal team be supportive of that."
Jones: Is there a staff recommendation? Is HRC fired up about this? If it's not a priority for HRC....
Weaver: Isn't it standard that we would provide feedback when a group comes to us?
Weaver: So let's do that, but don't do the work until a group comes forward.
Some clarifying around this from Carr
Jones said Hilary Hall talked about some of the challenges with her. So a "preliminary conversation" with the county might be a good idea, even before groups come forward.
Asks again about protecting non-citizens information. "That needs to be known from the get-go."
Brockett: I'm supportive of these ideas. I think that having all our adult residents vote will be a good thing. Would like to see a citizen initiative.
Jones: "Teaching ppl to engage when they're young" is important. "The place you live growing up is where you tend to plug in."
That's the end of voting; now we're moving on to hate crime sentence enhancements.
"We haven't looked at this in awhile," Fong said. "We believe there are reasons" to take another look at our hate crime approach. Public feedback at HRC meetings suggest the problem is getting worse.
Mankekar: Why we should strengthen municipal ordinance is some of the difficulty we have in prosecuting hate crimes. It's difficult to get those things passed at the state level, and there are gaps.
Federal law is "quite good" on this, but bc of the gaps in the state law, there are issues applying it in cases. "Doing it the best we can at a local level" will address the issue of rising hate crimes nationally.
Boulder is suggesting language for mixed-motive hate crimes. That's an instance where the hate crime isn't the dominant charge. Say someone hits you with their car, they attack you and use hate language. The hate crime gets tossed aside bc of the "dominant" crime (assault).
Mixed-motive would allow for both charges to be considered in sentencing.
Fong: "Essentially, hate crimes laws aren't just about penalizing hate crime behavior; they're about sending a measure of protection to members of the community and a recognition of their vulnerability."
I hope I did a good job explaining mixed-motive. The basic gist is that a hate crime charge can't stick if there's another "reason" for someone acting on hate. (In the previous example, the car accident would be the motivator, not hate, defendants would argue.)
HRC is suggesting adding some groups to the hate crime language. These folks are already protected under the Human Rights Ordinance, but not under hate crime sentencing, including houseless residents.
The Human Rights Ordinance protects against discrimination in jobs, housing and public services.
Mankekar: "It means a lot to me personally" that city is listening to this. "The feedback we got from the public stunned me a bit. The past decade of my life, I've dedicated myself to assisting victims."
"While we have a really good law on the books, we found some loopholes that could change some people's lives. So I thank you for taking this seriously."
Q from Weaver: How would restorative justice work in hate crimes? bc it could be good for the victim sometimes and also not so good. Have you talked to the muni judge?
Fong: There is some additional sensitivity required. Main safeguards I would be concerned about is protecting the victims. Maybe have someone from HRC acting as the voice of the victim rather than the victim itself.
"Cardinal sin" of restorative justice is to cause harm to the victim.
Carr: I'm really excited about this opp to work on hate crimes ordinance. There are challenges this gives us an opportunity to fix.

Restorative justice is one way being used to change behavior.
Carr: With enhanced sentencing, we have to prove beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that bias was the motive. We don't do many of these bc they are incredibly hard to prove.
I think we can make this ordinance better and more protective than by just increasing the fine.
Weaver: Would you be thinking about making it a civil thing, where the burden of proof is preponderance of evidence?
Carr: We could consider making it a lower level of proof for the sentence enhancement piece.
Brockett: So what you're proposing is move the proposals forward and then adding on?
Yes, Carr says.
Carlisle: What do you mean by education (of perpetrators)?
Carr: As a parent, the last thing I do is punish them. I always try to inform, pressure. What we always want to do in criminal justice is get ppl to change what they're doing, particularly in this area.
"Requiring them to meet with a group of LGBTQ representatives, etc. That's much more effective than a dollar amount."
Morzel: If you require mandatory education, more than a course, something about why they did that, how it makes ppl feel, etc. is there a lower burden of proof that you can require?
Carr: I believe you could. I want to listen to community and see what they want, and talk to judge, but we're doing many of these things in other areas. We've already built systems in our court to do things differently.
Jones: How do you balance victim safety in restorative justice?
Mankekar: It's only used on specific types of crimes. Not hate crimes, violent crimes or sex crimes. It seems like we may be confusing restorative justice and mandatory education.
Carr: I'm a little hesitant to use the label restorative justice. But any model where you get offender into a group where they can "start seeing the problem of their behavior."
Brockett: Need to make sure you're not inflicting pain and suffering on other members of that marginalized group. "I think you need to be very careful of how you work that in." Would have to be voluntary (for the group; not the offender).
Weaver: If offenders are not good participants in restorative justice or education, judge should impose jail time or fine to "make it clear that if they can't take social cues they were given" they still owe restitution to community.
Morzel: I'd rather do community service than jail time.
It needs to become a "pain in the derriere" for them to make an impact. Whatever takes their time is a good option.
Carlisle: Wants to make sure that religious protection includes clothing/garments being worn as an expression of religiosity.
It's covered, Mankekar says.
Morzel talking about homeless individuals. Just bc they are breaking the ban on camping, they don't deserve a "beating from some deadbeat."
"I think homeless get picked on."
Carlisle echoes the attacks last year on homeless people overnight.

Council is supportive of adding housing status to the hate crime sentence enhancements.
Weaver: A lot of times, un-housed folks are attacked by other un-housed folks. So that could be included under mixed-motive.
Yates asks Carr: What's the enforcement potential of that? Status can change day-to-day; how are you aware that someone has a permanent address or doesn't by how they appear? What's the legality?
Carr: I haven't researched it yet. There are places this has been done.
Some debate about parental status as a protected class. (I did not know it was, as Brockett said.)

Morzel shares a story of being pregnant with her third child and someone following her and screaming at her that she "already had two children."
Council debating mandatory police training on hate crimes.
Carr: My guess is they already do training, so that's not the issue. It's more how do we improve things.
Q from Jones around public engagement. HRC said there might be "feedback fatigue" from the same members of the public experiencing and speaking up about that.

Her q: Should we put something on paper and get specific feedback on these things we're suggesting?
Carlisle: I agree. This is something very important bc it has to do with community knowing we are trying to protect to the best of our ability.
This item is for public hearing/second reading on Aug. 2.
HRC will have another hearing, too, before Aug. 2
Ok, last item: updating the city charter language to be gender inclusive. Lots of references to "transitioned" transsexuals vs not. OUT Boulder brought this forward. And some other outdated language around gender expression.
Last update with gender inclusion in mind was in 2001, Fong says.
Forgot this, but there is one section that limits how many times city employees can express different genders.
"We're calling this inclusive language but it's just more accurate," Lindsey Loberg says (from the HRC)
Carr: When they did this (change the charter) 18 yrs ago, a lot of ppl participated in what was a ground-breaking effort.
Yates asking about public engagement and timing.
Fong: We are fully anticipating 4-5 month time frame. Is doable.
Weaver: I was kind of surprised by what I read and the things that were still in there. 18 years is a long time. I think everyone would recognize that a lot has changed in the past 18 years, and we want to make sure we're not offensive in our code or in any way exclusionary.
Jones: Let's get this done this year if we can. It sounds like we can, so that's exciting.
Carr: Aug. 2
Jones: Thank you and good night.
See You Next Tuesday, Boulder!
Hey @threadreaderapp Please unroll. Thank you!
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Shay Castle
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!