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Now: Petitions.
Weaver says four approved, not five as I'd thought
No Eviction Without Representation
Bedrooms Are For People
End the Muni
and direct election of the mayor
Being brought up by Brockett, Friend bc health officials advised against in-person petitioning:…
Friend: We brought this up due to public safety concerns. Public health officials have discouraged door-to-door or any in-person signatures.
"The realities of COVID" have made us change a lot of things. For example, she says, we're meeting virtually and that was not allowed under our charter just a couple months ago.
Ppl with underlying health conditions can't participate in petition signing this year, Friend says. That's an equity concern.
"Some of our greatest accomplishments (in Boulder) have been through direct democracy," Friend says. Height limits, sugary beverage tax.

"Even though we may not have a duty to take steps, I would hope we have the will."
Asks to have a public hearing and vote on placing measures on the ballot. "That would relieve the community of the burden and inequity of gathering signatures during the pandemic."
"The biggest risk, if there is one, is that voters would approve all four measures." Boulderites are smart and thoughtful. "I don't think that's a risk."
Brockett: Council members voting against electronic petitions asserted that in-person signature gathering could be done safely. Health officials have said that's not the case.
"We have taken our guidance from county and state public health," Brockett says. And even gone further at times. "This is a place where instead we've been taking a step back from the safety measures recommended."
We did vote to allow electronic signatures in 2018. And we'll have a functioning system next year. Other cities haven't. So I don't think we're setting a dangerous precedent here. It would be for one year only.
"We're not passing laws," Brockett says. "We would solely be allowing voters to vote on these measures." in a presidential election year, which has the highest turnout.
Weaver: I'm merely going to point out that next week's meeting is 5 hrs long

That's when Brockett and Friend asked for a public hearing.
Brockett: While the workplan discussion is certainly very important, it's about what we're doing the rest of the year. It could be postponed.
Yates thanks Brockett and Friend for "bringing this back."

He agrees with them. "It's worthwhile for us to have a public hearing on these four ballot measures" to have council put them on the ballot.
"I'm struggling a little bit over timing."
Next week might not be adequate timing for ppl who disagree with measures. "These are divisive issues which have been debated for decades."
"The beauty" of direct democracy is you have a threshold of 3,000-4,000 signatures to get them on the ballot, Yates says. They almost always pass because you have some proof that ppl support them.
"I worry a little bit about holding a public hearing next week and being fair to the rest of the community who might not have a positive view of these things. Certainly it's fair to the circulators; they'd be happy about that."
Things council puts on itself are typically brought up early in the year, Yates says. We have public hearings throughout the summer.

"Both those paths allow ppl to disagree with the proposition to weigh in and send us emails and so forth."
"I'm cognizant of the fact if we don't do this quickly" petition circulators have to decide to keep collecting. It's also possible if we had a hearing next week, council will say no to these and they'll be out gathering signatures again.
"People have to make their own decisions based on advice they've heard from public health officials recently."
Plus, ppl can just start submitting petition initiatives since they know council will place them on the ballot for them, Yates argues. "There's a little unfairness to picking these four" and any that come after, we say "sorry."
"I'm not sure I feel comfortable picking winners and losers based on today's arbitrary date."
Suggests holding hearings in the summer.
Friend: That defeats the purpose of health and safety. Ppl will still be collecting signatures.
Friend: We wouldn't want to open the floodgates and have petitions submitted June 1. I would probably pick some date that feels right for the majority of council, be it today or when we first started talking about this.
Wallach: I basically agree with Bob.
"I have substantial difficulties with these resolutions on a substantive level."
"I'm not prepared to elevate these four over any other proposals that may come in," Wallach says.
"This kind of treatment is in effect a special treatment that we do not usually do."
(Placing them on the ballot)
Swetlik: What's the legality of picking a date to let petitions in?
Carr: It's a legislative act, so you can do whatever you want.
"This is your choice."
Joseph: "This is very, very, very difficult. I don't necessarily agree with a public hearing next week. I agree with almost everything Bob is saying. ... But it's been over 2 weeks ppl sending us message after message ppl letting us know how they feel."
So what's the point of a public hearing? she says. "We are elected."
Weaver has thoughts but "I don't need to weigh in on this right now."
Friend moves for a public hearing next week to place these four certified petition efforts on the ballot.
Friend, Brockett, Swetlik in favor.
Junie did not vote. That counts as a no.
But Young, Yates, Wallach, Weaver say no.
No hearing next week on this.
Brockett: I'm disappointed we're going to send ppl back out to collect signatures.
Brockett: "I think we should give these ppl a benefit of the doubt given these extraordinary circumstances."

Having council consider these later in the summer "item by item ... is better than nothing"
Weaver: "I don't think ppl should be doing things that are unsafe. The driver thing is people's desire to have particular things on the ballot this year."
"If ppl choose to" collect signatures.... "they are risking their own exposure and other people's exposure."

What's being said here is 5 members do not approve of the different measure ... motion that was made. "There is no endorsement of breaking public health rules."
"People who choose to interpret it that way ... that's an attribution of motives and that is not something that is a fair thing to do," Weaver says. "My vote did not indicate" that ppl should risk their health.
There is "next year, and if next year isn't good enough for whatever practical reason ppl believe, there is next year and the next year," Weaver says.
Young: Thanks for bringing this forward. "I did not vote for this bc I have not been convinced by the copious number of emails, of which many were the same email. and did not provide any info as to why it has to happen this year."
Young: We did not direct anybody to go out and collect signatures. They did it of their own accord. "Next year, they'd be able to do it all online. I'm not seeing the urgency to refer this to the ballot."
Without giving these measures the same scrutiny as the ones we put on the ballot ourselves, "I just can't do it."
Young: Andrew Shoemaker made a good point that getting on the ballot is just the beginning. Then you have to go campaign, which is a "high human contact sport. So then we're saying, 'Go out and campaign.'
If ppl dont' go out and campaign, it would happen on social media. I don't think that's a place you campaign, Young says, bc I have not been impressed by the quality of information you get on social media.
That would "deny the public" of well-informed decision making on these ballot measures. Young says.

"Where does this logic stop?" Young asks. If we put them on ballot, then will we be asked just to pass them into law?
"Waiting until next year is the thing to do," she says.

"I regret that people were put in this situation bc of the virus, but this is not as urgent and impactful as losing your job or not having ability to put food on the table or pay your rent ... I don't think that not being able to gather signatures for a petition you could wait ..
... for next year to do rises to the level of crisis in an emergency."
"People have a choice," Young says. "They have a choice to wait."
Joseph: "For me, it's an issue with methodology."
Next week, we'd all still be where we are right now, Joseph says, 5-4 or 6-3.

Asks about lowering threshold. For campaigns that have not collected any signatures, I understand waiting. But NEWR has collected over 2,000.
Not doing anything to help them "is kind of discouraging."
Joseph: Young said these are not essential. As a working-class woman, I think it's essential for renters to have access to lawyers when they are facing eviction.
Swetlik: My vote is an acknowledgement that we tried to get online petitioning started over two years ago. We're still not there. Without having provided the alternative the community asked for in a timely manner, I think it's important that we look for an alternative.
"We still have to provide some sort of democracy" because direct democracy failed this year, Swetlik says. People are exposing themselves "to a deadly disease. ... It's pretty apparent to me ppl are willing to put their lives on the line for what they're trying to accomplish."
"The city as a whole has failed in direct democracy."
Brockett: We're not providing anyone with any alternative. Ppl have no choice if they want to continue their measures, and next year is not the same as this year. It's a presidential year.
Weaver: Measure to authorize online petitioning passed in November 2018. Work started in 2019. We made a decision as this council to not try to ram it through this year so that it would be secure. It was unanimous or near-unanimous.
Weaver: We've done what we could to get a secure online petitioning system in place. We have not been intentionally dragging our feet. We'll be one of the first in the country to have the system next year.
Swetlik: I totally understand your points. I voted against the process that the majority of council chose bc I wanted a faster alternative.
That's it for this one. I don't want to say I told you so but....

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