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Hey, #Boulder. I can already feel you pulsating with rage, so clearly there's no need to tell you that it's city council night.
The agenda:
Public hearings on two potential ballot items.
-Adding 2 members to the Arts Commission (straightforward)
-Giving council the authority to change the city charter during declared emergencies in *very* limited circumstances (slightly less so, but not too controversial)
You can read more here:…
Anyway, if council OKs both those things, it will merely place them on the ballot. Voters get the final say.

Which brings us to the biggest and thorniest issue of the night...
What should council do about citizen-led petition efforts to place things on the ballot? Again, read more about that above, or here:…
I'll say more about this later, when that issue comes up.
Two other agenda items:
Small-ish update on negotiations with Xcel. The substantive update has been moved to next week.

Discussion over renaming the Municipal Building (where council meetings are held) after Penfield Tate
Who was Boulder's first and only Black mayor and (if historic photos are any indication) one of only 2 Black council members in the city's (recent) history, current councilwoman Junie Joseph being the second.
Oh, we also have a full open comment, as over 70 ppl signed up, last I heard.

Fun, huh?
Crap, I forgot Congressmen Joe Neguse was here. Talking about House action on climate change.
(They scheduled this for 5 min, which I saw and was like, yeah, right. Politicians TALK.)
Engagement Manager Sarah Huntley going over rules for open comment. 20 speakers. And it looks like the city's method for "randomly" picking from everyone who signed up was just reverse alphabetical order by first name.…
Apparently bc the meeting livestream is messed up, the Zoom link for the meeting is being shared. I'll share it, too:
Councilman Brockett doesn't want to start the open comment until the meeting is being broadcast live.
Which is fair.
"Idk how long it will take," Mayor Weaver says, since in the past it's been tricky to resolve tech issues. So they might not want to want.

Yates suggests going over some little, non-controversial biz while that's being worked on.
That's some consent agenda stuff (they wouldn't talk about it anyway) and maybe call-ups (votes on whether or not council wants to review development plans).

Nothing particularly juicy there.
Council indicated they won't call-up the one larger redevelopment, which is the former Top Hat Supply and Red Letter Books into ground-floor commercial space and 14 residential units. That's on the 1700 block of Pearl Street.
Looks like they're going to stick to that and not call it up, though Young has some suggestions for the developer.
The live stream is restored! Open comment will now commence.
William Gertz pronounces "genuine" as "genuWINE" and I am not mad at it.

He likes NEWR and not Bedrooms Are For People. Don't put it (Bedrooms) on the ballot unless they get the required signatures, he asks.
Vadim Graboys on Bedrooms: "It's incredibly unethical to give them incorrect information, force them to collect signatures during a pandemic and then, after they've risked their lives, tell them the deadlines have already passed."
"It's not a good use of taxpayer money, my money," to fight the lawsuit the campaign will file — they've already obtained a lawyer, who sent a letter today — if you suppress democracy, Graboys says.
LOLOL then he says Bedrooms will come back in 2021 with all the $$ they've won from the settlement.
Trish Hyde, from Bedrooms Are For People: "Boulder voters deserve to have their voices heard and to decide on these matters themselves."

I have a feeling many of these speakers are with/for the campaign.
Thomas Wells with a nice, alliterative turn-of-phrase on the city's "time-traveling petition process." (He's an organizer with Bedrooms).

Haven't we met the spirit of both the city and state guidelines for direct democracy, gathering thousands of signatures? he asks.
Theodore Koenig, another Bedrooms organizer, apparently coordinated a similar effort in 2016. "A number of city bodies" have recommended that occupancy limits be reviewed since at least the 1990s, he says. (Most recently HAB in 2019, earning council rebuke)
Damn how many organizers does the Bedrooms campaign have?? Tara Ippolito is one as well.

"I do not want to live in a community where the right to affordable and legal housing is questioned," she says ... "where apathy and foot-dragging gets in the way of progress."
Our first muni speaker! Steve Whitaker

(Also earlier, I missed bc I was futzing with my work setup - Victoria Harvey, speaking against the Celestial Seasonings development in Gunbarrel)
Shawn Rupp, another Bedrooms organizer: I hear concerns that our initiative will price families out of Boulder. That's already happening, in part bc of policies such as occupancy limits which limit housing options.
Another one: Sharon Procopio. "As a single divorced parent, I'd like to remind ppl how divorce impacts housing (needs) as well... Having more creative housing options is the only way to remain here and co-parent as a blended family."
I can barely hear Sean Collins over my AC unit, but it's about police.
Says he is not Sean Collins. "He gave me his spot. We're not supposed to but you don't play by the rules so why should we." LOLOL

Not-Sean calls for a 50% reduction in Boulder police budget, like Berkeley just did:…
SarahDawn Haynes, Bedrooms 4 Ppl organizer: "I have put my life on the line to collect signatures.... We've earned the right to be on the ballot."
Sara Campbell, another Bedrooms organizer: Living over-occupied allowed me and my then-housemates to live close to work and bike rather than drive (when she was in grad school). They avoided neighbors bc they were afraid to be reported and booted out.
Samantha Regan, another organizer: Looking for rooms in Boulder, you quickly see "no couples" in ads because of the occupancy limits.

Illegal living situations makes you less likely to vote, interact with neighbors, participate in local gov't, etc.
"Speaking tonight brought up a similar dilemma," Regan says. Do I stay quiet or speak out and risk the room I share with my partner of 7 years, because Boulder's rules don't count them as family? (Since they're not married or in an official domestic partnership)
Sam Kornick follows that same thread: Occupancy limits make renters less likely to speak about unfair or (other) illegal actions from landlords. Eviction is just one complaint away.
Ryan Seldon: We risked our lives to gather signatures, following city's official guidance (some of it still on city webpages, he says). Don't kill our measures. A lawsuit will waste taxpayer money; let the voters decide.
"Housing is a human right and it belongs in the charter, not sudden shifts" due to politics, Seldon says.
14 of 16 speakers have now been Bedrooms Are For People organizers.
Ruy Arango is not. He is from NEWR, and he's talking about people he's seen evicted in court.

"The governor's protection expires on Aug. 11. We're going to see a GD tsunami of evictions. ... You have a line to the governor. Do something. Crank on him."
There were three curse words in Ruy's testimony (Hell, GD and Damn, in case you were wondering)

Though I don't think hell should count since it's made up. It's like if Narnia were a curse word.
Rose Goodman, another non-Bedrooms speaker. She's also against the Celestial Seasonings development.
Planning Board and city council don't respect our opinions, Goodman says of her neighbors who oppose the development.
For those of you playing council BINGO at home.
Back to Bedrooms organizers: Rebekah Dumouchelle, who is going over the long history of Boulder housing work groups/policies recommending changing occupancy limits.

"The normal process have failed the people," she says.
"We are here tonight bc thousands of people want to exercise their rights to direct democracy," Dumouchelle says. "It's your job to uphold that right, whether or not you agree with them."
Last speaker is also a Bedrooms organizer. That makes 16 of 20 speakers from that organization tonight. 50+ signed up, Rebecca Davies says.

She mentions Governor Polis' recommendation to waive local occupancy limits. Apparently Denver is considering raising theirs.
I guess they started looking at this pre-COVID:…
Davies quoting Penfield Tate II, who council will be talking about later tonight.

(I missed the quote, but it was about what makes a city great.)
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