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OK, talking about directly electing our mayor (currently, city council members appoint by majority) via ranked choice voting
I haven't written much about this because: Busy. I'm waiting for it to make it on the ballot.

Which the petitioners can't do themselves, as they submitted 5,800 signatures.
They need 8,000+ per state law, even though they were told by the city they needed 4,000.

But council was interested, so they're taking it up.
The petition was to elect the mayor in EVEN years, which have higher voter turnout. Council would change that back to odd years, which is when the rest of council is elected.

Smaller turnout, but more consistency, I guess?
Here's an explanation of ranked choice voting (called instant runoff by the state, which has rules for voting this way):
Voters rank the candidates in order of preference.

If no candidate receives 50% of first choice votes, then the candidate with the fewest first choice votes is eliminated, and ballots cast with that candidate as the first choice are redistributed among the remaining candidates..
... based on those voters’ second choice.

The process continues until a candidate reaches 50% and is declared the winner.
The mayor wouldn't be paid any more or have any new powers than s/he does now.
I believe council's alternative also establishes a two-year term for mayor, rather than four as in the petition.
No qs from council. (most unusual) so we're moving to public hearing. Here's the list of speakers:…
The folks behind this measure are familiar political names, such as former city councilwoman Jan Burton and candidates Mark McIntyre and Matt Benjamin
Also totally forgot that, under council's version, it wouldn't even go into effect until 2023. I guess they need a lot of time to prepare... ?
The 2021 election will be a big one in Boulder, as 5 seats will be up for grabs (all 5 PLAN-endorsed) candidate
Young has a q for All Fronzaglia, who I believe is an organizer/volunteer: How does this system result in more representation?
Fronzaglia: It would be all of Boulder voting on mayor rather than 5 members of council.
It could also be a first step to other things, she says, though she doesn't say what other things those might be.

Forgot to say the petition campaign is called Our Mayor, Our Choice
"5 votes or 15,000: Which is the better democracy?" Jan Burton says.
"A small team" has been working on Our Mayor, Our Choice for more than a year, Burton says.
Young has another q. Is she going to ask every speaker a q?
Here's some more on ranked choice voting:…

The League of Women Voters has endorsed. Young asks Burton if she worked with LWV on that endorsement. Yes is the answer.
Though obviously LWV endorsed this before and beyond Boulder, as the above piece shows.
As it says, other cities elect their mayor these ways.
I believe the Colorado Legislature incorporated it in some way...? But I could be wrong.
Matt Benjamin, an organizer, asks that ranked choice voting continue to be called ranked choice voting, not instant runoff, bc it might be confusing.
Wallach: There are many forms of RCV. Why did you pick this one?
Benjamin: There are two forms, and this one makes sense for what we're trying to do here: Elect a mayor.
That was a paraphrase. He spoke quickly.
Celeste Landry from League of Women Voters ask that instant runoff be the term that's used, or Instant Runoff (Ranked) Voting
"Guaranteeing a majority of all voters is" impossible when there are more than 3 candidates, Landry says. But it does give voters more options.
She's contradicting both Benjamin and Burton: LWV didn't endorse Instant Runoff specifically. We endorse Ranked Choice Voting, which is an umbrella term, bc it's more inclusive than "pick 1" forms of voting.
Yates asking a q about one of her statement that the majority candidate wasn't a winner....?
Landry: The winner will get more voters then the other, but it might not be a clear majority. It might be 45%, because people might not rank all the candidates; just the ones they like.
I KNEW council would have qs. Seems they've saved them all for the public hearing.
Brockett, Young, Yates and Joseph all weighing in. This is like the Wild West.
Carr: You don't have a choice on what system you use. The state has authorized instant runoff; that's it. The discussion is about what you call it.
Carr: "What you're able to do, in my view, is limited by state law."
Mark McIntyre: "For the most part, we support greater involvement by more people. Or at least we say we do."
He's a campaign volunteer.
Chelsea Castellano, a Bedrooms Are For People organizer: "I guess I should thank you for refusing to give us a safe alternative to collecting signatures during a pandemic" bc our campaigns collaborated in an unprecedented way.
Eric Budd, also from Bedrooms: "We will see you in court."

Although not really funny. Everyone NOT in Boulder (and a fair amount of ppl IN Boulder) look at this petition cycle, and their response is typically something like, WTF is wrong with council?
Linda Templin: Ranked choice voting was created in the 1830s. The unintended consequences have been positive.
Apparently Basalt chooses its mayor via RCV:…
Learning so much tonight. Which is good, since I'll probably have to write about this.
Joseph: How many cities or counties in CO are using ranked choice voting?
Emma Donahue, who is with a group pushing RCV statewide: Basalt, Telluride and Aspen
Nick Grossman: Thank you for supporting the will of the voters. Thousands of Boulder voters who supported this were not asking city council to tinker with the language; they were demanding a more representative form of gov't.
Ppl keep saying Boulderites don't know who the mayor is, which is certainly possible. One of my own Twitter followers (who shall remain nameless) didn't know the names of elected officials. Clearly I have failed.
Our first opponent! Neal McBurnett, who asks that a task force be established to research voting methods. Apparently Boulder's current method is bad...? as many speakers have said.
"Direct election of the mayor is not a good idea. It would introduce gridlock and tensions in council," McBurnett says.

Yeah, none of that there now....
Weaver to LWV's Landry: You said ranked choice voting was the most powerful in multi-candidate, multi-seat races. The mayor is a single-seat race. Do you think we should take more time and look at this, or go ahead as-is to the ballot?
Landry: The q right now is should we directly elect our mayor. We haven't stated a position on that. IF we elect our council members a new way, then yes, we'd like to use a new way to improve representation.
"We are strong proponents of proportional representation, multi-winner method," Landry says. "A mayor is a single-winner office. Instant runoff is much better than a plurality."
Young to Benjamin: What's the problem you were trying to solve? What was your process?
Benjamin: Part of it was the slates that council candidates tend to fall into, which bifurcates the electorate and results in less of the moderation we'd like to see.
The method we went with is one that is used all across the U.S., Benjamin says. This is proven; people understand it.
Not sure if he said this explicitly, but it seems like the goal is to have this method eventually apply to all of city council, as the League suggested.
Young had another q that I missed, but Benjamin talking about why they wanted the mayor elected in even years.
Turnout, Benjamin says. In even, non-presidential years, we have turnout as high as 54,000. That compares to the watermark of 2019's council election of ~33,000.
"We care about the input of more people in our community than the status quo," Benjamin says. But we decided to compromise with council to get it on the ballot, once direct democracy was not going to happen.
"Collaboration not litigation," Benjamin says. "That seemed to be the biggest sticking point."
Yates: "I want to thank you for collaboration and not litigation. Collaboration is always better than litigation."
A not-so-subtle shot at Bedrooms Are For People there. But important to note that council's idea of collaboration was: We're not putting this on the ballot, let's do a council process instead.
Council was at least interested in direct election of mayor. They were NOT interested in putting occupancy limits on the ballot.
Yates to Benjamin: Is it your intention to expand ranked choice voting to all council members? And use the mayoral race as a test case?
Yes, Benjamin says.
Yates will support council's alternative of the ballot measure. And suggests a discussion next year to expand ranked choice voting to all of council by 2023.

"I don't see a whole lot of downside, quite frankly."
"I think community members look at the mayor as a symbolic representative of our town," he says. Supports two-year limits because "sometimes voters make mistakes."
Yeah, tell me about it.
Swetlik supports.
"We've gotten a bunch of good (mayors) but that doesn't mean it can't improve," he says. Also agrees on ranked choice for the entire council "to remove partisanship that seems to be continually growing."
Insert "CoUnCiL rAcEs ArE nOn-PaRtIsAn" comments I get every time I mention partisan politics in Boulder.
Joseph: "The people want it. Over 6,000 people wanted this initiative."
Q from Friend to Benjamin about compromise on 2-yr terms.
Benjamin: We prefer 4-year terms, but we'd rather compromise and get this on the ballot. We reward our highest-vote getters with 4-yr council terms, so why penalize the mayor?
Friend: I prefer 2 bc the mayor position is so administrative: Running meetings, etc. If we get someone who isn't great at that, we might be stuck for 4 yrs with someone who lets meetings go until 4 a.m.
Sorry, she said 2 a.m. That was just my inner fear expressing itself.
Hopefully, by the time this new system is in place, I'll be long gone.
Wallach: Thanks campaign for collaboration, "however, I am very troubled that at 7:30 the night we are voting to put this on the ballot, we're still talking about what to call things," which direction to go, etc.
"This tells me there hasn't been a broad enough community discussion of this proposition," he says. "I'd like to hear more perspectives on it than we've heard to date."
He's more in favor of a 4-yr term, for "continuity"
If we make a mistake, he says, we'll live through it, like we'll hopefully live through mistakes at the executive level of the federal gov't.
Brockett congratulates Our Mayor, Our Choice for how many signatures they got during the pandemic. "Well over the amount they were told they needed to get from our previous guidance."
He prefers a 4-yr term as well.
Boulder is represented in a lot of regional groups. "They make think we're a little wacky, but they respect our opinions."

Should they, tho?
Young: "I always prefer a collaborative method rather than, yeah, rather than lawsuits."
She doesn't support this, though. "It concerns me very much we're piloting an alternative process to our voting methods." .... "Doesn't make sense" to change the charter

Though you have to... cuz elections.
Also references the "slate phenomenon that has begun to emerge."

Begun? The dominant political group in Boulder has been around since 1976.
Opposition groups have BEGUN to spring up and actually win.
Nagle is with Young and Wallach. Not supportive. "Really stuck" on 2-yr vs. 4-yr term

Wants the election working group to take a crack at it.
So I think(?) that's Brockett, Friend, Yates, Swetlik for and Young, Wallach, Nagle against

Not sure where Joseph stands
Weaver: Most mayors serve 2 or 4-yr terms. It is a rare mayor that serves more. Says he will only serve 2 yrs.
Weaver (who, reminder, is mayor): "I'm ambivalent as well. I don't know what problem we're trying to fix. Maybe I wasn't the one favorite for everyone, but it's a process Boulder has been using for years."
Intrigued by ranked choice voting, but wants to kick it to the election working group.

"I may hold my nose and vote yes on this (bc) it doesn't happen until 2023. ... I think breaking down the slates is what will bring ppl into the race."
"This will not be a great solution to that problem."
Friend: I brought ranked choice voting up at the city council retreat, and the response was 'this should be a community thing.' They did it, so "it's a little strange" if we now futz with it.
So we've got 4 in favor and 4 opposed. I'm unclear where Joseph stands.
Brockett proposes a straw poll, which is always helpful to clarify things.
Majority in favor of 2-yr terms.
7-2, council supports this going to the ballot.
Never a dull moment. @threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you.
Wanna explain why I said "wow": Bc council members were like, I'm not crazy about this / we should do a city process and then, just ... sent it to voters anyway....?
One could note they made the same arguments about Bedrooms and chose to NOT send that to voters.

Wallach and Young dissented on this one, so I guess at least they're consistent
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