Boulder's lobbyist Carl Castillo is going over what the city wants to lobby for at the state and federal level. The presentation isn't incredibly informative, since we already touched on this issue once. But here it is:…
That just shows new issues this year, for the most part.
Aside from Castillo's salary, Boulder spends $95K per year on lobbying.

$40K/yr on federal lobbying (Smith Dawson & Andrews)
$55K/yr for state lobbying (Headwaters Strategies)
That's been unchanged for at least the past two years.
What are Boulder's priorities? There are those which are stated, and then the by-topic breakdown. Let's dive into both, shall we?
Stated state priorities:
1. Climate change (increase on-site renewable generation, reduce emissions from fracking, increase options for wholesale and retail energy purchase)
2. Transportation (Get $$ for bus service along Highway 119, improve RTD governance, fees to pay for climate-friendly transportation projects; require transportation plans to prove they are reducing emissions)
3. Repeal laws that restrict undocumented immigrants (HB03-1224, requires U.S.-issued ID to access gov’t services, like getting a driver’s license; HB06S-1009 and HB06S-1023, denies public benefits without proof of citizenship)
Stated federal priorities:
1. COVID assistance
2. Allow local gov’t to ban pesticides
3. Federal funding for Diagonal improvements/bus service
4. Continued funding for federal labs, CU (that's always on there)
There are 66 total agenda items (things Boulder will take a position on and advocate for/against)

A list of items topic, in descending order, shows where the majority of energy goes.
The format is Topic (number of wishlist items).
Climate change and community resilience (14)
Transportation (9)
Public health and safety (9)
Human services / human rights (8)
Housing (5)
Natural resources, wildlife and parks (4)
Economic vitality (3)
Internal administrative matters (3)
Municipal courts (2)
Water (2)
Democracy and governance (1)
Local control (1)
Rocky Flats (1)
Telecommunications (1)
University of Colorado (1)
I wasn't going to list the items by topic bc it's a lot, but what the hey, I'm feeling generous tonight.
Climate change:
1. Reduce emissions to meet or exceed state goals, adopted in 2019
2. More ability for local gov’t to tackle climate change
3. Ban or phase-out hydrofluorocarbons and other refrigerants
4. Create a carbon cap and other market mechanisms
5. Electrify buildings
6. More customer choice for electricity
7. Increase public access to energy data
8. Reduce electricity emissions
9. Widespread adoption of EVs
10. Reform PACE to let Boulder County program to resume
11. Waste reduction, diversion
12. Regulate oil and gas
And 13. Build community resilience
1. ID funding for existing multimodal infrastructure
2. Increase transportation access for vulnerable populations
3. Encourage complete streets
4. Preserve city’s ability to regulate vehicles on paths, sidewalks, bike lanes
5. Prevent transfer of maintenance responsibility from CDOT to local gov’t
6. Encourage automated vehicle deployment
7. Further Vision Zero
8. Increase functioning, oversight of RTD
9. Implementation of quiet zones / funding to address train noise
Public health and safety:
1. Discourage tobacco use, particularly among youths; ban flavored vape
2. Regulate marijuana
3. Address alcohol abuse
4. Prevent gun violence
5. Don’t require local gov’t to enforce federal immigration laws
6. Protect police and fire unions
7. Oppose “onerous” reporting and data gathering by police and fire (such as reporting undocumented immigrants to ICE)
8. Increase financial threshold for police response to non-injury accidents
9. Provide lower-cost healthcare
Human services / human rights:
1. Federal immigration reform
2. End ICE abuses in detention, create alternatives to detention
3. Repeal state laws that restrict undocumented immigrants from accessing government services
4. Support indigenous peoples of Colorado
5. Gay and transgender rights
6. Preserve funding for health access and services
7. Criminal justice reform
8. Require insurance companies to pay for mental health care equal to medicaid fees
I know some of these need further explanation, so apologies for confusion. Always feel free to DM or email me if you need more detail. Or you can read the documents yourself!
1. More federal funding for affordable housing
2. More state, local affordable housing funding
3. Rights of mobile home residents
4. Allow inclusionary housing to include rental units (require them on-site)
5. Allow rent control
Natural resources, wildlife and parks:
1. Protect ability to land trust
2. Support conservation efforts
3. Let local gov’t ban certain pesticides
4. Wildfire protection
Internal administrative matters:
1. Protect workers comp
2. Protect governmental immunity
3. Allow local gov’t to publicly bank and/or bank with credit unions
Economic vitality:
1. Protect redevelopment tools (eminent domain, tax increment financing)
2. Continued funding for federal labs in Boulder
3. Reform opportunity zone funding
Municipal courts:
1. Protect autonomy of municipal courts
2. Fund municipal court homelessness initiatives

Tax policy:
1. Preserve, expand ability of local gov’t to issue, collect sales tax
2. Preserve tax exempt municipal bonds
1. Conservations, efficient use
2. Protect water rights

Expand ability to regulate/provide broadband fiber

Democracy and governance agenda
Abolish corporate personhood

Local control
Oppose threats to local control and home rule authority
Rocky Flats
Continued funding, stewardship of Rocky Flats

University of Colorado
Continued federal support, funding
OK, that's all. A lot, I know, but it's important bc it shows what Boulder cares about — in that this is what it actually spends (some) energy on. They're taking actual positions on things, which is sometimes hard to get elected officials to do.
I'm not sure how much cities typically spend on lobbying, but $95K doesn't seem like a ton. Of course, they also pay Castillo so I'm guessing the total spend is more like 2X that amount.
You can read more about taxpayer-funded lobbying here:…
Reminder: This is technically a public hearing, but the public comment portion already happened. Council "continued" the hearing, which literally means they continued it at a later time.
One of the new items on this year's list is to encourage the state to issue rules for alternative voting methods, so those elections can be held at the county level.
This matters bc Boulder voters overwhelmingly supported electing the mayor via instant runoff voting. But we may have to do that election ourselves, if the county isn't ready yet.…
There are some broad state guidelines for alternative voting methods, but no real hard-and-fast rules for thinks like auditing, etc. So it's on Colorado's radar, but more work needs to be done.
Just realized that my topic counts from earlier don't include the most recent changes. D'OH!

But I think they're still useful.
We're haggling over wording, which is my personal hell.
I get it, though. Important to be accurate.
Friend q: What is Colorado planning for gun control?

Reminder: She was an organizer on gun control prior to being elected to council.
Castillo: "What's realistically likely to come up?" He hands off to the outside state lobbyists, whose names I missed bc I'm not in the actual Zoom meeting.

Lobbyist: Attempts to repeal the magazine ban and the red flag law.
On the control side, a database for lost or stolen guns to "help slow down the trafficking of such guns."
Possibly a trigger lock requirement.
Penalties for guns that weren't stored safely and are then used in a crime
Friend suggests adding Boulder's official opposition to the repeal of Colorado's red flag law.
OK, I've identified the lobbyist! Adam Eichberg.

I think I do this every year they show up.
Apologies to Adam.
Friend is opposed to this in an agenda item "The city opposes legislation that would diminish its local control and authority to address homelessness in the manner best suited for community needs, including prohibitions on local governments banning camping in public spaces."
She's not a fan of the camping ban, and wants to see more state action on homelessness.
(That is also part of the agenda item)
Swetlik agrees with Friend's finagle-ing of the alternative voting methods item. She basically wants to change the language so that it prioritizes implementing what Boulder voted for, with other changes to be secondary.
Yates calls Boulder's lobbying agenda "a little love note" which really makes me curious about what he thinks constitutes a love letter.
Friend's suggestion on the voting methods item is voted down. It's fine the way it is (councilwoman Young crafted it) 5 members of council concur.

I'm not sure how much it matters, tbh. But I'm open to being convinced.
Friend RE: her concern on Boulder's position to oppose state legislation eroding local control. Don't we want the state to encourage and/or require local municipalities to provide services? she asks. Then we would have a smaller burden to bear.
"I don't think it's to Boulder's benefit to advocate against the state for efforts to improve services for the unhoused," Friend says.
Brockett supports her proposal to strike that language about local control from the homelessness agenda. He's been opposed to that since he got on council, he says.
Yates disagrees: "We pretty consistently ... resist state legislation that diminishes local control. ... I'm not sure I understand why striking that would be a good thing."
This is true. But Friend's point is also true in that Boulder takes stances on other issues that, one could argue, erode local control by requiring certain environmental measures, for instance.
Swetlik: "I get exactly what Rachel is going for. I don't think striking this (language) is exactly the way to hit it."
He makes a really dumb argument that the camping ban is not necessarily just for people experiencing homelessness. It prevents council members, for instance, from setting up a tent on city land.

I mean, technically true. But that's not why it's there.
Friend: "This section is specific to homelessness. I'm not suggesting we eliminate local control throughout the document." Just on homelessness.
The argument is often that Boulder can't provide too good of service bc then it will draw unhoused folks in, Friend says.

"I think the answer is not us providing less services but other towns providing more." This language means Boulder would oppose that.
If the state decided to require a minimum amount of service, then according to this item, Boulder would oppose that, Friend says. That's the opposite of what I think we're trying to do.
Wallach suggests that, rather than striking language, they ADD language to cover this exact issue. Boulder would SUPPORT the state requiring other cities to do more for homelessness, but not sacrifice its ability to have a camping ban.
Weaver: "I'm not interested in changing what's there. What's there is here bc we do want the ability to, in particular, have bans on camping in public spaces. And we'd like to have local control on how we manage the issue of homelessness in Boulder."
But he does support state minimums for service. (Like X amount of shelter beds per population or some such)
He doesn't want to "do this on the fly" though. Last-minute word-smithing is not ideal (even though we just did it).

But Friend's OK with sending it back to committee and re-crafting it.
This whole "Make everybody else do stuff but let us do what we want" is classic Boulder.

I mean, I get it, bc Boulder does a lot (by some measures) but they also have policies that hurt the very people they are trying to help. Housing is a notorious example.
Anyway, everything is hashed out and council is approving the lobbying agenda. They do it as a whole, which Yates has not been too happy with in the past. We'll see how he votes.
Unanimous vote to pass that lobbying agenda.
@threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Shay Castle

Shay Castle Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @shayshinecastle

18 Nov
You can read about that here:…
Wallach Sigh-O-Meter: 2
Read 26 tweets
18 Nov
This is happening super quick, but current mayor pro tem Yates is nominated Joseph as his replacement. The pro tem term only lasts 1 year. She was the only applicant this go around.
Quite a turnaround for Yates, since he didn't initially endorse Joseph's run for council. He thought she would be too busy as a law school student, he told me. (He eventually endorsed her; she graduates in December.)
The mayor pro tem doesn't do much; runs meetings when the mayor isn't there and attends the weekly scheduling meetings.
Read 29 tweets
18 Nov
Alright, the meat and potatoes for tonight: CU South Annexation.…
We're gonna look at what the city/CU agrees on and what it doesn't, what the public engagement will look like over the next few months, and then get a brief update on flood mitigation that will occur here on land the uni is giving to the city.
Reminder: 308-are parcel. A very large parcel for annexation.
Read 57 tweets
18 Nov
Next up: Part 2 of the Boulder-Dushanbe teahouse landmarking. You can read about that here:…
Council continued this hearing from last time bc they couldn't agree on how to landmark the interior, given that it's never been done before, and the city owns the building/land anyway so no one can really change it without city OK.
Tonight's language includes a landmarking of the interior.…
Read 16 tweets
18 Nov
Hola, #Boulder. Just like a trip to the dentist, I know you don't wanna but you gotta: It's city council night.
Well, technically, you don't gotta. I gotta. You can follow along if you want to.

Tonight, we've got two public hearings for which the public hearing already happened: Boulder's lobbying agenda and the landmarking of the Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse.
In a first, the city will landmark the interior of a building. (More on that later)…
Read 43 tweets
11 Nov
Last item of the night: Friend wants to talk about education vs. enforcement RE: COVID.

"Why are we not ticketing flagrant fouls?" People aren't wearing masks or social distancing and 1 in 100 of them are contagious, she says.
City attorney Tom Carr: The police are ticketing people. "Well over 100 now." The county has a more aggressive policy than the city; we're working with them.
Carr: The challenge has always been" the lack of police resources. "They are approaching the end of their ability to enforce." They are very busy these last two weekends. "There have been a lot of big parties."
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

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

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/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!

Follow Us on Twitter!