Moving on to Boulder's lobbying agenda. That is, what the city will ask state and fed lawmakers to do. Or not to do.
This is like my fourth one I'm covering and the only notable difference is that so much stuff from the last one got done last year at the state level.
Here's the staff presentation:…
I'm gonna dump a whole bunch of info on you, but first I'll share the notable additions: There are 2 related to mental health.
Basically, asking the state for better services for mental health care. (The U.S. sucks at this, and Colorado sucks worse.)
Plus an ask that the state remove onerous paperwork requirements to get public assistance.
What I always like to look at how many items are under each topic, bc it kinda shows you what the city thinks is most important.
It is always the same: Climate is tops.
Anyway, here's that breakdown:
Climate change + community resilience (13)
Human services/human rights (9)
Transportation (9)
Public health + safety (5)
Housing (4)
Natural resources, wildlife + parks (4)
Internal administrative matters (4)
Policing + criminal justice (3)
Economic vitality (3)
Tax policy (2)
Local control (2)
Democracy + governance (2)
Municipal courts (2)
Water (2)
CU (1)
Telecommunications (1)
Rocky Flats (1)
OK, now I'm gonna share the positions under each of these topics, so get ready for A BUNCH of info that you might not care about. But you might.
Actually, before I do that, I'll mention one other interesting change. Under homelessness, Boulder is adding that it would support Colorado requiring that cities provide a minimum level of services.
And of course preserving its right to do a camping ban; the city would oppose any state prohibition on those. (Not that one has been floated since plenty of CO cities have and use them)
- Reduce GHG at or more than 2019 state goals
- Preserve ability of local gov’t to take climate action (forming utilities, condemning utilities, buying streetlights, generating and storing clean energy, pursuing financing options, carbon sequestration, etc.)
- Ban or speed up phaseout of HFCs, other refrigerants
- Create carbon cap, market-based interventions
- Facilitate electrification of buildings*
- Enhance customer electricity choice
- Increase public access to energy data
- Reduce emissions from the energy sector
- Increase energy efficiency
- Encourage widespread adoption of EVs and efficient vehicles
- Improve regulation of oil & gas companies
- Build community resilience
Democracy + governance
- Fund ranked choice voting so counties/cities can run these elections
- Abolish corporate personhood

Economic vitality
- Protect urban renewal law (eminent domain, tax increment financing)
- Funding, support for federal labs
- Reform opportunity zones
- Create, expand, preserve federal affordability funding
- Create, expand, preserve state and local funding
- Protections for mobile home residents
- Overturn state preemption on rent control
Human services/human rights
- Reform federal immigration laws
- Alternatives to detention
- Support indigenous people
- Fair treatment regardless of sexual orientation and gender
- Avoid further cuts to human services funding
- Support for health equity, housing access and criminal justice reform
- Require mental health be funding at same level as physical health by insurance co.
- Increase mental/behavioral health services*
- Eliminate, reduce documentation required for gov’t services*

* = new
Internal admin
- Protect workers comp
- Protect gov’t immunity
- More options for city banking (using credit unions, etc.)
- Support state, federal grant program for city goals
- Local control
- Protect home rule authority
- Protect police, fire unions
Municipal courts
- Protect court autonomy
- Support court involvement in fighting homelessness (support state requirements for min levels of city services; opposes prohibitions on camping bans)
Natural resources, wildlife, parks
- Protect ability to acquire open space
- Support city management plans (urban grasslands, wildfire management, etc.)
- Restore local gov’t ability to regulate pesticides
- Support forest health, wildfire protections
Policing + criminal justice
- Prevent mandates to enforce federal immigration laws
- Prevent onerous reporting requirements
- Increase threshold for property damage that requires police involvement in non-injury traffic accidents
Public health + safety
- Discourage tobacco use
- Ensure safe regulation of marijuna
- Limits on THC levels
- Address substance use concerns
- Prevent gun violence
- Improve healthcare

Rocky Flats
- Continued funding for management, monitoring
Tax policy
- Protect local ability to issue, collect taxes
- Preserve tax-exempt status for municipal bonds

- Allow local gov’t to provide broadband, regulate cell towers
- Prioritize funding for projects that maintain existing infrastructure, are multimodal or reduce GHG*
- Support funding, construction of northwest rail*
- Increase transportation access for vulnerable populations
- Encourage complete streets
- Preserve city ability to regulate what vehicles go where
- Prevent transfer of maintenance responsibility from CDOT to local gov’t for regional highways
- Encourage automated vehicle deployment
- Further Vision Zero
- Increase oversight of RTD + support/funding for NW rail
- Continued funding, support from feds

- Promote conservation, quality
- Protect city water rights
Phew, that's all.
Should have done this first, but Boulder does set a few state and federal lobbying priorities each year. This year's are....
State priorities
- Mental health care/services
- Ranked choice voting funding (state needs to make some changes, but it hasn't allocated $$ yet)
- Transportation pollution standards
- Building energy requirements
Federal priorities
- Spending requests (including for expansion of the Crisis Response Intervention Team)
- Urban forestry
- State Highway 119 bus service
- Northwest rail
Update: A fifth state priority is tackling air pollution
"We're going to have bad air. We have bad air right now. Those that don't have the option to go into an air-conditioned house, or perhaps any house, are more vulnerable," says Carl Castillo, Boulder's lobbyist.
RE: The urban forest priority... "We do expect" this to be included in the upcoming federal infrastructure bill, Castillo says.

Urban tree cover is super important, bc it can lower temps by like 10 degrees. Also trees are just nice.
On the northwest rail that Boulder is (and has long been) advocating for: It looked like it would never happen, Castillo says. But Amtrak is considering a passenger train out this way, and there's state/fed funding for railroads.
"Prospects are increased," Castillo says. It's important for Boulder to support funding for construction and operation.
Really considering doing an explainer piece on this, but I'm not sure I have enough time to devote to it. It looks like one of those clusters.
Plus @nbminor is already crushing this coverage. If you haven't read his coverage, you don't know what TF you are talking about RE: the NW rail.
Oh, our state lobbyists are here. We've been paying them the same thing for the entire time I've been covering this. Which is not *that* much, tbh.
It's Headwater Strategies. Adam Eichberg and Will Coyne.
"There will be 600 pieces of legislation introduced" in the Colorado Legislature, Eichberg says. So it's hard to know what will happen.
That's true every year. The big change this year is, of course, redistricting. Redrawing those lines may make for some "interesting" circumstances.
Coyne: We're hitting our TABOR limits for the first time in a long time. "That will v much be in and of itself a political football" as to what those rebates look like, and shape the budgeting process.
TABOR = Taxpayer Bill of Rights. It's the reason we (the taxpayers) get refunds when the state brings in more $$ than it projected in the budget.
Wallach Sigh-O-Meter: 2.75
Wallach asking about rent control in mobile home communities: Is there any legislative support for that?
Castillo: "I just had a meeting with a newly elected rep in Fort Collins who is looking to propose a bill that addresses that v issue."
Plus another coalition who wants to repeal the state ban on rent control, Castillo says. They generally view any measure more limited in scope "as a threat."
Young: Why isn't homelessness one of our priorities?
Castillo: "The mental/behavioral health position really is a way to address a lot of that. That was our thinking."
Young: "Housing is part of the solution for homelessness." Did we think about adding something specific along those lines?
Castillo: "One example of a support we'd like to get is $$ for permanent.... let's just say housing. For treatment... I'm perhaps speaking beyond what I know."
He thinks the lobbying agenda is "sufficient" in addressing homelessness. But if it's not, let's talk changes, he says.
Weaver getting in the weeds on climate stuff, as he is wont to do.
Brockett asking that positions on access to abortion care be more gender inclusive: Not everyone who may need abortion care identifies as a woman, he says.
Young: Kurt Firnhaber has brought up numerous times the need for housing for ppl who have been addicted to methamphetamines. Would like to see that more explicitly mentioned in the lobbying agenda.
Castillo: We can improve our position on access to mental/behavioral health care and addiction treatment. "That element was certainly intended, but as I'm reviewing it now, I'm not finding it."
I think tonight's approval on the agenda is the Official one. Tonight's suggested changes will be incorporated and council will vote on the final agenda on consent. (That is, no more discussion.)
Which is why a public hearing was tonight. A sparsely attended public hearing, but still. I blame myself.
Weaver summing up council participation in state legislation: We can still testify as individuals on anything we want, but make sure you don't represent it as the city's position.
That's bc this agenda (the city's positions) is approved by the full council and therefore theoretically represents Boulder.
Anyway, that's all for this.
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15 Sep
We'll be getting to our city attorney search update after a couple of declarations. Here's the staff presentation. Looks like we'll have a city attorney by Oct. 12.…
Well, we'll have one named by then. Start date is TBD.
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Oh, and a quick update on the city attorney search. Stay tuned. Coming to you soon.
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Coming atcha for a Thursday night city council meeting, #Boulder.

Tonight: Budget stuff, including ARPA funds (which we already talked about)
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I have no stories for you because I've been writing nothing but election stuff. Happy to report that will all be DONE next week and translated into Spanish by the time you get your ballots.
Anyway, tonight's meeting not that big of a deal. The real show is Tuesday, with the CU South public hearing.

So if you don't have the capacity for this meeting, I will totally not blame you.
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