Economic Vitality & Diversity
My top priorities for Economic Vitality include: increasing business security, supporting small businesses, expanding the labor pool, pursuing pilot programs, and broadening community outreach.
Increasing Business Security: The new Ambassador and Ranger programs provide a non-police presence in the Downtown and Hill neighborhoods and aim to reduce crime affecting local businesses. I am interested in extending these programs to additional commercial areas in Boulder. Another new, successful business security initiative is the surveillance camera reimbursement program sponsored by the City and the Boulder Downtown Partnerships. I also support expanding the reach of this program.
Supporting Small Businesses: I aim to work towards simplifying city requirements and easing select regulations for new and existing small businesses with an equity lens so they can thrive. Some examples include: evaluating whether there are barriers to entry for permits and applications, assessing wait times, and identifying unclear language or processes.
Expanding the Labor Pool: Boulder has a labor shortage that is worsening. I support pilot programs that create incentives for people to work in Boulder and parking discounts for low-income workers.
Pursue Pilot Programs: With a mindset toward increasing diversity in new entrepreneurship, let’s come up with new pilot programs to help create new business opportunities for all segments of our business community.
Broaden Community Outreach: Our business community is too often unaware of the City’s resource and relief programs. Let’s increase city outreach to business owners with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. We must support efforts to diversify applicant pools for affordable commercial spaces. We can also help local businesses with marketing through city and nonprofit partnerships.
Safe & Welcoming Community
A safe and welcoming community for both residents and visitors is one of the core responsibilities of the city government and my highest, near-term priority for Boulder.
My top safety priorities include: expanding fire prevention and mitigation, increasing the safety of Boulder Creek, our bike paths and tunnels, our parks, and our schools, and decreasing property crime in our neighborhoods and our commercial spaces.
Fire Prevention & Mitigation: we need to increase community education on fire safety, enforce the ban on firecrackers, enforce the ban on propane tanks on public lands, and ensure that our infrastructure (e.g. fire stations) is robust enough to meet the growing fire threat.
Safety & Maintenance of:
Boulder Creek: Boulder Creek is a local recreation destination for people of all ages. We need cleaner water and more frequent clean-ups to increase safety and environmental integrity. I support a camping ban on the Boulder Creek Path.
Bike paths & tunnels: The Boulder bike paths provide necessary transportation and recreation for our residents. We need more lighting in the tunnels for better visibility and more frequent clean-ups to keep paths clean, safe, and free of obstructions. I recommend launching a bike patrol initiative to promote safety.
Parks: Boulder’s parks are treasured community spaces and our community wants them clean, vibrant, and well-maintained. I support Boulder’s current safety and preservation initiatives, including the ban on propane tanks, tents, and camping in public spaces.
Public Schools: we must increase safety in the areas directly surrounding our schools, especially Boulder High School. I support enforcing the camping ban, closing off the space surrounding the school, and enforcing a drug-free zone.
Combating Property Crime in:
Neighborhoods: the rise in bicycle and car part theft merits more police presence and government advocacy. I support more frequent patrols and prevention initiatives, such as large-scale bicycle registration and city-supported tracking programs.
Our Commercial spaces: the rise in property crime in commercial spaces is a threat to business owners and the vitality of our city. The new Ambassador and Ranger programs are a promising step in the right direction and provide a non-police patrol for the Downtown and Hill neighborhoods. The Ambassadors also remove trash and graffiti and help visitors navigate the downtown. Another new safety initiative, sponsored by the City and the Boulder Downtown Partnerships, reimburses downtown business owners for surveillance cameras. It has already helped businesses retrieve stolen property. I support expanding these new successful programs to our other commercial spaces.
As we pursue these important safety initiatives, we must balance our need for public safety with a commitment to equity. We must hold people accountable to the law but ensure they are treated fairly and justly. Let’s work together as a community and find solutions to achieve these goals.
Climate change is a crisis facing our planet, and all of us. Climate change poses a greater risk to Boulder year over year, contributing to drought, wildfires, rising temperatures, record-low water levels, and air pollution. I fully support Boulder’s targets to address our climate emergency:
Reduce Emissions by 70% by 2030
Become a Net Zero City by 2035
Become a Climate-Positive City by 2040
Reduce Emissions by 70% by 2030
In order to achieve our emissions targets, our city government must take action to transition our infrastructure away from fossil fuels (including natural gas) toward renewables.
Partnerships: Work with our local businesses, CU, and neighborhood organizations to identify impediments and potential incentives to speed up the transition (e.g. CU is the leading source of commuting vehicle trips: 12,000+/day)
Transition our city bus fleet from diesel fuel to electricity
Purchase electric buses, support commuter rail, propose streetcar network
Supplement RTD’s regional efforts with Boulder Transit Authority
More funds & resources: Partner with both state and federal government to deploy funds and resources needed to reach our 70% goal
Become a Net Zero City by 2035 & Climate-Positive by 2040
We need to think broadly about the different ways we can reduce emissions and increase carbon capture, such as:
Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT): promote hybrid remote work and free or discounted Eco-Passes can encourage residents to drive less
Direct air capture of carbon: support initiatives to put Boulder at forefront of new carbon reduction technology innovation
Carbon sequestration: expand small-scale carbon sequestration projects with soils, compost, grasslands, wetlands, and planting vegetation known to consume more carbon
Electric vehicles: increase the prevalence of EV re-charging stations and pilot a city rebates program
Bikeways and walkways: expand our bike and pedestrian infrastructure and improve safety and access
Rooftop solar: remove barriers for residential rooftop solar and expand community solar gardens
Building energy efficiency standards: improve building energy efficiency performance standards for Boulder's residential and commercial structures
In the last few years, growth and development in Colorado, and particularly the Front Range, have been substantial. As Boulder grows, housing and affordability are on everyone's mind. With dramatically increasing housing prices, in-city housing is closed off to large segments of the population who work here.
With steadily increasing numbers of transplants, families are unable to find housing in Boulder, and several public schools are in danger of closing. For this reason, I see an important focus on affordability for a diverse population: middle/working class families, people of color, seniors, and young people. Rather than building large developments within already established neighborhoods, these structures can be better accommodated in areas without established neighborhoods. Let's reimagine old shopping centers, parking lots, unused urban spaces and locations on our transit corridors as vibrant neighborhoods with a mix of housing, neighborhood-serving retail, green space, trees, and a high walkability score.
I believe there should be more attention to zoning and design principles that will appeal to current and future residents. Let’s develop with a vision towards the future.
My top priorities for Transportation include: expanding public transit, preserving Boulder Bikeways, improving road safety and maintenance, and pursuing transportation equity.
Expanding Public Transit: Public buses play a vital role in providing necessary transportation for many residents while also reducing parking and traffic congestion. The more bus stops we can provide, the more residents will utilize the buses. Cancelled routes and decreased service make public transit less desirable. A reliable, convenient public transportation system is the only way to reduce driving and reach our climate goals. Public transit must also reduce its climate footprint. Shifting to electric public buses should be a climate priority for Boulder.
Preserving Boulder Bikeways: The maintenance of our bike paths will be a personal priority for me. To increase safety, we need better lighting in bike tunnels and cleaner paths with no trash or debris. I advocate for expanding the new Ambassador program or Rangers patrol to the bike paths. There is nothing my husband and I love more than riding our electric bikes every week. The bike paths are a Boulder treasure so let’s treat them this way.
Improving Road Safety & Maintenance: I support VISION ZERO. Residential streets make up 70% of Boulder streets, and a 20 MPH speed limit (20 is plenty!) makes our streets safer for children, walkers, and cyclists. I also believe in “taking care of what we have:” fixing potholes, keeping shoulders well-maintained, and ensuring efficient snow and ice removal for the safety of our residents.
Pursue Transportation Equity: Ensuring equal access for all is one of Boulder’s core values. For transportation, this means diverse modes of transportation for our diverse community. Equity means thinking about every community member’s needs and designing accessible spaces for all. We must expand local and regional transit options, offer free and reduced-fares, and ensure those with disabilities have equal access.
We all agree that more should be done to lift people out of homelessness in Boulder, and know that it requires substantial financial resources to do so, whether it’s mental health programs, substance abuse programs, affording housing, or ready-to-work programs. Boulder will need to rely on funds and other support from county, state, and non-governmental sources to make meaningful progress. We must start with compassion. We must treat people as individuals. There is not one reason why people fall into homelessness and so there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Four years ago, Boulder created Coordinated Entry (CE), an intake center to assess the needs of each individual and connect them with the appropriate services when available. Boulder also took a “housing first” approach under the belief that a stable, four-walled environment was key to lifting people out of homelessness. Boulder now has a good foundation for reducing homelessness, and must prioritize expanding successful mental health and substance abuse services, and employment programs. An enforcement of the camping ban is aligned with Boulder’s goal to lift people out of homelessness.
If elected, here are my top priorities:
Prioritize funding for and expansion of mental health and substance abuse programs. We need to take a strong, coordinated approach to lobby on a regional level for state and federal funding. Two proposed state-wide programs to expand inpatient and outpatient care for mental illness and substance abuse would provide key short and long-term treatment. Long-term outpatient recovery programs (e.g. housing, therapy, medication) are needed to prevent relapse. Both inpatient and outpatient care is costly and needs a steady source of funding. I support efforts to put this funding on the 2022 ballot.
Integrate Coordinated Entry with local employment programs, such as Bridge House. Programs that offer paid work, dormitory living, and case management as a path to mainstream jobs, are proven ways to help people out of homelessness.
Enforce the camping ban and redirect those experiencing homelessness to the appropriate residential and/or treatment program that meets their unique needs. Let’s spend our funds trying to get people out of homelessness. We must treat the problem, and not put a bandaid on a complex crisis that needs our attention.
Creative Housing Solutions
We all agree that Boulder needs more housing options for low and middle-income families. The fastest, more probable path is to pursue new housing developments in the transit corridors, unused urban spaces, and East Boulder’s light industrial areas. Why? These areas have more space and more flexible zoning, which increases the likelihood of project completion, timeliness, and ideal design.
Let’s reimagine transit corridors, old shopping centers, unused parking lots, and other unused urban spaces as vibrant neighborhoods with a mix of affordable and market-rate housing, neighborhood-serving retail, green space, and a high walkability score.
The Holiday Neighborhood in North Boulder is a great model for creative housing solutions. It transformed an unused urban space into a desirable, low-rise, mixed-use community with single-family residences, condominiums, townhomes, and apartments surrounding a common greenspace with intermingled community gardens. The neighborhood has convenient public transit, highway access, and walking paths. Most importantly, over 40% of the Holiday Neighborhood is Affordable Housing.
Now imagine a new neighborhood in East Boulder like Holiday. In East Boulder, new multi-family housing communities along Boulder’s extensive biking path network could also reduce commuter emissions. I am hopeful that the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan will provide a diversity of housing initiatives. As always, design should not be an afterthought. When affordable housing in commercial areas is next to single-family neighborhoods, building heights should be a step-down design to provide a smooth transition: the same height plane when it connects to an adjacent residential neighborhood.
Unfortunately, most of Boulder’s new housing development consists of single-family homes and apartment buildings, which is either too expensive or too small for growing families. There is a better way. We must pursue the right-sized housing options for our community and fund pilot programs to increase housing access to middle-class families, such as the Middle Income Down Payment Assistance Program.
Both economic diversity and racial diversity are so important for the well being and vibrancy of our city. We risk losing this diversity with the lack of housing for low, middle, and moderate-income members of our community if we don’t act now.
Arts & Culture
The arts and culture are an important part of Boulder’s ethos as a welcoming, vibrant community. Boulderites not only enjoy music, theater, visual arts, dance, food, festivals, and diverse cultures, but have also built a strong local and tourist economy around it, bringing in over $70M a year.
On Boulder’s Downtown Partnerships Community Initiatives (BDPCI) board, I am surrounded by a group of community leaders who believe that Boulder’s vibrancy is driven by arts and culture. There is an imperative to preserve and expand arts and culture through consistent funding, designated space, and grant opportunities.
My top priorities for Arts and Culture in Boulder are expanding access to affordable, physical space for artists and advocating for near-term and long-term funding.
Let’s start with space. Access to affordable, physical space for the thousands of artists residing in Boulder is increasingly challenging due to high commercial rental prices. Boulder does not have a performing arts center and both indoor and outdoor space for the creation, exhibition, and administration of the arts is scarce. I will advocate for more city-owned spaces, such as: office space, garages, parking lots, greenspace, etc., to be partially or wholly designated for the arts. While a Boulder performing arts center should be a long-term goal, increasing access to affordable artist space must be a short-term one.
Promotion and funding of arts and culture is often behind-the-scenes and shared by many Boulder organizations and individuals. The city, in partnership with Downtown Boulder Partnerships (DBP), sponsors many of our local favorites, such as the Band on the Bricks and Arts Fest. Protecting and expanding the funding and promotion of Boulder arts and culture is even more vital now as the pandemic puts financial strain on the artists and the arts in general. To some, designating space and funds for mural projects, live bands, and new cultural events, might not feel like an economic necessity, but promoting arts and culture in Boulder is inextricably linked to making Boulder more of a vibrant, equitable, and FUN place for us and future generations.