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  • Writer's pictureBedrooms Are For People

Bedrooms Are For People Files Appeal to Colorado Supreme Court

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

Last night, the Boulder city council majority put the final nail in the coffin of direct democracy when they reiterated their decision not to place the Bedrooms Are For People initiative on the 2020 ballot, despite the fact that we met the requirements originally outlined by the City.

This morning, Bedrooms Are For People sought justice from the highest court in the state, the Colorado Supreme Court, when we filed our appeal. The brief filed makes it undeniably clear why this case deserves to be heard and how a correct application of the law would inevitably lead to the conclusion that the Bedrooms Are For People measure should be placed on the Boulder ballot in the November election.

The appeal from Bedrooms Are For People to the Colorado Supreme Court hinges on two key issues: 1. our reliance on rules provided by the city government and 2. the city council’s action to change the law after the petitioning process had started and after key deadlines had passed.

We relied on rules repeatedly provided by the city for the petition process. As a result, we’ve asked that the court use a legal principle of fairness, known as equitable estoppel, to prevent the City from denying us access to the ballot and ensure they honor the rules originally provided. This area of law exists to ensure fair dealing and to prevent manifest injustice, and can be applied to municipalities in the case of election law. Our appeal seeks to determine:

“Whether the City of Boulder, after making a last-minute change in its rules for citizen ballot initiatives, should be equitably estopped from refusing to place a petition on the ballot, when the petition complies with all of the requirements established by the City at the beginning of the election cycle.”

Our legal brief asserts that upholding the District Court’s ruling “would have the effect of eviscerating a trial court’s equitable powers in nearly every election circumstance where local election officials set incorrect election procedures.” The case in Boulder is especially noteworthy since the city government repeatedly and consistently misrepresented its own election laws to volunteers from Bedrooms Are For People.

If the City of Boulder is not accountable for providing bad guidance, then cities across Colorado will have no liability for giving bad election information.

The second issue in our appeal is retrospective lawmaking from the City of Boulder, which is unconstitutional in Colorado. Once our petition was certified, we had the right to complete the petition process pursuant to the rules and requirements originally provided to us.

“By upsetting vested rights by moving a deadline for petition submission to a date that had already passed, the City unconstitutionally denied Bedrooms and its co-chairs their right to participate in the ballot initiative process.”

Our initiative has seen consistent opposition from a 5-4 majority of the City Council in Boulder. The laws against retrospective lawmaking are specifically in place to prevent the kind of arbitrary and potentially vindictive legislation that we have seen by Boulder City Council.

Although our volunteers anticipated pushback from Boulder's powerful political elite, we never expected they'd go so far as to retroactively change the rules and prevent the public from voting on our measure at all. We have played by the rules and we hope that the Colorado Supreme Court will shut down the Boulder City Council's attempted voter suppression.

We are not done fighting on behalf of every person who currently lives in the shadows, has been evicted for safely sharing a home with others, or is being denied equal access to housing. We will continue working to dismantle structural prejudice and bigotry to build a more free, just, and equitable community.

You, too, can join us on the path to justice. Please take your first step now by contributing at

View Appeal to CO Supreme Court - Bedrooms Are For People Case #2020-SA-289.

Lyrics - Bedrooms Are For People

Boulder, Boulder college town

Why are things so upside down?

Mansions, mansions on the Hill

But our friends are homeless still

Bedrooms Are For People

Prairie dogs in colonies

Nests for birds and hives for bees

And our squirrel friends live in trees

But Bedrooms Are For People

Many bedrooms empty lie

While the rent goes sky high

Boulder City Council, WHY?

Bedrooms Are For People

Petition gathering off we went

So that we can pay the rent

Pandemic tried to slow us down

But voters signed from all around

Because Bedrooms Are For People

City Council said in May

“5th of August is the day!”

July came and then they said,

“Hah! We meant June instead”

Bedrooms Are For People

In this country when you’re wronged

Courts are there to stand up strong

Sue we shall so we can prove that

Bedrooms Are For People

— Melody and lyrics composed by and vocal performance by Krista Nordback.


- Eric Budd | Campaign Co-Chair, Bedrooms Are For People | 720-295-1122 |

- Chelsea Castellano | Campaign Co-Chair, Bedrooms Are For People | 732-977-7746 |

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