Bedrooms initiative is an amazing step
By Katie Farnan. Also published as an opinion letter in the Boulder Weekly on September 30, 2021.
"I’m a Boulder homeowner and I support a yes vote on Ballot Question 300, Bedrooms Are For People. Ending Boulder’s outdated, discriminatory occupancy laws will cost the city nothing, does not require new development, and will decriminalize what’s already happening across the city.
Boulder has an ongoing legacy of exclusionary housing, through zoning and restrictive ordinances, and we can see the residual impacts of that in our community today: school enrollment is on the decline; Boulder’s population hovers at around 88% white, which is NOT reflective of the county, the state, or the country’s ethnic diversity; and according to a 2014 study on intercounty commute patterns, greater than half of Boulder County’s low-income workers drive into the county to work.
As to school enrollment: families need to be able to envision building a life here and raising their kids here.
As to our demographics: Black, indigenous, and people of color need to feel that they are welcome here, that there is space for them.
And as to our forced commuting patterns: workers should have an option to live where they work, especially if we are going to continue being a jobs center. On that note, even as this summer’s horrible, cloudy, hazy fire days recede, we’ll still be dealing with terrible air quality because of those forced commuting patterns and ozone.
I’m not suggesting that the Bedrooms Are For People measure will solve all of these deeply ingrained issues, but it’s going to help. It’ll do that by giving people more options and more flexibility than they have right now by decriminalizing something that should never have been prosecutable. That’s an amazing step for Boulder, for equity, and, frankly, for property rights. Vote yes on Ballot Question 300, Bedrooms Are For People."