Emails: Boulder councilman discouraged nonprofits from supporting citizen petition
By Shay Castle. Originally published in the Boulder Beat on September 1, 2020.
"City councilman Bob Yates warned two local nonprofits about supporting a citizen petition effort to amend the city’s occupancy limits, according to emails shared with Boulder Beat. The messages included assertions that an endorsement of the measure would 'hurt' the organizations and their clients and potentially lead to 'unhappy donors,' while also referencing Yates’ personal donations.
Both of the nonprofits in question receive city funding. Representatives say they do not feel financial support was being explicitly threatened, but expressed confusion as to Yates’ motivation and in what capacity the emails were sent.
Councilman Yates insists the correspondence was of a personal nature — he states as much in some of the emails — and the city likewise took that position, refusing to release them as part of a Colorado Open Records Act request. (Author’s note: Boulder Beat is involved in an ongoing lawsuit against the city to force the official release of the documents.)"