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Inclusivity: It Begins with Housing

"My family moved to Boulder in 2012, drawn in by promises of great public schools, awe-inspiring nature, and the 'Keep Boulder Weird' mentality. We were incredibly fortunate to grow up in a house in South Boulder, receive great schooling, and take full advantage of our proximity to the Flatirons. However, my coming-of-age has shown me that Boulder’s reputation of inclusivity and 'weirdness' is only skin deep.


Now a sophomore at CU in political science, my optimism about Boulder’s spirit is waning. I joined the grassroots campaign Bedrooms Are For People (BAFP), because I feel it can accomplish positive change. BAFP’s ballot initiative, which would allow houses to be occupied by one individual per bedroom plus one more, filled me with hope.


I hope that we can indeed live up to our egalitarian and progressive values. Our current exclusionary housing law prevents residents from easing up high rent burdens, prevents non-traditional families from settling in Boulder, and damages environmental sustainability goals by requiring more wasteful housing developments and vehicular commutes.


Laws centered on 'unrelated individuals' exclude LGBTQ+ individuals, who do not get married at the same rate as do hetero couples, from being able to afford housing in Boulder. High rents disproportionately impact immigrants and people of color, who on average make less than their white peers and do not benefit from generational wealth. Undergraduates, graduate students, and non-tenured professors are also adversely affected by wages that are too low to afford living in the place where they work.


Inclusivity begins with housing. The diversity of age, race, sexual orientation, class, culture, and thought that is so often celebrated about Boulder will be eradicated unless we welcome other members of the socioeconomic ladder. Vote 'Yes' on Bedrooms Are For People’s housing initiative to take an important step towards real equality in Boulder."


Charlotte Whitney

Boulder

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