YES on Bedrooms Are For People
By Julie Marshall for the Daily Camera editorial board. Originally published in the Daily Camera on September 25, 2021.
"Anna Rhea Vernier is a prime example of what the Bedrooms Are For People initiative is all about.
The 34-year-old, born and raised in Boulder, graduated from Escuela Bilingue Washington Elementary, Centennial Middle and Boulder High schools. She found her passion teaching young kids and works at Countryside Montessori School while in her second year of a master’s in education program at the University of Colorado Boulder.
And her mom lives here, too.
As a single professional, Vernier is satisfied to be renting a room in a home close to work in South Boulder, but there is little security each time she has to find a new living situation or new roommates.
'There aren’t a lot of options,' says Vernier, who is in between roommates, but generally lives with two people in a three-bedroom house due to occupancy limits for most parts of Boulder, which deem no more than three unrelated people may live together.
The Bedrooms Are For People ballot initiative would change this rule, allowing one person to occupy each bedroom of a home — plus one. For instance, up to four unrelated people would be free to live together in a three-bedroom home.
As we said earlier this summer, we are happy to see this grassroots initiative campaign reach the November ballot after a long road — including difficult legal battles — to get here. Advocates say this change will lead to many things, including a reduction in greenhouse gases (due to fewer commuting cars on the road), a more inclusive definition of family and that it will address issues related to COVID-19, seniors and retirees, liberty and justice for all.
While we don’t quite think this one initiative will tackle all of these monumental social challenges in any huge manner, we do think that Bedrooms is a smart, innovative and concrete way to make some more room to include people like Vernier, whose salaries do not reflect the value of their contribution to our community.
This newspaper has for decades mulled over how to keep and maintain a socioeconomically diverse community; one that includes people who make up the core of a healthy and vibrant community — our firefighters, police, teachers, journalists (we had to add that), artists, and the list goes on. While our government continues to talk about it, the folks who volunteer with Bedrooms are actually doing something. And now the voters have a chance to reward them.
We suggest a 'yes' vote on Bedrooms Are For People."