Published on the first Monday of each month by Bob Yates, Boulder City Council
Note: The Boulder Bulletin is published monthly on the first Monday of each month. However, in addition, during the COVID crisis, a special weekly issue of the Bulletin is being published each Wednesday to keep the Boulder community apprised of the most recent local developments. The next weekly special COVID edition will be published on Wednesday, June 3, and the next regular monthly edition will be published on Monday, July 6.

Still proud
By Bob Yates (he/him)

Last June, through a collaboration between the City of Boulder, Out Boulder County, and the Downtown Boulder Partnership, free rainbow flags were offered to downtown businesses along Pearl Street in celebration of Pride Month. It was an experiment, which we dubbed “Rainbows Over Pearl,” to see if downtown merchants, along with residents and visitors to Pearl Street, would embrace this symbol of affection and support for members of the LGBTQ community. 

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with nearly every business requesting and displaying rainbow flags of varying sizes, and visitors to downtown saying they loved it. In total, we distributed more than 400 free rainbow flags to downtown stores, restaurants, salons, and offices, and we could have given out more, had we not run out. In parallel with the displaying of rainbow flags, the city painted rainbows on three downtown crosswalks, and there was a big downtown Pride Month launch celebration at the beginning of June, with a gay marching band, speeches, and a flag raising. It was very cool.

Coming off of that successful 2019 pilot, we raised our ambitions for Pride Month 2020. We wanted to expand the distribution of rainbow flags to businesses across the city, and to make flags available to residents to place in their yards. We planned to increase the number of flags distributed from 400 last year to more than 6000 this year, and we geared up our fundraising efforts to pay for the rainbow flags so that they could be handed out free to residents at all of Boulder’s rec centers and libraries. We charted plans to paint many more rainbow crosswalks around town. June 4 was slated for the big launch event. To reflect the citywide participation, we would change the name of the celebration from Rainbows Over Pearl to Rainbows Over Boulder.

Then COVID hit. Fundraising to buy flags dried up. The city lacked money to paint new crosswalks. The June 4 downtown celebration had to be scrubbed in respect of county public health rules. Rainbows Over Boulder became another victim of the pandemic. 

But, love endures. With a grant from the Boulder Library Foundation and a gift from an anonymous donor, 100 large rainbow flags and 2000 small ones have been... Read more ☞

A cop
with a big heart

About three minutes into your first conversation with Boulder’s new police chief, Maris Harold, you realize that she cares about other people. Really cares. It’s not surprising, therefore, to learn that her first career, before becoming a police officer, was in social work. In many ways, that’s what she still does.

“In social work, you quickly learn the impacts and complexities of bad socio-economic dynamics,” the Chief explains. (While I typically call people by their first names, out of respect for the office, I’ll refer to Maris by her title.) Working primarily with abused children in Cincinnati, the Chief saw first-hand the effects of neglect and mistreatment. “You begin to understand that these poor kids don’t really have much of a chance,” she recalls. “Often people look at those who commit crimes in black and white terms. But, it’s not as simple as ‘This person is good and this person is bad.’ In reality, there is a lot of gray.” 

The Chief recalls that her transition from social work to policing 27 years ago also involved a big change in who her peers were. “A significant majority of the people in social work then were women. But, in 1993, in Cincinnati, the police force was a very male-dominated culture. It was quite an adjustment.” But, she saw that culture evolve through the years. “Starting about 15 years ago, there was a big shift. You began to see younger, service-driven officers and a move away from the police-as-warrior mentality. The new officers are more open-minded. They are focused on problem-solving.”

It might be easy to assume that Chief Herold’s compassion for others would indicate that she is less vigorous in policing. She’s not. Since the Chief arrived in Boulder on April 20, she has been firm in enforcing Boulder’s laws on trespass, public camping, and unsafe behavior, activities which might be exacerbated by the COVID crisis. In her first six weeks on the job, she quickly addressed an encampment that sprang up near
... Read more ☞
Recent Votes & Positions:

Marpa House: At the May 5 meeting, I joined a near-unanimous council in landmarking the century-old Marpa House on University Hill.  What was I thinking ☞

Settlement Discussions with Xcel: At the May 12 meeting, we announced that we were in the early stages of settlement discussions with Xcel Energy, which could possibly result in an end to the decade-long Municipalization endeavor.  What was I thinking ☞

Neighborhood Speed Management: At the May 19 council meeting, I joined a unanimous council in reducing the speed limit on Boulder’s residential streets from 25 MPH to 20 MPH.  What was I thinking ☞

Support of Local Restaurants: At the May 19 and May 26 council meetings, I joined a unanimous council in urging city staff to quickly allow local restaurants to use outside spaces to facilitate re-opening under the governor’s social distancing requirements.  What was I thinking ☞
In the News:

May 5: Boulder businesses, City Council look forward with coronavirus restrictions set to ease for some

May 6: Boulder leaders seek to avoid new hemp business moratorium

May 9: Boulder council landmarks Marpa House property with plans to cite Shambhala sex misconduct allegations

May 11: Ballot content, road closures resurrected after earlier Boulder Council dismissals as virus lingers

May 12: Boulder, Xcel to discuss alternatives to city-run electric utility

May 12: Boulder preparing for summer of social distancing as City Council urges readiness for outdoor dining

May 16: Boulder council again declines to act on behalf of ballot petitioners amid coronavirus

May 19: Unanimous City Council gives final node to '20 is plenty,' slowing local speed limits in Boulder

May 24: Boulder continues exploring outdoor dining options, street closures as coronavirus response

May 26: Boulder begins streamlined restaurant reopening application process, emphasizing outdoor expansion amid coronavirus

May 26: Boulder ballot content taking shape with possible Xcel agreement under spotlight

May 27: Boulder to close streets near Pearl, on the Hill starting Friday
City of Boulder Community Newsletter

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Next special COVID-19 weekly issue June 3
Next monthly issue July 6

Council Meetings & Study Sessions

Unless otherwise noted, all council meetings and study sessions and other meetings begin at 6:00 at City Council Chambers, second floor, 1777 Broadway. Information current as of first Monday of the month, but subject to change.
Confirm agendas 

Tuesday, June 2: Council Meeting 
COVID briefing; Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan; dockless bike share

Tuesday, June 9: Special Council Meeting 
City financial forecast

Tuesday, June 16: Council Meeting 
South Boulder Creek flood mitigation

Tuesday, June 23 & Tuesday June 30: No Council Meetings 
Summer break

Tuesday, July 7: Council Meeting 
COVID briefing; hemp licensing; Xcel negotiations

Contact Bob 
Voice Message: 720.310.5829
Office: 1777 Broadway, Boulder (email in advance for appointment)
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